Arun Gupta Archives - Accuracy.Org

Behind the Fast Food Strikes These Times has published the first investigative report of the nationwide fast-food worker organizing campaign known as Fight for 15. Since late 2012 fast-food workers have staged day-long strikes in cities across the country four times, with a fifth walkout planned for December 2013. Reporter Arun Gupta examines the roots of the campaign, uncovers the central role played by the Service Employees International Union, and reveals the union’s detailed plan for trying to pressure the fast-food giants to raise wages and allow workers to form unions.

Even more importantly, says Gupta, “Workers and organizers involved in the campaign are asking if Fight for 15 is about organizing workers into a long-term movement or a ‘march on the media.’ More than 20 workers and organizers who talked to In These Times say they support the organizing drive, but are troubled by what they say is a lack of respect for workers, resistance to worker control, a rubberstamp decision-making process, and the overall direction of the campaign. Time and again they described how the media focus undermines the actual organizing in fast-food shops and discourages worker involvement.”

Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times calls the In These Times report a “Good inside, in-depth look at the Fast Food-Fight for Fifteen Movement.”

ARUN GUPTA, arun.indypendent at, @arunindy
Founder of the co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and The Indypendent, Gupta wrote the piece “Fight For 15 Confidential.”

TRISH KAHLE, trish.kahle at
Kahle (pronounced Kaj-luh) is a member of the Working Organizing Committee of Chicago and a health-food store employee. She recently wrote the piece “Beyond Fast Food Strikes” and said today: “Low-wage workers organizing in the Fight for 15 need to come to grips with the past failures of SEIU, but people who dismiss this movement are discounting the transformative effect it has had on workers, and the potential of workers to take this campaign further than anyone could have imagined. Organized labor has been in the tank for years, and those who write off this campaign are only helping to ensure it will be that much harder to revive in the future.”

Did Wall Street and Tea Party Win? Does Obama Want to Cut Social Security? reports: “Seniors to Get Small Social Security Increase in 2014.”

ARUN GUPTA, arun.indypendent at
Independent journalist and regular contributor to AlterNet, Truthout and the Guardian, Gupta is a co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent.

He said today: “Let’s not forget Obama has been trying to introduce severe austerity ever since he got into office. In January 2009 he told the Washington Post he wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare. He has legitimized the discourse of deficit reduction when it’s all voodoo economics. He wants to cut corporate taxes. He turned the Bush tax cuts into a bargaining chip when he could have swept them away in early 2009.

“One important point that seems to have slipped completely below the radar is how the markets reacted. There was never a fear premium, meaning Wall Street never thought the default was a danger. But related to that is this idea that the Tea Party is some rogue element no longer controlled by big business. If there was real fear that the Tea Party would do damage to the economy you would have seen the markets plunge, which would have forced them into line very quickly. Additionally, there is no evidence that corporations will pull their money from the GOP. Led by the Tea Party, they are still pushing for measures to cut taxes on the wealthy, eliminate regulations and cripple organized labor. That’s the Wall Street agenda, and that’s why they are the big winners in this whole affair.”

Gupta wrote the piece for the Progressive: “Don’t Let Obama Cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.”

He notes the Washington Post piece from 2009 “Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform President-Elect Says He’ll Reshape Social Security, Medicare Programs.”