Politics
Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx (Photo: AP) Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx (Photo: AP)  

Big labor favor: DNC may replace local workers with out-of-state union labor for convention

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Charlotte, N.C. Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat with close ties to President Barack Obama, is taking political heat as several reports show he plans to replace local workers with out-of-state union workers during the Democratic National Convention next year.

Foxx’s mayoral Republican challenger, Scott Stone, has been a vocal opponent of Foxx’s purportedly anti-local business policies. Stone recently held a press conference asking Foxx to pledge he wouldn’t give DNC jobs to out-of-state unions, but Foxx refused to commit.

After the press conference, RedState’s Ben Howe discovered that the DNC was “discriminating against” a local large format sign printing company because it does not employ union labor. Since then, more reports of “discrimination” against non-union shops in Charlotte have surfaced.

The Ritz Carlton hotel in Charlotte, where the president is reportedly staying during the DNC next year, plans to temporarily lay off its employees, LaborUnionReport.com reports. LaborUnionReport.com spoke with a Ritz Carlton non-union employee who confirmed “they had been told they would be laid off during the convention.”

The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) disputes the LaborUnionReport.com report. “The claim is totally fabricated and false,” said DNCC spokesperson Kristie Greco. “There is no Democratic Convention-related obligation to cause the furlough of hotel workers convention week.”*

The local newspaper of record, the Charlotte Observer, ran a front page story this weekend also bashing the Democratic Party for its lack of transparency in planning the DNC convention.

In addition to being Charlotte’s mayor, Foxx is one of two co-chairs of the DNC Host Committee — meaning he is responsible for these sorts of decisions. The news is coming at a bad time for Foxx, as Charlotte voters will decide on Tuesday whether to re-elect him or kick him out of office.

As reports that Foxx and the DNC are actively pushing local non-union workers out of the way in favor of out-of-state workers continue to surface, Stone told The Daily Caller he knew he was right all along.

“For months Mayor Foxx and the DNC host committee have denied their plans to use out of state unions to fill convention jobs,” Stone said in an email. “We are now hearing reports that existing local jobs will be taken away from Charlotte workers when the DNC comes to town. This is outrageous and insulting.”

Stone said it looks like the DNC host committee and Foxx don’t care about Charlotte workers.

“The DNC host committee and Mayor Foxx are telling Charlotte workers that they are not good enough,” Stone said. “We now see, without question, that Mayor Foxx has chosen union interests over Charlotte workers.”

North Carolina state GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood told TheDC that the Democrats’ “plan to bring in out-of-state workers to fill convention jobs” is already in action.

“Big unions were upset that a right-to-work state was chosen for the DNC Convention, so Gov. Beverly Perdue and Anthony Foxx are filling as many jobs with these unions as a favor to appease and fill the pockets of their union boss supporters,” Lockwood said. “They don’t like North Carolina’s ‘right-to-work’ status, and are doing everything they can to disrespect it.”

The Democratic Party’s Host Committee also denies allegations that only unionized firms will be allowed to participate in the bidding process for DNC work. “The notion that the host committee will only allow unionized firms to bid is categorically untrue,” Committee for Charlotte 2012 Executive Director Dan Murrey said in a statement, according to Politico. “The Committee for Charlotte 2012 encourages all firms to submit proposals for goods and services. The committee works to have an inclusive procurement process in which all firms are welcome to bid.”*

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*This story has been updated.