AFL-CIO blasts Charleston chamber seminar on ‘stifling’ unions’ social media tactics
A South Carolina labor group said it will air its objections today to a local business seminar about “stifling the use of social media” by unions trying to organize workers.
The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, which was organizing the workshop, canceled the event Tuesday, citing “lower than expected response.” The seminar was titled, “Social Network Organizing: A New Wave of Protests and Union Organizing.”
While the workshop has been scrapped, the union and the S.C. Progressive Network will hold a news conference today because the chamber said it will post documents from the canceled presentation on its website, said Rob Groce, operations campaign manager for the S.C. AFL-CIO.
Erin McKee, the union’s newly elected statewide president, said the Charleston Metro Chamber is made up of executives who work together to represent their interests. Workers should have the same opportunity, she said.
“That this collective group will instruct its members on how to stifle collective representation of others is almost oxymoronic,” McKee said in a statement.
The Executive Exchange seminar was to be held Thursday morning at the chamber’s North Charleston headquarters.
“New union organizing tactics using social media have emerged nationwide as organized labor groups work to reach and influence employees in numerous industries,” according to a notice about the event posted on the group’s website. “Join us to learn more about such methods as well as potential next steps to ensure your company’s lawful representation and protection of your employees and workplace.”
A representative for the chamber could not be immediately reached for comment.
South Carolina historically has had a low union-membership rate. Gov. Nikki Haley has repeatedly vowed to fight organizing efforts by labor groups.