Unions to Google: dump ALEC

WASHINGTON (PAI) — Citing the secretive radical right lobby’s opposition to Internet neutrality and to clean energy, unions and progressive groups, led by the Teachers, are calling upon Google executives to dump the Internet search engine’s membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Signers include the Communications Workers, the Teamsters, the Steelworkers, AFSCME, Good Jobs First, the Alliance for Retired Americans, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees, the United Food and Commercial Workers and Working America. In early September, the letter’s signers add, Microsoft dropped ALEC for those same two reasons.

The leaders’ letter to Google cites seminars at ALEC’s recent secret meeting in Dallas, where its right wing lobbyists huddled with their business backers to draft and push legislation nationwide on those two issues and others.

“The public knows that the ALEC operation – which brings state legislators and corporate lobbyists behind closed doors to discuss proposed legislation and share lavish dinners – threatens our democracy. The public is asking Google to stop participating in this scheme,” their letter adds. Google executives have yet to respond.

ALEC is notorious for its radical right agenda, including a wide range of anti-worker laws: Destruction of unions and collective bargaining rights, cuts in workers’ comp and more. Even before that, ALEC became infamous for pushing a “Stand Your Ground” law through the GOP-run Florida legislature. That let a neighborhood watch “volunteer” shoot dead unarmed African-American teenager Trayvon Martin. The shooting sparked nationwide protest.

At least 80 corporations decamped from ALEC. Now the unions want Google to do so, too.

“Over the past two years, hundreds of thousands of Americans have signed petitions in order to ask that you take this step because of the role ALEC has played in subverting our democratic process,” especially in funding and funneling corporate cash – without disclosure of sources – to politicians, the letter says. It also calls ALEC a “dating service” for politicians and corporate lobbyists and says ALEC is known for “pushing an extreme corporate agenda at the expense of the American people.”

Photo: Act now to get big $$$ out of politics: Together we can make sure everyday Americans have a voice. CWA.




Press Associates Union News Service provides national coverage of news affecting workers, including activism, politics, economics, legislation in Congress and actions by the White House, federal agencies and the courts that affect working people. Mark Gruenberg is Editor in chief and owner of Press Associates Union News Service, Washington, D.C.