Charlotte City Workers Push For Union Rights
Charlotte sanitation workers held the first of four rallies last night timed to pressure city leaders into giving their labor union more recognition. They want more pay raises, better working conditions and regular meetings between union leaders and city officials.
Charlotte City Workers UE 150 chapter president James Locklear says members will picket city hall every Monday this month, hoping to catch the attention of Democrats who will soon hold their national convention in Charlotte. "They are coming here - and from my understanding they are about unions," says Locklear. "They should be stepping in and saying, 'Hey, we're coming to this city. Now if you've got unions there you should be treating them fair.'"
Locklear points to the 6 percent pay raise Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton received for last fiscal year - when city employees received no raise, only a 1 percent lump-sum payment. North Carolina has the lowest rate of union participation in the country, because of state laws limiting union power.