A local branch of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) representing University of California (UC) employees is protesting against UC management's hiring Hill & Knowlton to spin its labor record. The union called on the university to drop the PR firm, citing John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton's book, "Trust Us, We're Experts," which recounted H&K's work opposing measures to reduce children's lead exposure. In a letter to UC President Robert Dynes, a coalition supporting the AFSCME branch pointed out that the company had also worked for the tobacco industry and "some of the worst human rights abusing states in the world." In an email to PR Week, UC spokesperson Peter Schwartz responded that H&K "has been invaluable in helping us to keep our employees and the general public educated about UC labor negotiations."
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