Labor vs. capital showdown never came

“A 1976 advertisement in Forbes symbolized the state’s priorities. ‘North Carolina has a commitment to provide the most favorable climate to industry that is possible.’  By that year previously agricultural North Carolina had become the eighth most industrialized state…. Only 6.8 percent of its nonagricultural workers belonged to unions….

“A writer for The Progressive believed a great showdown was in the offing. ‘In North Carolina… the battle between labor and capital is still in its infancy. It is a replay of the struggles witnessed elsewhere from the 1880s through the 1930s.’  Those epic confrontations never came. … By 1988, less than 5 percent of workers…  belonged to unions.”

— From “There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975” by Jason Sokol (2006)

By 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina’s unionization rate had fallen even further, to 3.1 percent — still the lowest in the country.

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