(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – A broad-based coalition of 84 organizations has written a letter urging the United Parcel Service (UPS) to cease its membership to the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The religious, environmental, labor, investor, public interest, public health, and civil rights groups encouraged UPS join a mass exodus of companies that left ALEC over concerns about the organization’s extreme agenda and secretive practices.
“For the past few years, hundreds of thousands of UPS customers have asked companies like UPS to end their ALEC membership because of their concerns about the harmful role ALEC has played in our democratic process,” the letter states. “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.”
Just a month ago, ALEC held a nationwide conference in San Diego. Amid closed-door meetings, cigar receptions, and “exclusive” dinners, corporate lobbyists and ALEC officials held workshops to train legislators on a variety of the organization’s agenda items. Among these was a workshop training state legislators how to talk about secret money in our political system. These practices are clearly out of line with the corporate culture and ethical standards expected by UPS’s shareholders and customers.
Over 100 corporations and hundreds of state legislators have dropped their memberships to ALEC in just the past few years. In the last year alone, droves of major corporations including Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yelp, Yahoo, eBay, AOL, SAP, International Paper, Occidental Petroleum, Northrop Grumman, BP, T-Mobile, Shell Oil, and Canadian National Railway discontinued their ALEC memberships. Many of these companies left over concerns that ALEC’s harmful views conflicted with their corporate social responsibility policies. These extreme views, which include defunding public services, worker misclassification, and denying the science of climate change, also conflict with UPS’s corporate values.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.