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Liz Shuler makes case for workers' rights in NC

Jeremy Sprinkle
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AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer toured Triangle area

National AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler came to town this week for stops in Raleigh, at Duke, and at UNC Chapel Hill on Monday and Tuesday to talk about how workers' rights are good for workers and good for business and why "right-to-work" for less is wrong for North Carolina.

Click here to see photos of AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler's visit to North Carolina.

Shuler began her visit with lunch in Raleigh as the featured speaker at one of NC Policy Watch's "Crucial Conversations", where she made the case that unions are more vital now than ever in helping the middle class reverse its declining slice of the national income pie. Shuler said a proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine "right-to-work" for less in our state constitution is a mistake, explaining that "right-to-work doesn't give any rights, lowers wages and benefits for ALL workers, and is neither honest nor fair."

Click here to watch video of Liz Shuler's "Crucial Conversation".

Shuler brainstorms with Duke students and faculty.

Shuler brainstorms with Duke students and faculty.

One thing members of the public may not know about unions is that they run food pantries across the United States, and following her lunch presentation in Raleigh, Liz Shuler visited the offices of the North Carolina A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), where she toured their community food bank. Monday evening, Liz Shuler traveled to Duke University to speak to a group of about 30 students and faculty at Duke's Sanford School of Public Policy about why workers' rights are good public policy. After her presentation, Shuler stuck around for small group discussions to brainstorm about ways to fight the proposed anti-worker constitutional amendments. On Tuesday, Shuler ended her visit with a talk at UNC Chapel Hill's School of Law about labor law reform. "It takes an act of heroism to form a union these days," Shuler told gathered students. "It shouldn't, but that's how broken our labor laws are."