The so-called Committee for Accountable Government in Missouri, a committee funded by the anti-union Humphreys family, has launched a new series of radio and television ads attacking unions and the worker-friendly Republicans who stand with them.
The Committee (CAGM) recently announced that it would begin a new advertising campaign to inform union workers how to stop paying union dues by holding a “decertification election,” which is a vote to remove a union as the workplace’s exclusive collective bargaining representative.
CAGM is owned and funded by David Humphreys, CEO of Joplin, MO, roofing product company Tamko Building Products Inc. The group made headlines last year when it was formed to attack Republican representatives who had voted against right-to-work, and when it began its first advertising campaign deriding those same legislators.
The new ads, the next phase in efforts by the CAGM to curtail union membership and stir-up anti-union sentiment, include TV and radio spots as well as online in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Cape Girardeau – all areas with high union density and large concentrations of pro-union Republicans.
One of the ads features supposed union members complaining about paying dues and political spending, implying that union members don’t already have the right to opt out of dues payment – instead paying only a fair share fee for the union’s services – and don’t have to make any contributions at all toward political spending.
Other ads talk about being “forced” to pay union dues to get or keep a job and complaining about union support for politicians like Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democratic candidate for governor.
Mike Louis, the president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, says workers are informed of all of their rights by their labor organizations. He said the Humphreys’ ads are an effort to misinform workers and the general public about how unions really work, and to put pressure on worker-friendly Republicans.
“Fortunately, union members have worked hard to educate each other and the general public on these issues, and he can spend all of his billions of dollars and not trick anyone,” Louis said.
As evidence of that fact, radio station KSHE 95 aired one of the ads, and the station received so many complaints that it dropped the advertisement from its rotation.