Businesses boycott Memphis Chamber in response to health care cu - WSMV Channel 4

Businesses boycott Memphis Chamber in response to health care cuts

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It seems that Memphis City Council's vote to cut health benefits instead of raising property taxes has reached far beyond the people they employ. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) It seems that Memphis City Council's vote to cut health benefits instead of raising property taxes has reached far beyond the people they employ. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - In response to recent health care cuts, some businesses are choosing to boycott the Memphis Chamber of Commerce.

It seems that Memphis City Council's vote to cut health benefits instead of raising property taxes has reached far beyond the people the city employs.

Atlas Men's Health Clinic's Robert Booth says they left the Memphis Chamber of Commerce after city leaders' decision to cut health benefits to some city employees and retirees.

It is just one business on a fast growing list who are pulling out of the chamber in support of firefighters and police.

"What the city is attempting to do and what the chamber is sticking their nose into is, in my opinion, a breach of contract," said Robert Booth of the Atlas Men's Health Clinic. "A large portion of my business are Memphis firefighters and police officers."

A former paramedic himself, Booth says police officers and firefighters are the guardians of the night.

Owner of Central Automotives Todd Holiday is also taking a stand for first responders.

"To turn your backs on the people that that's done their time that's done 20, 30 years and there were promised something and to not give it, that to me is just the wrong way to do business," said Holiday.

Meanwhile, Booth says city officials are not being good stewards over tax payer dollars by putting millions into what he calls frivolous projects that may prove to be of little to no benefit to the city.

"River Landing is the first one that comes to mind. Some 40 odd million dollars that was spent on that. That doesn't seem to me to be really a good investment," added Booth.

The Director of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce issued a statement today regarding businesses pulling out saying,

"It is disappointing to hear how the union workers are using scare tactics to intimidate our members. They are bullying small mom and pop businesses and threatening their livelihood and that of their employees."

WMC Action News 5 spoke with several businesses on Friday. None of them said they had been threatened by union workers.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

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