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50th Annual Convention: It’s a Wrap!

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Our State Federation turned 5-0 earlier this year, and last month delegates from unions and affiliated organizations from across North Carolina gathered in Fayetteville to celebrate our Golden Anniversary on September 20-21, 2007.

To mark the occasion, delegates and their guests in attendance at our Convention Banquet received a special gift - a sapphire blue coffee mug emblazoned with our logo and a packet of union coffee from USA Coffee Company, in addition to a commemorative 50th Anniversary button generously donated by union label Tigereye Design.

The highlight of the 2007 Convention was our banquet keynote speaker, Rev. Dr. William Barber from the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. Rev. Barber gave an amazing, rousing speech about the enduring connection between civil rights, workers rights, and human rights. Rev. Barber challenged everyone in the room to look for the connections in our everyday struggles: the connection between costly war abroad and poverty at home; between the loss of respect for human rights and the ongoing assault on workers' rights. Again and again the reverend repeated, "If you keep the connections alive, you will see the change."

Also at the annual banquet, the NC State AFL-CIO honored United Steelworkers Local 959 with the P. R. Latta Award for outstanding service to the labor movement coming out of their strike against Goodyear Tire Company late last year.

During the daytime sessions Thursday and Friday, delegates took part in a packed program, including speeches from Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue, State Treasurer Richard Moore, and Congressman David Bonior from the John Edwards 2008 campaign, as well as several workshops on topics ranging from healthcare, tax fairness, workers' compensation, and Labor 2008.

Tom Foust accepting resolution in his honorThe convention delegates adopted resolutions that will be used to guide our work over the next year on topics like universal health care, diversity, organizing, and legislation just to name a few. A special resolution honoring the service and devotion of Brother Tom Foust (right) to the NALC and the North Carolina Labor Movement passed unanimously.

Look for a more detailed article on the convention in the upcoming Fall 2007 issue of the Newsletter.