Skip to main content

Rick Berman
Rick Berman in blue-collar costume for his anti-union ad and in his natural habitat.(Republic Report)

In anti-union circles, there's almost no one more notorious than Rick Berman, who runs or is associated with various astroturf organizations such as the Employment Policies Institute and the Center for Consumer Freedom. His "Center for Union Facts" is currently running a $10 million anti-union campaign, which included an ad shown during the Super Bowl in the Washington, D.C. media market (aimed at influencing politicians and pundits, not working people, in other words). In the ad, which is pushing a bill sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) that would attack unions in a variety of ways:

“I’m sick of the union taking so much of my money out of every paycheck,” Frank tells his co-worker Bob. “I don’t know why you voted them in.”  “Don’t look at me,” Bob responds. “I never even got a vote.” Bob then polls fellow auto repair shop employees, and they all say they got hired long after the union election. “Only 10 percent of people in unions today actually voted to join a union,” declares a narrator. “Everyone deserves a vote at least one time.”

In fact, it's currently possible for workers to petition to decertify an existing union. But that's not the only misleading thing about the ad. Republic Report finds that Rick Berman himself plays one of the mechanics disavowing the union, a fact they confirmed with Berman's office. They cite Berman's ownership of a $3.3 million home, $2 million of which further notes he paid in cash. According to Sourcewatch, Berman's company takes in $10 million a year, and no one knows just how much of that he pays himself. Obviously these ads always use actors, but it's particularly appropriate for a guy who got rich doing corporate astroturf to play a mechanic for an anti-worker television ad.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 03:18 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site