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District 6 Salutes
Warren Union,
Makes Plans For 2000

District 6 officers and executive board ...

District 6 officers and executive board receive oath of office from General Secretary-Treasurer Bob Clark.

John Lambiase Gary Zobrist Bob Clark
District 6 Pres. 
John Lambiase

Local 633 Pres. 
Gary Zobrist

UE Genl. Sec.-Treas.
Bob Clark

A bittersweet UE District Six convention heard reports of successful union activity, made plans for the year 2000 — and saluted the members of UE Locals 633 and 634 whose plant, Deluxe Metals, is slated for closing.

In welcoming delegates, Local 633 Pres. Gary Zobrist spoke proudly of his co-workers’ long association with UE, and thanked the union for its steadfast support of Deluxe workers’ struggles.

The good ship Local 633 has sailed through a sea of troubles, Zobrist said — piratical employers, major layoffs and bankruptcy. Pirates may have sunk the ship, "but we’re in our lifeboats and we’re still struggling. But all around us are other ships, UE locals, with helping hands."

"It is a testimony to the UE-style of rank-and-file unionism that this ship has stayed afloat this long," Zobrist stressed. "Our employers sank the rest of the their fleet between 1969 and 1993 — 13 plants nationwide and in Canada and Puerto Rico. We were the last to go."


During his working life, the local president said, he has been a member of three other unions, all affiliated with the AFL-CIO. "I can tell you that this union, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America — period, independent — is the only true union I have ever belonged to."

UE continues to be a ray of hope for working people, District Six Pres. John Lambiase declared. He emphasized that organizing the union is everyone’s job.

With health care continuing to be a national dilemma, the major contenders for the Democratic nomination for President are addressing the issue. Unfortunately, neither Al Gore nor Bill Bradley are proposing solutions that would remove profit from health care delivery, pointed out Pres. Lambiase. In contrast, UE and the Labor Party have a plan for cradle-to-the-grave health care, he said. Neither Democrat is truly pro-labor or worth endorsing, Pres. Lambiase contended.

To members of Locals 633 and 634, Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark declared, "they can close your plant, but they can’t take away your spirit."


"As unionists we face a struggle to survive," he said, citing legislation and bargaining trends geared to elimination of unions. Right-wing forces oppose unions because they bring individuals together in common purpose.

The national officer gave delegates a vibrant picture of a union on the move, putting its financial house in order, and winning three out of five elections since the September convention.

Emphasizing the importance of local union self-reliance, Clark said that ultimately there is no substitute for militant workplace action. "No staff can do that for you," he said. Members must be listened to if problems are to be handled successfully, he counseled.

The Labor Party was built on high expectations, he said. "We’re again faced with a presidential election that will force us to vote for the lesser of two evils. We’ll all live to see a Labor Party government. With your help, we’ll get there."

Ed Bruno, a Labor Party organizer and former UE officer, emphasized, "There are no shortcuts, this all takes time." The Labor Party strategy is based on an intention to win.


In shop reports, Jim Weber, Local 610 reported on the threat of loss of work to Mexico and how outsourcing involves single women forced to take jobs as a result of welfare repeal. It’s a case of exploiting the poor, he said.

The delegates from Locals 506 and 618 reported production at the General Electric plant in Erie to be at a record high and preparations already underway for national GE bargaining in May 2000. Other locals reported steady work and some boost in employment.

Political Action Co-Chairs Donna Cramer, Local 506, and John Thompson, Local 690, commented on local political activity, including candidate surveys, and national developments, including legislation, the 2000 elections, the World Trade Organization global meeting in Seattle and the UE-backed campaign to close the U.S. Army School of the Americas.

Delegates discussed plans to conduct a statewide political action day in Harrisburg with District One leaders.

Returned to district office were Pres. Lambiase and Fin. Sec. David Adams; Betsy Potter was elected vice president. Mary Ice will temporarily serve as recording secretary.

UE News - 11/99

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