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Statement on Premiere of TV’s “Undercover Boss”

September 24, 2010

Zoe Bridges-Curry
(202) 822-2127 x122
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Washington, D.C. -With a record 43 million Americans living in poverty, despite record profits on Wall Street, there’s no question that CEOs in this country need a wake-up call. But the second season of CBS’s “Undercover Boss” isn’t that wake-up call—it’s more like a love letter.
As the show’s first season made abundantly clear, what “Undercover Boss” offers featured companies is a much-needed PR boost, and millions of dollars worth of free advertising on network television. You don’t have to look far to see that this year is no different.

According to CBS, Steve Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels, will be the focus of this season’s premiere episode, airing Sunday.  With a well-documented history of campaigning in opposition to healthcare reform and the Employee Free Choice Act, Joyce actively fights not only against his own employees, but against any worker trying to get a fair shake. And it’s hard to imagine that a few days on this faux-reality show will transform him into a responsible business leader who will respect employees’ rights, compensate them fairly, and advocate for, not against, America’s workers.

More importantly, a schmaltzy, feel-good storyline isn’t going to do it for the working families facing sky-high unemployment, stagnant wages, and a $66 trillion retirement gap. To revamp our economy and rebuild our dwindling middle class, we have to protect workers’ rights to form unions and bargain collectively for a brighter future. Make no mistake, when the cameras stop rolling, those are the same rights and protections that most ‘undercover’ bosses continue to fight at every turn.

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American Rights at Work – http://www.americanrightsatwork.org – is the nation’s leading labor policy and advocacy organization dedicated to educating the American public about the barriers that workers face when they attempt to exercise their rights to freely and fairly form unions and engage in collective bargaining.