More fast food worker strikes, Washington Examiner:
A wave of strikes have been hitting various fast food outlets across the country in recent months. While Big Labor allies have sought to portray them as spontaneous uprisings, the incidents are actually part of a coordinated strategy by union leaders.
The liberal Labor Notes magazine reports: “The fast food strikes seemed to come from nowhere when the first one jumped off in New York last November, but they are part of a coordinated effort by SEIU, which has been providing funds as part its two-year-old project ‘Fight for a Fair Economy.'” (Emphasis added)
SEIU is managing the effort nationally by financially backing groups in 10 cities, as well as training labor organizers for them. The New York effort, for example, is being done through New York Communities for Change. NYCC’s members were originally affiliated with the city’s branch of the now-defunct ACORN, the liberal activist group that imploded in a wave of scandals in 2010. The new group has 40 organizers targeting fast food workers.
Yep, but it doesn’t stop with ACORN or SEIU. Occupy is in there. Since Unions pretty much astroturfed and organized some of the bigger Occupy events, I dubbed these movements Occupy 2.0 last year. I’ve had my hands full with local news, common core and other topics, so I haven’t on top of these strikes. Time to play catch up.
Review of Recent Minimum Wage Strikes
Last November I wrote about a series of seemingly spontaneous fast food worker strikes in NYC. McDonald’s workers were striking and demanding $15 an hour as their minimum wage. The main player in NYC was a man named Jonathan Westin and a group called New York Communities for Change (NYCC). Westin is a professional lobbyist type who worked for ACORN and was involved with Occupy Wall Street. As I dug further, we found NYCC tied Fast Food Forward which in turn went back to the SEIU.
Last December, I continued to investigate the groups behind these strikes but turned my focus to Chicago’s Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC) and Fight For 15. WWOC/FF15 wasn’t just fast food, it included retail workers. WWOC and FF15 were not alone in their organizing, a group called Action Now was doing some publicity at protests events. Action Now is an offshot of the Action Now Institute. The web is a bit complex, but the net-net is that the groups pulling off these protests are composed of former ACORN, Occupiers and SEIU.
This past April, the food strikes were back again. I picked up where I left off in December with Action Now and the SEIU in Chicago. Fast Food Forward, Fight for 15, WWOC and Action Now were all involved. They were recruiting workers from within, including foreign guest workers. Small wonder the Unions are pushing immigration hard, immigrants will replenish their nationwide dwindling numbers. It will be like a rebirth for the SEIU.
This is just where I came into the story and started writing. As the Washington Examiner points out, it’s been a drive for two years; pre-2012 election and initiated at the decline of Occupy Wall Street. It is also not limited to NYC and Chicago, but those sites are more visible and have a larger SEIU presence. The ‘Raise the Wage‘ campaign has hit other states as well.
The SEIU had its eye on raising the wage back in 2009 and watched Rep. Miller and Senator Kennedy closely. It’s no secret Ted Kennedy was a big pal of the SEIU, so let’s look a moment at Miller. Rep. George Miller, a California Democrat, is up to his eyeballs in union money contributions, including 10k from the SEIU, yet was asked to scrutinize the SEIU in California. (Related: LOCAL 32BJ SEIU AFL-CIO (501c))
SEIU In North Carolina
I pointed out in early 2012 that the SEIU had taken over SEANC (State Employees Association of North Carolina). This was in line with what I had observed at the AFL-CIO/MoveOn.org protests in 2011. In North Carolina, public workers are barred from forming unions, yet we have several ‘associations‘ that, in essence, are unions. These groups have dues, participate in politics and recruit. Despite being a ‘right to work’ state, Unions are still filtering in. Some related reading on Unions in NC:
- SEIU Starting Third Party In North Carolina
- Big Labor Trying To Buy Way Into North Carolina
- Dana Cope – SEANC’s SEIU Connection
We haven’t had fast food protests yet in North Carolina, but we have the NAACP and a smorgasboard of Leftist groups pulling weekly protests at the NC General Assembly known as ‘Moral Mondays’. I already checked and yes, Hell has frozen over with the Left is using religion and morality to push their agenda.
‘Moral Mondays’ have been widely attended by both SEIU and AFL-CIO. In fact, the largest crowds have been on days when those two outfits were the prominent sponsors. Since SEIU doesn’t have an official or large presence in NC, SEIU 1199 made up the difference for the June 3rd Moral Mondays event, sending multiple buses all the way from NYC. (Related: SEIU 1199 Remembers The Life of Our Brother, Ted Kennedy)
On June 24th’s Moral Monday, the AFL-CIO made sure anyone who wanted to get there had a bus to hop on as well. Note that the President of the NC AFL-CIO, James Andrews, was voluntarily arrested on June 24th. About 1,200 showed up for that according to police, not 3,000 or the 8,000 the NAACP was claiming. Math is hard.
Note: AFL-CIO is backing Kay Hagan; main reason is Immigration. Remember, Unions see illegal immigrants as pumping new blood into their ranks. Also, with union support like this, look for the ‘Moral Mondays’ theme to go national.
UPDATE 7-1-13: Did the AFL-CIO NC pull the entire page, not just the image I linked to above or did they pull their whole site? See for yourself, this was the address: http://aflcionc.org/moral-monday-8-reverberates-with-solidarity/ Here’s the main page link, which goes nowhere now: http://aflcionc.org/
I mention Moral Mondays not just for their union ties, but also because a theme that has begun to trickle into it is raising the minimum wage. The call to raise the minimum wage really started with leftist groups surrounding the NAACP like NC Justice Center and NC Policy Watch – both are tied to BluePrint NC. (Related: Audio of former WRAL reporter, Blueprint NC cohort, ‘Moral Monday’ participant and NC Policy Watch’s Chris Fitzsimon makes the case for raising the minimum wage in NC)
So far, we have not had retail or fast food protests for higher minimum wage – yet anyway. The only one that cropped up was on Black Friday in Durham. The Durham protest didn’t have any employees protesting but rather was performed by groups seemingly targeting Wal-Mart. The group of note in that protest was Triangle Jobs with Justice (TJWJ), which is a local offshoot of Jobs with Justice:
Jobs with Justice is a national network of local coalitions that bring together labor unions, faith groups, community organizations, and student activists to fight for working people.
Hey, sounds like the makeup of the ‘Moral Mondays’ crowd no? I’m going to be looking into TJWJ and will update later on.
What I’ve seen so far protest-wise involves the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). Triangle Jobs With Justice was also a part of this FLOC protest and has participated in Occupy. From the AFL-CIO NC:
Support FLOC in struggle with Reynolds Tobacco
Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC, AFL-CIO) is renewing it’s campaign at a Kangaroo-Pantry store in Raleigh. Kangaroo is based out of nearby Cary, NC.
The strategy is to hold actions every 3rd Wednesday this summer, beginning next week on June 19th.
Farmworker supporters will rally at 5:30 pm at the Kangaroo store at 4202 Wake Forest Rd to urge Kangaroo to increase the urgency of its message to Reynolds American that Reynolds must improve tobacco farmworkers’ living and working conditions.
What: Demand that Kangaroo convey consumer concerns to Reynolds
When: June 19th, July 17th, and August 21st
Where: 4202 Wake Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27609
More on this at Winston-Salem Journal.
More About ‘Moral Mondays’
The NAACP’s ‘Moral Mondays’ is not really about any given cause, but a laundry list of liberal gripes, mainly Democrat items the NCGA has reversed. The whole point is they are mad they are out of power. It’s about the 2014 elections. A quick back story: The Left was resoundingly kicked out of power in NC in the last election cycle; both houses flipped strongly Republican in the last election.
The use of ‘Moral Mondays’ to shame the NCGA majority is laughable, but also offensive. That name implies that the voting public is somehow immoral by proxy for one thing. For another, the idea that the Left is using morality and religion to promote their ‘movement’ is the height of hypocrisy. They clearly hope no one remembers the DNC in Charlotte booing God or voting Israel on and off their platform.