Navigation Bar

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

District 1 Promotes
Union-Building, Labor Party


Dinniny and delegation remember Ray Spinozzi ...
Local 329 Pres. Tom Dinniny and his delegation present District 1 Pres. Connie Spinozzi a plaque commemorating her late husband Ray Spinozzi, president of Local 155, who passed away in March.

Building the union and organizing the Labor Party were offered as the best responses to attacks on workers’ jobs and living standards, during discussion at the UE District One Council meeting here June 12.

Although 275,000 jobs have been created over the last year, the news media fails to talk about the 30,000 manufacturing jobs the United States has lost each month during the same period, charged District Pres. Connie Spinozzi. The reality behind those figures is evident in District One, with hundreds of members of Locals 123 and 124 losing their jobs. While both companies have used the excuse of the Asian economic crisis for their actions, the job losses are in fact due to U.S. trade policies, especially NAFTA and GATT, Spinozzi said.

"The answer is the Labor Party," the District president declared. The Republicans and Democrats have deserted working people for corporate financing. UE locals should help build Labor Party chapters in their areas to provide a voice for the working men and women of this country, Spinozzi said.

Delegates also directed their attention to the importance of building a stronger UE, debating and unanimously adopting a resolution entitled "Organizing the Unorganized."

"Going through a campaign is rough, most people want a union but the boss gets them scared," commented Butch Pridgen, district recording secretary. "If we don’t start organizing we are going to have to move to another country to maintain our standard of living."

The resolution had the endorsement of Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley, who urged locals to "get a fire lit" in their areas and pledged the support of the national union in assisting local organizing efforts.

Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley Barbara Prear and Butch Pridgen
At left, Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley praises the courage of District 1 members in recent struggles. Right: Local 150 Pres. Barbara Prear gives a report as Butch Pridgen listens; Prear was elected a district trustee.

In his remarks to the district council, Kingsley praised the courage of UE members in District One, citing the spirited strike of Local 120 at Locke Insulator and the fight of Local 124 to save jobs at CII. He reiterated the comment of Local 124 Pres. Maken Dodge that everyone who lifted their hands to struggle against the plant closing is truly a hero. Kingsley spoke of the union’s pioneering work in organizing Local 150, the North Carolina Public Service Workers’ Union. That struggle, he said, "is not only important to UE but to the entire labor movement."

The national UE officer also reported on the multi-union alliance organized by UE in the ongoing effort to win a first contract with the Glastic Plastics subsidiary of the Japan-based Kobe Steel. And Kingsley shared with delegates the General Executive Board’s recent revision of the union’s five-year plan, with new approaches to organizing and controlling costs.

Our's is a unique union founded on democratic principle and militant struggle, Dir. of Org. Kingsley said. In good times and bad, the membership has always come through, he commented, expressing his confidence that the members will do the right thing to preserve and expand their union.

Delegates took part in workshops on member-to-member harassment and safety and health. How does the union deal with members who harass their co-workers on the basis of race, sex, color or creed? A workshop led by Intl. Rep. David Cohen examined the union’s responsibility to confront such harassment. Local 155 Pres. Bob Miller presented a workshop covering the basic rights of union members when they are required to perform unsafe work.

The council meeting was hosted by Local 329.

UE News - 07/99

Home -> UE News -> 1999 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