The lead editorial in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer puts it succinctly as it comments on the ongoing N&O series by reporter Mandy Locke on Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry:
“She wasn’t doing her job when Democrats were in power, and she’s not doing it now. In a News & Observer report by Mandy Locke, a clear pattern emerges: Berry doesn’t see her mission as protecting workers; she sees it as protecting business, even when workers are getting shortchanged. Time and again, her department has fallen short on investigations of unpaid wages….
There’s nothing complicated about what’s going on here. Berry, whose image is on every elevator in North Carolina (her department has oversight of inspections), has gained a certain amount of name recognition over the years. She has kept winning office. But the public, except for those workers whose problems have been ignored, doesn’t pay much attention to whether Berry is doing her job.
She’s not. And now, with Republicans in charge of the governor’s office and the General Assembly, where there is virtually no interest on the part of the majority in workers’ rights, Berry is able to simply sit tight….
With Berry, the problems go from workers not being paid for work performed to a commissioner being paid for duties unfulfilled. Both problems need to stop being tolerated and start being fixed.”