Occupy 2.0: More Fast Food Strikes In Multiple States

Coordinated Protests, “McDonald’s Math” and Media

Occupy 2.0 on the move. Another day of coordinated fast food worker protests was held on July 29th in multiple states including Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New York and Wisconsin. Some in Chicago even continued today, August 1st. The strikes focus on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

The outfits promoted that idea that raising the wages, using McDonald’s as their example, would make a product like the Big Mac cost only 68 cents more, with the ‘Dollar value menu’ becoming $1.17 menu. Sounds not so bad, right? Wrong. Once again math is hard. It took like time for  Via Just One Minute Blog debunks the “McDonald’s Math”. Here’s the upshot:

If I were inclined to press down this road I would compare the $18 billion of revenue from McDonalds run stores with the payroll figure of $4.7 billion; that ratio is 26%. By that calculation, McDonalds would need to raise all its prices by 26% at its own stores in order to double all of its direct payroll expenses, which presumably includes a lot of non-hamburger flippers at headquarters. Hey, 17%, 26%, de nada – that is only a 50% error and it’s not my money anyway!

Read the whole thingRelated: Widely-cited ‘study’ of McDonald’s wages by ‘researcher’ was written by an undergrad

The usual suspects in the media have already attached themselves to Occupy 2.0. Namely a writer at MSNBC’s All In With Chris, Ned Resnikoff.

That last one seems to imply Resnikoff thinks there needs to be a national union of food workers? Resnikoff and Josh Eidleson, a writer at Salon and The Nation, tagged teamed on Twitter on and off during the strikes.

We all know how strongly MSNBC and outlets like Salon and The Nation embraced Occupy. Lawrence O’Donnell actually went down to one and Mic Checked his support, Matthews sat behind his desk and got thrills in both legs.  One should expect no less of them for version 2.0 of it – especially from O’Donnell. This time around, we have St. Louis Dispatch’s Jeff Gordon pulling a Natasha Lennard and getting busted for it as he marches with the protesters. For more on Gordon including video, hit Gateway Pundit.

There have been multiple interviews with striking workers all who want their wages increased, sharing what should be sob stories but when one dissects their statements, have had a repellent effect.  Some examples:

Via Jammie Wearing Fools:

Meanwhile, one of these losers claims he’s trying to support a family … on minimum wage.

“I might be doing the work of three people” due to under-staffing, McDonald’s employee Kareem Starks told me after Wednesday’s rally, “but still getting paid one wage.” Starks, a 30-year-old former Parks Department employee, said it’s “been hard trying to live off the minimum wage, $7.25, and support my two kids plus pay rent.”

Is it the fault of McDonald’s that a 30-year-old is earning minimum wage? If that’s all Kareem is worth he may want to consider not having any more children.

Via Newser:

The Post spoke with a 25-year-old Chicagoan who plans to join in. He has worked at McDonald’s for 7 years … and makes $8.60 an hour.

Seven years at McDonald’s. I applaud him for keeping his job, but has he attempted to advance himself? You can trip and be promoted at McDonald’s for crying out loud. The point of these stories is to put pressure on the establishment being targeted. Negative press campaigns are the start, then there will be arrests and the media will pivot to watch. It’s formulaic and it is also a form of intimidation and extortion:

Related to this are more extreme forms of intimidation seen at these rallies was captured by Adam Sharp of Sharp Elbows. Here is Sharp’s video via Gateway Pundit:

However, with occupy/union chants like this, it makes it hard to take them seriously:

Related: Schooled by Occupy movement, fast-food workers put demands on the table (+video)

Behind The Striking Workers — Unions

The strikes, like the previously documented strikes, are being coordinated by various union front groups, former ACORN members and lingering occupy groups. Unions pulled out of the Occupy movement as it began to wither, creating new or reviving old social justice groups to take their place. Each of these groups are serving as legit looking fronts for the SEIU. The key players so far being Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), New York Communities for Change (NYCC, Fight for 15, Action Now Chicago, and Occupy.

In my research for this article, I came across Missouri Jobs With Justice. It is an identical outfit to North Carolina’s Triangle Jobs With Justice. Identical right down to the image used to promote the site:

Unlike Triangle Jobs with Justice, the Missouri branch had quite a bit more detail on who they were affiliated with, the bulk of which were… wait for it: Unions.  The MO Justice With Jobs also has a board. The board is a who’s who of clergy and unions in the area, but it’s member list has the distinction of Missouri legislature members – Former MO Senator Rita Days, Former MO Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, Rep. Rep. Margo McNeil and former US Congressman, The Honorable William Clay.

Peeling The Onion — Social Justice & Minimum Wage Groups

Other groups that popped up while working on this article that were not previously mentioned or not on my radar:

Fast Food Forward – Their website consists of a petition. Seems to be based out of NY as indicated on their Facebook page: “Stand in solidarity with New York City workers to move FAST FOOD FORWARD!”

Food Chain Workers Alliance – has a host of other related outfits as members, and it’s staff/board all have union ties.

Raise Illinois – Wants the minimum wage raised to over $10; works in concert with WOCC and AriseChicago.

ROC – In essence is a union without saying it out loud but deliver the same message of raising the minimum wage. Multiple locations nationwide, but based out of NYC.

STL735 – Minimum wage group out of St. Louis. This group has ties to multiple unions.

Detroit 15 – Their website also pushes for a $15 dollar minimum wage. No information about who runs it is listed. Their Facebook page has similar detail, but was created recently on 5/8/13. The profile also mentions Michigan Organizing to Rebuild the Economy. I found little else on this referenced group.

Raise Up Milwaukee: Similar to Detroit 15 and STL 735’s miminal sites. Pushes for raising the minimum wage. Their Facebook page says it was created recently, on 5/13/13; just days after Detroit 15’s.

Low Pay Is Not OK -Site looks similar to the other raise minimum wage sites. No Facebook presence yet, but they are on Twitter.  Low Pay Is Not Ok storified the 7/29/13 strikes.

UFAA – United Front Against Austerity. Very detailed website with two main goals of making Wall Street pay a 1% sales tax and Nationalizing the Federal Reserve. This is a heavy pro-labor site. Facebook page created on 8/26/12; about the same time Occupy was in serious decline.

That is quite a list, but it didn’t end there. With each group I looked at, two more popped up. Alinksy would be smiling at the overwhelming of the system. Others that were linked, but not explored yet were: CWA Union, Machinists Union, American Rights At Work (tied to ICNA and Jobs With Justice), Arise Chicago (has clergy and AFL-CIO ties).  There were more, but that may require a follow-up article.

Notable Tweets of Support — Occupy, AFL-CIO, SEIU And More

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
This entry was posted in A.P. Dillon (LL1885), Media Bias, Occupy 2.0, Unions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Occupy 2.0: More Fast Food Strikes In Multiple States

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  3. Hope people want a 8$ McDonalds burger, because they have to pay for raises somehow…


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