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Today FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project announce "Backroom Deal" - a joint television advertising campaign that urges John Deere employees to take action to save their jobs.
The ads inform employees that Deere is lobbying for a national cap-and-trade law which may result in significant job losses. The ad urges employees to call the John Deere's compliance hotline.
"Employees need to take action to protect their jobs. Cap-and-trade will raise the cost of energy, which will drive high-paying manufacturing jobs overseas. As energy prices soar, Deere can shift its manufacturing to overseas plants in China, Brazil or India leaving its U.S.-based employees out in the cold. It's time for Deere's employees to voice opposition against a company policy that endangers their jobs," said Matt Kibbe, President and CEO of FreedomWorks.
Deere is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) - a lobbying coalition of companies and environmental special interest groups that is pushing for cap-and-trade legislation. Capping carbon emissions will lead to higher energy prices, slower economic growth and an increase in jobs losses.
"Deere's management should side with its employees and its customers in the agricultural community instead of aligning its policies with President Obama's progressive attack on fossil fuels, which provide 85% of our energy needs. Special interest backroom deals are ruining our country. Now is the time for employees to challenge corporate policies that will hamper economic growth and reduce our competitiveness," said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., of the National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project.
"We challenged Deere CEO Samuel Allen about his support of cap-and-trade at John Deere's annual shareholder meeting in February, but Allen has remained steadfast in keeping Deere in USCAP -- even though Deere's competitor, Caterpillar, left the coalition and the American Farm Bureau opposes cap-and-trade. It's time for us to raise the ante," said Deneen Borelli, Project 21 Fellow.
General Electric, Dupont, Alcoa and Dow Chemical are also corporate members of USCAP. BP, Caterpillar and ConocoPhillips recently ended their membership in the lobbying organization.
"Employees of USCAP-member companies must be told about a company policy that may put them on the unemployment line. We may run similar advertising targeting one or more USCAP companies. Public policy is a contact sport and employees can no longer afford to stand on the sidelines," added Tom Borelli.
The TV ads will broadcast in Moline, Illinois, and Waterloo, Iowa, cities in which Deere has its headquarters and manufacturing facilities. The ads will run in April on CNN, Fox News, Headline News (HLN) and on the History channel. The ad can be viewed by clicking here.
FreedomWorks and the National Center for Public Policy Research can be visited online at www.freedomworks.org and www.nationalcenter.org respectively.