• Advanced Labor School Returns April 4-6th

    We are excited to announce the return of ADVANCED Labor School, Tuesday, April 4th through Thursday, April 6th at Teamsters Local 391 in Raleigh! Registration is open to Carolina Labor School alumni and local union leaders only, and space will be limited to 40 students who register by March 24th.

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  • 4 Employment Terms to Get Right: “At-Will” doctrine

    Employment relationships in North Carolina are presumed to be “at-will,” but what does that actually mean and what’s the best exception to the rule?

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  • Carolina Labor School gets “Advanced”

    We held an Advanced Labor School in Raleigh last week, the first in over a decade, to give Carolina Labor School, grads a deeper understanding of labor law, collective bargaining, FMLA, duty of fair representation in a so-called “right to work” state, and more.

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  • Free #1uDigital Training sessions are back!

    We live and work in a digital world. Learn how to be your digital best with AFL-CIO’s free, online, top-notch digital training sessions. Registration is now open!

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  • Moral Movies: American Teacher

    The Moral Movie selection for April is American Teacher, which follows the lives and careers of four teachers whose struggle is shared by too many teachers in North Carolina.

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  • MaryBe McMillan: We can provide hope in the South

    “We need to spread the word that a union card is the best anti-poverty program around,” says MaryBe McMillan.

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  • National Labor College is tailor-made for full-time workers

    Are you or is someone you know trying to complete a college degree? If so, now is the time to do something about it, and the National Labor College (NLC) can get you started toward completing your degree as soon as this Fall.

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  • Take Action Against the Pending State Budget

    On Thursday afternoon, the North Carolina Senate voted 31-17 along party lines to send the 19.7 billion spending plan to the House. G.O.P. lawmakers are calling it a negotiated compromise with the House, which is expected to vote on it today and tomorrow, where it will reach Governor Perdue’s desk by Saturday.

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  • Jobs with Justice Brings U.S. Labor History Alive

    If you don’t know your history… North Carolina Triad Jobs with Justice is sponsoring a U.S. labor history class on five Sunday afternoons in a row beginning on October 24th and ending on November 21st. The title of the class is: “The Historical Struggle for Working Class Unity in the USA and the Way Forward […]

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  • Labor School Class of 2010 Armed with Knowledge

    Education is power for workers Professor Judi King, CLEAR, who began her retirement after Labor School this year. We’ll miss you, Judi! More than 50 students from local unions representing public and private sector workers across North Carolina attended Carolina Labor School July 11-16 on the campus of UNC Wilmington. The class this year seemed […]

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  • Making a Place for Labor History

    by Michael Schwalbe

    Michael Schwalbe is a professor of sociology at North Carolina State University. He recently had a piece published in the print edition of the News & Observer about the importance of recognizing labor’s contributions to our society, contributions many Americans may take for granted. We have reprinted his piece here with permission:

    When teaching about social movements in America, I ask my students how many of them had to take a U.S. labor history course in high school. For the last twenty-five years the answer has been the same. Not a one.

    I ask the question to make a point about how we learn what’s needed for social change to occur. If all we know about social change comes from celebrating the lives of Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, or Martin Luther King Jr., we may think that change results mainly from individual moral heroism.

    The study of labor history teaches a different lesson: change occurs through organized, persistent, collective action by ordinary people. It’s not surprising that those with the biggest stake in preserving the status quo don’t want that lesson taught.

    But times might be changing. After twelve years of legislative efforts, the state of Wisconsin recently passed the Labor History in the Schools Bill, the first such law in the country. The new law makes labor history part of the state’s standard social studies curriculum.

    The purpose of the bill is to ensure that students learn about the roles played by workers, labor unions, and collective bargaining in the history of America. Every state ought to enact a version of this law. Students everywhere need to know their labor history.

    Pro-union bumper stickers remind us that unions are the people who brought us the weekend. The rest of the story would include other benefits won by organized labor: pensions, workers’ compensation, health plans, vacations, the eight-hour day, overtime pay, and many safety laws.

    To take these benefits for granted is not simply a failure to appreciate how unions have helped us all. It is a failure to understand U.S. history. It is akin to taking for granted our independence from the British, with no knowledge of the Revolutionary War.

    Promoting the study of labor history is not, in other words, a matter of being for or against unions. It’s a matter of being for education. The present, as the saying goes, is incomprehensible without an understanding of the past.

    For example, my students at North Carolina State University are often surprised to learn that ours is the least unionized state in the nation; that North Carolina is one of only two states that outlaw public sector collective bargaining; and that economic inequality is greater today than at any time since the Great Depression. They want to know how things got this way.

    A good labor history course would answer this question.

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  • Successful 52nd Annual NC AFL-CIO Convention

    U.S. Senator Kay Hagan Elections, resolutions, and answering the call to action At our recently concluded 52nd Annual Convention in Atlantic Beach, NC, delegates took action on a range of issues, including the election of officers and executive board members, approving resolutions to guide our work for the next year, and writing letters to the […]

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  • Community Organizes Teach-In on Workers’ Rights

    ‘Why We Need Unions’ on Saturday, 5/9 The Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), one of several community groups to rally support for Moncure workers during their 8-month strike, is hosting a teach-in entitled “Corporate Rule, Bailouts & Greed: Why We Need Unions” in Chapel Hill on Saturday, May 9. The teach-in will […]

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  • Duke Students Focus on Victory at Moncure Plywood

    Personal stories from strike part of documentary studies presentation The students of the class “Behind the Veil: Documenting African American Life in the Jim Crow South” will present the story of the recent strike at Moncure Plywood, as told by the workers themselves. What: Presentation on Victory at Moncure Plywood (download the flyer) When: Wednesday, […]

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  • Legislative Conference Will Start Early in A.M.

    If you’re coming to the 2009 Legislative Conference (and we hope you are!), be prepared to arrive earlier than in years past. Registration opens at 7:30 am, and we will convene at 8:30 am on Thursday, February 19.

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