North Carolina lawmakers approved a nonbinding resolution Tuesday asking the Democratic National Convention to change its rules and "respect North Carolina's right-to-work laws."
It comes after Republicans raised concerns about North Carolina firms not getting contracts for the September convention because they are not unionized shops.
The resolution asks the DNC to refrain from hiring workers and companies from outside North Carolina when qualified businesses or workers are available within the state.
So far, the convention committee has awarded three contracts to six firms totaling $7 million - but only one went to a unionized firm.
The resolution mentions the lone union contract - for printing services - which created a stir after the owner of a rival company complained that his nonunion status had cost him the gig.
The convention committee bid states that the contract was for event production, not printing services. The resolution also contains another error about the source of the money for the convention.
The Charlotte delegation didn't know about the resolution until a House committee meeting, but the N.C. Republican Party has been pressing the issue for some time.
"It may astonish you - it's not about politics, it's about jobs," said state Rep. David Lewis, the Republican sponsor.
Lewis said he supported the convention in Charlotte, but he wanted to make sure local workers are hired.
"I think it's only fitting that Tar Heel workers at least have the opportunity to benefit from (the convention)," he said.
Democrats assailed the resolution, calling it "rumor-mongering," "silliness" and a "waste of time."
They said no evidence suggests that nonunion workers are getting bypassed for union firms.
"It's a clear indication of why we shouldn't be here today and why we shouldn't waste taxpayers dollars," said Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham Democrat.
The DNC convention committee declined to comment. But the N.C. Democratic Party issued a statement.
"Unfortunately, it seems that Republicans will take every opportunity to play politics on the taxpayer's dime to try and score cheap points," Chairman David Parker said.
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