October 22, 2020
Election Explainer – NC Labor Commissioner
After decades of disappointment, the chance for a new start
For two decades, the health, safety, and wages of workers in North Carolina have all been neglected by the agency that sets standards for how employers treat and compensate their workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, things have only gotten worse. The good news is that we have the power to elect a new Labor Commissioner this year, and unions of working people have endorsed Jessica Holmes.
Right now, the Department of Labor has been lead by Cherie Berry, someone who prioritizes big business over North Carolina workers. Not only has Berry not addressed a single complaint made during the pandemic, but for the past twenty years she has done nothing to improve conditions for North Carolina workers. In numbers that looks like:
- A 63% increase in worker deaths since 2013
- 1 workplace safety inspector for every 2,531 worksites
- Zero investigation into any of the 10,000 employer retaliation cases filed by workers
Enter Jessica Holmes
Jessica Holmes comes from a working family. The daughter of a working mother who lost her finger in a meatpacking plant, Holmes knows firsthand the consequences of dangerous workplace conditions and how that impacts workers and their families. She is a champion of working people, and as a Wake County Commissioner, she secured higher wages for Wake County Public Schools and challenged county officials to create affordable housing for all people
We need Jessica Holmes as Labor Commissioner to bring power back to the working people of North Carolina. The Department of Labor has the power to set standards to keep workers safe, ensure they receive their earned wages, and protect them from retaliatory acts by their employer. This has always been important, but during a pandemic, the Department of Labor is a vital office. We need someone who won’t wait for employers to do the right thing and will instead move proactively to ensure workers have the conditions and wages they rightly deserve.
Jessica Holmes will make the mission of the Department of Labor to keep workers safe and able to provide for their families during the pandemic and beyond. Now more than ever we need a Labor Commissioner who is pro-worker.
Vote for Jessica Holmes and help us fight for workers across the state!