Ads on Unions Air in States With Close Senate Races

Posted August 1, 2008 at 4:38pm

An organization that opposes the Employee Free Choice Act has placed a $5 million television advertisement buy across eight states with competitive Senate races, according to the group’s organizers.

The Employee Freedom Action Committee, a 501(c)(4) that aims to educate voters about what it believes are the perils of the EFCA, has started airing ads for races in Colorado, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, Kentucky and Mississippi.

EFAC Managing Director J. Justin Wilson said the $5 million buy was the beginning of the group’s political spending, which will also include radio, Internet, newspaper and more television advertisements.

“America was built on democratic principles,” a voiceover says in the advertisement. “But here is one simple question. What if your vote wasn’t private? Some union bosses and their politician friends want to effectively do away with privacy when it comes to voting on joining a union. Employees could be exposed to intimidation at work and at home. So contact [candidate name] at EmployeeFreedom.org. And ask him/her this one simple question. Shouldn’t your vote still be private?”

The union-backed EFCA, to which the ad indirectly refers, passed the House but was held up in the Senate. Groups on both sides of the issue expect the legislation to be brought up again in the new Congress.

The “secret ballot” refers to a part of the legislation that, if passed, would give workers the option to organize by a majority sign up not under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board. Those who oppose the legislation say this leaves workers open to intimidation because union organizers will know whether employees voted.

Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director of American Rights at Work, which supports the legislation, said the EFCA would help working families.

“Anti-union corporations and their front groups are spending millions on ads and misleading the public because momentum for the Employee Free Choice Act is real,” Maxwell said. “A majority of Americans want policies like the Employee Free Choice Act that will help working families struggling in this economy.”