California union alleges that fast-food effort to block new labor law is ‘willfully misleading voters’
A union representing fast-food employees says it’s being “willfully misleading voters” for fast-food restaurants to spread misinformation about the Labor Law Amendment campaign.
The union, the Coalition of Service Employees in California, released a video yesterday in an effort to make its case to the union members who want to vote on the legislation that would limit their wages and working conditions.
The video claims McDonald’s and Burger King are using the same tactics to suppress voter turnout as other groups that claim they’re opposed to the measure.
“I’m a small-business owner, and the way they approached us has been very deceptive,” said Alex Combs, senior vice president of the California Restaurant Association.
“We’re still trying to figure out how it’s possible for one side to be actively misleading the public and another side to not be.”
Last month, a new election committee launched a $5-million campaign targeting union workers across California who might want to vote on the Labor Law Amendment that seeks to curb their wages and working conditions. The committee says it’s working to educate voters about their concerns.
It’s using a new tactic that has been used with success by other groups such as the Coalition of Service Employees at fast-food restaurants.
The California Restaurant Association hired a firm called the Media Research Center, which has been widely used by other groups, including the Service Employees International Union.
One of its reporters was contacted by a McDonald’s executive who was the target of the campaign.
“This is a big problem for us. We’ve been trying to put out this information before this election so we have a fighting chance to win,” said Dave Stricklin, president of the coalition’s Los Angeles office.
“We want our voters to make the decision and that’s the only way we’ll get them to change their minds and come to our side.”
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported that the McDonald’s campaign was using the same tactic to discourage workers from voting on the initiative.
The Times obtained an e-mail that an executive at the McDonald’s campaign sent to reporters, claiming the company’s lobbying efforts were designed to support the ballot initiative.
“McDonald’s did not want to be associated with that kind of activism,” the e-mail from Adam Goldstein