News Archives

The birth of Worker-driven Social Responsibility: January – December 2016

Northeast “Behind the Braids” Tour heads north to Providence, Boston!

Consumers across Northeast: “There’s nothing they can do to stop us.  We’re here under the rain, we’re building power, making noise, spreading a message…!”After wrapping up a powerful visit to New York — which kicked off with a high-spirited march led by the ever-boisterous Lower East Side Girls Club and concluded with a stirring evening vigil outside the luxurious hedge fund offices of Wendy’s Board Chairman, Nelson Peltz — the Northeast “Behind the Braids” Tour headed up I-95 to spread the Fair Food word throughout historic New England!  Today, we bring you the exciting reports from the last two stops of this fall’s third regional tour, the northeastern cities of […]

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CIW honored with 2016 Leadership Award by James Beard Foundation at moving ceremony in NYC!

Last week, at a spectacular ceremony in New York City’s historic Hearst Tower, the James Beard Foundation presented its prestigious 2016 Leadership Award to the CIW for its “innovative work in forging a new human rights model in the food industry supply chain.”  The CIW had the honor of being introduced by human rights leader Kerry Kennedy, and joined an illustrious line-up of fellow awardees that included longtime CIW allies Raj Patel and Anna Lappè. In accepting the award, Lucas Benitez and Greg Asbed spoke of the massive collective effort necessary to build the Fair Food Movement and of the new model for protecting […]

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The “Behind the Braids” Northeast Tour takes New York by storm!

Last week, just as the Northeast Behind the Braids Tour was arriving in New York City, Wendy’s Public Relations department released the company’s most direct response yet to the Campaign for Fair Food.  And yet somehow, with more than three years to come up with a plausible defense since the Wendy’s campaign began in earnest in 2013, the recalcitrant hamburger giant still managed to swing and miss…. badly.If you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check out our point-by-point rebuttal to the Wendy’s missive here.  But beyond the particular half-truths and clumsy attempts at innuendo that permeated the Wendy’s statement, this kind of move can really only mean one thing: […]

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And you thought the presidential debates were maddening…

Wendy’s issues statement on boycott after months of silence.  Silence was better.As we write this on Wednesday evening, the nation prepares (and by “prepares” we mean curls into the fetal position on the couch in front of the TV…) for the third and final presidential debate.  But if you are like us and happened to catch Wendy’s new statement on the Fair Food movement’s national boycott, published yesterday on an obscure public relations blog dedicated to the discussion of Corporate Social Responsibility, then you were treated to a sort of pre-debate hors d’oeuvres plate, a similar mix of cheap innuendo, half-truths, and outright fabrications, just in […]

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The Nation: “There’s a Nationwide Boycott of Wendy’s Underway…”

“For over a decade the small coalition of farmworkers and community activists have taken on the giants of Big Ag and built a new system of labor protection. Now they’re taking the fight to a Goliath in red pigtails…”Last week, as the Midwest and Southeast “Behind the Braids” Tours were wrapping up, attention turned to the next tour on the horizon:  The Northeast Tour, which will be making its way through the states of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the week ahead.  Be sure to check back soon for news from the Northeast as the Wendy’s Boycott continues […]

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“Boot the Braids!” rings out across campuses throughout the Midwest and Southeast! 

First round of Wendy’s Boycott tours wraps up with visits to four “Boot the Braids” campuses! Picking up where we left off in last week’s “Behind the Braids” Tours report, we bring you the latest news from the campaign trail (Campaign for Fair Food, that is, also known as the only campaign news you can proudly share with young children these days…).  This time around, even though the tours traced different geographic routes, they had one powerful theme in common:  The student-led movement to “boot” Wendy’s from college campuses until Wendy’s agrees to join the Fair Food Program! From 2001 to 2005, university students on […]

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New York Times Magazine, Civil Eats take on “Big Food” and the Food Movement…

“Then we found the unlocked door in the castle wall… It was the corporate brand.”As the Wendy’s Boycott picks up steam across the country, the CIW and the Campaign for Fair Food took center stage in two timely articles this past week — one from Michael Pollan in the New York Times Magazine and another from Elizabeth Grossman in Civil Eats — asking key strategic questions about how best to create meaningful, transformational change in the food system.First up, Michael Pollan set the scene in his big thought piece last week, “Big Food Strikes Back,” tracing the recent history of the uphill battle of the Obama administration in […]

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Friendly fire: Wendy’s shareholder takes fast-food giant to court for refusal to join Fair Food Program!

Pomerantz Law, a major player in the world of finance, files derivative action against the directors of Wendy’s  for turning “a blind eye to human rights abuses by suppliers of tomatoes used in its products.” From a press release issued by Pomerantz Law Firm announcing its lawsuit against Wendy’s board of directors last week: … According to the lawsuit, Wendy’s board of directors (the “Board”) has turned a blind eye to human rights abuses by suppliers of tomatoes used in its products. These human rights abuses to farm workers include human trafficking, physical abuse, involuntary confinement, starvation wages, debt bondage, and sexual […]

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TOUR REPORTS: Wendy’s Boycott on the rise across Southeast, Midwest…

“Justice is not bought, justice is not simply given, justice is won and defended!”It’s official: the first leg of the “Behind the Braids” Tours hit the ground running in Georgia, Tennessee and Ohio this week, and today we wanted to bring you first-hand reports from the first wave of actions, presentations, film screenings, and gatherings of what will be two months of solid Wendy’s boycott action to come!First, though, we need your help:  Whether you’re on a tour stop or reading this report from another corner of the Fair Food Nation, you can weigh in on the “Behind the Braids” action by […]

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International labor law expert: “The Fair Food Program is substantially more successful than other corporate compliance programmes”…

New textbook on ethical labor standards for migrant workers devotes chapter to the CIW’s Fair Food Program!International labor law expert Professor James Brudney calls Fair Food Program “remarkably successful model” that “offers distinctive lessons for labour relations in global corporate supply chains.”In an exciting new volume of academic research (now available online) on the question of whether temporary migrant labor programs “can be ethical, equitable and efficacious and so deliver decent work for workers,” Fordham University Professor of Law James Brudney has contributed a rigorously-researched chapter on the structure, function, and extraordinary success of the CIW’s Fair Food Program.  His chapter, entitled “Decent Labour Standards […]

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