07.24.2013 0

Did SEIU-backed worker center FastFoodForward stage an emergency?

By Brad Tidwell

Using the hashtag #4259Broadway, SEIU-backed worker center Fast Food Forward posted pictures of a strike at McDonalds. Suspicious timing, or fortunate photo op?

Mere minutes after posting an update about a broken air conditioning unit, Fast Food Forward’s twitter account posted a picture of paramedics pushing what looks to be a passed-out woman out of the McDonalds restaurant, passing protesters who conveniently had signs before the first picture was taken.

The tweet that started it all, at 11:27 AM:


First mention of the McDonalds worker is at 11:37, 10 minutes after the first mention of the protest:


By the time the paramedics came to take the ailing McDonalds worker away, the Fast Food Forward protesters were already there in full force to get their signs in the frame. This picture was posted more than an hour after the tweet mentioning the illness:


Apparently in New York, you can get protestors to show up before the ambulance. Also, you can get TV cameras set up to interview city councilmen within 30 minutes of the incident:



The 32BJ chapter of the SEIU was quick to jump on the story, promoting it on their Facebook page, and pushing people to sign a petition:


Unsurprisingly, one Twitter user saw the tweet and figured that the SEIU was the group that actually made the petition:


Although the SEIU had promoted the petition, it was probably a proxy group that had actually created the actual petition.


Truly, a distinction without a difference- the standard MO of the union’s worker centers. The SEIU is playing a very interesting game of getting involved with these strikes through proxy groups rather than directly trying to organize- something we expect to see even more about in the future.

RELATED: Read more about the SEIU’s connection to Worker Centers Here!

While it doesn’t seem the story got much pick-up in the news, one blog did cover the protest and the picture, but without any skepticism of the timing or handling of the event. They did go on to say that the McDonalds was not closed despite the supposed strike:

“A call to the McDonald’s reveals that the McDonald’s is, in fact, open, though the manager declined to comment on the strike.”

Ultimately, there’s been very little follow up about the fate of the worker who claimed to be suffering heat-related illness, and that’s probably by design. While lack of air conditioning can pose serious issues and is no laughing matter, the SEIU has proven time and time again that they’re not above using underhanded techniques to make their point.

It may come out later that this was indeed more stagecraft than emergency, and the suspicious timing (and convenient photo staging) seems to point to that. Unfortunately, all too often there aren’t enough journalists out there to challenge the SEIU’s narrative.

Brad Tidwell is the web editor for Americans for Limited Government.

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