Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Not Your Father's Labor Department

Unless your father happens to be Benito Mussolini.

I've written a couple of times recently about the Center for Union Facts, the group that recently compared UNITE HERE president Harris Raynor to Fidel Castro and Kim Jon Il, the group headed by the same joker who formed corporate-backed associations to defend mercury in fish (FishScam.com), challenge Mothers Against Drunk Driving and its efforts to lower the legal blood alcohol content limit, dismiss concern about obesity as "hype," to defend the tobacco industry against smoking curbs in restaurants and the beverage industry against restrictions on alcohol use, and to argue against raising the minimum wage.

I need a shower just writing about these guys. But they've got some friends over at the Labor Department, according to the Washington Post:
There's a new spirit at the department, judging from a June 15 e-mail from Lynn Gibson, an aide in the public liaison office that alerts people to a training opportunity.

"The next [noteworthy item] is a new website, if you were not already aware of it," she says. "The website is dedicated to providing information on labor unions and their expenditures. UnionFacts.com launched on Monday, February 13th, and some news links are listed below."

Turns out, according to a linked article by our colleague Amy Joyce , this is a stridently anti-union site that talks about the "political activities, and criminal activity of the labor movement." The site lets members check their union's "shady tactics" and highlights how to bust a union's right to represent workers at a company.

Doesn't surprise me. When I worked at the Labor Department, the televisions in the lobby were turned to CNN all day long. When I returned after 2001, the T.Vs were tuned to Fox.

More about this unfortunate relationship at the AFL-CIO Today blog.