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Workers rally at a Chicago McDonald's with signs saying
The National Restaurant Association (a.k.a. "the other NRA") is a giant industry lobby organization that has successfully kept the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour for more than 20 years. So it's not surprising that the NRA is keeping a veeerrrry close watch on organizing among fast food workers fighting for better wages and working conditions. Josh Eidelson got his hands on some of the documents showing what that close watch looks like:
“In preparation for the [fast food] protests,” a Dec. 19, 2013, “Labor Activism Update” reveals, “NRA entered several hundred zip codes” into the Low Pay Is Not OK website (designed by organizers to help protesters find demonstrations to join), so that the NRA could “locate and track protest locations across the country.” Then, “All of this information was compiled into a spreadsheet that was distributed to our chain and SRA allies prior to the protest taking place so that they could prepare for protest activity at specific locations.” [...]

Several pages of the activism updates obtained by Salon are devoted to city-by-city rundowns of [Restaurant Opportunities Centers] activities, including not only events with elected officials or protests against particular companies, but also the descriptions posted for job openings at ROC affiliates, citations of ROC’s research in other organizations’ materials, and lists of local restaurants honored by ROC as “high road” employers. Among other factoids, the NRA memos note that a Philadelphia blog recommended ROC as a good group to donate to; that a ROC Michigan board member is also a project manager for United Way; and that ROC New Orleans “continues to offer free job training” to members.

The NRA also promotes the efforts of key experts who can be counted on to issue quotes in favor of low wages, and brags that coverage of fast food strikes just about always includes an NRA pushback quote.

The upshot is that in case NSA surveillance wasn't enough for you, if you're an activist against wage theft and abuse and for a living wage in the restaurant industry, you can take it for granted that the NRA is monitoring your social media and mapping your protest plans.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon May 05, 2014 at 09:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As long as you follow in line (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, Mostel26

    the oligarchy will pretend to like you. I've never received death threats (smart gun entrepreneurs), or threats of blacklisting from general employment (NU football players), or faced arrest (OWS)... Just how badly am I being fucked over?

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Mon May 05, 2014 at 10:14:20 AM PDT

  •  From that Salon article: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron, cjtjc, Mostel26
    the National Restaurant Association...warns of growing traction for “rent-a-mob” fast food protests,
    "Rent-a-mob", eh?

    Well, not everyone can retain a cadre of lobbyists and media weasels.

    Ain't no such things as halfway crooks.

    by here4tehbeer on Mon May 05, 2014 at 11:33:41 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for covering this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mostel26

    I was going to post my thoughts regarding the restaurant lobby, but didn't want to write anything negative today. ill just say that the restaurant industry lobby is made up of morally questionable people.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Mon May 05, 2014 at 02:48:38 PM PDT

  •  Please/note (0+ / 0-)

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Tue May 06, 2014 at 01:19:29 PM PDT

  •  yeah, but -- strikes (or job actions or whatever (0+ / 0-)

    they should be called) are public events.  You can't really expect prying eyes not to take notice.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:06:39 PM PDT

  •  hope, as always, lies in the proles. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron
  •  Well, hopefully some interested parties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    are watching the restaurant industry lobby and are keeping us informed.

  •  NRA's always been pretty wingnutty. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dirtandiron

    I remember Bush addressing their convention toward the end of his presidency and getting a hero's welcome.

    •  I believe Herman Cain was once a spokesman (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      or some high level person in the National Restaurant Association. Correct me if I'm wrong.

      Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

      by Dirtandiron on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:26:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know why Rick Santorum (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      was in Tampa when the Terri Schiavo thing blew up?

      In 2005, Santorum made headlines — not all positive — for visiting the deathbed of Terri Schiavo, the woman at the center of a national right-to-die controversy. What my Philadelphia Daily News colleague John Baer later exposed was that the real reason he was in the Tampa, Fla., area was to collect money at a $250,000 fundraiser organized by executives of Outback Steakhouses, a company that shared Santorum's passion for a low minimum wage for waitresses and other rank-and-file workers. Santorum’s efforts were also aided by his unusual mode of travel: Wal-Mart's corporate jet. And he canceled a public meeting on Social Security reform "out of respect for the Schiavo family"  even as the closed fundraisers went on.
      http://www.esquire.com/...

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:32:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ...when they pry "my" server's tips from my cold.. (0+ / 0-)

    Just trying to give a restaurant slant to the favorite saying of the other NRA.

    I've been tipping 25 % for a few years now. I just wish there was a way to partially stiff the restaurant owner at the same time.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:27:09 PM PDT

    •  Order water instead of alcohol (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby

      or soft drinks.

      I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

      by CFAmick on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:33:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Order Meat & Other High Cost Items (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby

      don't order drinks and higher profit items.

      Of course you need to know that in advance, and you have to be prepared to eat a peculiar meal.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:34:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who belongs to the NRA? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe

    Thanks for this great article! Is there a way I can find out which restaurants belong to the NRA so I can avoid patronizing them?

  •  Im sorry guys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe

    this awful thing. (again):

    independent and uncoordinated activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.

    Moreover, there is the quite understandable reluctance on the part of any one corporation to get too far out in front and to make itself too visible a target.

    The role of the National Chamber of Commerce is therefore vital. Other national organizations (especially those of various industrial and commercial groups) should join in the effort, but no other organizations appear to be as well situated as the Chamber. It enjoys a strategic position, with a fine reputation and a broad base of support. Also -- and this is of immeasurable merit -- there are hundreds of local Chambers of Commerce which can play a vital supportive role.

    It hardly need be said that before embarking upon any program, the Chamber should study and analyze possible courses of action and activities, weighing risks against probable effectiveness and feasibility of each. Considerations of cost, the assurance of financial and other support from members, adequacy of staffing and similar problems will all require the most thoughtful consideration.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Wed May 07, 2014 at 07:37:51 PM PDT

  •  Fast food workers should use Snapchat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    to plan organizing protests.

  •  Sorry but this is kinda a "Duh" (0+ / 0-)

    If you are going to do your organizing out in the open using freely accessible internet resources you and better assume its is….freely available.  Its simple cost/benefit - does the cost - telling my opponent my plans - outweigh the benefit - making it weary for people to joint the protests?  

    If you use a closed (secret!) system, you reduce the number of potential participants while reducing the ability of opponents to monitor you.  A mitigation might be a hybrid system where Some information is kept in the open system and some in the closed one.  And if you REALLY have your stuff together you can have false information too.  Schedule a fake protest.  Watch the businesses do their schedule tricks to mitigate the impact of the protest.  Hold the protest the next day instead.  

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:42:47 AM PDT

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