Ann Arbor City Council urges boycott of Wendy’s hamburgers over Fair Food Program

Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-05 18:19:37-05

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — It started as a student cause at the University of Michigan. Now the Ann Arbor City Council has voted 10-0 to urge a boycott of Wendy’s Hamburgers because the company reportedly does not support what’s called the Fair Food Program.

Wendy’s was one of the vendors inside the Michigan Union. It is closed for renovations until next year and some want Wendy’s to stay out when new bid are taken for vendors.

The Fair Food Program monitors and enforces workers rights. It has this video on You Tube:

Ann Arbor Council Member Elizabeth Nelson offered the resolution for the boycott.

She says, “It’s something that we should take a stand on. And the decisions that we make in the things we buy and the companies we support.”

Some say they don’t need city hall telling them what to boycott.

Marilyn Hollier talked with us after going through the Wendy’s drive through on Plymouth Road saying, “There’s lots of boycotts these days. Seems to be the theme of our country.”

Council Member Nelson responds with, “I would tend to agree with a little bit of that. I’ve only been on city council for two months. I would not have brought this resolution if it did not have a specific connection to a very local decision that’s relevant to us.”

There are other companies that could be added to the boycott, but we’ll tell you those when they take that action.

We reached out to Wendy’s and they have issued the following statement:

We would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss this issue with the Ann Arbor City Council, but were not contacted prior to this vote. In fact, we are very proud of our business practices and Wendy’s has always been committed to fair wages and human rights for those who supply our food. We have not purchased commodity field-grown tomatoes from Florida for several years, which is the predominant area in which this activist organization operates. Instead, Wendy’s sources higher-quality, vine-ripened tomatoes from suppliers throughout North America, and recently announced a commitment to source all of our tomatoes from indoor greenhouse farms, including farms in Michigan. We are excited about the superior quality of these tomatoes, and this move further strengthens our commitment to responsible sourcing practices by providing safer, indoor working conditions, shelter from the elements and environmental contaminants, reduced water and land use burdens, and a significantly reduced need for chemical pesticides. Michigan agriculture plays an important role in our greenhouse sourcing practices, and we’re excited to see that grow. As it relates to the Michigan Union, the Wendy’s restaurant on campus was independently owned and operated by a local franchisee. As a brand, we were happy to have been part of the University of Michigan community, but I understand that our franchisee’s lease expired when the school remodeled the building in which the restaurant was housed, and they made the decision to not pursue a new lease a few years ago.