Late Robert Kennedy’s Widow Marches With Florida Farm Workers In Beef With Wendy’s (VIDEO)

One of Wendy’s slogans may be, “It’s better here,” but it seems both Ethel Kennedy and the Immokalee Coalition of Workers beg to differ.

Many Florida farm workers were joined by hundreds of protesters, Saturday, as they demonstrated to put pressure on the burger-slinging company to “pay a penny-per-pound fee for its tomatoes to supplement some farm workers’ wages” in Florida. They want Wendy’s to join the “Fair Food Program,” as its competitors such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Subway and Taco Bell have done, which “promotes workers’ rights in the fields.”

Wendy’s is the only holdout, according to the OC Register, claiming it doesn’t think it’s proper that the company should kick in that extra penny-per-pound on behalf of another company (the farms). Meanwhile, all of its competitors do in Florida, as well as in six other states: Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, and Virginia

The Register reports:

“Tomato harvesters make an average of about $10,000 during the six-month season, earning 50 cents for every 32-pound basket they fill. The coalition says the program can add $20 to $150 to their weekly checks.”

The demonstration, which was actually the culmination of a “10-day peaceful protest” Workers’ Voice Tour, was co-organized with the Alliance for Fair Food and the Student/Farmworker Alliance, and took place in West Palm Beach, near the home of billionaire Wendy’s board chairman, Nelson Peltz. At the head of the march was 87-year-old Ethel Kennedy—the late former Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s widow.

(Image via Robert F. Kennedy Facebook page)

Call and response chants of “BOYCOTT… WENDY’S!” could be heard from Howard Park, across the Royal Park Bridge and into Palm Beach, according to the Register.

Leonel Perez was one of the Immokalee farm workers chanting, Saturday. He feels the march through Palm Beach was “symbolic.” He stated why they planned the demonstration near Peltz’s home, via translator:

“[Peltz] has the power to bring Wendy’s to the [bargaining] table.”

All in all, the march took a couple of hours and concluded in a small park close to the Intracoastal Waterway, where drummers struck a lively beat to welcome the marchers at the end of their journey. Many pictures and videos were taken documenting it all while participants passed out leaflets and fliers to passersby in order to raise awareness for the cause. “Justice for farm workers!” T-shirts were sold, as well, as folks sat in the grass to catch their breath and enjoy a skit featuring a well-known Wendy’s character marrying some nice chap named “Mr. Exploitation.”

At the end of the day, the demonstrators took care to clean up after themselves on their way out. Perez said:

“We’re glad to have completed another peaceful march as we’ve always done it.”

Peltz’s company, Triarc, nabbed Wendy’s back in 2008 for a sizzling $2.3 billion, which is when he became chairman of the company. He is 73 years old and worth $1.35 billion. Forbes lists him as the 423rd richest American, yet he has qualms about kicking in the extra penny-per-pound for the “Fair Food Program” for the benefit of farm workers, as his competitors have done.

Ethel Kennedy thinks he can afford to “Do what tastes right.”

Featured image by Palm Beach Post via video screen capture.