WASHINGTON—The AFL-CIO has launched a national print and digital “Join a union” ad campaign, complete with quarter-page ads in top national and regional newspapers.
The point, federation President Richard Trumka says in an open letter to all workers – the centerpiece of the drive – is to tell workers if they want decent raises, better benefits, and a voice on the job, unionizing is the way to go.
“Join us — be a part of the fight to build a brighter future for you, your family and working people everywhere,” his open letter reads.
“JOIN TOGETHER! — If you are interested in hearing how you and your co-workers can join together to win better wages and working conditions — and respect on the job — contact a union organizer today!” it urges.
Both the letter and the digital campaign direct readers to a new website, FreedomToJoin.org. The website has information both on benefits of unionization and on the continuing drive by rich corporate interests to rob workers of their rights.
The key narrative in that anti-worker drive is a Supreme Court case, Janus vs AFSCME, where unions expect the 5-man GOP-nominated court majority to make every state and local government worker a potential “free rider,” able to use union benefits and services without paying one red cent for them.
That ruling will rob unions of at least 726,000 members nationwide and millions of dollars in fees just to cover contract bargaining and enforcement, a recent report by the labor studies center at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana says. And the average public worker – who comprise just under half of all unionists – would lose more than $1,800 in yearly wages as “free riders” defect.