Discussion thread: working in Asheville

Cover design by Carrie Lare

Coming off this week’s cover story on the union organizing drive at the Sitel call center, this is a discussion thread for any topic related to jobs, wages, and working conditions in Asheville.

Asheville (and the surrounding counties) have a growing economy, an educated population and relatively low unemployment. At the same time, wages are low — the typical worker in Buncombe County makes $97 a week less than the state average — and the cost of living relatively high.

Some of the Sitel employees are pushing for a union in response to complaints about low wages and bad working conditions. Is that approach needed elsewhere in Asheville or is it not the right solution? What working conditions do you see and what would you like to see change? What issues do you see with Asheville’s economy? What concerns aren’t talked about in public enough?

Discussion on any of those topics, or others related to work, welcome in the comments below.


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2 thoughts on “Discussion thread: working in Asheville

  1. lmehaffey

    I am not fully informed on the issues involved with the efforts to bring unionization to Sitel, but I do wonder: are there other unions in the area? How are they working out? I am a retired teacher and a former member of the AEA/NEA. Membership in the teacher’s union is voluntary (Alabama is a right-to-work state)and no teacher is compelled to join — although they do benefit from the efforts of our union to protect wages and benefits to the same degree as dues-paying union members. Unions are not necessarily a work-world evil, although like all organizations given power from a membership group, they need a clearly defined mandate and conscientious oversight by their constituency.

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