Dear City Council Members:
The Durham People’s Alliance stands in solidarity with the Durham sanitation workers--and all City and County employees--in their desire to earn a living wage. Every worker in Durham deserves to earn enough to support their families, pay their rent, put a roof over their heads, put gas in the car, and food in the fridge. As a result, we call on the City Council to negotiate in good faith with Sanitation Workers on how best to meet their needs in the current and future budget cycles.
We are living through a historic national moment, where we witness the resurgence of the American labor movement. Either by luck, or the grit of the Bull City, Durham has quickly become one of epicenters of the renewal of American Labor and organizing the South.
Under near-impossible conditions, with the state of North Carolina having a 2.8% union density rate, the workers of Durham have reignited this fight. In 2022, Durham REI Workers and Duke Graduate Students were not unionized. Today in 2023, they are. Joined by many other active campaigns that seek to make North Carolina a union state against the aforementioned odds, workers from Waffle House to Amazon to City of Durham Sanitation Workers are making collective demands.
The Durham People’s Alliance stands firmly on the side of the worker and supports the growing Labor movement across our State and Nation.
We believe that all members of our City Council hold that same view. In that spirit, and upon that belief, we urge the Durham City Council to embrace this opportunity to negotiate with the Sanitation Workers, not only in good faith, but to achieve pro-labor outcomes. Specifically, we ask the City Council to vote to approve a one-time bonus for all city employees.
After completing its planned city workers compensation study in the coming months, we also urge the Council to take a step further, and to instill the bargaining process between the City and all 3,000 employees as a recurring and systemic addition to the City’s budget negotiations.
We thank the City of Durham Sanitation Workers for the essential labor they provide our City and stand in solidarity with their movement.
The People’s Alliance Board of Directors