Celebs Vs. Wendy's, Alyssa Milano and Others Slam the Fast Food Chain for Farmworker Controversy 

Celebs Vs. Wendy's, Alyssa Milano and Others Slam the Fast Food Chain for Farmworker Controversy 

Wendy’s sassy social media voice hasn’t been strong enough to combat the star power going after the fast food giant. 

For the last few months, Wendy’s has received backlash for not joining the Coalition of Immokalee Workers‘ Fair Food Program, a “partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures humane wages and working conditions for the workers who pick fruits and vegetables on participating farms.” 

The program helps to protect the workers from sexual abuse and harassment. McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut have agreed to participate in the program. 

The criticism of Wendy’s started when it stopped buying its tomatoes from Florida around the time that the Fair Food Program was implemented in the state. The fast food chain then started to buy its tomatoes from Mexico. 

Wendy’s has repeatedly said that the switch to Mexico was due to the tomato quality being superior in Mexico during the winter.

“Our tomato purchasing moves seasonally throughout various growing regions of North America during the year. In the warmer months, we purchase tomatoes from states like California, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia. In the colder months, we purchase tomatoes primarily from Mexico, which is what we have done for the past few years. In the past we purchased winter tomatoes from Florida, and we may do so again in the future. But right now, we are quite happy with the quality and taste of the tomatoes we are sourcing from Mexico,” writes Liliana Esposito, Wendy’s Chief Communication Officer in a blog post explaining the matter. 

Wendy’s claims that the CLW is “exploiting” the #MeToo movement to collect more fees from large companies. 

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Top Managers Quit Charlie Hallowell Restaurant Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Top Managers Quit Charlie Hallowell Restaurant Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

In the latest chapter of harassment allegations in our industry, three managers and chefs from Charlie Hallowell’s Boot and Shoe Service have resigned over alleged “serial harassment” from the owner.

Last year, 17 former employees of Hallowell’s Pizzaiolo, Boot & Shoe Service, and Penrose restaurants accused the restaurateur of creating a demoralizing work environment where his "indecent propositions and about of his power were the norm," and that the workplace featured a "near-constant stream of sexually explicit language."

An ultimatum was proposed earlier this month when a group of seven top managers threatened to resign from the Oakland restaurant if Hallowell didn’t divest from the restaurant. This weekend, protests were staged outside the restaurant over the alleged harassment and the way Hallowell and his company have handled the allegations.

Crisis consultant Larry Kamer, who was recently brought in as a spokesman for the restaurant group, said that the protest was peaceful and that the picketers would not lose their jobs as a result. Staff from the other restaurants were brought in during the protest, and he said the company is hiring people to fill jobs of departing employees.

“We know there are a number of people who feel strongly about this,” Kamer said

This protest came at a time when hundreds of women marched across the country as a part of the Women’s March and the #MeToo movement.

By Sunday, three managers and chefs had resigned from Boot & Shoe Service after their demands that he divest from the company were not met.

“I feel pretty sad. I feel like I really had some measure of hope — maybe I was naive — that this was going to work,” said Emily Hayward, who resigned as general manager along with pastry chef Jenny Raven and brunch manager Stephanie Chevalier. However, Hayward added, “I feel very confident in my decision. The lack of response really told me everything I needed to hear as far as my value.”

Boot & Shoe Service chef Gregg Cashmark, sous chef Matt Fishman and cafe manager Greg Francis told The San Francisco Chronicle they are also planning to quit in the coming days. Top staff from Hallowell’s two other Oakland restaurants, Pizzaiolo and Penrose, did not join them in the action.

After the original Chronicle investigation was published Dec. 27th, Hallowell responded by removing himself from his company’s day-to-day operations while an outside attorney conducts an investigation.

Read more at “The San Francisco Chronicle.”

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