ACTION ALERT: Call Trian Partners TODAY as the Wendy’s annual shareholder meeting is underway!

Farmworkers from Immokalee and their New York based allies gather outside Trian Partners headquarters in midtown Manhattan for last week’s major action ahead of Wendy’s annual shareholder meeting.

ALSO: Check out the full update from last week’s big action outside Trian Partners headquarters in midtown Manhattan!




Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President: “You have changed the landscape of the corporate food system in America through your leadership… But we’ve got one big thing that we need to do together!”

Worker leaders from New Immigrant Community Empowerment speak at the May 12 rally in Manhattan in front of Trian Partners.

From Manhattan’s streets to the pages of the Financial Times — and pretty much everywhere in between — Wendy’s and Nelson Peltz have been hearing from farmworker leaders and their consumer allies, major investors and Wendy’s own shareholders about the urgent need for real human rights protections in the hamburger giant’s produce supply chain – and nowhere was that message louder, or clearer, this past week than on Park Avenue last Thursday.

After two years of a pandemic-induced absence from the streets of the Big Apple, farmworkers from Immokalee descended on the city once again, with theater props, artwork, and allies in tow.  In true CIW fashion, the day’s agenda was filled to the brim:  Not one but two rounds of street theater; major delegations to key Wendy’s investors BlackRock and JP Morgan — the third and sixth largest Wendy’s shareholders, respectively — demanding that they use their millions of shares to vote Nelson Peltz off the Wendy’s Board; and, of course, a rousing rally with over 100 supporters, a mariachi band, and a line-up of NYC heavy hitters.  CIW was honored to be joined on the stage by Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and New York City Council Member Carmen de la Rosa – both of whom have steadfastly supported a city-wide resolution calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program – as well as NYC Comptroller, Brad Lander, who announced proudly that the City’s public pension funds had already cast their vote AGAINST Nelson Peltz, Matthew Peltz, Peter May, and Peter Rothschild in advance of today’s meeting.  Here, for a sense of all the day’s action, are just some of the photos from last week’s trip to the financial capital of the world:

Photos:  Tyson Washburn + Coalition of Immokalee Workers

The stage not only included some of New York City’s most powerful political leaders, but also an inspiring line-up of allies standing shoulder to shoulder with CIW’s farmworker leaders.  Their words, representing a resounding moral call for accountability from the financial titans of Manhattan, are too good not to share, and so today we are including in our report extended excerpts from several more of Thursday’s speakers.

Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President

We are here today to support the Immokalee farm workers, who are world-renowned for what they have done for workers’ rights, farmworkers’ rights, far and beyond Immokalee, throughout the United States and beyond. I am full of admiration.

You have changed the landscape of the corporate food system in America through your leadership, through your bravery, through your organizing, through your fearlessness. But we got one big thing, one big thing that we need to do together.

We need to get Wendy’s on board with the Fair Food Program – because it is the right thing to do, it is the moral thing to do, but it will also be good for business, because there are countless potential customers who are not eating at Wendy’s now. I will not eat at Wendy’s now because of their business practices. So we have a message for Nelson Peltz: Your customers want this, your workers want this, your investors want this, and here in New York City, we are demanding this.

Carina Tibursio, New Immigrant Community Empowerment

I have lived in NY state since 1995. I work in construction and in house cleaning. I have my fair share of struggles in wage theft, discrimination, abuse of power. During that time, I held my head down. But like all my peers who are active in this fight, we learn our rights and we learn to constantly fight for them. I am thankful for those who helped me. But today we’re not here to talk about me. We are here to show our support for our farmworkers because their fight is our fight, it is my fight, they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Wendy’s needs to be part of the Fair Food Program. Those four board members need to be held accountable and need to respect the work our farmworkers do because without them the products would not go anywhere, and we have a four for four deal for them: remove those four board members!

Ann Toback, CEO, Workers Circle

I’m Ann Toback, CEO of the Workers Circle, a proudly progressive community of more than 25,000 activists across the country, rooted in Jewish culture and social justice for more than a century.

The Fair Food Program is the only, proven solution to end worker exploitation, modern slavery, and sexual assault in the farming fields. For more than a decade we have been calling on Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program.  Nelson Peltz, Chairman of Wendy’s and CEO of Trian Partners, Wendy’s largest institutional shareholder, has evaded, fought and disparaged this internationally recognized human rights program.

Nelson, in short, has said, NO. And so, we have come to say NO to Nelson.

Our Jewish tradition—yours, Nelson, and mine–teaches that we must not stand idly by when we see injustice, when we see harm. We must take action. Nelson, if you put half the effort into supporting the Fair Food Program that you put into avoiding it for the last 10 years, thousands of farmworkers would be working in dignity and safety right now. And so, Nelson, we the consumers are here not standing idly by. We are saying no to your brutal approach to corporate responsibility that leaves farmworkers exploited without rights or recourse. We are saying no to your refusal to answer shareholders’ basic questions on human rights abuses in Wendy’s supply chain. And now we say no to you, Nelson, as Wendy’s chairman.

Nelson, Wendy’s annual meeting is less than a week away. The clock is ticking. The time to abandon your immoral and irresponsible refusal to bring Wendy’s into the Fair Food Program is now.

Anousha Peters, Student/Farmworker Alliance at Columbia University

Students at Columbia, and other New York City schools have a long history of standing with farmworkers, dating back to the start of the campaign for fair food in 2001, with TacoBell. Since then students have been a powerful force in this movement, showing multi-million dollar corporations that we are not just a mindless consumer demographic, but that we have the power to cut contracts.

Today is a day for celebration of this power: about a month ago, Florida Atlantic University confirmed that they will not be renewing their contract with the Wendy’s on their campus. This came after years of students organizing on campus, from protests to campaigns to resolutions. Collective action like this can’t and won’t be ignored. Students, farm workers and their families won’t be ignored.Today, we are here at Nelson Peltz’s door, and we won’t be ignored.

Wendy’s is only the most recent corporation that students, farmworkers, and allies have been pressuring together for over 8 years. I have no doubt that the power of our solidarity – all of us standing here now – will win in this fight against Wendy’s.

As the world changes, we must ensure it changes on our terms, not on the terms of capital or corporations, or “asset management firms”. Youth, farmworkers, and all working class people recognize this deeply. For tomorrow, we are building a better world, one in which workers, not capital, hold the power and are treated with not only dignity, and respect, but love.

Rev. Schuyler Vogel, Senior Minister at Fourth Universalist Society in the City of New York

Friends, it is an honor to be here with you.

We are here today to lift up mighty voices, to speak truth to those hiding in their high towers who believe that just because they are high up in the sky, they are closer to God, closer to God than us down here. But it was from the earth that God made us and those that work its harvest are blessed.

We know that God is on the side of the workers, of the truth-tellers and the dreamers, of the poor and the forgotten, the tenacious and the brave. No religion speaks well of those who hoard wealth, who deprive their fellow human beings of dignity and safety. Jesus did not say blessed are the rich, he did not say blessed are the corporations, he did not say blessed are those who make their fortunes from the honest labor of working people. He threw out the money lenders from the temple. The prophets of Israel rallied against corruption and the sins of the rich. The Buddha left his privileged life to seek enlightenment, knowing full well that wisdom lied elsewhere.

Let this be a moment of understanding – that to sacrifice workers and their well-being for profit is a sin. That the Wendy’s corporation led by Nelson Peltz is committing this sin by refusing to sign the Fair Food Program, an agreement that all of its peers – hardly paragons of virtue themselves—have signed on to.

Let us understand: profits gained through people’s pain is blood money. There is no moral or spiritual way to justify what Wendy’s has done and continued to do. The people up in their silver towers are not better or more valuable than those down here. The people up there are not more worthy of safety and dignity and a living wage and healthcare than those down here.

Let us remember: God created us from this earth and those who work God’s creation are blessed. Amen.

We want to send a special thanks to all of the individuals and organizations who made last week’s action a huge success!  A big thanks to T’ruah, The Riverside Church, First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, Jornaleros Unidos, Make the Road NYC, Brandworkers, Rise and Resist NYC, SEIU 32BJ, NYC Central Labor Council AFL-CIO, Laundry Workers Center, One Fair Wage NYC, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), 91 Accion global for Ayotzinapa, and the People’s Forum.

Don’t forget to call Trian Partners today to support the call for corporate accountability for farmworkers’ human rights, and check back soon for the results from today’s big shareholder vote!