NYC Council Women’s Caucus to Wendy’s Board Chairman Nelson Peltz: “It is here, in New York City, where your office as Chairman of Trian Partners — one of Wendy’s largest shareholders — is located. And so it is here, in New York City, our city, where the power to bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food Program exists.”

For many years, the Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council has played a critical leadership role in the fight against sexual harassment in the workplace, both within the City’s five boroughs and beyond its borders.  With the advent of the Time’s Up Movement and the Women’s March in recent years, the Caucus’s voice and visibility on women’s issues, from pay equity to gender-based violence, has only grown stronger.  

And now, just this week – in the wake of last month’s massive Fair Food mobilization in Manhattan and the introduction of a resolution in the New York City Council calling on Wendy’s to join the award-winning Fair Food Program without further delay – the Women’s Caucus has stepped squarely into the fight to end sexual violence in the fields!  

On Thursday afternoon, the Women’s Caucus released a powerfully-worded, public letter to Wendy’s Board Chair Nelson Peltz calling on the hedge fund billionaire to “exercise leadership and encourage Wendy’s to join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers; Fair Food Program (FFP).”  Councilwomen Carlina Rivera, Margaret Chin, Karen Koslowitz, Adrienne Adams, Helen Rosenthal, Alicka Ampry-Samuel, and Diana Ayala praised the Program’s unique and proven ability to uproot the “scourge” of sexual violence, stating unequivocally that the FFP is “widely recognized as the single most effective program combating sexual abuse in agriculture today.”  And the Councilwomen left no doubt about where they stand in this growing campaign: “We, the undersigned, stand with farmworker women and men across the country, and urge you to join us.”  You can read the text of the letter in its entirety at the conclusion of today’s post. 

CIW’s Lupe Gonzalo (right) stands with NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera.

The Women’s Caucus’s letter underscored what can only be seen as a troubling trend for the fast-food giant: New York City is embracing the Wendy’s Boycott, and that embrace is growing stronger every day.

When NYC Council Member Mark Levine joined marchers last month at a rally outside Peltz’s Park Avenue offices, he announced the filing of the City Council resolution, and sent a clear message to Wendy’s on behalf of the resolution’s sponsors in the process: 

“New Yorkers believe farmworkers harvesting the food we eat should labor in humane and respectful conditions. That’s why I, along with Council Members Brad Lander and Helen Rosenthal, have co-sponsored a City Council resolution urging Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program.  The great city of New York is home to many Wendy’s restaurants throughout the five boroughs and is the only major fast-food chain to not participate in the Fair Food Program.  Wendy’s, New Yorkers expect better.”

Today, the Women’s Council took that message to Mr. Peltz one step further:

This past month, a resolution was introduced in the New York City Council calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and support farmworkers’ human rights. It is here, in New York City, where your office as Chairman of Trian Partners — one of Wendy’s largest shareholders — is located. And so it is here, in New York City, our city, where the power to bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food Program exists.

Clearly, time is not on Wendy’s side in this ever-expanding battle.  Farmworkers from Immokalee have fought for nearly three decades to win the groundbreaking changes they have built through the Fair Food Program.  A generation of farmworkers has come and gone in that time, and as long as there are still fields in this country where workers are forced to suffer outrageous abuse – from sexual violence to modern-day slavery – without recourse to the Fair Food Program’s proven enforcement powers, another generation, and another, and another will continue that fight.  

How much longer can Wendy’s stand against the tide of history?  How much longer can Trian – and, perhaps more importantly, those investors who do business with Trian, Wendy’s largest shareholder – refuse to join the rest of the fast-food industry and support the Presidential Medal-winning Fair Food Program?  What possible answer can Mr. Peltz give to satisfy investors concerned about Wendy’s inexplicable stand against the “single most effective program combating sexual abuse in agriculture today”?

The longer Wendy’s waits, the more formidable the campaign grows in The City That Never Sleeps.





Radio Conciencia 107.7 celebrates 16 years!

December 11, 2019

This past weekend, the community of Immokalee gathered on a beautiful, breezy Sunday afternoon for the annual Radio Conciencia Anniversary, celebrating 16 years of community radio on the airwaves around Immokalee and streaming online around the globe.  Hundreds of farmworkers and their families came out to listen to the CIW’s own Marimba Group (farmworkers who gather in the CIW community Center to play the traditional Guatemalan marimba), to enjoy three live bands, and to watch not just one, but two traditional dance performances by the Ballet Folkorico Jalisciense and the CIW’s own Women’s Group! Today, we bring you just a […]

Talk by “Not a Tractor” author, Susan Marquis: “Transforming the Fields: Defining and Claiming Farmworker Rights”…

December 5, 2019

Sometimes a great story will get lost in the never-ending torrent of news and analysis coming out of the Fair Food movement. This past October, just such a story took place in the historic college town of Oxford, Mississippi, and, by no fault of its own, promptly got lost in the shadow of last month’s big march in New York City. But consider the story lost no longer.  Susan Marquis, Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School in Los Angeles and author of the exceptional history of the CIW and the Fair Food Program “I Am not a Tractor,” gave a […]

Giving Tuesday Challenge: Help us raise $5,000 TODAY – and your donation will be doubled!

December 3, 2019

Calling on the Fair Food Nation: Giving Tuesday is here, and we need your help to keep the Fair Food movement strong! Help us get to $5,000 TODAY, and your donation will be matched! Today is Giving Tuesday, the day millions of people across the country set aside as a reminder to donate to their favorite charities, giving whatever they can to build stronger communities and a better, more just society.  For the women and men in America’s fields and their families, the proven, powerful program best equipped to do just that is, unequivocally, the Fair Food Program. Today, we […]

DEC. 3: Give thanks for farmworkers! #GivingTuesday is around the corner…

November 27, 2019

“How can I enjoy my food if the people growing, harvesting and packing it aren’t treated with respect and paid a decent wage? I am a proud supporter of the Fair Food Program because they are worker-led, creative, and tireless.”  – Mary Pautz, longtime CIW ally and donor Thanksgiving is almost upon us!  Today, from farmworkers in Immokalee to conscious consumers across the country, families are preparing to take time to be together, enjoy a good meal, and give thanks for each other and the many gifts this past year has brought.  Among the gifts that we receive every day, […]

New York City Council Members: “Wendy’s, New Yorkers expect better.”

November 25, 2019

New York City Council Members Mark Levine, Brad Lander, and Helen Rosenthal introduce resolution calling “on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and support farmworkers’ human rights”! Live in New York? Email your City Council Member TODAY to urge them to support Resolution 1156! Last week, over 500 farmworkers, their families, and supporters from across New York City and the northeast marched through the heart of Manhattan to the hedge-fund offices of Trian Partners, Wendy’s largest shareholder.  As chants of “Boycott Wendy’s” thundered down Park Ave., Council Member Mark Levine rose to the mic to exclaim, “Bienvenidos!” and announce that members of the Big Apple’s […]

500+ march on Wendy’s in NYC: “The longer they hold out, the stronger we become!”

November 21, 2019

From university halls to City Hall, over 500 farmworkers and consumers come together in New York’s streets demanding to know “What are you hiding, Wendy’s?” with day-long protest, march! PLUS: Comic and actor Amy Schumer visits protesters to lend support to farmworkers and their families fighting for justice; and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders endorses Wendy’s Boycott! AND: New York City Council introduces resolution calling on Wendy’s to join award-winning Fair Food Program! In the early hours of Monday morning, over 70 farmworkers, their families, and allies gathered in front of the offices of Trian Partners, Wendy’s largest institutional shareholder, in […]

BREAKING: Park Slope Food Coop in NYC joins forces with CIW to support, expand award-winning Fair Food Program!

November 8, 2019

Park Slope Food Coop: “As our Mission Statement says, ‘We seek to avoid products that depend on the exploitation of others.’ Ethical production and sourcing are among our core values, and our membership has voted overwhelmingly to support the FFP – a first in the nation for a local retailer. The Fair Food Program embodies those values, ensuring that the food we buy each day to feed our families is harvested with dignity and respect for the women and men laboring in the fields.” What:  The launch of a new partnership for farmworker human rights by Park Slope Food Coop and the […]

PHOTO REPORT: National Day of Action turns up the heat on Wendy’s with 20 actions in 14 states!

November 5, 2019

From Washington State to Washington DC, the Fair Food Nation ramps up for CIW’s major mobilization in NYC on November 18 with nearly two dozen Wendy’s Boycott demonstrations! On October 28th, the Fair Food Nation came together for a huge National Day of Action in the Wendy’s Boycott!  In nearly two dozen actions in 14 cities, students, community allies, and faith-based groups took to the streets, from Washington State to Rhode Island and South Florida. These local acts of solidarity, which included vibrant marches, pickets, banner drops, teach-ins, and letter delegations, set the stage for the CIW’s big Wendy’s Boycott march […]

Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) movement leaders gather in New York!

October 25, 2019

Breakthrough in Lesotho apparel industry brings leaders from four different continents together to discuss growing WSR movement!… Cathy Albisa, NESRI: “The biggest takeaway today should be our understanding of the importance of connection. From the problem, to the solution, to scaling the solution, how we are connected defines the outcome… The WSR Network creates the next level of connection together – connections across movements, and across sectors.” Last week, the Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network (WSRN) and its members – hailing from across the United States, Bangladesh, the Netherlands, and, most recently, Lesotho in Southern Africa – gathered with supporters from […]

Fair Food Standards Council issues Season 7 Annual Report!

October 21, 2019

Report “provides data and analysis of the current state of compliance within the Fair Food Program as of the end of Season 7 (2017-18)” Latest report “serves as a supplement to the more comprehensive 2017 Annual Report“… In keeping with its practice of providing the highest level of transparency into — and detailed statistical analysis of — the results of the Fair Food Program, the Fair Food Standards Council (FFSC) released its Season 7 Annual Report last week, and it is chock full of insights into the leading social responsibility program in agriculture today. You can download a copy of […]