To the SEIU, the millions spent on unionizing fast-food workers may make the SEIU billions in union dues.
In the Spring of 2010, the Service Employees International Union’s ambitious plan to unionize fast-food workers was exposed.
Although the SEIU’s plan changed slightly from the orginal draft, the basic premise of tying the union’s campaign to unionize fast-food workers to a “living wage campaign” has not changed all that much.
However, it wasn’t until November 2012, that the SEIU launched the first of several fast-food “strikes” (most of the so-called strikers are not actual employees but paid-SEIU protesters) and its “Fight for $15 (and a union)” campaign commenced.
Since then, the SEIU has spent tens of millions—an astounding $38 million was spent in 2013 alone, according to Worker Center Watch—on its campaign to unionize fast-food workers.
The SEIU has engaged in one of the largest and most aggressive industry-wide corporate campaigns in the history of U.S. unions.
It has staged protests, engaged other liberal groups in a public smear campaign against the industry giant, McDonalds, and is helping workers file charges against fast-food chains with agencies like OSHA and the National Labor Relations Board.
As the millions of dollars in dues money the SEIU is spending on its campaign is staggering, one must wonder what the potential payoff might be to the SEIU.
Given the amount of fast-food employees in the United States, that is fairly easy to calculate.
In 2013, there were 3,653,168 fast food restaurant employees in the U.S., according to one source.
Unions survive on the payment of union dues. The SEIU’s minimum union dues (for workers making between $5,000 and $16,000 per year) are $27 per month.
If the SEIU’s efforts pay off and the union succeeds in unionizing even one third (1,217,723) of the nation’s fast-food workers, the SEIU stands to rake in up to $34,336,521 per month.
That’s $412,038,252 every year in dues alone–or over $1.2 billion over the course of a three-year contract.
For a part-time fast-food worker making $9 per hour, that part-time worker would work three hours every month just to pay union dues. [Again, those are the minimum dues, according to the SEIU’s own constitution.]
In addition, with the high turnover rate in the fast-food industry, for every new worker hired, the SEIU would also receive initiation fees.
Now, if it prevails, that is one super-sized payday for the SEIU.