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State of injustice.

In the September issue ("The Antichrist of North Carolina"), Barbara Ehrenreich pointed out that 60 percent of families with children in North Carolina do not earn enough to meet their basic needs. Many people imagine workers in a rural textile mill or recent immigrants laboring in the fields. Yet this statistic also includes the public employees of the state itself.

North Carolina General Statute 95-98 makes null and void any collective bargaining agreements between the state and its employees. Public employees who strike can be fired immediately. Union representation is among the lowest in the nation.

As a community college instructor in North Carolina, I get a salary that is more than $15,000 below the national average. Only two other states have lower average salaries. Many full time permanent instructors, including those with extensive teaching experience and Ph.D.'s in their discipline, are forced to take additional temporary employment to make ends meet.

Our situation is not unique. While we may have little in common with our neighbors in the textile mill or tobacco field, we all share a common goal--to receive a fair wage for our labor and to be treated with the respect we deserve.

With laws such as General Statute 95-98, a state of injustice exists in North Carolina.

Chris Candy

Cary, North Carolina

Ever since reading Nickel and Dimed, I have been a devoted fan of Barbara Ehrenreich. She may be under the gun in North Carolina, but perhaps some of those radio listeners who have regarded her as the Antichrist will hear what she has to say, become so incensed that they pick up her book, and finally receive some actual knowledge about what life is like for the working poor.

Sabrina Banes

via e-mail
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Title Annotation:Letters to the Editor
Publication:The Progressive
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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