Thursday, February 23, 2006

All out offensive

Hub radio stations to air anti-union ads
By Diane E. Lewis
Boston Globe

An anti-union group says it will start airing ads this week on three Boston radio stations as part of a media blitz against the US labor movement and its push to change the way most workers are organized.

''Union members are tired of the corruption and huge salary packages for union chiefs . . . and sick of being forced to pay union dues that end up in the pockets of politicians they don't agree with," according to the ads, which the Center for Union Facts says will begin airing as early as today on three Boston radio stations.

The campaign started earlier this month with full-page newspaper ads in the Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Los Angeles Times. The organization also launched an Internet website,, and erected a large dinosaur outside the headquarters of the AFL-CIO.

Richard Berman, 62, director of the Center for Union Facts in Washington, D.C., said he launched the site himself, and then sought financial support from firms for the media effort. Berman declined to identify his backers. He said the media campaign will cost about $5 million.

Berman said he was inspired to speak out against unions after he noticed that labor had stepped up its promotion of card-check recognition as a way of organizing new members. The strategy allows unions to circumvent the time-consuming process of a National Labor Relations Board election. In a card-check campaign, the union seeks a pledge of neutrality from the employer and a promise to recognize a bargaining unit after more than 50 percent of a workforce signs union cards.

''They want to force people to join unions," Berman said in a telephone interview. ''They are going to corporations and intimidating them into being neutral."


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