NC unions welcome DNC to "Right to Work" state/city for convention

Sometimes I stumble over things which simply leave me aghast. Seems like there is some concern somewhere, but obviously not in NC, that there will be no discernible union workforce in Charlotte for the DNC Convention. Tim Kaine then goes on to make it all worse by trying to explain that the Democratic Party's "right to work" laws are just part of the "good ole Southern scenery".

...told that the DNC will work with local officials and venues in Charlotte ahead of the convention to address the complete lack of union members. I’m not holding my breath, though, for the least union state in the country to make any progress on respecting workers by the time Barack Obama is renominated in a venue without a single employee represented by a union.

Kaine was interviewed by Andrea Mitchell:

On MSNBC this afternoon, Andrea Mitchell actually asked DNC Chair Tim Kaine why the party chose the home state of Bank of America and a right-to-work state, asking Kaine, “I defy you to find a labor hotel for these delegates, for all the AFL-CIO folks coming to Charlotte.

First off, when was the last time you heard a reporter or host even consider the words “right-to-work?” Second, Kaine predictably dodged the question, giving slight praise to the AFL-CIO. Kaine goes on to talk about new industries in North Carolina.

Kaine revealed though that President Barack Obama does not see unions as part of the “innovation economy,” and does not believe that unions to represent workers are part of the story to tell to Americans

I guess President Obama does not see unions as part of the future of the US anyway. The ironies of this situation are too numerous and extensive to even follow. Does this mean that NC unions suffer from "Stockholm Syndrome"?



Innovation economy?

To Obama, that means bowing at the feet of the wreckage of those who gave us Pic-A-Pay loans.

Maybe I'll innovate some new financial piece o' crap, stamp AAA on it, beg the government to bail me out of my contracts, and Obama will come to my house!


Even been to a "union" convention hall?

I sure have a number of times and can tell you the convention hall/Trade show racket is what makes many avoid those halls and states as much as possible.

Most "union" facilities have rules effectively prohibiting an exibitor from carrying in anything more than a briefcase. If you make multiple trips in or dare to bring in a couple of brochures on a small hand truck or luggage cart, they will accost you right in the middle of the concourse and scream at you about their starving children. You see, they want you to pay the union ransom to carry in your box of catalogs for you.

Some places won't let you set up your own display no matter how simple and portable it is. You have to stand there and tell the highly qualified union expert where to put stuff. Of course, you pay $100/hour to feel good about the guy's kid not starving.

Let's not forget the fully certified "union electrician" you must pay to plug in your lights for you or bring the extension cord they force you to rent.

I'm glad you brought up the unionless convention, because my experience at conventions and trade shows has shown me the plenty of examples of the reasons we should be proud our convention centers are not filled with union extortionists.

Not sure if it's "union" or not

I've been a trade show exhibitor several times at Greensboro's Koury Convention Center over the years.

The rules you speak of apply to exhibitors there.

I think those rules are because of an exclusive agreement the convention center has with a company that manages the exhibit hall.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Yes, there is some of that

Yes, there is some of that everywhere. There are layers and absurdities at these places with or without unions. Trade shows are just plain expensive. That said, Just like traditionally union states have been losing jobs to non-union states, those trade shows that still exist are moving to locations in right to work states. Exhibitors are just tired of of paying union extortion and have told show organizers they will not come any more until prices come down.

Daley Demands Union Action to Keep Trade Shows

Mayor Daley is demanding yet another round of concessions from McCormick Place unions to cut trade show operating costs and stop an exodus that has cost Chicago two major shows in the last week....Tuesday's blow comes on the heels of last week's decision by a marquee medical trade show to move from Chicago to Las Vegas.

Stop the anti-union ……………

You have no idea what you are talking about. The difference in a non-union facility and a union facility is that in a union facility the person plugging in your cord (if that really happened) is a certified electrician that has gone through extensive training compared to a person who has no electrical training that may or may not know where the plug is or what type of plug it takes.

Most exhibitors are aware of the rules before the show and maybe you just didn’t take the time to read the material. You sound so uninformed that must have been the case. As for screaming about starving children I have my doubts but it would be good for you to take a moment and think if you could raise a family on minimum wage or a living wage. “Ransom” – do you even know what that word means?

You have to stand there and tell the highly qualified union expert where to put stuff. Of course, you pay $100/hour to feel good about the guy's kid not starving.” Safety might be one reason you cannot set up your own display. From the way you sound if you got hurt setting up your own display you might sue the facility.

Let's not forget the fully certified "union electrician" you must pay to plug in your lights for you or bring the extension cord they force you to rent.” The rent of the cord is decided by the facility – safety again.

Union extortionists” Please who is the extortionist here? A union is a group of workers who form an organization to gain respect on the job, better wages and benefits, more flexibility for work and family needs, a counterbalance to the unchecked power of employers, and a voice in improving the quality of their products and services.

Is that extortion?

Unions have made life better for all working Americans by helping to pass laws ending child labor, establishing the eight-hour day, protecting workers’ safety and health and helping create Social Security, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage, for example. Unions are continuing the fight today to improve life for all working families in America.

Yes I am a proud union member!


Actually Doris,

I do know what I am talking about. I have worked dozens of trade shows in union and non-union facilities.

In my experience, shows at union facilities always have significantly more expensive services and almost always have more mandatory services that the exhibitor is not allowed to do for themselves.

The screaming at the person about his starving kid scenario: I have seen it more than once, but it has not been directed at me. The specific incident I can put a time and place on was at the Washington DC convention center in early 2000 (I think March or April).

Setting up your display safety: Often times, the rule is that you cannot set up your display if it requires any tools. Does something in your pop-up display require an Allen wrench? Boom! They'll jump on you. Does the case for your highly-portable display have wheels? Boom! Even though it can be checked as luggage at the airport, you'll have to pay the union to walk it in for you.

Sorry, even if the rules are provided ahead of time, it seems like extortion to me if the union contract for an exibition facility keeps exhibitors from being able to perform basic tasks for themselves. I'm not taking about driving forklifts, hanging sign from the ceiling or anything like that. I'm talking about rules that basically forbid you from bringing in anything more than what you can carry in your arms in one trip.

Don't just take my word for it. Trade shows are ungodly expensive with or without union halls, but union facilities are losing out like crazy to non-union facilities.

And, yes, I agree that unions, in the past, have done all that great stuff you list. Unfortunately, a union worker screaming at a woman for bringing in rolling luggage is not as impressive an accomplishment.

I think what we should appreciate

is that the convention should help bring Democrats out of the woodwork in the election and that's our best path to more unions. Take lemons and make lemonade.

Blinded by sound

@ SPLib - It is so sad that one incident back in 2000 over shadows all the accomplishments made by union labor.

I have worked trade shows for a union company and they are expensive in general especially in Washington, DC just ask Ms. Elmers who complains constantly aobut how expensive it is in Washington, DC.

Since none of this screaming has been directed at you we don't know all the details. Maybe in Charlotte the volunteers and the few unemployed that get hired during the event will work out so there is no screaming.

Democrats need a shot in the arm to get motivated for 2011 and 2012.




I said I had seen it happen more than once. I remember the DC one more specifically because it was right out front just inside the doors and there were a hundred people milling around saying to themselves and whispering to each other "(WTF)?"

It's expensive to pay the enforcers who stand around looking for violators who dare to wheel in their own box, plug in their own light to an already-paid-for-union-installed extension cord, or dare to wield a deadly hex wrench to tighten or adjust something.

Certainly not all that unions do or have done is bad, but the bulk of my direct experience with union tactics has been at trade shows and conventions.

As far as screaming people in Charlotte goes, I suspect it will mainly be contained to the protestors outside lamenting "death panels" and "socialism."