Over this past Labor Day weekend, American Rights at Work teamed up with Actors' Equity, AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Major League Baseball Players Association in support of what we called a "Labor Day Tweet-a-thon."
We asked participants to use the #unionmember hash-tag from Friday through Monday, and what a response we saw! Tweeps using this hash-tag included a fantastic mix of rank and file and celebrity union members - all of them proud to be tweeting their #unionmember pride over the Labor Day holiday.
The goal of the Tweet-a-thon was to celebrate unions and their members, as well as the benefits of being in a union not only for workers in show business and professional athletics, but in every industry.
From the world of professional baseball, folks who lent their voice to our Labor Day campaign included players such as Evan Longoria, Paul Malholm, Hunter Pence, and Adam Jones. Many actors also participated, including CSI: New York's Hill Harper, Candace Cameron of Full House and Make it or Break It, and Yvette Nicole Brown of NBC's Community who chimed in as well. And of course there were performers and musicians, from Nancy Sinatra to Chris Shiflett of The Foo Fighters.
Tweets ran the gamut from straightforward to surprising, including examples such as Minnesota centerfielder Denard Span who tweeted that "Becoming a union member is like hitting a homerun," while actor Emily Bergl tweeted, "If I wasn't a #unionmember, I wouldn't have health insurance, so I couldn't afford to visit my hot dentist."
And to show our appreciation for helping make last weekend's Labor Day Tweet-a-thon such a great success - reaching over one million twitter users - we wanted to post a giant FollowFriday of just a sample of the countless folks who tweeted - and conotinue to tweet - their #unionmember pride:MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PLAYERS:
- Evan Longoria (@Evan3Longoria). Tampa Bay third baseman: Happy Labor Day to @MLB fans! Nothing like September baseball in a penant chase but I am reminded today how great it is to be a #unionmember
- Michael Cuddyer (@mcuddy5), Minnesota outfielder: What's the only thing better than a walk-off homer? Being a #unionmember!
- Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan4457), Pittsburgh pitcher: Happy labor day to everyone, proud to be a #unionmember of the best union ever, with @MLB
- Hunter Pence (@HunterPence9), Houston outfielder: Hope everyone is enjoying a nice relaxing Labor Day, just want to send thanks to the people who work hard for us @MLB_PLAYERS #unionmember
- Will Rhymes (@willrhymes), Detroit second baseman: Another close one today...hope everyone is enjoying Labor Day! @MLB wouldn't be where it is today without @MLB_PLAYERS #unionmember Thanks!!
- Brian Bixler (@bixler10)Washington shortstop: and happy labor day to everyone too. proud to be a #unionmember of the #mlb.
- Denard Span (@thisisdspan), Minnesota outfielder: Becoming a union member is like hitting a homerun
- Paul Maholm (@Maholm28), Pittsburgh pitcher: Happy labor day everyone. Hope ur being safe. What a great game today go bucs. Also a proud #unionmember of the great #mlb.
- Adam Jones, (@THE_ADAM_JONES), Baltimore outfielder: A happy Labor Day to the workers that make our country and world work in the fashion it does. And the past ppl that got us to where were at
- Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra), recording artist: It's Labor Day weekend and I am a proud #unionmember. We must keep our work forces strong. In solidarity, friends.
- Candace Cameron Bure (@candacecbure), "Full House" and "Make It or Break It" star: I'm a #sagmember #unionmember. Happy Labor Day http://umem.us
- Hill Harper (@hillharper), "CSI:NY" star: RT @SAGNews: Thx 4 supporting Labor Day Tweet-a-Thon @HillHarper @RJmitte & many more in support of unions #unionmember #sagmember Tweet on!
- Ashley Leggat (@AshleyLeggat), "Life with Derek" and "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen" star: @araw I am a very proud #unionmember
- Sharon Lawrence (@Sharonlawrence), "NYPD Blue" star and Broadway legend: Happy Labor Day from a proud union #sagmember #union member!
- Emily Bergl (@EmilyBergl), actor and upcoming "Desperate Housewife": If I wasn't a #unionmember, I wouldn't have health insurance, so I couldn't afford to visit my hot dentist.
- Cristián de la Fuente (@iamdelafuente), "In Plain Sight" star and former "So You Think You Can Dance" contestant: Happy labor Day to all my "amigos" @ScreenActors and colleagues #unionmember
- Michelle Shocked (@MShocked), singer-songwriter: Supporting the Labor Day Tweet-a-thon...United we stand. The Union makes us strong #unionmember #sagmember #afmmember
- Chris Shiflett (@chrisshiflett71), lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters: #unionmember #AFTRAmember This labor day let's all remember who brought us the weekend - THE LABOR MOVEMENT!!!! Union strong...
- Kate Linder, (@KATELINDER), "The Young and the Restless" star: RT AFTRA @KateLinder Thx for your service as a Union Leader on the AFTRA Los Angeles Board and Tweeting for Labor Day! #AFTRAmember #unionmember
- Yvette Nicole Brown (@yvettenbrown), NBC's "Community" star: Happy Labor Day, Everybody! : ) I'm proud to be a card carrying #unionmember #sagmember #AFTRAmember (@ScreenActors @Aftra)
- R J Mitte (@RjMitte), "Breaking Bad" star: A collective unified voice is a powerful force im a proud union member. #SAGmember #unionmember tweet for labor!
- Bob Butler (@bobbutler7), broadcast journalist and reporter for KCBS San Francisco: What do Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Grammy winners have in common? They are proud union members. #unionmember #AFTRAmember
- Tim Matheson (@Tim_Matheson), actor, director and producer: Me too! RT DennisDePew: Very blssd that I'm a #Unionmember of @ScreenActors @AFTRA & @ActorsEquity & that I hav a #Pens & Hlth/Dntl plan
- Debbie Campbell (@debbiecampbell), actor: "Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living." --Mother Jones. Proud #unionmember: SAG/AFTRA/AEA. Happy Labor Day!
- Scott Klein (@ScottJKlein), actor, producer, retired baseball player: RT @ScreenActors: @ScreenActors = 77 years of union protections for SAG members. #unionmember #SAGMember Membership has it's privileges
- Louanne Sirota (@Louanimal), Broadway actor known for portraying Annie: Proud #unionmember here to celebrate Labor Day -- ShowBiz style! #AFTRAmember (since 1979) #SAGmember (since 1980) #AEAmember (since 1980)!
- Jaret Reddick (@jaret2113), lead vocalist for Bowling for Soup: Headed to rock for the troops in Cuba! Have an amazing and safe holiday weekend!! I hope there's queso!! JR #unionmember #sagmember
- Bobby Rivers (@BobbyRiversTV), TV network personality and former VH1 talk show host: My thanks to actor/writer/dir. Melvin Van Peebles who helped me become a member of @ScreenActors in '88. #SAGmember #unionmember
- ANT (@antcomic), stand up comedian: Best career advice: become a #unionmember http://umem.us #AFTRAmember #ANTcomic
- D. W. Moffett (@DWMoffett), "Friday Night Lights" star: Labor Day, made possible by the labor movement.....have a good one! #AFTRAmember #unionmember
- Jeremy Redleaf (@theleafisred), creator of Streamy Award winning web series "Odd Job Nation": Without SAG, AFTRA & AEA, I'd probably perform for free. Heck, I'd end up paying *them*... proud to be a #unionmember http://umem.us
- Woody Schultz (@UGottaWoody), actor, producer, and performance capture artist for digital films, including Avatar: Happy Labor Day, y'all! Without #SAGmember #AFTRAmember #unionmember I wouldn't have this: http://bit.ly/d7Mknk Thx!
- Madisen Beaty, (@madisenofficial), "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" star: I'm a proud #unionmember/#sagmember - to all @ScreenActors - Happy Labor Day!! RT
Kimberly Freeman Brown is Executive Director of leading labor policy and advocacy organization American Rights at Work, www.americanrightsatwork.org.