Public-sector workers from around North Carolina assembled in
Raleigh July 30-August 1 to place their new, rank-and-file union a firmer
basis and to make a claim for "fairness, democracy and power."
Meeting on the campus of North Carolina State University delegates to the
first constitutional convention of UE Local 150, North Carolina Public Service
Workers Union debated and adopted a constitution, elected officers and
Delegates enthusiastically agreed with Local Pres. Barbara
Prear that theirs was "a historic event," committing themselves to
build their organization.
Sixty-four delegates attended from seven campuses of the
University of North Carolina (UNC), the Durham City Workers Union, Eastern
Carolina School for the Deaf and state agencies. Thirty-five supporters came
from as near as Raleigh and as far away as Nova Scotia. UE Genl. Sec.-Treas.
Bob Clark chaired the convention.
In the spirit of the convention, Clark signed up two new
members in a campus dining hall.
The unions membership is majority African-American and
female; Local 150 emerged from struggles in the early 1990s by UNC
housekeepers against discrimination and for better working conditions,
struggles aided by community and civil rights organizations.
Local 150 faces an uphill battle. State law makes it illegal
for any state institution to bargain with a union. Nevertheless, top UNC
officials have recognized workers right to join the union and a system of
"meet and confer."
UE delegates affirmed their intention of safeguarding their
jobs and improving their conditions with a spirited rally outside the state
legislative building on July 30. Speakers included Local Pres. Barbara Prear,
Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark, District One Pres. Connie Spinozzi, chapter
leaders and supporters.
UE News Articles
About UE Local 150
Local 150 Demands Justice on UNC Campuses
Durham, NC City Workers Affiliate with UE
NC School Workers Fight Discrimination
Organizing Blitz Boosts UE Membership in North Carolina
UE Local 150 to Hold First Convention
UE News - 08/99