After ten days, five cities, thousands of miles, and countless consumer allies taking action to join the general boycott of Wendy’s, the Workers’ Voice Tour culminated in a massive march through the heart of the vacation town of Wendy’s Board Chair Nelson Peltz this past Saturday. More than 500 farmworkers and allies from Florida and far beyond, marched alongside Ethel Kennedy — and even a giant puppet of Nelson Peltz — through the exclusive island community of Palm Beach, to bring the message of justice home to Peltz and other Wendy’s decision-makers.
This action comes as Peltz and Wendy’s continue their frosty silence in response to farmworkers’ and consumers’ demand that Wendy’s join the CIW’s Fair Food Program, which is eliminating human rights abuses in the Florida tomato industry — and as of this year, in Florida strawberries, sweet peppers, and in six additional northern states. Wendy’s is the final major fast food corporation to refuse to join the Program, and have recently advertised that they are moving purchasing from Florida tomatoes to Mexico, where routine abuse of farmworkers is well-documented.
As the historic march snaked through one of the wealthiest shopping districts in the United States, accompanied by the same jubilant music, sparkling creativity, and steadfast commitment that will be familiar to anyone who has been to a CIW action, Lucas Benitez of the CIW remarked, “The people in this town saw for the first time the faces of people who pick their food … Their reality is tied to our reality and they can’t continue to ignore us.”
Nelson Peltz and Wendy’s will not be able to ignore the CIW and their allies, because we will continue to march, we will continue to spread the word in our communities — and we will continue to boycott Wendy’s until they become part of the proven solution to abuse in the fields.