Monday, Feb 21st 12noon – 1pm
Press Conference to Demand Collective Bargaining Rights
and No Cuts to Public Jobs and Services
Across from the General Assembly,
16 W. Jones St, Raleigh
Madison, Wisconsin February 16, 2011
From Tunisia and Egypt in North Africa, to the state of Wisconsin in the U.S., there is a growing unrest developing throughout the world among the masses of working class and poor people and even the middle-classes, demanding government accountability to democracy and human rights.
The people want democracies that involve them not only in electing members of government, but that empowers them to have input in shaping the direction of government policies, domestic and foreign, that impact the economy and all of the institutions that affect their lives.
Inside of the U.S., the world’s wealthiest country, and one that claims to be the leading example of a democracy, government has failed to be accountable to the basic needs of the majority of its people.
State budget cuts are reducing and eliminating vital services needed especially by working class and poor people and communities, which are disproportionately made up of Black and people of color women, children, seniors, and the mentally and physically disabled. The budget cuts provide tax breaks, incentives and loop holes for the major corporations and the rich, at the expense of the needs of the people.
Raleigh, NC on Feb 12, 2011
The public sector is the basic safety-net for providing working class and poor people the basic essential human needs. It must be protected! In Wisconsin thousands of workers and students have sat in at the State Capitol for four days, and 50,000 workers have protested attempts to enact Governor Walker’s so-called “Budget Repair Bill” that would wipe out the right of public sector workers to collective bargaining.
In order to wage a powerful struggle in defense of public services, which is being exemplified by the protests in Wisconsin, there must be a struggle to defend the workers that provide these services. The right to collective bargaining, for workers to have input in shaping the decisions about the working conditions, must be a basic right and major demand of broad coalitions that must be formed in defense of the public sector.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) an agency of the United Nations made a ruling to a complaint file by the NC Public Service Workers Union-UE150 finding the U.S. and the State of North Carolina out of compliance with international laws in its denial of collective bargaining rights to public sector workers.
Unlike Wisconsin where these worker rights are under attack by the Governor and corporate powers; in North Carolina, Virginia and states throughout the South, public sector workers don’t have the basic right to collective bargaining.
As a coalition in defense of the public sector, we demand that the State of North Carolina act on the ruling by the ILO by repealing NC GS 95 98, and setting up a framework that allows public sector workers the right to collective bargaining. This must be at the center of a broad program to defend the public sector.
Called by the still-forming Labor, Faith and Civil Rights Coalition in Defense of the Public Sector. Initiated by the NC State NAACP, NC Public Service Workers Union-UE150 and the International Worker Justice Campaign. Endorsed by Black Workers for Justice, NC Justice Center, Concerned Citizens of Tillery, NC AFL-CIO, NC Environmental Justice Network, Black Farmer and Agriculturists Association, Raleigh F.I.S.T., Faith, Hope and Justice Ministries, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, People’s Durham, The Beloved Community Center, NC Fair Share, Pitt County Coalition Against Racism, Halifax County Black Caucus, NC H.E.A.T., Network to Fight For Economic Justice, Lewis Pitts, Hear Our Public Employees Coalition, CAAMWU-UE150, Community Empowerment Alliance, Wilson Labor Council, Students for a Democratic Society at UNC, NC Defend Education Coalition, Rev. Curtis Gatewood, and Rev. Michelle Cotton-Laws
For more information about this event or to help build the
Labor and Civil Rights Coalition In Defense of the Public Sector contact 252-314-2363