Monday, March 20, 2006

Union "Facts" -- NOT

I've writtten a couple of times about anti-labor kook Richard Berman's Union Facts (sic) website and its effort to kill "card check" labor organizing. (here, here and here)

The AFL-CIO Today blog reprints an "at times tongue-in-cheek" article about Berman's boondoggle ,posted by Fred Glass at the International Labor Communications Association (ILCA). Glass teaches at the San Francisco City College and is the Communications Director for the California Federation of Teachers/AFT.

A taste, wherein he congratulates Berman for his scam:
Not every PR consultant can convince his backers to come up with a quarter of a million dollars to run an ad for one day in four newspapers, and using a cheap, recycled image from a quarter century ago is what we call cost-effective. The commission on placing the ads brings in a tidy little sum. That’s financially very sound, for Mr. Berman, if not necessarily for his clients.

“And clearly his thriftiness extends to the anti-union website the ad extolled, since in a ninety second spot check I came up with about a dozen factual errors, including consistently calling the AFL-CIO a “union,” which is like calling the Chamber of Commerce a “business;” missing all 135 of the California locals of the American Federation of Teachers in its “comprehensive” national directory; and listing Sandra Feldman, who has been dead for five months, as president of the national AFT.

“Of course, Mr. Berman is no stranger to such work. He has been delivering campaigns every bit as good as this one for his clients for years. As noted in news stories the day after the ad appeared, he has represented the big tobacco lobby against anti-smoking efforts, claiming there is a “lack of evidence that second-hand smoke causes cancer;” the alcohol industry in fighting against Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s effort to hold the line on blood-alcohol levels; and cheap bosses in fighting increases to minimum wage laws, to mention a few.

“But the remarkable thing about Berman’s accomplishment this time is he convinced anti-union types to light a match to their money on these ads, instead of investing in something proven, like, say, lawyer fees for weathering the years of litigation that comes with illegally firing union activists during an organizing campaign. Sure, it takes longer, but it’s guaranteed; by the time the workers get reinstated in their jobs, even with back pay, it’s years down the road, the organizing campaign is long dead, and everyone in the corporate community agrees, it’s money well-spent.