As the result of pressure from unions and progressive groups, Google executives have ended the Internet search engine’s membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
Facebook too unfriended the right-wing ALEC as it joined Google and Yelp and more than 106 corporations and non-profits that now have severed ties with the right- wing legislation machine.
That list includes Coca Cola, Kraft, General Electric, Walmart, General Motors and Microsoft.
Funded by the Koch brothers and other major corporate interests, ALEC designs state legislation to further their corporate agendas, almost always at the expense of working families, unions and their allies.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers played major roles in the push to get Google to dump ALEC. They drafted a letter that was signed also by the Communications Workers, the Teamsters, the Steelworkers, the United Food and Commercial Workers and the AFL-CIO and by non-union groups including Good Jobs First, the Alliance for Retired Americans, and Working America.
The groups had succeeded earlier this month in getting Microsoft to dump ALEC.
ALEC held secret meetings in Dallas recently and in Chicago last year where it drafted legislation in two major categories: a set of bills to kill clean energy programs in the states and another to end Internet neutrality.
Unions were heavily involved in the campaign to pressure Google into dumping ALEC because the right wing “stink tank,” as many in the labor movement call it, is notorious for its anti-labor bills and other related right wing laws.
Destruction of unions and collective bargaining rights have been high on the group’s agenda so unions are celebrating today’s announcement.
ALEC was also behind the Stand Your Ground law that led to a night watch “volunteer” shooting dead an unarmed black teen, Trayvon Martin.
The unions involved in the campaign have spent two years flooding ALEC members with petitions from hundreds of thousands of Americans demanding that they sever ties. The latest protest letter to Google from the unions and their allies described ALEC as a “dating service” for politicians and corporate lobbyists.