This week, under pressure from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) activists and allies like Brave New Films, Jobs with Justice, and the Coalition for Social Justice, Burger King scrambled to respond to allegations that it lobbied against the Employee Free Choice Act, while paying its workers poverty wages. In a statement issued Friday, Burger King apparently backed off its opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act:
"Burger King Corp. (BKC) believes unions serve a purpose in some workplaces and a number of its guests, vendors and franchisees have positive union membership experiences. BKC is not anti-union. BKC and its franchisees serve a diverse consumer base and, therefore, aim to remain neutral on political issues.
Now that it has recanted its opposition, we fully expect that Burger King will cease its expenditures on lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act and either withdraw from business associations that also oppose the bill, or demand that those groups also stop lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act.
Burger King spent $319,648 lobbying against the proposed legislation between 2006 and 2008 and has helped fund the fight against the bill through its involvement in the National Retail Federation, one of the organizations behind an anti-employee free choice group called the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace.
Prominent Burger King shareholder Goldman Sachs is also involved in lobbying against workers' interests as a member of the Business Roundtable, which spent $15,849,000 on lobbying in 2008, including lobbying against the Employee Free Choice Act.
It's time for Burger King to line up its actions with its words. We look forward to seeing Burger King's next steps.
Check out these photos from our Burger King actions this week: