Continues to Lead District 7
|Pres. Hovis administers the oath of office to
District 7 officers. From left, Vice Pres. Bobbie Nesbit (Local 714), Walter Neace (Local 799) executive board, Pres. Joyce
Clayborne, Bill Lally (Local 758) trustee, Jeff Van Meter (Local 766) executive board, and Sgt.-at-Arms Randy Nester (Local 715).
District Seven Council delegates re-elected Joyce Clayborne as president at the meeting here Oct. 26-27. Delegates
also shared experiences in organizing the unorganized and reported on workplace conditions.
Also elected were Bobbie Nesbit, vice president; Ruth Hollabaugh, financial-secretary-treasurer; Shirley
Thrush, recording secretary; Virginia Garrette, Walt Neace, Jeff Van Meter, executive board members-at large; Bill Lally,
Kathy Spurlock, Lary Wineland, trustees; and Randy Nester, sergeant-at-arms.
Delegates took up a collection for the striking UE Local 1159 fighting unfair labor practices and for a first contract at
Azteca Foods in Chicago.
"The members both run and build this union" seems to the operating philosophy among UE locals in Ohio and
Indiana. Members are stepping up to assist in servicing, allowing organizers to spend more time organizing the unorganized, and in
Genl. Pres. John Hovis reported on organizing in other districts, and more.
The union leader told UE members that because of the Bush Administration focus on Iraq and "weapons of mass
distraction" attention is being diverted from the economic costs of the corporate crime wave and other ongoing problems, such as
plant closings, mass layoffs, bankruptcies, rising unemployment and exploding health care costs. Inequality continues to grow, Hovis said,
pointing out that the average corporate CEO makes 411 times as much as the average hourly worker today, compared to 42 times as much just
20 years ago.
"Here’s a little something to keep in mind for future contract negotiations," Pres. Hovis suggested:
"Thirty-five percent of all corporate executives receive at least three years’ salary, 26 percent receive more than two but less
than three years’ salary. The CEOs of the 25 largest companies that filed bankruptcy walked away with $3.3 billion in severance pay and
benefits. Yet they screech like hell when we propose paying hourly workers one week’s pay for every year of service."
Health insurance, pensions and wages continue to be difficult issues at the bargaining table, Hovis said, and "we can
expect even more speedup and overtime to offset productivity losses caused by more layoffs." What can be done about all of this?
First of all, vote on Nov. 5, the UE president advised. "Second, we need to make sure UE locals are in fighting shape
and sound financial condition." And organizing continues to be the right thing to do, he said.