In what has become a local tradition, the front group Center for Union Facts will air an ad in Washington D.C. during the Super Bowl, The New York Times reports. When the union-busting organization did the same thing three years ago, Working America took to Twitter to point out the irony of running an anti-union ad during a “celebration of unionized players,” referring to the NFL Players’ Association, which is one of the most well-known unions in America.
Center for Union Facts is a $3.5 million-a-year organization, and part of a vast web of front groups funded and controlled by PR spinmeister Rick Berman. Once dubbed Dr. Evil by CBS’s 60 Minutes, Berman has launched a plethora of “deceptive campaigns against industry foes, including labor unions; public-health advocates; and consumer safety, animal welfare, and environmental groups,” according to watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
CMD has tracked Berman and his phony front groups for years and his deep ties to corporations and trade associations fighting better pay and benefits for working families.
In October 2014, Berman was caught on tape as he met with energy company executives and pitched his tactics to undermine grassroots environmental and labor organizations. "Think of it as an endless war," he told the deep pocketed executives. “I get up every morning and I try to figure out how to screw with the labor unions; that’s my offense,” says Berman, who has been a reliable waterboy for some of the worst wage-crushing institutions in America. Berman has had a long-standing relationship with the National Restaurant Association which has fought to keep the tipped minimum wage at $2.13 an hour for decades.
This weekend, Green Bay Packers quarterback and NFL Players Association union member Aaron Rodgers was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player. As someone who has stepped up to serve as a union representative, he knows that unions are not just for the elites, but everyone who wants better wages and working conditions.
CMD has dozens of articles about Berman and his front groups in our Sourcewatch wiki; as a starting point check out Berman and Co.