- AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka demanded a personal apology from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg after it was revealed the company was working on a feature that could limit union drives.
- “The AFL-CIO demands that Mark Zuckerberg personally apologize to working people, pull this tool immediately, and conduct a board-level investigation into how this product came into existence in the first place,” Trumka said in a statement on Friday.
- Earlier, a spokesperson for Facebook told Business Insider that the company has frozen production on its potentially union-busting feature.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The largest union federation in the United States on Friday blasted Facebook after it was revealed the company was offering to let employers limit unionization efforts on its platform.
Facebook’s Workplace functions as an internal message board for corporate clients, an answer to Slack or Microsoft Teams. This week, The Intercept reported that Facebook was promising those clients the ability to exert “content control” over their respective news feeds. Specifically, it said companies could suppress the word “unionize.”
That didn’t sit well with the AFL-CIO, which represents more than 12.5 million union members.
“Employers censoring their employees’ speech about unionizing is illegal,” President Richard Trumka said in a June 12 statement. “The AFL-CIO demands that Mark Zuckerberg personally apologize to working people, pull this tool immediately, and conduct a board-level investigation into how this product came into existence in the first place.”
Earlier, a spokesperson for Facebook told Business Insider that the company has frozen production on its potentially union-busting feature.
“While these kinds of content moderation tools are useful for companies, this example was poorly chosen and should never have been used,” the spokesperson said. “The feature was only in early development and we’ve pulled any plans to roll it out while we think through next steps.”
Trumka also called on Facebook to “embrace global labor rights standards for all its 48,000 workers and for its contractors who employ tens of thousands more,” remain neutral to efforts to unionize and recognize employee unions.
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