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54th Convention Wrap Up: This Land is Your Land

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Get inspired to defend it

Delegates from state councils and local unions across North Carolina convened the 54th Annual Convention of the NC State AFL-CIO on September 8th in Charlotte, NC where they took bold action to restructure our labor movement, to chart our organization's future, and to get focused and inspired to rise to the challenges working people will continue to face in the year ahead.

We debuted a new video at the convention, NC: This Land Was Made For You and Me. This short film recaps what has been a year of action and struggle in North Carolina against a new regime in our state legislature, one that has exacted sacrifice upon sacrifice from working families while sparing the corporate executives and special interests which brought it to power from having to sacrifice anything.

Click here to watch the video, then share it at your next union meeting and within your social networks.

Following the video presentation, Mahlon Mitchell, President of the Wisconsin Fire Fighters Association and a leader of that state's resistance to union busting, was joined by United Steelworkers Vice President Fred Redmond and AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer J. David Cox for a powerful panel discussion on the current, nationwide wave of corporate-backed assaults on workers' rights in the private sector and at every level of government.

Reorganizing, recognition, and resolutions

Florida AFL-CIO President Mike Williams addressed our convention about the successful effort in his state federation to reorganize and realign its structures and build power for workers in Florida. Following that and a debate, delegates approved changes to the constitution of our state federation and of our state's Central Labor Councils - changes that will strengthen and streamline governance and lay the groundwork for a more well funded, staffed, and active local labor movement in North Carolina.

At our annual banquet, we presented two recipients with the P.R. Latta Rank-and-File Award. The honorees this year included UAW Local 5285 - Mt. Holly for its successful effort, with the solidarity of other UAW locals here, to enforce its contract, win back wages for wrongfully laid-off employees, and bring thousands of jobs back to our state. Also honored were the Professional Firefighters and Paramedics of North Carolina for organizing a forceful opposition to changes in our Workers' Compensation system pushed by the business lobby, an opposition which lead to compromise instead of getting steam-rolled.

Before the convention adjourned, delegates adopted 14 resolutions to guide the work of the NC State AFL-CIO for the next year, including a resolution honoring attorney and long-time labor advocate Hank Patterson, another supporting tobacco farmworkers in their campaign for justice from Reynolds American, and another calling on all workers and union members to defend the American Postal Service.

Click here to read the resolutions adopted at our 54th Annual Convention (PDF).

Click here for pictures from our 54th Annual Convention.

The 2012 convention will return to Raleigh, NC. We hope to see you there!