Southern labor hosts assembly: “Build a workers’ alliance!”

by on September 29, 2012

By Dante Strobino on September 13, 2012

Charlotte, N.C. — Over 300 Southern workers, trade unionists and community allies gathered for the Southern Workers Assembly on Sept. 3, Labor Day, the opening day of the Democratic National Convention. The Wedgewood Baptist Church was packed and supporters had to stand beside the pews. There was a feeling in the air that Southern labor was uniting to forge a historic new direction, towards rank-and-file-led social justice trade unionism, particularly to challenge right-to-work (for less) laws and combat racism.

“Southern workers cannot wait for the Democratic Party and certainly not the Republican Party, to enact some progressive labor laws before we can begin a serious effort to organize ourselves into a labor movement,” stated Saladin Muhammad, director of the United Electrical Workers Union’s Southern International Worker Justice Campaign, in his opening remarks. “Unfortunately, this has been a serious error on the part of the U.S. labor movement for too many years.”

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