Statement by Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, on the union victory at the Smithfield Plant in Tarheel:
There has always been an intrinsic and inextricable connection between the civil rights movement and the labor movement. We in the NCNAACP are proud to have, over the last few years, stood, marched, prayed, and worked with working people in their fight for a Union at the Smithfield Plant in Tarheel, North Carolina. These every day hard-working human beings have tonight culminated years of struggle for simple justice with a victorious vote to unionize the plant. This is a mighty move of justice and fairness for everyday workers in North Carolina.
It is a signal
that people with the wind of right behind them can fight and win more
equity in the workplace. This victory says it's not only time
for justice at Smithfield, but also time for North Carolina
to repeal GS 9598 so that public employees can form a union and strengthen
their rights in the workplace.
This is a dramatic victory for workers, the cause of civil rights, and the future prosperity of our nation. This victory will help protect workers and wages at the plant. Furthermore, it represents a significant advance in bringing more unions into the south.
For years the NAACP has worked with unions to help secure a better life for all Americans and to advance the cause of civil rights. This victory is another step forward in this struggle and we salute everyone who worked to make this day possible.
We especially want to recognize the brave workers who withstood years of threats and intimidation, yet maintained their dignity and courage, "walking by faith and not by sight."