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Heads up: A national campaign against teachers unions will kick off next week.
Next Tuesday (March 11), the Center for Union Facts (CUF) will launch what the organization describes as "an unprecedented, $1 million advertising assault on teachers unions."
CUF is airing commercials on CNN and Fox News, and buying full-page ads in the New York Times and USA Today. The attack ads will promote its campaign Web site, www.TeachersUnionExposed.com. We suspect these ads, which focus on union actions in 20 school districts across the country, also will include distortions about tenure, claims that unions oppose worthwhile school reforms, and outright lies about what we do. The charges will be vicious and outrageous, and the ads may result in news coverage, particularly from anti-union media outlets.
We are currently developing our own attack plan and will have additional information to you shortly. However, each of you is capable of answering these charges by asserting the real facts and talking about your union's successes. In doing so, it may help to know a little about CUF, which has been monitored by Sourcewatch (www.sourcewatch.org): "The Center for Union Facts is a secretive front group for individuals and industries opposed to union activities. It is part of lobbyist Rick Berman's family of front groups including the Employment Policies Institute."
Berman has lobbied on behalf of pesticide, alcohol and tobacco companies, and against the Americans with Disabilities Act, checkpoints to catch drunk drivers, minimum wage increases, and card-check. A 2006 USA Today article reported that his lobbying firm brings in $10 million per year for his work on ultra-conservative, anti-union clients. Berman has even waged a campaign against Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
American Rights at Work (www.americanrightsatwork.org/the-anti-union-network/center-for-union-facts) has additional information about Berman and CUF. We hope this helps you respond. If you need further assistance, please contact John See in the AFT's public affairs department,