Student activists suspect a fast food giant could be behind a woman who posed as a student to spy on the organization.
For months, the Student/Farmworker Alliance and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have been pressuring Miami-based Burger King to give tomato pickers a needed raise. The Home of the Whopper hasn’t budged.
Last month, Marc Rodrigues, a 27 year old alliance organizer, fielded a call from a Cara Schaffer who expressed interest in joining ranks and asked to listen in on the group’s conference calls. Rodrigues soon discovered an unsettling link.
The woman heads Diplomatic Tactical Services, a South Florida firm that boasts of its covert surveillance in labor issues on its site: “Placing of an operative in the ranks is dangerous if not handled with the greatest care…”
Burger King denied connection to the mole in an article by The News-Press, which broke the story. Rodrigues doesn’t buy it. “There was a little bit of fear and surprise that they would try to infiltrate a pretty innocuous human rights organization,” Rodrigues told the New Times. “To us, it seemed kind of obvious that it’s something that Burger King is behind.”
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Whatever the truth, the idea that any entity or individual hired a firm to dig up dirt on an organization fighting for farmworkers is both creepy and sleazy.
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