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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) — Union members will be giving out free hugs at a Labor Day celebration of American workers on the eve of the Democratic Convention in Charlotte.

The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is calling Monday’s event “Hug-A-Thug” in an effort to point out union members are valued employees that do important work, not “union thugs,” as some Republicans have portrayed them.

The booth at the Carolina Fest in downtown Charlotte will also include information on unions, and union members will give out thank you cards to workers.

North Carolina is among the least unionized states in the country.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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