SWA Salutes Teachers Resistance To Education Cuts in NC – Moral Monday Action, June 9, 2014

by on June 14, 2014

Onwards to building local Worker Assemblies !

Thousands of teachers, bus drivers, housekeepers, kitchen and other education workers, along with students and parents from hundreds of schools across the state of North Carolina have been organizing over the past year, starting with the incredible “walk-in” at school flag poles on Nov. 4, 2013 protesting Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly’s massive cuts to public education and attacks on education workers rights. Since then, there has been a flood of rallies and actions by public education supporters at county school board meetings across the state that effectively shut down the 25% contract scheme. Several teachers and students have gotten arrested at the Legislature as part of the Moral Monday movement. NC is 48th out of 50 states in both per-pupil funding for public education and average teacher’s pay.

Raleigh Worker SpeakOut SWA NCAE UEGovernor Pat McCrory, State budget Director and retail store mogul Art Pope, Sen. Thom Tillis, Rep. Phil Berger are to blame for the slashing funds for instructional supplies and textbooks, eliminating thousands of teacher assistants’ positions, gutting tenure rights for teachers (making it easier to fire teachers). Now they want to hold a carrot of a minor pay raise over teachers as an effort to eliminate your rights and further erode public schools.

It’s time to stop being afraid, ”stated Clara Stiers, a Westlake Middle School counselor speaking at a town hall in Apex. “Today is the beginning.”

Workers taking collective action, such as the walk-ins and speaking out at county school boards, and joining the Moral Monday movement is the only way that working people can defend our jobs, our communities and the vital services that we provide. We must continue to stay organized and support each other in our struggles for democracy in the work place. The initial call for a walk-out teachers strike shows how determined many teachers are to fight for quality education for the students that includes job security for education workers. The walk-ins that were later organized to engage education workers, parents, students and our communities, begins a the direction of forming people’s education assemblies where real educational democracy comes to life.

This action – like many before including the recent fast food and Walmart workers strikes – was a continuation of united struggle for workers across N.C., the South and the entire country. We must continue to meet after work, before work, during lunch and continue to organize actions that bring voice and power to workers. After all, we run the schools, the factories, the mental health institutions, the cities and all of society. Should we not be allowed to make decisions about how things are run?

In fact, not only is it teachers but all public service workers, and all workers generally that have seen a major decline in their standard of living and increased work loads. State employees in NC have not seen any real raise since 2008. According to the Economic Policy Institute, from 1983 to 2010 the bottom 60 percent of Americans actually lost wealth, despite the fact that the overall U.S. economy has grown over this same time period,

Even in a state without collective bargaining rights for public employees, workers will find ways to organize and express our opposition to bad decisions made at the expense of our lives, our dignity and our communities. We must continue to work to over-turn the anti-worker, anti-student, anti-poor the ban public workers that basic right to a union contract and right-to-work (for less) laws.

The Southern Workers Assembly – composed of workers from across the public sector, in private industry and also farm workers – salute and congratulate the bold and important action of education workers on November 4 to finally take a little power back. We vow to continue to work hand-in-hand with the NC Association of Educators, Organize 2020 and other rank-n-file education workers across the state to help improve schools and our workers rights. We support the work of Public Schools First NC to stop privatization of public education, so that private companies can not get rich off public services.

At the Statewide NC Workers Fightback Conference in September 2013, we launched the Workplace Democracy campaign and Local Workers Assemblies in regions across the state including Charlotte (Western NC), Goldsboro (Eastern NC), and Durham (Triangle area). These formations can help education workers unite with all other workers in public and private jobs to fight for our common interests, build democracy in the workplace and challenge corporate and government forces to achieve fully funding of all public services and build workers power.

Join us next Monday, June 16 at the Moral Monday focused on labor and workers rights!

An injury to one is an injury to all!

Education is a right!

Build the Workers Assemblies!

Organize the South!                                                                      June 9, 2014


International Workers Day 2014

by on April 17, 2014

May 1, 2014

International Workers Day

The South Pulls Together and Unites for Universal Worker Rights and Decolonization of Labor and Migration

Join a march near you, Thursday, May 1:

Other actions TBA in Chattanooga, Memphis and elsewhere.

May Day was born over 120 years ago commemorating the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886 when police shot workers who were striking to establish the eight-hour workday and the right to organize and prohibit child labor. The US-South revived and regenerated Mayday commemorations during the 2006 general strike, which was fueled by migrants.

The US South unites youth, women, men, immigrants, Indigenous Peoples, labor unions, LGBTQ, human rights organizations, farm workers, environmentalists, workers and social movements with the rest of the US and the world to Decolonize and Regenerate our struggles to propel ourselves forward for Liberation in the 21st century and to do away with Borders, Respect Human Rights, and for Universal Rights for all workers of the planet and our right to migrate anywhere on earth.

The South forms and represents working class struggles. The South demands Universal Living Wages, the Universal Right to organize and Universal Migrant Rights. The South demands the criminal charges against all Moral Monday arrestees be dropped including Saladin Mohammed Leader of Southern Workers Assembly in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The South forms part of a social movement that denounces the neo liberal politics of government and its political parties. President Obama promotes imperialist wars in Afghanistan and other parts of the world to steal natural resources. We say End US-EU-NATO wars in the Middle East and Africa. US hands off Venezuela and Ukraine, no more wars for natural resources. The South demands stop the war and bring the troops home.

The South denounces the economic crisis of the capitalist system that was forced onto the people by the super rich, transnational corporations and the banks that the people bailed out only to make the rich more rich and the poor more poor. The crisis of mass unemployment continues as over 30 million workers remain unemployed and over 20% of those employed remain underemployed, the vast majority in low-wage, dead end jobs. Unemployment for Black, Brown and Native workers is more than double that of white workers. We demand a Federally-funded public works jobs program and full employment now!

The South denounces the failure of the neo liberal model of the free trade agreements like Nafta, Cafta and the current Trans Pacific Partnership which President Obama wants to fast track. This agreement will set new rules on food safety and medicine prices.  The free trade agreements exploit workers and displace communities over Mexico, Central and South America and the world with poverty wages, without the right to organize unions, bad working and social conditions.

The South denounces and demands the abolishment of the “Taft Hartley Act” and section 14B that prohibits the right of workers to organize unions, collective bargaining and the right to strike. We demand comprehensive labor change.

The South denounces the militarization of the US/Mexico Border that is racist and criminalizes immigrants takes them to their death, provokes division and violence among communities along the US Mexico Border.

The South denounces raids and deportation that divides immigrant families and treats them as if they were terrorists. We denounce the ICE commandos and the mistreatment of immigrant families. We demand laws that recognize basic rights for all immigrants, social services and immigration laws that recognize the principal of universal citizenship.

The South denounces the attack on Public Schools by conservative right wing politicians, which has caused loss of jobs, a loss of billions of dollars and a second class education due to privatization of education throughout the south.

The South denounces the increased New Jim Crow activities and white supremacy and racist laws such as the stand your ground law which has resulted in the death of young Black people such as Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis and other people of color and indigenous people. We demand an end to police terror, police murders, brutality, racial profiling and the school-to-prison pipeline. We demand a decolonization process to end death and violence.

The South commits to supports efforts of youth in their forms of expression and commit to be at their service in the initiatives of the right to education and their right to form and create organizations.

The South commits to look for and implement alternatives of ALBA (Alternative Bolivariana de las Americas) towards globalization, war, capitalism, neoliberalism and the inequality between poor and rich.

The South commits to liberate all political prisoners including Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Imam Jamil Al-Amin and others jailed for activism, and those in Puerto Rico in their struggle for independence and discontinue being a colony of the US. We demand an end to the Cuban Economic Blockade and the liberation of the Cuban heroes prisoners in US jails.

The South commits to organize and participate this May 1, 2014. With everything that we do, with everything that we are, with everything that we dream we have the security and faith of constructing a better world for all and all the human races.

Another South, Another US and Another World is Possible!


If you are organizing an event in your area and would like it listed on the Southern Workers Assembly press release, website and information leaflets, please submit the information to info@southernworker.org

CWA, Allies in Tennessee Tell Lawmakers ‘Put the People First’

by on March 15, 2014

Campus Workers United – Communications Workers of America are a founding member of the Southern Workers Assembly. Their recent action in Nashville, Tennessee is an important example of workers taking the lead in spreading the growing mass fight back against the attacks on the working-class and oppressed. The Southern Workers Assembly is committed to helping to spread these type of militant, worker-run actions across the U.S. South.

CWA Tennessee

March 13, 2014

More than 500 Tennessee activists, including CWAers, union members and other allies, rallied in Nashville at the State Capitol for secure, living wage jobs, public education, and democratic rights to organize, protest, bargain and vote freely.

It was the start of a movement throughout Tennessee to “Put the People First,” and activists from faith groups, unions and worker alliances, Jobs with Justice, the NAACP, Citizen Action and many more have come together to form the coalition. At the capitol in Nashville, they rallied, then delivered a letter to Gov.Bill Haslam (R), calling on him and the Tennessee legislature “to make the interests of Tennessee working people your top priority.”

“Our governor, this legislature, and their millionaire backers are trying to destroy 150 years of progressive reforms that the working class has won in our state. But we won’t go backward! And when we stand up and fight back, it isn’t just at a single rally. Today we’re launching a movement to ‘Put the People First!’ Just like our sisters and brothers did with Moral Mondays in North Carolina. And we won’t stop until they give us what we want!”

Action Alert: Stand with Chris

by on March 4, 2014

Disrespect for healthcare workers is disrespect for patients and harmful to quality care!


Healthcare Workers’ United

Charleston, SC

February 27, 2014






Sign the petition demanding that Chris be re-instated!

South Carolina Activist Fired from Hospital after 19 Years of Service

Christine Nelson, a registered nurse and 19-year veteran at the Medical University of South Carolina was escorted from her office this afternoon after being rebuffed in her efforts to meet with supervisors. In recent weeks, Nelson and several coworkers in the Ambulatory Pre-Op Clinic in Rutledge Tower have complained of mismanagement and understaffing in their department.

An attack on healthcare workers is an attack on quality healthcare and harms our patients.   When we stand up for hospital workers, we are standing up for quality health care.  

Mary Moultrie, a leader of the Charleston hospital workers strike of 1969, called Nelson’s dismissal “another stain on MUSC’s reputation.” Moultrie observed that the hospital has been very successful in squelching dissent by disciplining “whistleblowers and others who speak out on behalf of patient care.” Charleston labor activist Leonard Riley observed that Nelson has been working with the South Carolina Human Affairs Commission to compile workers’ complaints against MUSC.

Over the past two years, Nelson has spoken out against racial discrimination in the hospital, abuses of the Family Medical Leave Act and HIPAA (federal privacy law) violations by supervisors, as well as the hospital’s mistreatment of low wage workers. Her work to improve working conditions and patient care has led her to assume leadership roles in Healthcare Workers’ United, the South Carolina Progressive Network, and the Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment. She has also been active in the Truthful Tuesday Coalition and the Southern Workers Assembly. She accompanied a group of Charleston activists to the HK on J protest in Raleigh, North Carolina on February 8. Nelson is a lifetime member of Old Bethel UMC Church and is the mother of two children.

Healthcare Workers’ United invites you to stand with Chris by demanding that MUSC rehire her and end their efforts to retaliate against those workers who stand up for patients and for one another.

Call Today:  Contact MUSC CEO Patrick Cawley (843) 792-4000 or cawleypj@musc.edu

Sign Petition to Reinstate Chris!


North Carolina Local Worker Assemblies

by on February 7, 2014


Sat. February 22, 12noon, Teamsters Union hall, 6317 Angus Dr, Raleigh (off HWY 70 Between Raleigh & Durham). Contact Angaza Laughinghouse at 919-231-2660 for more info 

Goldsboro/Greenville/Wilson/Down East 

Saturday, March 8, Wilson, NC, International Working Women’s Day  at 10:30am – 2:30pm (with lunch break)
Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts & Education, 1004 Herring Avenue E. Wilson, NC 27893, contact Larsene Taylor at 919-273-2735 for more information


Sat. April 20., Greenville Community Center, 1330 Spring St, Charlotte, NC, Contact Ben Carroll at 919-604-8167 for more information.

 Lucia, fast food worker

 “I am inviting all workers to join this movement, to stand up and to not be afraid, together we will continue to fight for $15 an hour”

 Lucia , Fast Food Worker, NC Raise Up 


Larsene Taylor, UE local 150, NC Public Service Workers Union ” There are increasing attacks on front-line city and state workers and the services we provide. We need a “Workers Bill of Rights” made into law to guarantee basic human rights. Divided we beg for a living wage, safe working environment, and a seat at the table…united we bargain! “

–  Larsene Taylor, State Mental Health Worker, DHHS; Cherry Hospital, Goldsboro NC; Vice President, UE local 150, NC Public Service Workers Union 

Kristen Beller, teacher

“I fight for public schools because I believe they are the great equalizer in our society. Everyone gets the opportunity to make themselves stronger and smarter. An educated community has a greater quality of life. I fight for my students’ right to a quality public education because if I don’t, who will?”

–  Kristin Beller, Teacher, Millbrook Elementary