Non-profit

Fast Food Justice

Website:

www.fastfoodjustice.org

Location:

NEW YORK, NY

Tax ID:

81-3255558

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Formation:

2017

Fast Food Justice is a left-wing organization that works to promote higher wages for fast food workers and left-wing positions other issues such as immigration, housing, and police-community relations. The group is headquartered and primarily active in New York City. It has reportedly received $1.2 million in contributions from 32BJ SEIU.[1]

The group is an offshoot of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In 2017, Fast Food Justice even shared its headquarters with the local SEIU chapter, and it reported that its executive director, Autumn Weintraub, was an SEIU employee as of 2017.[2]

Background

Fast Food Justice was founded in 2017 by labor union advocates associated with the SEIU and organizations which have received SEIU funding in response to a law passed by the New York City Council. The law, which was part of a package of laws to increase labor union power passed by the city’s left-wing government, required fast food employers to give their employees of deducting contributions from their paycheck to a qualified nonprofit that will provide employees services and advocate on their behalf.[3]

Though it is closely aligned with and funded by SEIU, Fast Food Justice is a “worker center,” not a union. The organization does not negotiate contracts and working conditions on behalf of its members. Instead, it lobbies, organizes, and advocates on issues aligning with the labor union agenda. Among the tasks that the organization will do are educating workers on the new laws that impact everything from scheduling to minimum wage. It will also work on issues such as affordable housing, immigration reform and deportation raids, and police-community relations. [4]

When the law allowing for deductions for nonprofits took effect in January 2018, Fast Food Justice had 1,200 members agree for deductions. The amount pledged is $13.50 a month, which means the organization would take in an estimated $16,200 a month in dues.[5]

The law mandating the deductions only applies to fast-food restaurant employers. The narrow focus of the law has drawn critics.[6]

The Restaurant Law Center, which is an arm of the National Restaurant Association, has filed a lawsuit against the New York City law. It believes that the law requiring deductions for nonprofits is an unconstitutional example of coerced speech. [7]

“We think this law is a way of trying to get restaurants to fund groups” that “will harass restaurants with money from the restaurants,” Angelo Amador, the law center’s executive director, told the New York Times. “It doesn’t make any sense.” [8]

Leadership and staff

Fast Food Justice has led by an executive board made up of labor union veterans and other left-wing community organizers. The executive board has three members as of 2017. The board members are Tsedeye Gebreselassie, a senior attorney from the National Employment Law Project; Ana Maria Archila, a co-director of the Center for Popular Democracy community organizing group; and Kevin Doyle, a former labor union organizer and a former official at the SEIU 32BJ which is active in New York City. [9]

Fast Food Justice has strong ties to the SEIU. In 2017, the Washington Free Beacon reported that SEIU 32BJ and Fast Food Justice shared a headquarters building. [10] SEIU 32BJ has contributed $1.2 million to Fast Food Justice.[11]

The organization relies on both paid and unpaid advisers. The group has seasonal “brigades” where they hire organizers for a 10 week period to organize workers. The organizers are paid $600 a week and also receive a weekly Metrocard to reimburse their travel expenses. [12]

History

While Fast Food Justice is a very young organization, it is an outgrowth of other SEIU-backed entities, the “Fight for $15” campaign and the Fast Food Workers Committee. [13]

The organizations leading the strike were Fight For 15, which is funded by the SEIU, and Fast Food Forward, which was led by New York Communities for Change (NYCC), the Black Institute, and other groups descended from ACORN, which was forced to disband after alleged involvement in illegal activity.[14]The SEIU has funneled large amounts of money to NYCC in the past.[15]

In 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation giving fast food workers a $15 an hour minimum wage. In 2016, it was expanded to all workers in New York.[16]

Fast Food Workers Committee has become defunct; its organizers and members have now joined Fast Food Justice, and its union structure has been succeeded by the SEIU National Fast Food Workers Union.

References

  1. 32BJ SEIU (OLMS File Number 011-661), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2017, Schedule 17
  2. Fast Food Justice, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017, Schedule J Part III
  3. Miller, Justin. 2017. “In New York City, Fast-Food Workers May Soon Have A Permanent Voice”. The American Prospect. http://prospect.org/article/new-york-city-fast-food-workers-may-soon-have-permanent-voice.
  4. Miller, Justin. 2017. “In New York City, Fast-Food Workers May Soon Have A Permanent Voice”. The American Prospect. http://prospect.org/article/new-york-city-fast-food-workers-may-soon-have-permanent-voice.
  5. Greenhouse, Steven. 2018. “Fast-Food Workers Claim Victory In A New York Labor Effort”. Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/business/economy/fast-food-labor.html.
  6. Greenhouse, Steven. 2018. “Fast-Food Workers Claim Victory In A New York Labor Effort”. Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/business/economy/fast-food-labor.html.
  7. Greenhouse, Steven. 2018. “Fast-Food Workers Claim Victory In A New York Labor Effort”. Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/business/economy/fast-food-labor.html.
  8. Greenhouse, Steven. 2018. “Fast-Food Workers Claim Victory In A New York Labor Effort”. Nytimes.Com. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/09/business/economy/fast-food-labor.html.
  9. Miller, Justin. 2017. “In New York City, Fast-Food Workers May Soon Have A Permanent Voice”. The American Prospect. http://prospect.org/article/new-york-city-fast-food-workers-may-soon-have-permanent-voice.
  10. McMorris, Bill. 2017. “Labor Front Group Shares Headquarters With Powerful Union”. Washington Free Beacon. https://freebeacon.com/issues/labor-front-group-shares-headquarters-powerful-union/.
  11. 32BJ SEIU (OLMS File Number 011-661), Annual Report of a Labor Organization (Form LM-2), 2017, Schedule 17
  12. “Fast Food Justice Seeks Organizer – Summer Brigade, NYC”. 2018. Murphyinstituteblog.Org. Accessed December 2. https://murphyinstituteblog.org/2018/04/22/fast-food-justice-seeks-organizer-summer-brigade-nyc/.  
  13. Bader, Eleanor J. 2013. “Low Wage Workers Fast Food Forward Campaign”. Popularresistance.Org. https://popularresistance.org/low-wage-workers-fast-food-forward-campaign/.
  14. Bader, Eleanor J. 2013. “Low Wage Workers Fast Food Forward Campaign”. Popularresistance.Org. https://popularresistance.org/low-wage-workers-fast-food-forward-campaign/.
  15. “Worker Centers | Fast Food Forward”. 2018. Worker Centers. Accessed December 2. http://workercenters.com/union-front-groups/fast-food-forward/.
  16. Bader, Eleanor J. 2013. “Low Wage Workers Fast Food Forward Campaign”. Popularresistance.Org. https://popularresistance.org/low-wage-workers-fast-food-forward-campaign/.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: December 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Fast Food Justice

    30 BROAD STREET 9TH FLOOR
    NEW YORK, NY 10004-2971