Anti-union ad campaign falling on deaf ears

FailureNo decertification elections since campaign began

The anti-union radio and TV campaign launched in early April urging union members to decertify their union is falling on deaf ears, research by the Labor Tribune has discovered.

A review of decertification elections in a National Labor Relations Board database by Hammond & Shinners law firm shows there has not been a single decertification election since the negative media campaign began.

In fact, the data shows the strong support union members really have for their unions: in the five-state NLRB Region 14, where there are several thousand unions, there were only four decertification elections held since the beginning of the year, all before the media campaign began and none in the four targeted communities of St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and Cape Girardeau. Two were defeated, one group decertified and one was uncontested.


The half-million dollar anti-worker media campaign is the third temper tantrum of union-hater, contractor David Humphreys, CEO of Tamko Building Products of Joplin.

Furniture Marketplace 2x8.5 6-2Over the past few years, Humphreys has donated over $5 million to Republican candidates and causes, including an effort to force politics into the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan by trying to have judges elected rather than first reviewed by their peers, who then send three recommendations to the Governor for the final appointment. The Missouri plan has been adopted by states across the U.S. as the most feasible approach to finding qualified justices.


Humphreys’ first temper tantrum followed the failure of his massive contributions to politicians during last year’s session to win any anti-union legislation.


His second involved the committee running negative radio ads and billboards against Republicans – 20 of them – who were concerned enough for the working families in their districts to vote against right-to-work.


When those efforts failed, he moved on to the current attack on a union’s financial ability to represent their members by trying to get members to decertify their union as the collective voice of all the workers, putting themselves at the mercy of their employers.

Obviously, he the underestimated the intelligence of union members.

The media campaign is sponsored by a phony front group calling itself the “Committee for Accountable Government in Missouri.” It is funded by Humphreys and fronted by spokesman Brandon Moody.

Moody is an employee of Axiom Strategies, the infamous agency of Jeff Roe, considered a master of dirty politics for the Republican National Committee and many Republican campaigns.


The campaign is, however, having consequences for local radio stations that are playing the anti-worker ad encouraging union members to decertify their union.

Two stations in particular, KLOU 103.3 and The Point 105.7, have come under heavy social media criticism for airing the radio spots.

As an example, Zachary Ford made his feelings clear: “Needless to say this station (KLOU) will no longer be played in my car, in my house or work!” Hundreds of similar comments have soared through social media in the past few weeks.


In an interesting twist, unionist Patrick Hickey, noting that “I would be amazed if these ads lead to a single election,” made the point that since none have, the ads actually “show that union members don’t want to decertify (their union)” and as a result, the response sends a clear message that right-to-work and other anti-union legislation are just not needed or wanted by the workers of Missouri.

“They shot themselves in the foot with these terrible ads,” he noted.

Arnold Food Pantry 2x4 color 6-2STRONGER SENTIMENT

The truth of the issue was clearly stated by Steve Erdelen, administrator of the popular Pro-Union St. Louis Facebook group, himself a former member of two AFL-CIO unions, when he said:

“Hundreds of thousands of Missourians are proud to be represented by unions and they are proud to practice their constitutional right to bargain collectively. People serve years of apprenticeship, study for years in college, or undergo months of intensive training to earn their rightful place in their local union and they will not stand for this brazen attack against the middle class.”


Then, to those media outlets willing to take Humphrey’s money, Erdelen added:

“If you think it’s okay to throw a big portion of your audience under the bus, just to make a few bucks off a hateful ad campaign that maligns hard working St. Louisans, you are WRONG!”

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