Skip to comments.Labor tries to soften image with 'hug a union thug' booth in Charlotte
Posted on 09/03/2012 3:37:03 AM PDT by Libloather
Labor tries to soften image with 'hug a union thug' booth in Charlotte
By Kevin Bogardus - 09/03/12 05:00 AM ET
This Labor Day, unions are trying a mix of celebrity, social media and humor to polish up the labor movements image in the eyes of everyday people.
In Charlotte, people will be asked to hug a union thug at a CarolinaFest booth sponsored by the North Carolina State AFL-CIO the day before the Democratic National Convention officially begins. Also in honor of Monday, videos are being posted online thanking workers while actors and athletes will use Twitter to express support for union rights.
The effort comes as labor has seen increased attacks from Republican-controlled state legislatures and governors since the 2010 elections. Unions were unsuccessful in their attempt earlier this summer to oust Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) after he pushed through legislation that curbed some public workers collective bargaining rights.
MaryBe McMillan, secretary-treasurer for the North Carolina State AFL-CIO, said the state labor federation wanted to break down stereotypes regarding union members by dishing out the hugs.
We see this as an opportunity to dispel that stereotype that union members are mean, scary and violet. What better way to disarm folks than to hug them? McMillan said. Union members take care of you in the hospital, deliver your packages and sit next you in church. We are just average folks.
McMillan hopes the hugs will help draw people into the federations booth, which will show videos of union members running the Guide Dogs of America program, rebuilding the Word Trade Center and so on. Further, expect to see photos of people embracing union members at unionhugs.com.
This will help draw people into our exhibit space and we will be able to show them how unions help build the middle class and why they should support the right to organize, McMillan said.
The cuddle campaign will be only one aspect of labors effort to highlight union members and other workers good deeds.
The AFL-CIO is asking people online to thank workers for the jobs they do every day. In one video, actor Martin Sheen of The West Wing thanked his newspaper delivery person.
Union leaders, like Leo Gerard of the United Steelworkers, Harold Schaitberger of the International Association of Fire Fighters and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, also contributed videos.
In an email sent to activists last week, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler asked people to post videos and thank workers.
No matter what you do, work connects us all. We depend on one anothers work. Together, its how we build, create, teach, re-wire, heal and grow whats important, Shuler said in the email. On behalf of everyone at the AFL-CIO, and the millions of workers were proud to represent: thanks for the work you do. It means the world to us.
Others are taking to Twitter to support union members.
American Rights at Work, a worker rights advocacy group, along with several unions including the Major League Baseball Players Association, the National Football League Players Association as well as the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have organized a Labor Day Weekend tweet-a-thon.
Actors and athletes will be on Twitter to show support for union members and say theyre proud to be part of organized labor, signing their tweets with #unionmember.
The appeal to peoples softer side is necessary to counter union opponents attempts to undermine labor, according to union leaders.
Especially considering the attacks on workers and unions over the past two years, it is definitely incumbent upon us to fight back against the stereotypes and the propaganda of the other side, McMillan said.
The soft sell also comes as Democrats head into Charlotte for their convention. The choice of Charlotte angered several in labor due to North Carolinas status as a right-to-work state and having the lowest union density in the country.
I understand national labor leaders' discontent with the convention being held in an anti-union state like North Carolina, McMillan said.
But the North Carolina union leader cited several reasons on why Charlotte could benefit labor, such as the convention giving jobs to the unemployed as well as union members; the event would highlight labor's struggle for worker rights in North Carolina; and the convention could help Democratic candidates down the ticket in the state.
For all those reasons, I think it's good that the convention is here, McMillan said.
Another criminal enterprise
If the local RNC hasn’t already posted several interns on a couple of strategically located street corners with a fist full of tens making the offer to every crackhead, he-she, and homeless occupy dude around of ten now...ten after....go hug a thug.
Why am I remninded of a scorpion and a frog?
When I was a skinny teen, not even fully grown, two muscular union thugs threatened me over a “labor issue” with my summer job. I will never forgive unions for that crime and for the hundreds of thousands of similar crimes committed in the name of the AFL/CIO, Teamsters, UAW, SEIU, and similar corrupt organizations.
Yeah - letting them “give me a hug” is going to result in my learning to love union thugs. They might also want to remember that, in Charlotte, they are preaching to the choir. Those of us who see unions for the robber-barons they are won’t be in attendance.
plug a thug? slug a thug?
“We see this as an opportunity to dispel that stereotype that union members are mean, scary and violent. What better way to disarm folks than to hug them?
I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.
“Hey! Come over here and get a hug. I said get over here!
Yo! I’m talking to you! Either you get a hug or you get the &^%$ beat out of you! Ya hear me? Which’ll it be!!?”
More detail would be interesting
(LINK HAS VIDEOS)
10. August 16, 2011, across the Northeast. Striking Communications Workers of America declare open season on Verizon. Dozens of cases of sabotaged cable lines are reported.
9. February 23, 2011, Washington DC. CWA union thug strikes young female FreedomWorks activist.
8. March 1, 2011, Madison, Wisconsin. Mob rule video: Unhinged crowd corners Wisconsin GOP senator shouting F**k you, Shame! AFSCME, UFCW, SEIU:
7. August 6, 2011, Boston, MA. Local IBEW 827 storms Verizon VP Bill Foshays neighborhood and union members scream Were here to fight in front of his private residence on a weekend afternoon.
6. February 23, 2011, Washington DC. CWA protester screams at FreedomWorks staffer for being a bad Jew!
5. February 27, 2011, Madison WI. Union protesters exhibit Fox News Derangement Syndrome:
Tobin said he has received much heckling, and that a teacher even told him she hates him because it made her feel good. The utter lack of civility and harassment of reporters, as anchor Gregg Jarrett described it, is truly breathtaking and seems like a weird strategy to try and win support for ones cause.
And yes, they threatened to break his neck.
4. February 23, 2011, Columbus, OH. Unhinged union protester fumes: The tea party is a bunch of d**k-sucking corporate butt-lickers who want to crush the working people of this country.
3. March 1, 2011, Denver CO. Racist SEIU supporters taunt gay black Tea Party activist and entrepreneur Leland Robinson, who criticized teachers unions at a Capitol rally, by calling him son, telling him to get behind that fence where you belong, and jeering Do you have any children? That you claim?
2. February 24, 2011, Providence, R.I. Rhode Island union supporter to cameraman Ill f**k you in the ass, you faggot. The eruption starts at 7:32 in this video.
1. February 23, 2011. Democrat Rep. Michael Capuano of Mass. revs up Big Labor goons (starts at 1:50 in the video): Get a little bloody.
“Labor tries to soften image with ‘hug a union thug’ booth in Charlotte”
More to the point, introduce Mr. Union Thug to Ms. Flamethrower. Mmmmmm. Nothing like the smell of roasted union thug!