Food safety attorney Bill Marler is using social media to encourage other law firms to show support for public union employees in Wisconsin. Marler is closing his law firm early Friday as a gesture of solidarity and as a protest against the state’s efforts to reduce collective bargaining power for Wisconsin public union employees.

As the mounting pressure in Madison, Wisconsin, over Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to severely reduce the power of public unions seeps out to the rest of the nation, pro-union supporters in every major city are doing whatever they can to show support and solidarity with public union employees in Wisconsin. One such man is Bill Marler, an attorney made famous for representing victims of foodborne illness outbreaks.

Marler has decided to close his Seattle law firm early on Friday, March 11 in a show of support for union employees nationwide. He first posted the move on his blog and then took to Twitter, encouraging other lawyers to do the same. Many are following by sending out their own Tweets and enlisting their own followers.

“I believe we owe a debt to the union employees who keep our society moving,” said Marler. “Times are economically challenging, but it’s short sided and socially unconscionable to so greatly devalue the work of those who fix our roads, drive our buses, and, not to mention, educate our children.”

Marler is well versed in social media and Internet communication: his firm publishes 30 Websites and blogs, including an online newspaper – Food Safety News – and heavily utilizes social media. He has seen the impact a strong Internet presence can make in improving food safety, and believes positive acts can create a ripple effect.

“Closing my firm early is a very small gesture but through Twitter and the like we can make a bigger, unified statement as word gets out to other businesses that might consider doing the same.”