SAVE THE DATE: Farmworkers, allies to converge on New York City for major action, week of March 9, 2020!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Farmworkers in Immokalee announce major Wendy’s mobilization in New York City for week of March 9, 2020!

Fair Food Nation, it’s that time of year:  Spring is around the corner, and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers is putting out a call to action for the whole of the Fair Food Movement!

Today, we are announcing the dates of the CIW’s big spring action, the annual event that has been the hallmark of the Campaign for Fair Food for nearly two decades, from the first Taco Bell Truth Tour in 2001 to last spring’s “4 for Fair Food” Tour. During the week of March 9th, farmworkers and their allies from coast to coast will descend on New York City for the biggest Wendy’s Boycott action in the Big Apple yet.

Marchers – over 2000 strong – rally outside Wendy’s Board Chair Nelson Peltz’s Park Avenue hedge fund office, Trian Partners, during 2018’s “Time’s Up Wendy’s” March, which marked the culmination of the five-day Freedom Fast. Farmworkers from Immokalee and consumers from across the Northeast took to the streets of Manhattan again this past November for the 500-strong “What Are You Hiding, Wendy’s” March. In the same week, the New York City Council introduced a resolution, calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program.

Why New York City?

Follow the money.

The age-old dictum has led farmworkers calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program from the tomato fields of Florida to the towering skyscrapers of New York City, the financial capital of the world.  The City is home not only to Wendy’s Board Chairman, hedge fund billionaire Nelson Peltz, but also to the company’s largest institutional shareholder, Trian Partners.  And just last week, the financial justice research hub, Little Sis, built on its previous excellent reporting on Wendy’s institutional shareholders with a new article, “Hedge Fund’s Control Over Wendy’s Goes Deep as Fast Food Chain Snubs Farmworkers.”  The latest article pulled back the curtain on the true powers behind the fast-food giant:

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has waged a long campaign calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. That campaign is now gaining more momentum – receiving more press coverage, for instance – as organizers continue to try to convince Wendy’s board to have the company join the program. 

It makes sense to focus on Wendy’s board, because this is where power over the company lies. As we discuss below, Wendy’s board is effectively controlled by the hedge fund Trian Partners and its billionaire CEO Nelson Peltz. Trian is the largest institutional shareholder in Wendy’s – and its influence on Wendy’s board goes perhaps even deeper than we initially documented in our past work on Trian and Wendy’s…

…We’ve previously reported on the role of Trian Partners’ executives Nelson Peltz, Peter May, and Matthew Peltz on the Wendy’s board. However, other current Wendy’s  board members also have ties to Trian Partners or Nelson Peltz, chair of the board. Since joining the board in 2008, Peltz has repeatedly tried to increase the number of board seats and has nominated other Trian Partners executives to the Wendy’s board. 

Of the 11 current Wendy’s board members, 7 have ties to Trian Partners or business ties to Peltz…

…Wendy’s recent SEC filings also show that four of the five current members of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of the Wendy’s board are current or former Trian executives – an irony, perhaps, since they have so far refused to have Wendy’s join the Fair Food Program, which has been widely lauded as a human rights success story.

Clearly, then, Trian Partners and Nelson Peltz hold major sway on Wendy’s board – in addition to Peltz, his son, and May’s presence on Wendy’s board, the board also contains a host of directors with longtime ties to Peltz and Trian. 

All this strengthens the belief that, in order to convince Wendy’s to go along with other major companies in joining the Fair Food Program, Peltz and Trian need to give the greenlight.  

Or, in other words, as was put so eloquently just earlier this week by the New York City Council Women’s Caucus: “It is here, in New York City… where the power to bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food Program exists.” 

So get ready, Fair Food Nation!  It is high time for Wendy’s to join the rest of the fast-food industry in supporting farmworkers’ fundamental human rights.  This March, we are going to follow the money and take the fight to the doorstep of those with the power to end the hamburger giant’s inexplicable resistance and bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food Program. Join us!

And if you’re ready to mobilize your community to join the CIW’s 2020 major spring action, contact to begin planning now!