“We have rights, and we have to express them. We shouldn’t be scared of our supervisors,” said UFCW member Julius Powell.
The Southern Workers Assembly was the first of its kind for southeastern union groups. Workers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Tennessee attended, though some came from as far as California, New York, and Michigan. Workers from both the private and public sector spoke about the importance of having a voice on the job and the struggles of being in right to work states. Southern workers who are traditionally excluded from labor movements, including undocumented immigrants and former convicts, spoke at the assembly as well.
Among other groups that attended were Southern International Worker Justice, United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.