Employees protest for higher wages in Kinston

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Nearly a dozen employees of the Caswell Center in Kinston gathered outside City Hall Tuesday afternoon to protest working conditions and wages.

The workers were calling on local and state governments to increase wages to $15 an hour, and pay them for overtime. They said many DHHS employees are forced to work overtime, but don’t get paid for it.

The group also was calling on the government to give them union rights, internationally recognize the right for public workers to collectively bargain, give employees the right to have a representative in grievance meetings, and have enough staff and proper equipment to make the work environment safer.

Some protesting feel as if this was a racial issue.

“You can be a model employee, never be later, never call in, you know, but in their eyes, you’re not human,” said Peggy Price.

Price said some workers at the Caswell Center didn’t take part in the protest because they thought they might lose their job because of it.

Greensboro has already adopted a commitment to raise municipal workers’ salaries to $15 an hour over the next few years.

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