The U.S. Chamber's Groundbreaking Grassroots "Virtual March"
In 2007 the Chamber played an essential part in defeating the poorly-named "Employee Free Choice Act," which would have eliminated the use of private ballots in union elections.
The Chamber partnered with the Adfero Group to develop an inventive, online platform which allowed members and others from across the country to participate in a march on Capitol Hill without the added expense of traveling to Washington, D.C. This "virtual march" generated over 30,000 contacts with Capitol Hill in less than five days and the private ballot elimination legislation was ultimately defeated.
Many Chamber members are small business owners, deeply affected by this and other issues. These members often can't attend grassroots events in the Nation's capital, because they don't have the time or finances to spare.
Unlike traditional write-in campaigns, the "virtual march" gave an exciting, personalized experience to individual activists that presented each of them with a unique online identity. It proved credible to Congress by letting them know that real people representing real districts were devoted to this cause.
The Chamber's innovative campaign received recognition at the 2008 Public Affairs Council Grassroots Conference.
The Chamber's unparalleled advocacy in opposition to the card check bill was critical to ensuring its defeat in 2007.
However, that battle was just a warm-up act.
The real fight will take place next year, when organized labor is expected to pull out all the stops to push through the card check bill. The Chamber is working hard to educate members of Congress and the public about the implications of this bill in order to preserve the ability of workers to make the important choice about unionization in the privacy of a voting booth, rather than in public, before a union organizer.