Union foes to run $120,000 ad before second presidential debate

Jennifer White Contributor
Font Size:

A group that regularly tussles with labor union leaders plans to air a television ad nationally on the Fox News Channel before Tuesday’s second presidential debate, urging unionized employees to insist on regular votes to recertify — or decertify — their unions.

The ad, paid for by the Center for Union Facts, alleges that only 10 percent of union members have ever voted to join their unions. That number comes from a survey the center commission from ORC International.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Republican Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina have co-sponsored the Employee Rights Act, which would allow employees to choose whether or not to keep unions in their workplaces.

Under current law employees are grandfathered into a system that deducts union dues from their paychecks, the center said in a press release, and unions then donate some of that money to politicians the employees may or may not support.


The Employee Rights Act has 29 House cosponsors, and 22 in the Senate.

“We want to raise awareness about money taken from employees without them knowing,” Center for Union Facts Executive Director Rick Berman told The Daily Caller, “We’re airing the ad on Fox News to capture an audience that is politically sophisticated. Fox has a bigger audience than CNN or MSNBC.”

The center receives much of its funding from corporations. As a nonprofit organization, it’s not required to name its donors.

Union politics are rarely injected into presidential debate airtime, and this is the Center for Union Facts’ highest-profile ad so far. It’s part of a $10 million campaign to educate the public about the legislation, said the center’s spokeswoman, Sarah Longwell.

“We aren’t targeting any specific workplace or company,” Berman told TheDC.

“We want the public to know that they are guaranteed a vote every three years to see if a union should remain.”

Follow Jennifer on Twitter