(Nothing) About Us

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

(Nothing) About Us

Ever since Ronald Reagan broke the air-traffic controllers strike, the labor movement has been virtually on life support. Last year, disagreements over the future of the AFL-CIO led two of its largest unions to bolt. So perhaps the innocuously named "Center for Union Facts" is hoping to help deliver the coup de grace.

The Center purchased a full-page ad in Monday's Washington Post, and its website (www.UnionFacts.org) stokes the sordid image of corrupt union bosses that was a staple message of corporate America during the 1950's and 60's. But one thing is particularly strange about the Center's website. The Center begs the question it isn't willing to answer.

This is the text that appears under the link About Us:
Union leaders have abused the trust of their members. They've misspent member dues and harmed the very same people they promise to protect. In 2005 alone, federal racketeering investigations resulted in 196 convictions against union officials and employees ...

The Center for Union Facts has gathered a wealth of information about the size, scope, political activities, and criminal activity of the labor movement in the United States of America.
That tells us a lot about what they think of unions, but tells us diddly-squat about who the Center is. Even the Center seems to agree that it didn't come clean in its "About Us" section because if you scroll down a little further, there's a Q and A section that includes the following:
So who are you guys, really?

The Center for Union Facts is a non-profit organization supported by foundations, businesses, union members, and the general public. We are dedicated to showing Americans the truth about today's union leadership.
Again, no specifics. There's no link to a list of officers or staff -- or a board of directors. There's no list of the businesses or foundations that are helping to fund the Center's activities. There's no street address where the "Center" is located (all they provide is a P.O. Box).

It's strange that the Center would draw attention to a question that it so obviously doesn't want to answer.

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