Navigation Bar

Home -> UE News -> 2001 Archives -> Article

District 6 Meeting Reflects
Activities, Concerns
Of Busy, Fighting Union



The Local 684 delegation reports; Crystal Pratt (at podium) with Mike Lane, Ron Lane, Mike Drakulic and Ron Maines. Seated are district officers: Fin. Sec. Dave Adams, Pres. John Lambiase, Rec. Sec. Mary Ice and Pat McCaughtry, district staff.

A wide-ranging District Six Council meeting here March 3-4 heard remarks by all three UE national officers on the proposed financial plan, detailed reports on shop struggles, extensive political action discussion and news from the front-lines of UE organizing.

Commenting on both the national and district financial plans presented to delegates, District Pres. John Lambiase insisted that the basic solution is expansion of union ranks and working-class power.

"I don’t believe it is just a question of finances, it is also a question of organizing the unorganized," Lambiase declared. "Studies have shown working people want unions but the laws we have today make it very difficult to organize new unions."

Difficult, but not impossible: Lambiase cited the union’s Labor Board election success in the region.

Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley, with the aid of slides, led delegates through a description of the union’s finances and explanation of the plan for financial stability and growth endorsed by the General Executive Board in January. The plan calls for a reduction in the annual budget deficit with continued high levels of organizing.

"This is not a done deal," Kingsley said. "Rather, we’re here to ask your consideration of the plan. Our goal is a discussion of the facts for the future."

Genl. Pres. John Hovis and Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark added their perspectives on the plan and fielded questions.

UE field staff are busily pursuing leads in unorganized workplaces throughout western Pennsylvania, from Erie to Uniontown.


Scott Buterbaugh, Local 692 and Sue Falk, Local 697
Scott Buterbaugh, Local 692 and Sue Falk, Local 697, listen to the discussion.

Crystal Pratt and Mike Drakulic of Local 684 reported to the council on the frustratingly slow pace of negotiations for a first contract with The Electric Materials Co. (TEMCO) in North East. The union fights grievances on the shop floor and has been successful with 30 unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board, Pratt said. "We have heard the company had a record year," she said — TEMCO workers are looking to make a record with a contract.

Drakulic told delegates he traveled to Wisconsin for a meeting with the owner of the parent company. "The UE stopped him from running away with our money," Drakulic said. Delegates passed the hat for Ron Lane, a TEMCO worker unjustly fired for union involvement. "Keep the faith, feel good about yourself and keep us in your thoughts and prayers," said Lane. "We are proud to be here."

Local 611 members at Newell Porcelain turned up the heat on the boss to get the boss to turn the heat on, Scott Allison reported.

WABCO is the largest manufacturer in North America of the brakes and rubber for the locomotives produced by UE members at the General Electric plant in Erie, pointed out Sonny Marcin, Local 610 — who reported on the substantial wage increases and other gains in a recently negotiated contract.


Merle Crossland said Local 625 is aiding nearby United Mine Workers members on strike — an idea district council delegates readily endorsed. The council voted to donate half of the day’s 50/50 drawing to the striking mine workers.

Donna Cramer of Local 506, District Six political action co-chair, said she’s been going after U.S. Rep. Phil English because of his support of the U.S. Army School of the Americas, which UE wants to close. Delegates saw a film, SOA: Guns with Greed, which shows how combat-ready SOA graduates (Latin American military) use their guns to protect multinational corporations.

John Thompson, a Local 690 member who is the district’s other political action co-chair, analyzed the election results and reviewed the threats to workers’ jobs and working conditions in pending legislation.

UE News - 03/01

Home -> UE News -> 2001 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