WHEREAS, the deepening capitalist crisis and continued impacts of the global pandemic continues to show its deep effects with 20 million or more people unemployed and many millions more underemployed. This has lead to years of rolling budget cuts at the Federal, state, and local levels that has devastated public services and decent jobs. This also creates a climate where racist, sexist and homophobic attacks against workers and our communities is also increased, including police brutality, closing women’s health clinics, cuts to other Federal assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Social Security and much more.
WHEREAS, inflation remains high at nearly 9%.
WHEREAS, the current period is contradictory and dangerous – on the one hand, we’ve seen the growth of workers organizing, strikes, and other motion among rank and file workers to fight back. Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama helped jump start a movement to organize worker power in the second largest employer in the country. Starbucks and other retail workers across the country are voting for unions. On the other, far right and fascist forces are also organizing and growing stronger, and engaging in increasingly violent attacks, especially against Black, brown, and other oppressed workers.
WHEREAS, North and South Carolina are the least unionized states in the entire country. This allows the big multinational corporations to make super profits and not have to bargain with workers and their unions. Many corporations from all across the globe invest billions of dollars in building factories in the US South. Out of at least 40 auto factories, including parts plants in the US South most with over 1,000 workers, not a single one of these plants is unionized. 11 states of the US South had over 43% of all US Foreign Direct Investment, making the South a major region in the global economy.
WHEREAS, this is a continuation of racism from chattel slavery, and an attempt to keep the entire region, where a majority of the US Black workers live, at super low wages. The ban on collective bargaining rights was passed in NC in 1959 without a single Black person in the General Assembly to vote against it.
WHEREAS, the Southern Workers Assembly (SWA), celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary since it’s founding outside the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC in 2012, is organized to bring forth the voice of workers, unions and labor organizations raising up the demands of workers and union rights, as a major part of the broader social justice movement. Otherwise, the demands of workers on the job for power, justice, dignity and better wages would have been nearly silent compared to the broader movement for overall change in society. The SWA has been building a rank-and-file movement to push labor activism and social movement unionism from the bottom up. Some national unions whose main memberships are outside of the South have contributed financial support.
WHEREAS, the Southern Workers Assembly has convened critical Southern Workers Schools and strategy meetings in the last few years to help develop leadership and consciousness of largely unorganized workers across the South, including the recent school in Durham on May 1, 2022.
WHEREAS, at the recent Southern Workers School, UE150 members participated in the formation of a regional campaign to fight for a Southern Workers Power Political Program against the backdrop of the 2022 election season, any beyond. This nine point political program grew out of collective discussions with workers across the South engaged in organizing their workplaces and building local workers assemblies. This includes fighting for the right to collectively bargaining and strike, Medicare for All, an end to racist violence and police abuse, defending and expanding the right to an abortion, among many others.
WHEREAS, UE150 members have been active in building Local Worker’s Assemblies in the Triangle, Charlotte and Fayetteville to speak-out about issues in different workplaces and to organize unified local actions to challenge unjust bosses and decision-makers. Other assemblies are in formation in New Orleans, LA, Tidewater, VA and Covington, KY.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THIS 12th Bi-Annual UE local 150 CONVENTION:
- Continues our membership and affiliation with the Southern Workers Assembly and pay our annual membership dues of $500;
- Encourages our members in areas all across the state to participate in and help build Local Worker’s Assemblies;
- Encourages our chapters to circulate the Southern Workers Political Power Program to its members and create venues for collective discussion.
- Educate our members about the significance of May Day, International Workers Day and help to lead the organizing for the May Day 2023 march and rally in North Carolina;
- UE150 will designate two point people to participate in the Southern Workers Assembly Coordinating Committee, and another person to serve on the North Carolina SWA Coordinating Committee.
- UE150 will encourage and support the Southern Workers Assembly in organizing a Southern Workers School to educate workers about the conditions across the South and share organizing strategies.
Submitted by UE150 Executive Board