Union Members Gather in Raleigh to Lobby Lawmakers on Raising Wages

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For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, jeremy@aflcionc.org, 336-255-2711

NC AFL-CIO Union Members Gather in Raleigh to Lobby Lawmakers on Raising Wages

Working families unveil “A Working People’s Agenda” at two-day 2015 Labor Legislative Conference

RALEIGH, N.C. (February 10, 2015) – Union members from across the state are in Raleigh today and tomorrow for the rollout of “A Working People’s” legislative agenda (bit.ly/2015-16-NCAFL) at their biennial labor legislative conference and lobby day. Labor’s legislative agenda of raising wages in order to achieve shared prosperity for all includes proposals for state lawmakers that would create good jobs, strengthen the safety net, and protect workers and consumers from predatory business practices.

During lobby visits on Tuesday, AFL-CIO members will focus on the problem of worker misclassification, a scandal exposed by the News & Observer’s “Contract to Cheat” reporting last year that cheats workers out of their wages and cheats North Carolina out of $467 million a year in uncollected taxes. Union members will urge their lawmakers to pass legislation that will truly hold cheating employers liable so that violating the law will be more costly than obeying the law.

“We have adopted an agenda that addresses the most fundamental need of North Carolina’s workers: the need to earn enough to provide for ourselves and our families,” said state AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan. “All the issues we care about can be tied together under the framework of raising wages.”

Raising wages means good jobs, strong workplace protections, and an adequate safety net. It means creating an economic system where everyone prospers. “After all, if workers were fully employed and earned decent wages, consumer spending would increase and tax revenue would rise for all levels of government,” said James Andrews, state AFL-CIO President. “What’s good for workers is good for all of us.”

The schedule of events for the Labor Legislative Conference is as follows:

8:30 AM Tues – General session featuring Sen. Josh Stein and Rep. Larry Hall; legislative agenda debut by state AFL-CIO leaders James Andrews and MaryBe McMillan; issue briefing on worker misclassification by AFL-CIO general counsel Mike Okun.

10:45 AM Tues – Citizen lobbying at the North Carolina General Assembly

6:30 / 7:00 PM Tues – Reception with lawmakers followed by legislative banquet featuring Triangle workers with the Fight for $15 and feat. Rep. Garland E. Pierce, who will receive the AFL-CIO’s “Friend of Workers” award for his service to working people in the General Assembly

9:00 AM Wed – Federal issue briefing feat. National AFL-CIO Legislative Director Bill Samuel followed by a panel discussion on important North Carolina issues featuring speakers from Democracy NC, the NC Justice Center, and the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of NC.

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The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of local unions and union councils in North Carolina, representing union members fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working families. PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.