Unions try to boost image in new ads
By Kris Maher
The AFL-CIO is launching an ad campaign that seeks to bolster the labor movement's image—the first such effort in more than a decade—as unions try to reverse a slide in public approval and membership. Labor officials say the broad campaign, which is being rolled out initially in three cities at a cost of $1.5 million, isn't political and remains separate from the AFL-CIO's election mobilization, when the federation is expected to spend tens of millions of dollars to support President Barack Obama. Marick Masters, professor of business at Wayne State University, said the partisan split on favorability toward labor could make it difficult to shift views about unions. "We're in a very divided political economy right now, where opinions are polarized," he said.