AFL-CIO demands Zuckerberg personally apologize for Facebook 'unionize' censorship on Workplace app

Union accused Facebook of helping companies censor employees' speech about unionizing

Facebook's apology following a report that it would allow business administrators to censor words like "unionize" on its office management platform is not good enough, the president of the nation's largest union group said.

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"The AFL-CIO demands that Mark Zuckerberg personally apologize to working people, pull this tool immediately and conduct a board-level investigation into how this product came into existence in the first place," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Trumka also called for Facebook to "embrace global labor rights standards for all its 48,000 workers and for its contractors who employ tens of thousands more."

"Blacklisting is illegal," Trumka wrote. "Employers censoring their employees' speech about unionizing is illegal. Facebook relentlessly presents itself as a champion of free speech, yet here it is marketing itself as a way for corporations to suppress the speech of their employees."

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FOX Business' inquiry to Facebook was not immediately returned.

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Facebook backtracked after The Intercept reported on an internal Facebook presentation during which the company said there are "benefits" to "content control" on Workplace, and gave an example of censoring the word "unionize."

This Oct. 25, 2019 file photo shows Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking at the Paley Center in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

"While these kinds of content moderation tools are useful for companies, this example should never have been used and we apologize for it," a Facebook spokesperson previously told FOX Business. "The feature was only in early development and we’ve pulled any plans to roll it out while we think through next steps."

Walmart, the largest employer in the U.S., uses Facebook's Workplace platform.

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