Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported on a “poll” by Hart Research purporting to show widespread labor law violations in the restaurant industry. The dubious survey was commissioned by the SEIU-backed worker center “Low Pay Is Not OK,” a national umbrella front group for SEIU’s other “worker organizing committees.” Hart is a big-time union pollster, receiving over $1.2 million from labor unions in FY 13 Department of Labor reports, including over $370,000 from SEIU.
We’ll have more exposing the tangled web of SEIU money, purportedly independent sub-unions, and loophole-living front groups later this week, but for now we’ll focus on the Washington Post’s response to the L.A. Times’ reporting. In-house media critic Erik Wemple took the Times to task for repeating SEIU talking points without noting the flaws of the purported “poll”—the non-random, online survey offered respondents cash cards in exchange for participation. Wemple then cited the AP Stylebook:
Here’s the wire service’s filter for opinion surveys: “Only a poll based on a scientific, random sample of a population — in which every member of the population has a known probability of inclusion — can be considered a valid and reliable measure of that population’s opinions.” Examples of research that doesn’t meet this criterion include various online polls in which respondents are “self-selected,” often “including ’professional respondents’ who sign up for numerous surveys to earn money or win prizes.”
In other words, the Times failed to properly inform readers of the survey limitations. In addition, neither the Times nor Wemple noted that the SEIU was likely the ultimate sponsor of the survey, allowing the union to hide behind its “worker center” front group. The SEIU has poured millions of dollars into the groups making up the national corporate campaign to unionize fast food restaurants and win a self-interested minimum wage increase.
The SEIU continues working toward a national card-check for restaurant workers, something it has sought since the days of the card-check bill. If Congress does not step in and pass legislation like the Employee Rights Act that will protect workers’ rights to a secret ballot on whether to unionize, expect labor unions—especially the SEIU, one local of which has been caught palling around with apologists for the leftist Venezuelan regime’s crackdown on dissent—to continue their schemes to corral employees to join against their will under intimidation.