Navigation Bar

Home -> UE News -> 2000 Archives -> Article

District 6 Welcomes
TEMCO Workers
And Local 684


Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley presents charter for Local 684

Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley presents a delegation of TEMCO workers with the charter for Local 684. Arrayed behind the podium are Local 684 members Mark Howard, Mike Patrick, Mike Drakulic, Crystal Pratt, Pete Lawrence Jr., Roy Bolinger, Leon Durrance, Ken Benden and Dale Wilkinson. Below: Crystal Pratt proudly holds up the new local's charter.

Crystal Pratt proudly holds up the new local's charter

Since its inception, The Electric Materials Co. (TEMCO) has operated non-union. But no more. At the UE District Six Council meeting here Feb. 26, Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley presented a proud delegation of nine TEMCO workers a charter for UE Local 684 on behalf of their more than 200 co-workers. They received an enthusiastic and emotional welcome from council delegates.

The "eighty-four" in Local 684 represents the many years workers employed by the Erie County specialty copper mill have gone without a union, a period brought to an end with their Dec. 9 election victory.

Pulling his UE membership card out of his back pocket, TEMCO worker Mike Drakulic proclaimed, "I’ve waited 28 years for this!" TEMCO workers, as Charles Tangle, Local 683, observed, will "never have to feel alone again."

Drakulic, Mark Howard, Michael Patrick and Crystal Pratt expressed their thanks to rank-and-filers who helped them gain a union that will power their efforts to reverse the slide in conditions under new ownership.


District Six Pres. John Lambiase and Intl. Rep. Debra Gornall presented awards to rank-and-file volunteers who contributed to the victory through participation in home visits — among them Bill Callahan, Local 751, whose union-building efforts crossed state lines and district boundaries.

Last year’s convention adopted an ambitious plan to build the union, said Kingsley; "we’ve been busy." Organizing campaigns are underway in every district, he pointed out. The TEMCO campaign and Henry Mayo Hospital campaign in California are two of the biggest UE has taken on in the months since.

The UE officer said TEMCO workers exhibited courage in the face of a difficult organizing climate. A tough committee inside the shop and assistance of volunteers helped make the difference.

"The less we’re organized the more we’ll be exploited," Kingsley reminded delegates.


The "Battle of Seattle" over trade policies represented an important beginning in a new fight for people, not profits, Kingsley said. He encouraged the District Six leaders to join the thousands in Washington, D.C. on April 16 to protest the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and policies which encourage the lowering of living standards world-wide.

In November, a delegation led by District Pres. Lambiase joined a demonstration demanding the closure of the U.S. Army School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga.; he and John Thompson, Local 690, reported on the event. The school trains Latin American military officers; UE is concerned that so many "graduates" have been connected to the murder of union leaders and the repression of the labor movement in their countries.

After their report, Mick Patrick of new Local 684 asked what more could be done to close the school; delegates voted to circulate a petition for submission to Members of Congress.

Delegates voted to send resolutions to the UE National convention on closing the School of the Americas, saving public education and promoting retiree organizations.

Delegates agreed to back labor efforts in the Fourth Congressional District to hold rallies focusing on the issues important to working people. Ed Grystar, president of the Butler County Labor Council, stressed the importance of building labor’s political independence.


Workshop On Grievances Nets Volleyball Example

District Six discussion on economic growth and grievances on past practices collided on a volleyball court.

Facing increased business, Kenson Plastics in Warrendale, Pa. is expanding its plant — right into the employee volleyball court. Local 690 persuaded the company to move the court, said Local Pres. Jim Tew.

The volleyball court, said District Pres. John Lambiase, is an example of a past practice. All written and unwritten and implied agreements a company makes with the union fall into the category of past practices and are subject to the grievance procedure, explained Lambiase, who led a council workshop on the subject.

In shop reports, a number of delegates reported that the strong economy is translating into increased production, new hires and plant expansion. But this hasn’t come without problems.

Tom Migdal, Local 692, reported on three serious accidents within a week; the Ervite plant has new owners, a full order book and several new hires. The success and growth of Reid Plastics has led to its purchase by a bigger company; Local 690 members are watching the ramifications of the sale carefully, said John Thompson.

John Shaplye, Local 610, said WABCO workers accepting retirement incentives are not being replaced. That’s also true at the General Electric plant in Erie, reported David Adams, Local 506. Delegates from Locals 506 and 618 reported on preparations for upcoming national negotiations with GE and the 2000 UE Convention, which will take place in Erie. David Kitchen, Local 506, reported the local union for the first time has a female chief steward — Patte Dillen.

Betsy Potter, Local 618, noted that the joint 506-618 Legislative Action Committee is pressing Rep. Phil English (R., Pa.) to oppose normal trade relations with China.

Giving a shop report for the first time, Charles Tangle, Local 683, detailed the successful outcome of a grievance at Liberty Iron that gave workers who observed Martin Luther King Day time and one-half when they worked the following Saturday.

Delegates also discussed arrangements for the Pennsylvania UE Political Action Day, to take place in conjunction with District One on May 8 in Harrisburg; viewed the film At the River I Stand, about the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike and Rev. Martin Luther King; and participated in workshops on past practice grievances and information requests.

UE News - 03/00

Home -> UE News -> 2000 Archives -> Article

Home • About UE • Organize! • Independent Unions • Search • Site Guide • What's New • Contact UE
UE News • Political Action • Info for Workers • Resources • Education • Health & Safety • International • Links

Copyright © 2003 UE. All Rights Reserved