Brothers and Sister,
I recently had the chance to attend the 2009 NC State AFL-CIO Legislative Conference in Raleigh. We are at a crossroads in the Labor movement in this country. At this time in history we have a chance to change the face of the Labor movement. There are several peices of legislation that we as a Union are trying to get passed in the state and federal government. Some of the state issues are.
(1) Workers Compensation
Workers compensation is one of the most important issues to our members and all workers in North Carolina. North Carolina enjoys one of the better workers compensation systems in the country, one that pays reasonable benefits at a low cost to employers. Attacks on the system may occur again this session, even though, among other things Site Selection magazine continues to rate North Carolina as having the best business climate in the country. North Carolina's workers compensation cost are significantly below the level of the early 1990's. We need to let our state leaders know that we dont need to cut back on workers compensation.
(2) Unemployment Insurance
Unemployment levels for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own are at record highs. Benefits are especially important during these times and are often what help workers keep their homes and avoid poverty. Our state's unemployment system has been a relatively stable one that has paid relatively good benefits at a low cost to employers.We would like our legislators to commit to protecting benefit levels, insuring that adequate funds are available to pay benefits.
(3) Dues Deduction for Public Safety Workers (police, firefighters, ems)
This bill requires local governments to deduct organization dues from public employee's checks if the employee is agreeable to the deduction and if 50% or more of the eligible members of the department are members of the association.
(4) Collective Bargaining for Public Employees
Under current North Carolina law, public employees can join a union, but they cannot collectively bargin a contract. Since 1935, the National Labor Relations Act has guaranteed almost all private sector employees the right to collectively bargin. Public employees in every state except Noth Carolina and Virginia already have this right. The proposed bill does not mandate collective bargaining, it would simply remove the prohibition (G.S 95-98) and allow government entities to choose whether or not they enter into collective bargaining agreements with their employees. Under a separate law (G.S. 95-98.1), public employees are still prohibited from striking.
We need to ask our representatives to stand up and vote for these issues that are important to the working men and women in North Carolina. Here is the number 1-866-207 2060. Give them a call and let them know that it is time to do the right thing.