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AFL-CIO backs Ross for Senate, Cooper for Governor, Meeker for Labor

Jeremy Sprinkle
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For Immediate Release

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, [email protected], 336-255-2711


Working families also back Charles Meeker for Labor Commissioner

RALEIGH, N.C. (January 19, 2016) – A committee of over sixty women and men representing union members in both the private and public sector from across North Carolina met to review completed questionnaires and interview candidates for statewide elected office in Raleigh last Friday. This Committee on Political Education (COPE) recommended the North Carolina State AFL-CIO endorse Deborah Ross for U.S. Senate, Roy Cooper for Governor, and Linda Coleman for Lt. Governor as well as Josh Stein for Attorney General, Dan Blue III for State Treasurer, and former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker for Labor Commissioner. COPE also recommended Elaine Marshall, Wayne Goodwin, Beth Wood, and June Atkinson for re-election as Secretary of State, Insurance Commissioner, State Auditor, and State Superintendent, respectively, and Judge Linda Stephens for Court of Appeals.

The North Carolina State AFL-CIO Executive Board approved all the committee’s recommendations by the requisite two-thirds vote, completing the endorsement process.

“With new representation in the U.S. Senate and new leadership at the helm of state government, we can raise wages and provide economic stability for North Carolina’s working people - and make sure they get paid for the work they do,” said state AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer MaryBe McMillan.

Deborah Ross was a champion for working people during her 10 years in the state legislature, and unlike the man she hopes to replace, Ross supports increasing the federal minimum wage, providing paid leave for U.S. workers, ending gender pay discrimination, and expanding - not cutting - Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Roy Cooper has been a long-time friend and advocate for working people and consumers in his service as Attorney General and as a state lawmaker before that, standing up to corporate bullies and their bought politicians in court and on the campaign trail. Cooper will be the strong, principled governor North Carolina needs to stand up to an out-of-control legislature that has undone decades of progress for working families.

Charles Meeker served five terms as the popular Mayor of Raleigh by dedicating himself to the role, and that dedication to duty is sorely needed at the helm of the North Carolina Department of Labor, where the current Labor Commissioner turns a blind eye toward rampant wage theft and payroll fraud, refuses to crack down on child farm labor, and routinely discounts the severity of workplace safety violations.

North Carolina’s unions commit to doing their part to educate and mobilize union members and their families in support of candidates who seek to uphold the law, not undermine it, and who stand for fairness for all North Carolinians, not just a privileged few.


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.