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North Carolina Needs Unions! Town Hall in Durham (6/14/18)

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Advisory for June 14, 2018

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

North Carolina Needs Unions!

Elected Officials, Candidates for State/Federal Office to Hold Town Hall with Fast-Food, Academic, Domestic, Public Sector, Federal, Skilled Trades, and Other Workers Calling for More Union Jobs, Higher Wages to Make North Carolina Stronger

Thursday, June 14th 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Durham

WHAT: A first-of-its-kind town hall in North Carolina for working people from across economic sectors to challenge candidates and elected officials on ways to strengthen the freedom to join together in unions. The roundtable discussion/town hall meeting with fast-food, academic, domestic, public sector, federal, skilled trades, and other workers will highlight the need to make it easier for working people to join together in unions to raise wages and create thriving communities.

WHO:  Linda Coleman and Jeff Matemu, candidates, 2nd Congressional District; other elected officials/candidates; MaryBe McMillan, President, NC State AFL-CIO; Essie Hogue, President, V.A. workers union, AFGE Local 1738; Nathanette Mayo, President, NC Public Service Workers Union, UE Local 150; Laila Nur, Durham for All; Robert Korstad, Professor of History and Public Policy, Duke University; Jess Issacharoff, Graduate Assistant, Duke University, and Co-Chair, SEIU Southern Region Workers United Local 27; Tolanda Barnett, Child Care Teacher, Durham; fast-food and domestic workers in Fight for $15; Michelle Burton, Durham Association of Educators; union workers in the public sector, service sector, higher-education, manufacturing, and skilled trades; The roundtable is being organized by the Durham Workers Assembly.

WHEN: Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 6:30p (social), 7:00p (program)

WHERE: CAARE, Inc,214 Broadway Street, Durham, NC 27701

PHOTO/VIDEO AND INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES: Candidates for state and federal office and elected officials answering audience questions; workers with personal stories about workplace issues; rank-and-file union members and leaders sharing their experiences with workplace organizing; community organizers; an exhibit on North Carolina labor history

More Info:

Working people who care for our veterans, serve our food, teach our kids, and others whose labor makes America work will discuss why more people exercising their freedom to join together in strong unions is the best way to confront inequality and lift the 64 million Americans paid less than $15/hour out of poverty. People who already belong to a union will explain how having a voice on the job has empowered them to win higher pay and better benefits to support themselves and their families.

At the town hall, fast-food cooks and cashiers, university faculty, public service workers, and other working people will challenge the elected officials and candidates to lay out their plans for unrigging a system that benefits the wealthy, at the expense of the few, and to explain how they see unions playing a role in leveling the playing field in North Carolina.


The laws that gave Americans the right to form unions and build the middle class in the 20th century have not kept up with the new economy and new corporate strategies to keep workers and their unions down. A growing number of economists warn that working families are at risk of falling behind because working Americans do not have enough power to ensure that growing corporate profits translate into real wage gains for employees.

Women and working people of color are more likely to work in service and care jobs where wages have historically been kept lower and barriers to forming unions have been made higher.

Over the past 40 years, corporations and politicians have gutted unions, held down pay and made it harder for people to get ahead. The result: 64 million workers are paid less than $15/hour, and their power to join together and negotiate for higher wages, affordable healthcare, and other improvements has been stripped away. To encourage balanced, sustainable growth, North Carolina needs to help working people raise wages to build thriving communities.

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The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of unions of working people in North Carolina, representing a hundred and forty-five thousand members, working together for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working people. PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605

Grab the flyer for this event (PDF)