Wendy’s time at the Ohio State University is over, say fair-labor activists who oppose the restaurant’s use of produce from Mexico. Now a contentious two-year battle with the fast-food franchise on campus has come to a head, with students borrowing a protest tactic from the University of Missouri playbook.
On Monday, 19 students and alumni began a weeklong hunger strike to pressure the Ohio State University to end the restaurant’s lease in Wexner Medical Center — and “Boot the Braids.”
The Wendy’s has had a relatively controversy-free existence at the university-owned Wexel Center since the 1990s, WOSU, a Columbus-based NPR affiliate reports. However, activists began targeting this franchise location in 2014 when the corporate Wendy’s, headquartered in nearby Dublin, Ohio, refused to sign on to the Fair Food Program, which promotes fair pay and safer conditions for American agricultural workers. Fast-food eateries Burger King, McDonalds and Taco Bell have signed on to the United Nations-endorsed project.
“Wendy’s represents the worst of corporate greed locally and nationally,” Ohio for Fair Food and Farmworker Justice said in a Facebook post announcing the hunger strike earlier this month.