Berman, the president of the deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom, met with the co-founder of Home Depot and officials from Bank of America and AIG, the latter two of which had received government bailouts just days before the Oct. 17 meeting.
At issue was the Employee Free Choice Act, a measure that would make it easier for workers to unionize.
Bernie Marcus, Home Depot's co-founder, was livid that this bill could pass, calling it "the demise of a civilization." He and Berman urged listeners to donate millions to Republican members of Congress and to Berman's own Center for Union Facts, an anti-union, pro-business lobbying group, to prevent the United States from turning "into France."
"This bill may be one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life," [Marcus] said, explaining that he could have been on "a 350-foot boat out in the Mediterranean," but felt it was more important to engage on this fight.Despite Marcus' anxious demeanor during the call -- he joked that he "took a tranquilizer this morning to calm myself down" -- when the Huffington Post spoke with Berman, he passed the measure off as something that even the unions know is going to fail.
"The unions who are a proponent of this have not made it a high profile issue. I think they have learned from their polling that it doesn't poll well, which is why they don't' want to make it a public issue."Odd then that business officials would be working themselves up in a tither over it.
The irony of poorly run corporations needing a bailout from taxpayers and then using that money to hurt middle- and lower-income employees wasn't lost on Stephen Lerner of the Service Employees International Union.
"Bank of America is now not only getting bailout money. They are lending their name to participate in a campaign to stop workers from having a majority sign[-]up [provision]. The biggest corporations who have created the problem are, at the very time, asking us to bail them out and then using that money to stop workers from improving their lives."(Thanks to "Integral Psychosis" for writing about the Huffington Post story.)
(Photo courtesy of "Labor is Not a Commodity.")