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First they came...
First they came for the progressives. But there were lots of progressives, so I said nothing.
Then they came for the unions. And I was not a union, so I said nothing.
Then they came for the worker centers – and it started getting a little close to home.
The anti-worker sentiment from groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is nothing new for us. We have stood against the Chamber before, and we will do it again.
But this latest attack, from a group called the Center for Union Facts, is targeting worker centers – and has a flashy new website to prove it. The website, workercenters.com, claims that worker centers are just front groups for labor unions, and tries to get people to report worker centers for “harassing or attacking employees.” The group is armed with a mighty budget – north of $3.2 million – and has taken out ads in the Wall Street Journal.
It is outrageous that these deep-pocketed fear mongers try to cast employees of worker centers as greedy, old-time union bosses trying to steal the hard-earned wages of workers.
In reality, worker centers are community-based organizations that organize and support low-wage workers who are not members of a union and are experiencing labor abuses. Most worker centers focus on immigrant workers. And the equally hard-working employees of worker centers are not exactly raking in huge salaries (please note the sarcasm – worker center employees are low-wage themselves).
As you and I both know, worker centers have reformed countless workplaces to help workers. They have fought and are continuing to push for livable wages and safe jobs for millions of Americans across the country.
The misguided website calls out our allies at ARISE, the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), and OUR Walmart – not to mention Fast Food Forward, which is leading the multi-city fast food strikes in an effort to increase the minimum wage; Hotel Workers Rising, and the Retail Action Project, among other organizations.
Please stand with us in supporting the work of our allies at worker centers across the country. To start with, help us to shed light on the anti-worker PR campaign attempting to discredit and disassemble worker centers. Then, share your stories about how worker centers have helped – whether it’s you personally, someone you know, an organization you work with, or anything else.
Help us counter the PR onslaught and change the message to the good work that these organizations are doing. Hey, why not take advantage of this moment in the spotlight, right?