Unions

Charles French garbage truck
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

It hasn’t been an easy sell for Charles French to convince his fellow colleagues in the Greensboro Sanitation Department to join the city’s first union.

Just Economics is trying to get a living wage for working class in Western North Carolina.
http://justeconomicswnc.org/

  The Asheville nonprofit Just Economics has been pushing for local businesses to pay a living wage. 

Keith Ludlum is the president of UFCW local 1208 and led the charge for unions in North Carolina slaughterhouses.
migrare.wordpress.com/

  

In 2008, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union and Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, NC reached an agreement to end a 16-year fight for better worker conditions. 

Amy Laura Hall has organized the Labor Sabbath movement in North Carolina.
hearldsun.org

Some North Carolinians cringe at the phrase ‘labor union.’ 

In the right to work state, some opponents say unions cause harm to private businesses and do not benefit workers. This weekend in churches, synagogues and other holy places some clergy will talk about unions as part of a Labor Sabbath movement.  

Fast Food Strikes, NYC, July 2013
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtumesoul/ / flickr

Across the country today, thousands of fast food workers are walking off their jobs to demand a living wage and the right to unionize. WalMart employees have also walked off the job as part of an effort to force the company to change their policies. WalMart workers will again strike nationwide next week.

The strike would have begun at midnight Saturday.
Gmanviz via Flickr, Creative Commons

The United Steelworkers Union has reached an agreement with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company that will avoid a strike at several facilities across the country, including the Goodyear plant in Fayetteville.

The negotiations were over a four-year labor agreement for 8,500 hourly employees at six plants. Terry Brewington is Vice president of the Fayetteville office of United Steelworkers. He said his union was fighting for cost of living raises, more vacation time for new hires and increased wages for people hired after 2006.

Smithfield Foods and the United Food and Commercial Workers settled a federal racketeering lawsuit this week. Now the nearly five thousand workers at the plant in Tar Heel will have another chance to vote on union representation.

The fight between Smithfield and the United Food and Commercial Workers over unionizing the Tar Heel hog processing plant has entered a new phase. A federal judge in Virginia has allowed a lawsuit filed by Smithfield to go forward.

The suit accuses the UFCW of a coordinated public smear campaign.  It uses the RICO statutes that were created to fight organized crime. The lawsuit is the latest step in a confrontation that has slowly been moving out of the plant itself and into the kitchens and living rooms of consumers.

Many workers at the Smithfield hog processing plant in Tar Heel North Carolina continue to speak-out about what they call "bad" work conditions. But yesterday instead of just speaking-out – hundreds of workers walked out.