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District 10 Meets,
Reaffirms Commitment
To Building the Union

DUARTE, Calif.

Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark addresses the District 10 Council
Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark addresses the District 10 Council. Listening at right are Vice Pres. Ida Betts, Rec. Sec. Maria Gonzalez, Pres. Joe Chavez and Treas. Marianne Hart.

Delegates from all over the state of California came together at District 10’s council meeting Feb. 12-13. The UE leaders reaffirmed their commitment to organize, build the Labor Party, strengthen international solidarity and to move towards greater rank-and-file self-sufficiency. Workshops were conducted on changing the workers compensation law in California and how to conduct elections according to the Labor Dept. regulations.

Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark brought the message of rank-and-file self-sufficiency to the district, explaining the advantages of members taking a greater role in the servicing of their locals as well as in our organizing work. "The boss prefers to deal with the staff person, because that person will go away, when your employer has to deal with you and see you every day, that’s when we make real gains in respect and better working conditions," he said.

District Treas. Marianne Hart confirmed that members also make the best organizers: "We are our best ambassadors, the best at finding contacts, the key to our successes in organizing."

District 10 will also strengthen its relationship with Mexico’s Authentic Labor Front (FAT) when Pres. Joe Chavez participates in the upcoming Mexico tour sponsored by the union. Chavez looks at the trip as crucial to our organizing work in the state, "in California especially, this relationship is very important, I hope to discuss common labor problems and border issues with our brothers and sisters in Mexico."

Vice Pres. Ida "Bunny" Betts reported on the district's activities with the Labor Party, giving an inspiring talk on the convention last fall. "now is the time to build the Labor Party, people are sick of the impeachment trial, they are sick and tired of the corporations running the government, let's act together to make our vision a reality!"

An effort is underway in California to reform the workers’ comp laws that have caused misery for many injured workers; the election of a new governor last fall opens a window for discussion. In the workers’ comp workshop UE members listened and shared what they thought was fair treatment for injured and disabled workers.

In a workshop on union elections conducted by Labor Dept. representatives, members learned the minimum requirements for elections, including frequency, notification of membership, and voting procedures. They also found out some little-known facts; for example, convicted felons are prohibited from running for office.

Each local delegate reported on the struggles in their workplaces, with many describing common problems of fighting outsourcing, the use of temporary workers and health and safety concerns. Members shared strategies and some recent wins, including a report by Jose Reyes, chief steward at Kraco, Local 1421, who recently recovered over $3,000 in back wages for two members of his shop. All left with the resolve to work towards stronger locals and a stronger union.

UE News - 03/99

Home -> UE News -> 1999 Archives -> Article

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