Fred Wszolek

As union membership continues to decline, Big Labor bosses have been desperately trying to force workers into collective bargaining units, recently going as far as organizing a series of high-profile protests against retail companies, focusing primarily on Walmart.

These protests were window dressed on Black Friday as a grass-roots worker movement to improve employee welfare when in fact very few of the “protesters” were Walmart employees. Instead, they were protesters paid by Big Labor to engage in disruptive activities in order to gain media attention and intimidate America’s largest employer so it may cave into union demands.

And now, the labor movement is using this same tactic against another target: fast-food chains.

According to recent media reports, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is organizing a campaign to protest at fast-food chains across the country, including McDonalds and Wendy’s. On Thursday, the SEIU-backed movement will sponsor demonstrations in roughly 100 cities – if you believe the claims being made. Organized labor contends that these protests have as their goal to pressure fast-food chains to pay their employees a “living wage”, a minimum of $15 per hour. But doubling the wage in this highly competitive and narrow margin business when many of these jobs are entry level, seasonal, short-term or second incomes will simply hasten the companies move to automation and decrease employment. Against this reality, Big Labor’s statements are a red herring; the real goal is unionizing America’s largest companies so union bosses can benefit from increased dues.

Organized labor is trying to unionize these companies to remain relevant. Since the bankruptcy of General Motors and the fall of Detroit, more employees and employers than ever before are resisting Big Labor’s organizing efforts, and union membership continues to shrink, 400,000 in 2012 alone. As a result, the labor movement is in crisis and resorting to highly deceptive, albeit creative, street theater to get new dues paying members. Fast-food chains and large retail stores have the potential of providing the movement with what it needs, as they employ millions throughout the country.


Fred Wszolek

Fred Wszolek is a spokesman for the Workforce Fairness Institute (WFI).