Get back to the peoples business!
Representatives of UE locals from Los Angeles to Boston assembled in the nations capital on April 18 to deliver that message to Congress. And over the next three days they made their voices heard in visits to dozens of Congressional offices.
The second-largest UE Political Action Conference in recent history drew delegates from every UE district. These rank-and-file representatives confidently confronted the powerful with a demand for attention to working-class concerns strengthened Social Security, fair trade policies and defeat of anti-labor legislation.
Nearly two thirds of the lobbying visits brought union members face-to-face with members of Congress. In other meetings, Congressional aides also got an earful from well-prepared UE delegates.
Delegates lobbied hard against privatization of Social Security on Capitol Hill and treated prominent backers of privatization to a noisy, spirited picket line.
The rank-and-file lobbyists took a hard line against job-destroying trade policies, even if it meant disagreeing with otherwise labor-friendly Democrats on renewal of fast-track authority and the "NAFTA for Africa" bill.
UE members spoke out against several legislative assaults on worker rights repeal of overtime pay, legalization of company unions, restrictions on labors free speech, legalized discrimination against trade unionists and the so-called right-to-work legislation.
And they also took care of business close to home, pointing out
a number of UE struggles to the members of Congress.