Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs


Corporate Responsibility Office
Province of St. Joseph of the Capuchin Order
1015 North Ninth Street
Milwaukee WI 53233
Phone 414/271-0735
FAX: 414/271-0637
Michael Crosby, OFM Cap.
John Celichowski, OFM Cap.

December 22, 2000

In response to shareholder resolutions filed by two Catholic religious orders, Wendy's International, Inc. agreed today to adopt a policy prohibiting smoking in all its U.S. company- operated restaurants during 2001. It also has agreed to "encourage its U.S. franchisees to adopt a policy prohibiting smoking in franchised restaurants" following a regionally-specific timetable for its company-operated sites.

"Wendy's has joined other enlightened fast-food chains in making this decision," said Rev. Michael H. Crosby, Corporate Responsibility Agent for the Midwest Capuchin Franciscans. "They even exceeded the time line we suggested." His group filed the resolution asking Wendy's to make its facilities smokefree by 2002. The Capuchins were joined by the St. Louis Region of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Both groups are members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Crosby is also the Tobacco Program Coordinator of the ICCR.

Members of ICCR with stock in Wendy's began asking the company to go smokefree in 1993. The filer of the resolution was Mercy Health Services of Framington Hills, MI, a health care organization sponsored by the Detroit Regional Community of the Sisters of Mercy. Their request experienced strong resistance under Wendy's previous administration. When Wendy's management decided against allowing the shareholders to vote on the proposal at the 1994 meeting, Mercy Health Services sought declaratory and injunctive relief in a U.S. District Court to allow Wendy's shareholders to vote on the proposal.

After that date, other members of ICCR, including the Midwest Capuchins continued to file shareholder proposals asking the company to go smokefree. Crosby attended various annual meetings of the company challenging the company's position.

Finally, for the 1997 annual meeting Wendy's included the resolution. In exchange for this, and for dropping the suit, the members of ICCR had to agree "not to submit further proposals or take other actions relating to Wendy's through 1999."

During that time Wendy's experienced a total transition of its key management. With the three-year period expired, Crosby submitted the resolution again on behalf of his Province and the Sisters of Mercy. However, before doing so he contacted Lee McCorkle, Corporate Secretary at Wendy's. Crosby also explained that members of ICCR had worked, along with other groups, to have McDonald's go smokefree in 1994. Unaware of the history on the issue McCorkle asked for communications on the matter. To meet SEC deadlines for filing resolutions, the Capuchins and Mercy sisters filed the resolution on November 13, 2000. It read: "Shareholders request the Board of Directors to adopt a policy making all our facilities, including our company- owned restaurants, smoke free by January 1, 2002 and consider ways of including in future franchise agreements the same policy to preclude any future litigation affection shareholder value."

In the agreement with the shareholders Wendy's agreed to adopt the policy to be implemented in its various regions no later than March 31, 2001. The Western U.S. Region will be smokefree by January 1, 2001. The Southeast will be February, 1; the Upper U.S., March 1, 2001 and the Midwest and Northeast will implement the policy by March 31, 2001.

"Wendy's is writing a new, healthy chapter in its history," said Sister Katherine Marie Glosenger of the St. Louis Region of the Sisters of Mercy. "They are giving the country a wonderful present for this holiday season."


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