A new national TV ad campaign launched on Labor Day highlights the critical issues facing America's struggling middle class. The ads-produced by American Rights at Work-are part of a coordinated effort among labor unions, workers' rights advocates and other groups to build on broad public support for the Employee Free Choice Act as a way to help create better jobs.
The legislation, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives and gained majority support in the Senate last year, would help level the playing field for America's workers by giving them a fair and direct path to form unions. It also would help employees secure a contract in a reasonable period of time and toughen penalties against employers who violate the law.
The advertisements, which can be seen online, are a direct response to anti-union, corporate-funded front groups that have spread highly misleading information about the Employee Free Choice Act. In addition, state-based versions of the pro-labor ads will educate the public about the positions of political leaders. The national ads will air on MSNBC, CNN and CNN Headline News, and the state-specific spots will air in Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Oregon.
Public opinion is on the side of those supporting the Employee Free Choice Act. A recent poll released by the nonpartisan Drum Major Institute found that 68 percent of middle-class Americans wish their member of Congress had voted in favor of the bill.
"Despite the millions of dollars already spent to deceive voters on the Employee Free Choice Act, the American public isn't buying it," says Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director of American Rights at Work. "The reality is a majority of Americans want policies like the Employee Free Choice Act that will help restore the middle class. These ads will show viewers the truth about this common sense policy."
The AFT also is continuing to collect signatures for an online petition urging the new president and Congress to enact the Employee Free Choice Act after the November elections.
Sept. 3, 2008