Sunday, October 5, 2014

Who’s Behind the Curtain of the Fast Food “Strikes”?; Thanking the Police That Arrest Your Protesters

The Employment Policies Institute in September released a media advisory ahead of Thursday’s coordinated fast-food “strikes” planned in major cities nationwide. Below are  three key background points about these "strikes":

The protests are not a “grassroots” effort. They are being stage-managed by BerlinRosen, a New York-based PR firm that’s received over $8 million from labor unions for PR work in just the last two years—roughly 40 percent of which came from the SEIU. View a chart of the funding breakdown here.

The protests are carefully stage-managed and scripted. In past “strikes,” protestors across different places and locations have been observed using the same talking points and anecdotes. One columnist looking to speak with a fast food worker was directed to a PR agent with BerlinRosen. 

The Associated Press described BerlinRosen’s media playbook:
In major cities, for example, TV crews and other media are alerted of a time and location the day before a large rally is planned. The crowd will then flood the restaurant, with workers and others speaking before dispersing or moving to another location after about a half hour.
[It] wasn’t clear how many participants were fast-food workers, rather than campaign organizers, supporters or members of the public relations firm that has been coordinating media efforts.
 The promise of “civil disobedience” at a recent protest was according to EPI a PR stunt. The plannes arrests are a frequent tactic of the SEIU and will be carefully managed by the union. They are being done only for media value. The SEIU and its President Mary Kay Henry orchestrated a similar act of “civil disobedience” at the McDonald’s headquarters this spring. However, a Twitter photo then showed her casually talking with and thanking the local police.

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