The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is fast becoming the smelly kid at school no one wants to sit next to.
Yesterday, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce publicly distanced itself from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, becoming the second Local Chamber group in less than a week to speak out against the parent organization. Seattle Chamber President and CEO Phil Bussey released a policy statement to clarify the matter, saying:
In short, we are the "captains of our own destiny" and our positions are not dictated by the U.S. Chamber on this or any other matter.
On Saturday, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce expressed their distaste for the U.S. Chamber's opposition to required sick leave for employees via Twitter:
And just in case there was any lingering confusion on how the CO Chamber feels....their President and CEO Susan Morris Graf reiterated the progressive business organization's stance in a LTE in local Boulder publication The Daily Camera--stressing this one point:
The Boulder Chamber is completely unaffiliated with the U.S. Chamber. They are a membership association and we have chosen not to be a member.
The Local CO Chamber is asking people to join ARAW's "Not My Chamber" petition. Since its launch on Friday, this Twitter (act.ly) petition has garnered the second most retweets of any act.ly petition in the site's history.
Other Local Chambers that have distanced themselves from the U.S. Chamber include the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, the Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. "Paid sick days [are] a matter of basic fairness," said Quenia Abreu of the New York Women's Chamber of Commerce.
A new study from The National Partnership for Women & Families finds that paid sick leave is required in 14 of the world's 15 most economically competitive countries--with the United States being the lone exception. "What does it say when Lesotho and Papua New Guinea are implementing paid sick days to give their businesses and their entire nation a competitive edge, yet America still does not get it?" said Chairwoman Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) In a country where fifty-seven million working people don't have a single paid sick day, it's clear this country could be doing a much better job adopting policies that support workers and families.
We also think that organizations that claim to represent the interests of their members...should actually begin representing the interests of their members. Sign our petition to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce - tell them to stop lobbying against paid sick leave for H1N1.