On Wednesday, April 24, State Representative Zack Hawkins (Durham) and State Senator Wiley Nickel (Wake) announced that they are introducing legislation to overturn North Carolina's ban on public-sector collective bargaining, a goal long sought by members of UE Local 150.
“We need to end this Jim Crow-era public-sector employee law,” said Nickel. “Public employees deserve equal treatment under the law and now is the time to give it to them.”
Senate Bill 575 and House Bill 710 would repeal GS 95-98, North Carolina's ban on public sector collective bargaining rights which was originally passed in 1959.
Don Hardy, Mayor of Kinston, spoke about collective bargaining being “a fundamental human right.” City council members from Winston-Salem, Durham, and Morrisville also participated.
Labor speakers at the press conference included Angaza Laughinghouse of UE Local 150, North Carolina AFL-CIO President MaryBe McMillan, Rick Armstrong of Teamsters Local 391, and Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators. CWA, AFGE and other unions also participated.
A short video of the press conference can be viewed on UE Local 150's Facebook Page.