The Bulletin—September 4, 2012
The Bulletin compiles news from in and around the U.S. South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the U.S. South. This week, in a belated celebration of Labor Day, The Bulletin focuses upon the role of organized labor in the 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions held in Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina respectively.
- The Huffington Post reported that many of the workers responsible for cleaning up after convention-goers at the Republican National Convention were being paid below minimum wage. Regular employees of Cleanevent USA, the company contracted to clean the convention center in Tampa, were paid the minimum wage of $7.67, but they were also charged a weekly fee of between six and eleven dollars for their uniforms, effectively lowering their wages beneath the minimum.
- Organized labor leaders and activists have expressed frustration over the location of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. Many leaders decided not to donate money to the convention, while still supporting the president's reelection campaign, because Charlotte is a city without unionized hotels in a state which has the lowest percentage of union members in the nation.
- As we continue to think about the importance of organized labor to today's workers, we encourage you to read (or reread) some of our pieces on labor in the U.S. South like Fran Ansley and Anne Lewis's "Going South Coming, North: Migration and Union Organizing in Morristown, Tennessee," and Jarod Roll's "'Out Yonder on the Road': Working Class Self-Representation and the 1939 Roadside Demonstration in Southeast Missouri."