Follow the Money

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SEIU is spending millions on AstroTurf demonstrations targeting fast food restaurants around the country, with most of the money going to worker organizing committees.

In its analysis, the Center for Union Facts also found SEIU nationally paid:

  • $1.3 million to New York-based PR firm Berlin Rosen, which coordinates the media for the so-called fast food strikes.
  • $1.7 million to law firm James & Hoffman and $572,000 to law firm Levy Ratner, both of which have assisted the SEIU in its legal efforts against companies like McDonald’s.
  • $150,000 to the Economic Policy Institute and $195,510 to the National Employment Law Project (and its c4 affiliate), purported research organizations that helped the SEIU make its case on raising the minimum wage.

Initial findings show massive eight-figure payments went to workers organizing committees that “act as the mouth, arms and legs of the so-called fast food strikes,” the center found. Highlights include:

  • $3.8 million to the Fast Food Workers Committee (New York).
  • $2.9 million to the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago.
  • $2 million to the Michigan Workers Organizing Committee.
  • $1.9 million to the Mid-South Workers Organizing Committee.
  • $1.5 million to the Southern Workers Organizing Committee.
  • $2.6 million to Working Washington, which was a key player in promoting Seattle’s $15 minimum wage push.


Why is SEIU spending millions of its members’ dollars attacking McDonald’s? Because it hopes to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in dues from young burger flippers.

Unions survive on the payment of union dues. The SEIU’s minimum union dues (for workers making between $5,000 and $16,000 per year) are $27 per month.

If the SEIU’s efforts pay off and the union succeeds in unionizing even one third (1,217,723) of the nation’s fast-food workers, the SEIU stands to rake in up to $34,336,521 per month.

That’s $412,038,252 every year in dues alone–or over $1.2 billion over the course of a three-year contract.

For a part-time fast-food worker making $9 per hour, that part-time worker would work three hours every month just to pay union dues. [Again, those are the minimum dues, according to the SEIU’s own constitution.]

In addition, with the high turnover rate in the fast-food industry, for every new worker hired, the SEIU would also receive initiation fees.