District 10 Delegates
And Teach Each Other
Leaders of UE locals in California gathered here June 15-16
for a District 10 Council meeting that combined union education and discussion
on in-shop organizing and the impact of the state’s notorious blackouts on
The district council started a day early for a number of UE
members who assembled for a day-long training on fighting grievances and
workplace mobilization. Locals 1004, 1010, 1421 and 1422 participated in the
workshops led by International Representatives Carol Lambiase and Steve
"It was a great success, our leaders got a lot out of the
training," enthused District 10 Pres. Marianne Hart. "It’s
good to know your rights as a steward," affirmed new Local 1004 Steward Frank
The training culminated in a picket outside Orthopedic
Hospital in support of Local 1004 members employed by Integrated Support
Solutions Inc. (ISSI) at Henry Mayo Hospital in Santa Clarita struggling for a
first contract. "It felt great to be marching together in support of our
fellow UE members, I had never been to a rally or picket before and I have to
say, it was fun and inspiring," said Local 1014 Rec. Sec. Laura
'JUST ACT LIKE A UNION!'
At the district council meeting, delegates participated in a
workshop on work reorganization schemes, from team concepts to job
combinations to subcontracting. Workers found that no matter the workplace
employers all push the same agenda. As Local 1004 Pres. Judy Hice
pointed out, "Management everywhere all attend the same seminars on this
junk, we’d better share our ideas on how to stop them."
UE members shared their experiences in resisting these
schemes, in keeping with the union’s proud history of resistance to programs
that eliminate jobs, speed the pace of work and shatter worker unity. As Genl.
Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark told delegates, "You know how to fight back,
just act like a union!"
Through shop reports, local leaders shared ideas on how to
deal with the impact of California’s blackouts on the workplace. Many
employers signed contracts with power companies, agreeing to unscheduled power
interruptions in exchange for cheaper electricity rates. This circumstance has
left many workers called off work with pay.
Shop reports also led to a lengthy discussion of internal
organizing. Kraco, one of several plants in amalgamated Local 1421, is an open
shop, and as a result union members at the car accessory factory earn little
more than the minimum wage — and daily face menacing armed guards. Delegates
vowed to help increase membership at Kraco by visiting non-members and
conveying experiences of what can be achieved when workers unite on the job.
District 10 participated in this year’s national Political
Action Conference; those who attended reported on what can be done to defeat
the renewed fast track legislation that would likely guarantee passage of the
Free Trade Area of the Americas. UE members met with Sen. Barbara Boxer,
among other California lawmakers, to demand defeat of this attempt to destroy
jobs and degrade the Americas. District 10 Political Action Dir. Mike
Rivera of Local 1421 stumped Republican congressmen when he challenged
them to name new factory jobs created because of NAFTA.
Delegates heard Bob Clark outline budget changes proposed by the General Executive Board. Many delegates shared their
experiences discussing the union’s finances with their local membership.
UE News - 06/01