Union campaign committee We Are Ohio replaced its “No Rights At Work” logo on Facebook, where the group has 110,000 fans, the day after Media Trackers published a video of We Are Ohio leaders unable to cite any rights “No Rights At Work” would take away. The previous slogan was traded in for a warning about “so-called right to work,” the latest in a series of shallow catchphrases against letting Ohioans choose whether to pay union dues.
We Are Ohio briefly reverted to its “No Rights At Work” theme following the February 19 “State of the Worker” press conference where We Are Ohio representatives were unable to defend the “No Rights At Work” lie while surrounded by reporters, but on February 27 the “No Rights At Work” image was removed in favor of a new, grainy “SCRTW” logo.
On March 1 We Are Ohio posted the new graphic to its Facebook wall, writing, “So-called ‘right to work’? Don’t trust it. Spread the word: ‘like’ and share!” In the weeks since, the union campaign committee has repeatedly posted the same “SCRTW” image with the same message.
Facebook is far and away We Are Ohio’s primary communication channel, and “No Rights At Work” has not been mentioned on We Are Ohio’s Facebook page since the end of February.
Barely two months earlier, “No Rights At Work” was the hot new catchphrase for We Are Ohio’s drive to keep union dues mandatory in Ohio. A week after Michigan passed two laws securing workers’ freedom to choose whether to pay a union boss, the Ohio Education Association (OEA) started using the “No Rights At Work” slogan as We Are Ohio introduced the “No Rights At Work” logo on its Facebook page, imploring fans to get the message out.
OEA, Ohio’s largest public employee union, is the most generous donor to We Are Ohio, a “citizen-driven, community-based, bipartisan coalition” funded almost completely by labor unions.
“No Rights At Work. Less pay, fewer benefits, more accidents on the job because if you ask questions about safety, with no rights at work, you are gone,” We Are Ohio wrote on December 20, 2012.
“Don’t be fooled. Why would billionaires want to give you the so-called right to work? It’s a mean-spirited, greedy trick,” We Are Ohio wrote the day after Christmas. “Fight for workers’ rights and safety. This is our state and our country.”
Several weeks later, OEA updated what were already cartoonish talking points against workplace freedom with even more ridiculous propaganda built around the “No Rights At Work” narrative.
We Are Ohio, having spent $40 million in union contributions to establish its “citizen-driven” bona fides in 2011, had already prepped rhetoric to counter the Ohioans for Workplace Freedom campaign by the start of 2012. However, the surprise December 2012 push for workplace freedom in Michigan – following Indiana’s flip from a forced-unionism to a workplace freedom state less than a year earlier – elicited furious reactions from Ohio union bosses.
On the December 7 anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, We Are Ohio compared the Michigan legislators who passed workplace freedom to the Japanese who bombed Hawaii.
Through late December and early January, We Are Ohio not-so-subtly suggested anyone who supports workplace freedom is a racist, and an OEA blogger who also happens to be a We Are Ohio spokesman whitewashed violent Michigan union protests over a month after union violence was demonstrated with reams of video footage.
At publication, not all We Are Ohio accounts and affiliates have been scrubbed of the false “No Rights At Work” slogan, which remains in use on the union campaign committee’s Twitter account. Many regional partners of We Are Ohio are still using decade-old AFL-CIO propaganda debunked by Media Trackers in early December 2012.