Statement by Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter at 7/7/08 News Conference

Statement from Steve Hunter, Secretary Treasurer of the Minnesota AFL-CIO

We are here today to fire back at the deceptive and inaccurate Employee Free Choice Act ads airing on television stations. These ads are clearly wrong and furthermore they are demeaning to workers, unions, and to union member Al Franken.

The Employee Free Choice Act will restore a fair process that allows workers to decide whether or not they want to form a union in their workplaces. Currently employers control the entire process.

Since 1935 there have been two options for choosing a union – majority sign-up or a National Labor Relations Board election. Under the Employee Free Choice Act these two options will still exist. The only change is instead of management making the decision for the employees, the employees make the decision. If 30% of the workers want an election one will be held.

The sad fact is that Sen. Norm Coleman understands the Employee Choice Act as he debated it in the U. S. Senate last year and voted to filibuster the bill. As Norm Coleman knows the truth we ask him to condemn the ads currently playing and encourage him to ask his friends – who are paying for the ads – to pull the ads from the airwaves.

If he does not do so it will be clear that Norm Coleman and his friends choose distortion over fact.

Perhaps, Sen. Coleman would rather mislead the public rather than talk about the solutions to the problems facing Minnesotans and Americans – problems he helped create along with George Bush and John McCain. The middle class is crumbling, the economy is in free fall, working people are losing their homes to foreclosures, and our health care system costs too much and covers too few and is getting worse.

Yet, Sen. Coleman and his friends chose to deceive the public. We condemn these tactics and, again, ask Norm Coleman to condemn the deceptive advertising his friends and supporters are paying for.