Monday, February 27, 2006

A new anti-labor group

I have been reading Slate columnist Daniel Gross' blog lately. Recently, he wrote about a new anti-union website called Union Facts. This new website basically tries to blame unions for all that is wrong in the United States. This is incredible considering the union share of the workforce has declined from 36% to 12.5% over the past 50 years. Here is an article about the launch of the site and the corporate power behind the movement. The article claims unions helped bankrupt the steel, auto and airline industries. As Daniel Gross notes, "Gee, I didn't know union officials wrote the business plan for United Airlines and held a gun to the head of GM's management and forced them to make bad investments in Fiat."

The group has purchased full page advertisements in major newspapers and have been issuing press releases. Here is a sample one: First They Came for Wal-Mart. The title is an allusion to the Niemoller quote. Yes, this group had the audacity to compare a Maryland healthcare bill to the holocaust.

This group's leader, Richard Berman, has in the past worked as an advocate for the corporate profits of the restaurant industry over the health and welfare of consumers. They ask for donations on the website because "We don't have the luxury of forced dues to pay for our ads, web site, and research." No, you have a multi-million dollar a year budget that is largely financed by the right wing and corporate America. Federal law requires unions to publicize their financial records on the other hand, Berman refuses to identify who is backing him.

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