Fast Food Forward began as a SEIU-funded coalition operating as a worker center with the goal of unionizing restaurant employees in New York City chain restaurants. A secondary goal of the campaign was a $15 minimum wage.
The worker center took the form of a “Fast Food Workers Committee,” an entity that appeared to have no other legal existence. Its registered address (as declared on the campaign site’s privacy page, 2 – 4 Nevins St., 2nd Floor Brooklyn, NY 11217) was that of New York Communities for Change (NYCC). NYCC was a supporting organization in the campaign, and the New York Post has reported that NYCC was a remnant of Brooklyn’s ACORN office.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International headquarters has funneled large sums of money to NYCC. On the SEIU’s 2012 LM-2 disclosure form filed with the Department of Labor, the SEIU reported funding the group in the amount of $2,447,126 for “support for organizing.” Other groups in the Fast Food Forward coalition have received significant funding from other unions as well.
Fast Food Forward has encouraged multiple walkouts of restaurant employees in New York City since its founding. It is not clear how many workers have actually participated. Ultimately, Fast Food Forward was only the start of a larger national effort to raise the minimum wage and organize restaurant workers. More recently, that effort has grown into the SEIU-funded Fight for $15 movement.