“As Unions Have Declined, So Too Has The Middle Class”

From low wages to non-existent benefits, things are not right for many American workers. But why do some workers vote against their own self-interest?

MaryBe McMillan is the Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina AFL-CIO, a federation of unions across the state.

We discuss the use of anti-union fear as a political tool, the one thing she likes about Donald Trump, the devious distraction of House Bill 2, and why the fight for a higher minimum wage gives her hope.

On Donald Trump

“He’s good on trade, I’ll give him that. But he’s not good on a whole lot of other issues that working families care about.”

On House Bill 2

“It’s ironic that the Republicans say they’re all about making North Carolina business-friendly, yet with this one piece of legislation they’ve managed to run all these good employers out of the state.”

On Wages

“We’ve seen CEO pay skyrocket. It used to be in the ‘80s they earned about 40 times the average worker, and now we’re almost at 400 times the average worker. . . . We keep debating how much is enough at the bottom, but we need to be talking about how much is enough at the top as well.” 

On Political Fear Mongering

“We’ve seen politicians really use fear to keep people from voting in their own self-interest.  So whether it’s fear of the government or fear of terrorism or fear of unions, ultimately it’s really about fear of each other, and this fear that somehow if you get more, I’m going to get less.”