• Workers Who Win the South Change the Nation

    MaryBe McMillan, Sec-Treas, NC AFL-CIO

    “I believe that workers can change the South and, by doing so, change the country. If only I could get the leaders of the union movement to believe it, too.”

    By MaryBe McMillan, Secretary-Treasurer

    Forty-seven years after the 1963 March on Washington, the union movement and our allies are preparing for our own march in October. Under the banner of One Nation Working Together, union members, civil rights activists and other concerned citizens will rally in support of good jobs, a quality education for every child, immigration reform and workers’ freedom to form a union. Our rallying cry is that we must reverse the dangerous trend toward greater income inequality and finally create an economy that works for all.

    To achieve that goal and to become a truly united nation working together, leaders of the One Nation coalition partners—particularly our nation’s labor leaders—could learn a valuable lesson from that earlier march on Washington: The road to justice and equality must go through the South.

    During the 1963 march, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently illustrated this point when he said:

    “Let freedom ring from the mountains of New York…Pennsylvania….Colorado….California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia….from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee….from every hill and molehill of Mississippi….let freedom ring.”

    Civil rights leaders knew the only way to win freedom for people of color everywhere was to win it first in the most difficult place—the segregated South. That’s why community activists boycotted buses in Montgomery, college students staged sit-ins in Greensboro and sanitation workers walked out in Memphis. Dr. King and other leaders understood that if they could change policies in the heart of Jim Crow, then they could change laws nationally. And they did.

    More than four decades later, national labor leaders should heed Dr. King’s prophetic words. If we want to strengthen the rights of workers everywhere, then we must organize workers in the South.

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  • Charlotte Cabbies Protest Work Conditions

    Drivers want independence from cab companies Cab drivers in Charlotte are protesting city laws requiring all cab operators to be registered with a local cab company. On June 18, dozens gathered outside city hall to draw attention to their fight for independence. Teamsters Local 71 organized the protest to highlight the need to change the […]

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  • Solidarity Rally w/ TSA Employees at Charlotte Airport

    Fight is for collective bargaining rights The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest union of federal workers, has been with employees at the Transportation Security Administration since the department was created in 2002. Workers at TSA, who are the first line of defense at the nation’s airports against terrorist attacks, are not allowed […]

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  • New Rules for Air, Railway Union Elections

    Non-votes no longer counted as “No” votes Air and railway companies have long had an unfair advantage when their workers tried to form a union. Old rules – tossed out today by the National Mediation Board (NMB) – mean workers covered by the Rail Labor Act will no longer have the votes not cast by […]

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  • Rally for TSA Collective Bargaining Rights (5/5)

    Click to download the flyer (opens PDF) Show solidarity w/transport security workers The American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union in the country but also is the largest and most trusted union in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with more than 13,500 dues-paying members and 35 Locals nationwide. AFGE […]

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  • Duke Students Focus on Victory at Moncure Plywood

    Personal stories from strike part of documentary studies presentation The students of the class “Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South” will present the story of the recent strike at Moncure Plywood, as told by the workers themselves. What: Presentation on Victory at Moncure Plywood (download the flyer) When: Wednesday, […]

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