Solidarity in Action
Wisconsin UE delegates cheer Pittsburghs
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.
Genl. Pres. John Hovis was the first on the floor to pledge a
contribution to the workers struggles described during the conventions
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
Labor researcher Kate Bronfenbrenner, who came under attack by the
White House and faced a suit by the nations largest nursing home chain, received the
Labor Partys 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.)
Fitting image. Labor Party National Organizer
Tony Mazzocchi holds aloft the partys 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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Labor Party Convention Coverage
From a UE
perspective, here's a look at the Labor Party's First Constitutional Convention ...
Strategies, Campaigns and Growth
Just Health Care (rally and campaign)
Speakers (Ralph Nader, Michael Moore, Buzz Hargrove, Cecil Roberts,
Henry Nicholas, George Becker
Solidarity Highlights Struggles, Champions
© Ron Flowers
Labor Party Convention
Here are the
event-by-event summaries distributed to the delegates attending the Labor Party's First
Day One Summary
Day Two Summary
Campaigns Launched ...
Finalizing the Convention