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Solidarity in Action

Boycott Nabisco!
Wisconsin UE delegates cheer Pittsburgh’s bakery workers fighting closing of their Nabisco plant. From left, Sam Plumeri and Jim Lemke, Local 1111, Tom Dunne, Local 1172 and Al Harhay, Local 1111.

The longest rounds of applause and the most standing ovations were not earned by the big-name speakers, however, but by the representatives of nine groups of workers in struggle who came before the convention during its "solidarity hour." Three Detroit newspaper strikers, a group of Nabisco bakery workers who lost their jobs later that week due to a plant closing, oil workers still fighting after a three-year-long lockout, striking UMWA members from Illinois, locked out steelworkers from Colorado and farm workers fighting for recognition in North Carolina were among those who spoke.

UE Genl Pres John Hovis
Genl. Pres. John Hovis was the first on the floor to pledge a contribution to the workers’ struggles described during the convention’s ‘Solidarity Hour.’

UE Genl. Pres. John Hovis was the first at a microphone to pledge financial assistance to these struggling workers, promising $1,000. Moments later, Hovis announced that UE would match the $2,000 pledged by the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers (OCAW). When all the pledges and contributions were tabulated, the convention had raised $17,400.

Labor researcher Kate Bronfenbrenner, who came under attack by the White House and faced a suit by the nation’s largest nursing home chain, received the Labor Party’s first Karen Silkwood Award for her courage in telling the truth about workers’ rights. (Silkwood was a dedicated OCAW member killed under mysterious circumstances in 1974 while she was traveling to deliver evidence of employer wrongdoing to a reporter and a union representative; her story became the basis of a movie.)

Mazzocchi and Bronfenbrenner
Fitting image. Labor Party National Organizer Tony Mazzocchi holds aloft the party’s first Karen Silkwood Award, presented to Kate Bronfenbrenner, right. No brass plaque, the award is a caricature of Bronfenbrenner by UE cartoonist Gary Huck.

"Knowing Karen, she would be proud that this award had been made to Kate," said Labor Party National Organizer Tony Mazzocchi, who had worked with Silkwood as OCAW legislative director.


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UE News Labor Party Convention Coverage

From a UE perspective, here's a look at the Labor Party's First Constitutional Convention ...

Page One

Page Two
Strategies, Campaigns and Growth

Page Three
Just Health Care (rally and campaign)

Page Four
Speakers (Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, Buzz Hargrove, Cecil Roberts, Henry Nicholas, George Becker

Page Five
Solidarity Highlights Struggles, Champions

All photos
Ron Flowers

More Info
Labor Party Convention Summaries

Here are the event-by-event summaries distributed to the delegates attending the Labor Party's First Constitutional Convention.


Chapter Convention

Day One Summary
Convention Opens

Day Two Summary
Campaigns Launched ...

Day Three Summary
Finalizing the Convention

UE News - 12/98

Home -> UE News -> 1998 Archives -> Article
Home -> Political Action -> Labor Party -> Convention Coverage

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