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Tell the City of Charlotte and the Democratic National Convention: Support the City Workers’ Demands for Basic Workers’ Rights!


Click HERE to sign

August 13 Charlotte City Picket Workers Charlotte Aug 13 Picket

Click HERE to sign and send a message to the Charlotte City Council, the Obama administration, the Democratic National Convention Committee and others, telling them you support the City of Charlotte workers' demands for a city ordinance enacting a City Workers Bill of Rights.

Support the City of Charlotte Workers' Demands for a city ordinance inacting a City Workers Bill of Rights calling for:

Equal across-the-board raises for all workers, not "merit" raises
An End to unfair disciplines
Payroll union dues deduction
Meet-and-confer with union representatives
Collective bargaining rights

Click HERE to sign!

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968 standing with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, TN demanding basic union rights. Yet, still today, workers in North Carolina are denied the basic right to collective bargaining.  Charlotte City workers have been forced to work 12 hour days 6 or 7 days a week in preparation for the Democratic National Convention and are given harsh disciplines for minor infractions such as running over a curb.   Meanwhile, the City Manager recently gave himself a hefty 2nd raise for the year, totaling over $20,000. 

The attack on collective bargaining that was observed this past year in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and beyond was an outgrowth of the unsolved battle against Right-to-work (for less) laws that still plague the US South. Now the Democratic National Convention is being hosted in the least unionized state.  Charlotte is also home of more banks than anywhere outside of New York, this is why organizers are calling it the Wall Street of the South. Yet, this rich city cannot find enough money to give the workers a decent raise or recognize their demands for a City Workers Bill of Rights.

In lead up to DNC, Charlotte City Workers Picket to Demand Fairness and Recognition of Human Rights

Over the past few weeks in the lead up to the Democratic National Convention, Charlotte city workers have been picketing city council demanding recognition of their basic worker rights. As the City of Charlotte uses its status as host of the DNC to boast that it is a world-class city, the rank-n-file workers that keep the city clean and safe are being denied their basic rights at work. UE local 150, NC Public Service Workers Union has released the below open letter to the Obama Administration, Charlotte City Council and state elected officials to honor and enact a Municipal Workers Bill of Rights ordinance and to follow through on the ruling of United Nation's International Labor Organization ruling to repeal ban on collective bargaining for public employees.

"The hard work we do is vital for this city to function, so we are asking the City Council to address our needs and rights as workers and to establish a system of meet-and-confer with us to discuss how to keep the city running smoothly through the convention," stated Al Locklear, a sanitation worker and President of UE150 chapter of Charlotte City Workers Union.  "When we saw that the city manager received two raises this year totaling over $20,000 yet we hardly didn't get anything, we realized that our hard work is not recognized."

City workers are are campaigning for the adoption of a City Workers Bill of Rights so that they have decent working conditions and be paid a decent wage for their hard work.  UE150 union members are also requesting representation in grievance hearings and also voluntary payroll deduction for workers that choose to join the union.  The United Nation’s International Labor Organization (ILO) found North Carolina’s ban on collective bargaining to be in violation of international labor standards. In that decision the ILO called on the United States government to “promote the establishment of a collective bargaining framework in the public sector in North Carolina” and called specifically for the repeal of NCGS § 95-98.  The City of Charlotte does have the authority to meet-n-confer with the union and grant other basic union rights such as pay roll deduction, as is done in at least three other cities across the state and for all state employees.

"We are sick and tired of being given 30 day suspensions without pay for minor infractions, this can be devastating to a worker's life" stated Barbara Edgecombe, who is a sanitation worker and Secretary-Treasurer for the City Workers Union chapter of UE150. "Then when we get suspended, we are not even given the basic right to representation to give us a fair chance to defend ourselves on the job." 

Charlotte City Workers Union chapter along with the statewide UE150, NC Public Service Workers Union and dozens of other unions and workers organizations from states across the US South will be participating in the Southern Workers Assembly on Monday, September 3 on Labor Day, the opening day of the DNC to continue to raise their demands for recognition of a Workers Bill of Rights.  The Southern Workers Assembly is asking for other national unions to endorse and send support for their efforts to organize the South and build a long-term Southern Labor Alliance.   More information can be found at http://southernworker.org

ATTEND THE SOUTHERN WORKERS' ASSEMBLY, MONDAY SEPT 3, 1-5 PM, Wedgewood Baptist Church, 4800 Wedgewood Dr, Charlotte, NC! Go to  http://southernworker.org for more info.

Click HERE to sign the online petition for wokers rights for Charlotte City Workers! 

The text of the petition follows

To:
President Barack Obama
Governor Beverly Purdue and the North Carolina General Assembly
The Democratic National Committee
The North Carolina Democratic Party Committee
The Charlotte Democratic Party Committee
The City of Charlotte

Support City Workers Demands and Pass City Ordinance for a City Workers Bill of Rights

City workers immediate demands include:

Equal across-the-board raises for all workers, not "merit" raises
An End to unfair disciplines
Payroll union dues deduction
Meet-and-confer with union representatives
Collective bargaining rights 

As the Democratic National Committee continues its preparation for the national Democratic Party Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, to be convened on September 3, 2012, thousands of public sector workers and other public service providers in the City of Charlotte and throughout the state of North Carolina are being denied basic and fundamental worker’s rights. They are also denied important areas of cooperation by the City of Charlotte administration and management.

Southern unions, workers organizations, civil/human rights groups, immigrant rights groups, unemployed, young workers, faith and community will gather in a Southern Workers Assembly on September 3, the opening day of the DNC to uplift our on-the-ground actual workers’ rights struggles in the US South and challenge denial of basic human rights and Federal Right-to-work (for less) laws that make it difficult to organize unions for fairness and dignity.

Unjust working conditions are part of the daily life of city workers in Charlotte. Unfair disciplinary actions such as 30 day suspensions for minor mistakes or infractions are a regular occurrence which many workers have complained about only to have their concerns ignored by management. City policies are not uniformly implemented and applied at the whim and biases of supervisors department by department. Reports of health and safety problems are routinely ignored by management. Wage increases for City workers are kept low or nonexistent while managers and supervisors have been granted thousands of dollars in pay increases and benefits provided by the city.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) will convene in the City of Charlotte despite the fact that the State of North Carolina has been cited by the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) for its violations of international labor standards due to North Carolina General Statute 95-98, the law that prohibits the right to collective bargaining for public sector workers in this state.

Despite the added work and dangers for Charlotte City workers in preparation for and in the aftermath of the DNC, and the fact that $50 million in federal funding has been allotted to the City of Charlotte to host the DNC, the City of Charlotte refuses to address the needs and rights of the City workers.

As the largest city in the state of North Carolina, including being a major financial center for the Southern Region, Charlotte’s policies and practices on worker rights is an important trendsetter for the entire state.

Moreover, conservative forces in the NC General Assembly recently eliminated the right of payroll dues deduction for members of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), the union for teachers and education workers. The City of Charlotte administration, following this conservative line, has refused to allow payroll dues deduction for it’s City workers who belong to unions and worker associations, and to set up a system of meet-and-confer that allows workers and management to meet, discuss, and resolve issues affecting the workers and the services we provide.

The right to clear, just, and fair policies in the workplace, fair and just working conditions, and regular “meet and confer” sessions between workers and their representatives with state and local administrators and managers are clearly a need in the state of North Carolina for public sector workers. We are calling for the adoption of a “Bill of Rights” for public sector workers at the local and state levels to recognize, codify, and protect our rights and interests as public employees.

I implore the Obama Administration, the national, state, and local Democratic Party, Governor Purdue, and state elected officials who support fairness and justice, to contact officials in the City of Charlotte and strongly urge them to honor and enact a Municipal Workers Bill of Rights ordinance.

I implore the Obama Administration to call on the State of North Carolina to repeal NCGS 95-98, thereby coming into compliance with international labor standards that the US government is obligated to uphold by its membership in the International Labor Organization of the United Nations.

Sincerely yours,
(your signature here)


Southern Workers Assembly

http://www.southernworker.org

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