On Wednesday, convention delegates also heard from MaryBe McMillan, Secretary Treasurer of the North Carolina AFL-CIO, who has become a national leader by challenging organized labor to take a different tack on union organizing. Rather than ceding the South to the anti-labor forces prevalent there — which has led to a low-wage powerless workforce exploited by corporations like Boeing — we must aggressively organize there, especially as the region grows and has more and more political power.
“Things in this country are definitely going South,” McMillan joked. “But the good news is, it does not have to be this way. We are not doomed to low wages. We can stop the race to the bottom. But we must organize. We can change the future if more unions invest in organizing, especially in the South.”
She said organized labor must change its ways to survive amid union-weakening “right-to-work” laws pushed by Republicans throughout America.
“Right-to-work clearly hurts working people, but right-to-work can never mean right-to-surrender,” McMillan said. “We as a movement cannot accept as inevitable our demise. Our movement is in crisis, but at its heart, it is fundamentally a crisis of hope.”
More on the convention: http://www.thestand.org/2017/07/wslc-convention-focuses-on-racism-organizing/