Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What role for unions in NC?

I appeared on WUNC-FM's "The State of Things" today, along with Jeff Hirsch, associate dean at the UNC-CH law school.  The first ten minutes of the clip is an interview with Keith Ludlum, who led the battle to organize employees at Smithfield Foods.  Jeff and I engage at 10:20.  By the way, I am a labor economist not a labor lawyer!

Interesting point that emerged from the discussion is that once Smithfield was organized by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, the plant remained economically viable.  In fact Smithfield as a whole did so well that it was bought out by a Chinese company.  One has to ask what was the ROI on all of the money Smithfield spent to keep the union out.

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