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District 1 Arrives
In North Carolina;
Delegates Hail
Union Progress


At the Juneteenth march in Raleigh ...

At the start of the Juneteenth march in Raleigh: Bob Kingsley (with sunglasses and tie) is flanked by Saladin Muhammad, UE Field Organizer and national chair of Black Workers for Justice, and Baldemar Velasquez, president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee. Local 150 Pres. Barbara Prear holds the banner at right. District 1 Council delegates and Local 150 members took part in the march and rally.

If the presence here of the District One Council for its June 16 meeting was a boost to UE’s organizing in the Tar Heel State, the inspiration was mutual. Participants from Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the union spirit of the hundreds of new UE members signed-up in North Carolina.

Representatives of UE Local 150, North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, helped fill the Tobacco Workers hall, as they added to reports and discussion. They came from Department of Health and Human Services facilities, from the University of North Carolina system and the City of Durham. UE members also came from Vermont-American and Cummins Diesel, where a non-majority status UE organization carries out shop-floor defense of workers’ rights.

"Everyone has the same problems, the constant fight for dignity and a livable wage," declared District One Pres. Connie Spinozzi.

"I’m proud of 150, they’re the hottest thing in UE," said Tim McCambridge, Local 123, Staunton, Va. "You’re making history," he told the Local 150 delegation. "Keep kicking ass!"

The idea of making history received reiteration with the news that the 2002 UE Convention will take place in North Carolina, the union’s first-ever convention in the South. "We have to take seriously this unprecedented, historic event," commented Barry Rideout, Local 120. "This is an opportunity to show the labor movement what kind of a union we are, to show the labor movement what working-class people in North Carolina are about," he said to applause.


"UE has arrived in North Carolina!" proclaimed Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley. The national officer reviewed the union’s organizing work and first-contract struggles in a number of areas around the country but noted that North Carolina is "the one place in the United States where we are making the greatest progress." He added that "It’s early, we’ve a long way to go and a lot of progress left to make."

Later in the meeting, Kingsley led a discussion of the union’s finances and modifications of the financial plan going to the UE Convention in September.

Duane Yaindl, Local 111, and Bob Miller, Local 155, presented executive board-approved resolutions on ergonomics and support for the Labor Party, to be submitted to the UE Convention; delegates approved both. Yaindl, in his report as political action chair, noted that the shift in power in the U.S. Senate following the defection of James Jeffords from the Republican Party has allowed the Patients’ Bill of Rights to come forward. While this is progress, what’s really needed is the universal coverage envisioned by the Labor Party in its Just Healthcare campaign, he said.

Randy Skaggs, Local 123, was elected interim trustee.


Pres. Spinozzi urged a large presence from District One at the UE National convention to back the candidacy of Bruce Klipple for general secretary-treasurer. The former president of Local 140, Klipple has been international representative in District One for 11 years. "We’ll be losing an integral part of District One, but it will be for the good of the national union as a whole," Spinozzi said.

McCambridge assured delegates, "Bruce is a pretty good ol’ bird," adding, "He’ll do a fine job, he’s a fine man."

Council delegates took part in a march through Raleigh and rally outside the North Carolina capitol. Sponsored by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and Black Workers for Justice, the Juneteenth march and rally commemorated the end of slavery and celebrated the unity of black and Latino workers in the new movement for justice in the South. UE’s Kingsley addressed the rally, describing his union’s struggles for workers’ rights in North Carolina and around the nation.

UE News - 06/01

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

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