North Carolina union members host ‘Hug-A-Thug’ for convention

While local residents flooded the streets of Charlotte Monday ahead of the Democratic convention, union activists were trying to break down stereotypes and advance their cause by offering the public a chance to “hug a thug.”

The free hugs and “thank you cards” at the “Hug-A-Thug” booth in uptown Charlotte were part of several quirky features at this year’s Carolina Fest, an unofficial kickoff to the convention and a celebration on the side of Southern cuisine – pulled pork, sweet tea, fried pickles and all.

The North Carolina AFL-CIO, which ran the booth, said the set-up was meant to help crush the image of union members as “thugs” – a misperception largely perpetuated by Republican lawmakers, they said.

“We’re passing out free hugs to members of the public, reminding them that union members are hard-working Americans and we make America work just like they do,” the group’s communications director, Jeremy Sprinkle, told “We’re saying have a free union hug, bust the myth about thugs and together we make America work.”



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