The North Carolina State Legislature is looking to make the state’s Right to Work status a permanent fixture. The Carolina Journal Reports:
RALEIGH — Backing up comments promising North Carolina would remain the “least unionized state in the United States,” Speaker of the House Thom Tillis has sponsored a bill that would place on the November 2014 ballot constitutional amendments limiting union organizing.
House Bill 6, which was co-sponsored by Reps. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, and Tom Murry, R-Wake, would allow citizens to vote on constitutional amendments that not only would cement North Carolina’s status as a right-to-work state and guarantee the right of union members to elect their leaders by secret ballot, but also prohibit collective bargaining among public sector employees at all levels of government.
“We must protect our workers and their right to work,” Tillis, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, said in a January speech before the General Assembly. “We must send the very clear message to businesses already in North Carolina and those considering expanding here, that North Carolina will continue to be the least unionized state in the United States.”
House Bill 6 was originally filed on January 30, 2013. It passed and was referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. The bill proposes amending the state Constitution to make North Carolina permanently a Right to Work state, making collective bargaining illegal between unions and government and protects the right to secret ballot by employees affiliated with unions in North Carolina. (For more, read H. 6 Text)
The description of the bill is as follows:
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT amending the North Carolina constitution to guarantee the right of an Individual to work, To make contracts between a unit of government and a labor organization as bargaining agent concerning public employees illegal, and to PRESERVE THE RIGHT OF AN INDIVIDUAL TO VOTE BY SECRET BALLOT FOR An election, DESIGNATION, or authorization FOR EMPLOYEE REPRESENTATION BY A LABOR ORGANIZATION.
As one can imagine, this did not sit well with unions. Push back was almost instantaneous. Carolina Journal:
“North Carolina already has a right-to-work law and a ban on public sector collective bargaining. States that have passed amendments related to secret ballot union elections now face lawsuits and legal expenses. These amendments are a ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ time and money,” said state AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer MaryBe McMillan in a statement.
McMillan is correct in stating North Carolina already has a law on the books dictating the state to be Right To Work and also has a law banning unions from forming in state government. However, that has not stopped the SEIU from moving in on the State Employees Lobby, SEANC and working with the teachers lobby, NCAE. (Read: NCAE and SEIU in NC)
This is also not the first time North Carolina has moved to make a current law on the books into a Constitutional Amendment. Remember Amendment One?
Sec. 6. Marriage.
Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts. (2011-409, s. 1) (NC State Constitution)
The AFL-CIO NC is not likely to sit this out either. One can look for the mobilization call to come from their ‘action’ group called We Are One. The group likely took its name from President Obama’s first inaugural celebration. The same action center that coordinated the protests in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Let’s not forget what happened in Michigan when Unions were faced with Right To Work Legislation:
The page also openly notes the NEA’s association with the AFL-CIO in the tips section:
- Stage a teach-in at your local school or institution of higher education, using the information in the AFL-CIO’s “We Are One teach-in kit”.
Sadly, the toolkit link seems to not be working. It would be interesting to see what that entails. Not surprisingly, the NEA President actually did a promotional video endorsing We Are One:
In this instance, We Are One was using Martin Luther King as a prop to advance their agenda. “We Are One. We Are Everywhere” and ‘Workers Rights are Human Rights’. Sounds familiar:
If past protests and actions are any gauge of the future, North Carolina might want to get ready for Big Labor to start pouring money into ads, staging protests and causing general mayhem.