UE District 2 Locals
Are Fighting Back
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt.
Two hundred-strong, UE 234 members, UE District Two local delegates and community supporters filed past management’s
windows at Fairbanks Scales chanting, "Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!"
Delegates to the October district council meeting taking place here came out to support the Fairbanks workers, members of
UE 234, in their struggle to hold down the costs of health insurance, keep a good contract, and thaw the company’s proposal to freeze
their pension. It was a solid show of district-wide support for their sisters and brothers at Fairbanks.
Anthony Pollina, Progressive candidate for lieutenant governor, came to the picket line to voice his support for the
workers. He also called on all Vermonters to press hard for progressive electoral change and to bring the message of single payer
universal healthcare to the state capitol this winter.
Ed Spanek, president of the Vermont State Employees Association, James Haselton of the Vermont Workers Center, UE Dir.
of Org. Bob Kingsley and UE 243 Pres. Ray Pompano all offered words of support and encouragement.
Once back in their meeting room for the afternoon session, District Two delegates listened to shop reports, endorsed the
upcoming New England-wide "No War on Iraq" rally in the Boston Commons, and discussed the debates and events at the 67th UE
National Convention in Raleigh, N.C.
The council heard a final report from Mike "Rebel" Fortier as Bijur and UE 295 have closed their doors.
Delegates nominated and elected the 2002-2003 District Two Executive Board and trustees. The newly elected District Two
officers and executive board are: Peter Knowlton, president; Ray Pompano, vice president; Jonathan Kissam,
secretary-treasurer; Joyce Sumner, Crystal Breer, Norma Sprague, Bob South, Gerry LaValley, Wayne Ericson, Jason Dominic and
Later that night the delegates had a crowded and spirited evening of dinner and karaoke with assistance from some local
country and western "heavy twanger" deejays.
OF ORGANIZING — AND UNIONBUSTING
Three inches of new snow welcomed delegates Saturday morning, when they listened to member organizers report on the recent
Regional Organizing Council Institute and the organizing campaign of support staff at Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington.
Field Org. Heather Riemer and Local 254 Pres. Crystal Breer reported on the special situation facing UE
Local 254 at Berlin Health and Rehabilitation, where the infamous unionbusting law firm Jackson and Lewis was pushing hard to decertify UE
254 in the midst of their second contract negotiations. (UE 254 members ended up beating back this latest assault by Jackson and Lewis on
Nov. 21 — making them 3-0 against one of the country’s largest and most vicious unionbusters.)
Brother Kingsley updated the delegates on the strike by UE members at Azteca and urged their support of that struggle for
a first contract.
The national officer also made a presentation on the possible ways that the national union might reform the overall dues
structure to effect a more progressive payment system.
Intl. Rep. David Cohen presented the prologue to an expanded workshop to be given at the February 2003 Council
meeting entitled: "Negotiating in the ‘New’ Economic Age." The next District Two Council meeting will take place in New
London, Conn. Feb. 21-22, 2003.