The AFL-CIO Is Airing A New “Join A Union” TV Ad. Will It Help?


The American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)—the nation’s largest federation comprised of 56 mostly national unions—has just released a 30-second TV ad as part of its new campaign to boost its falling membership ranks.

Labor unions, as a percentage of the workforce, have been declining almost steadily for more than 60 years.

However, they are trying to make a comeback and, as they have in the past, are using advertising to get their message out.

On Monday, the AFL-CIO announced that it had “launched a television ad campaign highlighting the wave of collective action sweeping the country.”

From union organizing victories to the defeat of “right to work” in Missouri, working people are on the rise. As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka puts it, “Something is happening in America…. When we stand together, we have the power.”

Here’s the ad:

In May, in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus ruling against mandatory union fees in the public sector, the AFL-CIO launched the print portion of its ad campaign, simply calling it “Join a Union.”

May’s print campaign, according to the AFL-CIO’ press release, ran in the “USA Today, the Washington Post and regional newspapers in nine states, including Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Massachusetts.”

AFL-CIO 'Join A Union' print ad on Scribd

Whether the union federation’s ad buys will help unions win more workers over to unions remains to be seen.

In the past, unions have turned to television to try to get its message out with little success.

Here’s a few examples.

You Won’t See Another ‘Union Yes’ Ad Campaign Anytime Soon


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