Monday, April 13, 2009

"Big Business Group Unleashes $1 Million Ad Blitz Against EFCA" (with video)

Greg Sargent (The Plum Line) with video (00:30):
The ad wars over the Employee Free Choice Act are gearing up in a big way, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — the massive business group that is one of the measure’s most determined and well-funded opponents — launching a $1 million ad campaign in multiple states against the measure.

Here’s the Virginia version of the ad, which will also run in Nebraska, Lousiana, North Dakota, and Colorado, all home to Democratic Senators who are wavering in their support of the bill or have said they’ll back it going to the floor for a vote:

The ad makes it clear that the anti-EFCA forces don’t think they have this battle locked up, despite recent reports that supporters won’t be able to muster the 60 votes in the Senate they need to break the GOP filibuster and get it passed.

It charges that Congress wants to “strip away” the secret ballot, a reference to the measure’s provision which would allow unions to vote to join a union without a secret ballot. It has strong echoes of the campaign that defeated health care in the 1990s, charging that a “bureaucrat from Washington” will have control over private businesses and will devastate small businesses if it passes. That’s an apparent reference to the provision that would mandate that Federal arbitration kicks in quickly if union-management talks break down.

The ad reflects the anti-EFCA forces’ strategy of keeping the conversation focused on those two provisions, rather than on the plight of workers under the current system — the rhetorical turf that labor would prefer to fight the battle on, since that terrain gives an edge to the unions.

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