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Chance Encounter Takes National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler to Fox News Sunday Night

Published Sunday, April 17, 2011 10:00 am
by Reporter Mike Hall/National AFL-CIO News Now Blog

Opportunity can strike at the strangest of times and places.

For National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, who believes in getting the Union Movement’s message out to audiences that normally don’t hear it, that opportunity came on a recent flight from Washington, D.C., to Detroit when Republican Pollster/Strategist and Fox News regular Frank Luntz sat right down in the middle seat next to her.

Because of that encounter, Shuler will be talking about Teachers, Firefighters, Baggage Handlers, Nurses and other Workers and their Unions with Luntz tomorrow night (Sunday, April 17th) on Fox News prime time at 9 p.m. (EDT).

Just minutes before the plane’s doors closed, Luntz, who had been bumped from his first-class seat, came down the aisle and pointed to the dreaded middle seat, says Shuler: “I thought, ‘I know this guy.’  And after he got settled, we introduced ourselves and I said, ‘I’m Liz and I work for the AFL-CIO.’  When he asked me what I did for the AFL-CIO and I told him I was the secretary-treasurer, he was kind of taken aback.”

Shuler says they began talking during the bumpy flight - he’s a bit of a white knuckler - and Luntz outlined what he thought, from a Conservative’s view, the Labor Movement was doing wrong and why it was losing some public support.

Shuler countered with examples of Worker Successes and Union Innovations.

That’s when he offered Shuler an appearance on his show.

“We talk to ourselves a lot.  We really need to be reaching out to audiences we normally don’t talk to and besides a lot of our members do watch Fox.  This is an opportunity to reach some people who may have tuned us out and may even be pretty hostile,” Schuler said.

In the segment taped earlier this week, Shuler appears in a modified Town Hall setting in front of some 30 audience members, divided about equally between people who voted for President Obama in 2008 and those who backed Republican U.S. Senator John McCain.  They ask questions and then respond to Shuler’s answers via electronic devices that register their level of agreement or disagreement.

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