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Crises of 2001
Dominate Discussion
At District One Convention


The newly elected officers of District One ...
The newly elected officers of District One are given the oath of office by Genl. Sec.-Treas.-elect Bruce Klipple. From left, Treas. Seretha Taylor, Vice Pres. Bob Miller, Joe Miglino, trustee, Rec. Sec. Barbara Prear, Sgt.-at-Arms Tom Dininny, Pol. Ed. Dir. Duane Yaindl, Kevin Elmquist, trustee, Pres. Connie Spinozzi, and Lester Koch, trustee. Not pictured: Fin. Sec. Tim McCambridge.

The events and aftermath of Sept. 11, the economic crisis, and the UE financial plan captured the attention of delegates to the 49th convention of UE District One, held here Oct. 27.

District One Pres. Connie Spinozzi joined with delegates in mourning the workers who died on Sept. 11 simply because they were at work. In her convention address, she noted survivors’ accounts of some supervisors in World Trade Center offices who urged those evacuating the doomed buildings to remain at work.

Warning against the hysterical calls for restricting civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism, Spinozzi told delegates, "We need, more than ever, to stay the UE course." She called for continuing support for an aggressive labor movement and ongoing political action as the best means of staving off attempts to worsen the plight of working people.


Political Education Dir. Duane Yaindl urged locals to raise "fast track" trade negotiating authority and prescription coverage under Medicare in political action efforts with state and federal lawmakers. He agreed with Pres. Spinozzi that further erosion of rights is likely, and advised locals to visit their representatives’ offices and "keep our perspective in the forefront" on every issue. Brother Yaindl asked locals to send word of these experiences to him, in the hope of publishing a district political action newsletter.

Officers and delegates thanked newly elected Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bruce Klipple for his years of dedicated service as a field organizer and international representative, as he left District One to assume national office. They presented Klipple with a plaque and other mementoes. Brother Klipple expressed his thanks, saying that he "eagerly accepts the challenge of helping to guide UE into the future."


In his remarks to the convention, Klipple reported on UE first-contract struggles underway around the country, and saluted those workers, and members of longer established locals, for their continuing willingness to fight ruthless bosses. He assured delegates "UE is still strongly committed to organizing," emphasizing the importance of finding more campaigns and the rank-and-file role in building the union. Klipple outlined the tasks of the Regional Organizing Councils (ROCs) endorsed by the UE National Convention and announced plans to resume organizing schools in 2002 to "activate a new corps of rank-and-file organizers to hit the streets and build our union!"

The new national officer provided details of the UE financial plan, and led a lively discussion of both the plan and its impact on UE locals. He urged delegates to have the same kind of informative exchanges within their locals about local finances, and to incorporate ROC participation in their activities.

In closing, Klipple reminded delegates of plans to hold the 67th UE Convention in North Carolina and said he had no doubt that District One will prove to be "a fine host for this historic event."


Local 155 delegates reported on two strikes that occurred during the summer. At Metco Manufacturing Co., settlement of a two-week strike came about when the employer acceded to the main demand of keeping medical insurance plans fully paid. The unconditional solidarity among the entire workforce, and strong veteran leadership in the shop, made this positive result possible. Local 155 members at Competitive Media Reporting were forced to return to work after an eight-day strike without improving the company’s last offer because nearly 20 percent of the unit had crossed the line. The good news, delegates said, is that several promising young leaders stood out on the picket lines, and members fully participated in making the difficult decision to end their strike.

The extensive report of Local 150, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, included news of continuing recruitment and consolidation work, grievance activities, stewards’ training and a campaign against a thinly veiled privatization scheme at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill disguised as a "flexibility" proposal. Durham City Workers, members of Local 150, are battling the new city manager to maintain "meet and confer" rights on disputes and to continue dues check-off. They are also launching a campaign to win a major role in the city’s "New Worker Orientation" program.

In other reports, Local 120 announced a good settlement with Locke Insulators. Local 121 continues efforts to build member unity through group grievances and shop-floor grievance activities. Local 111 delegates informed the convention of favorably resolved grievances, new profit-sharing bonus plan and success in challenging Gardner Cryogenics to hire women and minority applicants. Local 112 political action has featured a visit to the district’s U.S. Representative in opposition to fast track. Local 329 is preparing for negotiations and fighting a new attendance policy.

Delegates approved the development of a commemorative ad/program book to defray the costs of sponsoring the 2002 UE Convention. Districts and locals wishing to participate should contact the District One office at 812 Fayette Street, Second Floor, Conshohocken, PA 19428,

UE News - 2/02

Home -> UE News -> 2002 Archives -> Article

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