Sisters’ supply chain resolution leads to call for no vote on Chairman Peltz
Readers of this blog will be familiar with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and their campaign to compel Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program. On May 12 the CIW brought activists to the doors of Wendy’s Board Chair Nelson Peltz on Park Avenue in NYC, calling once again for Wendy’s to do the right thing for farmworkers (pictured). And tomorrow we will witness a shareholder showdown as social justice-minded investors call for a no vote against Peltz and his team at Wendy’s HQ.
The story began in 2021 when the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany filed a shareholder resolution urging Wendy’s to look into possible labor abuses in its supply chain. McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food chains participate in the Fair Food Program, under which they purchase tomatoes only from growers that have signed on to a fair labor code of conduct. Wendy’s, the lone holdout, refuses to participate in the Fair Food Program. Given the abuses rampant in farm labor, it was fair for the Sisters to ask Wendy’s management: What are you doing to prevent forced labor and exploitation in your supply chain? Fully 95% of shareholders voted for the resolution.
But Wendy’s corporate leadership, dominated by Nelson Peltz and his investment firm Trian Partners, did not seriously address the questions in the shareholder resolution – tough questions about whether and how Wendy’s employed third-party monitoring and enforcement of labor standards. Instead it ignored input from shareholder activists and produced a feel-good “corporate social responsibility” report.
In response, activist investors are calling for a vote against Nelson Peltz and his team at tomorrow’s annual shareholder meeting. Stay tuned!