The fast food protests that overwhelmed stores across the country on Thursday seem to have a lot more union organizers than actual workers, according to a new video.
"SEIU played a big role in these events. In fact, I would say SEIU was a leader in putting this event together," an SEIU official with Washington, D.C.-based Local 32-BJ said.
SEIU has spent millions of dollars on front groups to help organize protests at major fast food companies, including McDonalds. Thursday’s protests were no different, as the video shows union officials writing checks to those in attendance. While labor coalition groups such as Fast Food Forward claim that the protests are about workers rights, many people involved in the protests are not actually affiliated with the industry. Multiple people interviewed on video said that they had no relationship with the nation’s top restaurant.
"I’m with SEIU," one New York City protester says.
"My son works with the SEIU in Atlanta," another adds.
"Someone called me and told me it would be here today, so I came on down," a protester in a purple SIEU hat tells the camera.
Carpetbagging protesters evidently played a vital role in turning out big numbers to the protests. SEIU 32-BJ played an instrumental role in making sure that non-workers and other agitators made it up to New York City for the protests.
"We pulled a couple of hundred workers out on strike this morning, had sit-ins at a couple of McDonalds," the union VP says. "We have basically been the leading coordinating this effort."
SEIU’s tactics are focused on disrupting restaurants enough to force small business owners who own franchises to support SEIU’s agenda. Union organizer Kendall Fells told a liberal conference in May that labor groups plan on overwhelming franchise owners, the majority of whom earn less than $50,000 per year.
"We’re very reasonable individuals. If that doesn’t work we’ll bring 150 people and shut their store down day after day after day," Fells said at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) conference. "Their profit margin is so small that they’re kind of forced to make an economic decision."