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Union Members Give Out Free Hugs at Carolina Fest, Invite People to “Hug-A-Union Thug”

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Media Advisory for September 3, 2012

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, 336-255-2711, [email protected]


Union members show they don’t bite, share values with other working families

(CHARLOTTE, NC, August 27, 2012) – Union members will give out free hugs to the public as part of a “Hug-A-Thug” action during Carolina Fest and hand out “thank you cards” to workers to recognize that, no matter what they do, their work makes America strong. The hugs and the cards are the main attractions at a booth hosted by the North Carolina State AFL-CIO to break down stereotypes of who union members are and to showcase ways that our work connects us all, union member or non-union member.

The booth will also feature videos about union members active in their communities: hosting food drives, running the Guide Dogs of America program, and union veterans who have come back from Afghanistan and are now rebuilding the World Trade Center. Activists will be taking photos of people hugging “union thugs” and promoting the #HugAThug hashtag, the website, and an interactive online site called

“The ‘Hug-A-Thug’ booth and the educational information provided are part of a broad, long-term initiative by America’s unions to be a voice for all working people – whether your name is on your front pocket or the front office,” said NC State AFL-CIO president James Andrews. “This initiative is not about legislation, policy or politics – it’s something more fundamental, which is to reach out to all Americans with the message that unions – working people standing up together – share the same values around hard work that drives America forward.”

WHO: Union members and Carolina Fest attendees

WHAT: Unions members giving out free hugs to the public and taking photos, handing out “thank you” cards to workers

WHERE: Carolina Fest, Tryon Street between Trade and Stonewall, Charlotte, NC

WHEN: Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2012, from 11am to 6pm

VISUAL: Union members hugging community members and handing out thank-you cards to workers