Several unions to launch major ad campaign
Labor leaders speak outside the White House after meeting with President Barack Obama on November 13.
November 16th, 2012
01:53 PM ET
1 year ago

Several unions to launch major ad campaign

Washington (CNN) - Several major labor unions are banding together to launch an ad campaign next week urging members of Congress to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and to protect entitlement programs from major cuts as a solution to the looming fiscal cliff, a source with knowledge of the effort told CNN Friday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union and the National Education Association are banding together for this campaign, which will be launched next week.

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The effort will include a "six figure" buy of television ads, as well as ads online, the source told CNN.

The groups will argue, using new polling data, that the public does not favor major cuts in entitlement programs like Medicaid, but wants to see a solution to curbing the nation's deficit based on raising the tax burden on the wealthier parts of the population, as well as policies that encourage job growth.

"There is certainly a consensus in the public that the solution to this is job growth and not cuts," the source said.

The targets of the ad push are several dozen members of the House of Representatives who the organizers believe will be more inclined to help support raising tax rates and less supportive of major spending cuts to key social programs.

The ads will air, according to the source, in Colorado, Missouri and Virginia. The Democratic senators in those states – Sen. Mark Udall, Sen. Michael Bennet, Sen. Claire McCaskill and Sen. Mark Warner - are viewed by some on the left as possibly more willing to support major spending cuts that these unions would oppose.

This new initiative by the unions, which was first reported by the Huffington Post, shows a concerted effort by those on the left to stand their ground and take a more proactive approach to protect its priorities. It comes as several groups of business leaders also have weighed in with their own ad campaigns urging a solution.

In several meetings this week the president sat down with leaders of the business community, as well as unions and progressive groups, to discuss the fiscal cliff and various options. In the Tuesday session with labor and progressives the president delivered a "strong" and "determined" defense of his intent to allow the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest to expire while preserving cuts for middle-income earners, according to conversations with several who attended.

CNN White House Producer Adam Aigner-Treworgy contributed to this story.


Filed under: Fiscal Cliff
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. jmmjr49er

    Little Dick Trumka of AFL-CIO said fiscal cliff is a myth. Why the ads? Wait, the math does not add up to the correct number.

    November 16, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Enough is Enough

    First Hostess now the whole country.

    November 16, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. cali girl

    Please work on bringing back the Twinkies.

    November 16, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  4. Jim Brown

    Great. Those of us that are not union members will be working until we are 68 years old and the taxes we pay will enable public service union employees to retire at age 55 with a pension. Doesn't seem quite right.

    November 16, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. yolanda

    So public sector unions, paid for by our tax dollars, are using our money to further feather their own nests. Great country America..... As the French have so clearly demonstrated, the redistribution of wealth becomes impossible when there remains no wealth to redistribute.

    November 16, 2012 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Reggiedw

    It is time to get rid of all Unions. They have only really gotten so much power now because of Obama and his liking for Unions and what they stand for which is causing working class people to lose their jobs over their greediness. Unions brought down the United Kingdom and they will do the same to America. It is time for them to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 16, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Dan Scanlon

    These union folks showld wake up take note of Twinkies.......unless give away programs are slashed and the able bodied be removed and not depend on the taxpayers the US will never see a decline in debt. The thousands who are using food stamps, goverment paid cell phones (next it will be goverment pid laptops so they can sign up without leaving the couch) who can work but choose not to, paying for there groceries with a government Access card and putting them in the trunk of their Lexus....come on...it is time to put an end to this. For those who are really down and out a helping hand is great...but I believe they are out numbered by the lazy takers who are using and abusing the system paid by the taxpayers.

    November 16, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Critical Thinking

    I hope you union due paying workers enjoy watching your hard earned dollars being spent on TV ads. I can't imagine why anyone would want to be part of a union. I guess as P.T. Barnum said; "there is a sucker born every minute."

    November 16, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. myviewis

    cali girl

    Please work on bringing back the Twinkies.
    ------------------------

    Tell that to the Unions that just helped put 18,000 employees out of work.

    November 16, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "These union folks showld wake up take note of Twinkies"

    Hostess execs gave themselves 80% raises last year and the company has been in bankruptcy proceedings since 2004. It has been mismanaged for decades. They foresaw and knew very well that liquidation was coming and they did everything they possibly could to suck the corporate carcass dry before it was time for liquidation, then pretended that demanding an 8% pay cut across the board from the employees was the only way to "save the company and their jobs." This, despite having given execs 6, 7 and 8 figure salaries, giant golden parachutes and lavish benefits packages for years and years and years...all while they mismanaged the company and paid employees a pittance.

    And before you go there, the shills taking $1 per year as salary don't matter and it's just superficial window dressing for their attempt to blame it on the unions instead of the Bain-style corporate raiding that has taken place for the past decade at Hostess. Besides, if you offered me a job that paid $25M this year and $1 per year for the next 10 years...and all it required me to do was mismanage a giant company...I'd take it in a second.

    November 16, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. California Gary

    @reggiedw.......as you say goodbye to the unions, be prepared to also say goodbye to liveable wages, paid vacations, overtime, sick leave, 8 hour days, and weekends off, as well as any semblance of "employee rights" in the workplace. Do you think those things were granted to workers out of the kindness of CEO's (like Romney)?

    November 16, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Darryl

    The Unions are the best thing that happened to this country. Without the unions ? this country would be like China and all the other 3rd world countrys. Thats what the republicans want to do to.

    November 16, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. cali girl

    myviews
    that was my message, to the Unions. I am aware that the strike is what resulted in the Hostess company asking for the final push of bankruptcy.

    November 16, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. Wilson

    Unions are, and always have been a front for the mafia, getting rich on the mandatory dues they require from their members. A name that brings this to light comes to mind, Jimmy Hoffa????

    November 16, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  15. ST

    If the Ads will be educative, they are welcomed BUT if they will aim scaring my grandma to get prepared to be pushed off the cliff, am afraid to say I and many others will not welcome that attempt.

    November 16, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    yolanda wrote:

    So public sector unions, paid for by our tax dollars, are using our money ....
    ------------
    STOP. You might as well stop right there because your initial premise is false. Unions are "paid for" by their members, who pay dues from their salaries.

    Please, stop listening to the lies you're being told by right wing media. They tell that stuff so that they can get ratings and revenue. They really don't give a hoot about the politics, but people make it highly profitable for them.

    November 16, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Reggiedw

    @ California Gary: I would rather live under Romney's policies anyday than under Obama and his crooked Union associates. Just check the lifestyle of the Union bosses and you will see that they are taking the union dues from the working class man and making themselves wealthy. Check out their homes and the luxurious items that they own. It just takes a dumb democrat to join a union and his money goes to make his union boss a wealthy man. I really do not feel sorry for the union workers because they have made themselves victims and are still willing to go along with this kind of negotiations and then losing their jobs.

    November 16, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. just sayin

    the unions can bankrupt GM, no problem,
    the unions can bankrupt california, illinoius and ny, no problem,
    the unions can bankrupt this country, no problem,
    the unions can bankrupt hostess and stop the twinkies, now we got a problem!!

    the unions have finally crossed the (belt) line in this country. they must be destroyed.

    November 16, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    @just saying

    The banks can bankrupted themselves, and almost the countr and the entire planet. Just sayin.

    November 16, 2012 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "the unions have finally crossed the (belt) line in this country. they must be destroyed."

    Riiiiight, it's the unions who have "crossed the line"...

    Brian Driscoll, CEO, around $750,000 to $2,550,000
    Gary Wandschneider, EVP, $500,000 to $900,000
    John Stewart, EVP, $400,000 to $700,000
    David Loeser, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
    Kent Magill, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
    Richard Seban, EVP, $375,000 to $656,256
    John Akeson, SVP, $300,000 to $480,000
    Steven Birgfeld, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000
    Martha Ross, SVP, $240,000 to $360,000
    Rob Kissick, SVP, $182,000 to $273,008

    Those are the raises Hostess execs gave to themselves in late July while demanding that the only way to save the company was for labor to take an across-the-board 8% pay cut.

    November 16, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Wes

    Rudy wrote:
    STOP. You might as well stop right there because your initial premise is false. Unions are "paid for" by their members, who pay dues from their salaries.
    -------------------------------------------------
    The private sector pays the public sectors salary, so Yolanda is correct. Public sector unions are 'paid for' by their members, who get their salary from the private sector.

    November 16, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Larry in Houston

    WoW !! Sniffit !! You have more Info. than I thought ! Thanks 4 that –

    BTW people – Twinkies ARE STILL BEING MADE – and Produced !! They just don't "call them" Twinkies, but it's made out of the Same Stuff. How about Sunbeam ? They make the same stuff . How about Mrs. Bairds ? How about a lot of other Brands, that make breads & etc ? They also Make the same stuff. – - Don't get so bent out of shape, people !!

    November 16, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. freedom

    @ Reggiedw Totally agree!!! The Obama followers voted for the decline of our great nation.

    November 16, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Larry in Houston

    WoW !! Sniffit !! You have more Info. than I thought ! Thanks 4 that –

    BTW people – Twinkies ARE STILL BEING MADE – and Produced !! They just don't "call them" Twinkies, but it's made out of the Same Stuff. How about Sunbeam ? They make the same stuff . How about Mrs. Bairds ? How about a lot of other Brands, that make breads & etc ? HOW ABOUT "ARCHWAY" ?They also Make the same stuff. – – Don't get so bent out of shape, people !!

    November 16, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    Excuse me...that's "late July 2011" not this past July. They did those executive pay raises right before filing for bankruptcy AGAIN. The point stil stands. These buffoons went from exiting a restructuring in 2009 right back to mismanaging th ecompany and grossly overpaying themselves for its mismanagement...THEN they have the audacity to give themselves MASSIVE pay raises right before filing bankruptcy AGAIN....AND the unmitigated gall to try to blame their own management failuires and the failure of the brand on their labor force. That isn't the unions' faults and it"s not the faults of th eunions around the country. It's ALL OF OUR FAULTS for subscribing to the broken "values" of greed, avarice and equating wealth with virtue. Those executives were clearly raised wrong and never developed any sense of altruism or what we like to claim are true American values. They were raised to believe that wealth makes right, that greed is good and that "screw you, I've got mine." Dig a little deeper and you'll find the Bain-style venture /VULTURE capitalism behind their failures to adapt the company to changing American diets and health awareness, etc. They didn't care. They were invovled in a gambit to strip the thing bare and leave their employees and creditors holding a bag of turds.

    November 16, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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