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Membership Participation
Evident in District 11


District 11 Workshop ...

Delegates consider how best to deal with stress on the job at a workshop (above). Kim Peniska, Local 1187, and Field Org. Rocky DeMaio report on the Load King strike victory (right).

Recounting the struggle at Load King ...

Membership participation — in the life of the union in the workplace, in strike support, organizing, political action, international solidarity and the district council itself — was a major theme of the District 11 Council at its fall meeting here Oct. 16-17.

Delegates celebrated the successful outcome of the lengthy strike by Local 1187 members at Load King. (Local 1187 members ratified a contract the following weekend.) Load King workers were forced into this strike against the company’s illegal, unfair labor practices, said Kim Peniska, who reported on how union members brought their story to dealerships throughout the Midwest and then around the country, causing some dealers to cancel orders for the company’s tractor trailers.

Peniska expressed his appreciation for the assistance of UE locals and the National union in bringing the strike, which began in February, to a successful conclusion.

Mary Holloway, vice president of newly organized Local 1199, reported on the settlement of the first UE contract with the South Sioux City, Neb. School District covering her and her co-workers.

Political Action

The District Council followed up on the 64th Convention’s Policy Action recommendations, which call for focused activity around political action and organizing. Divided into state caucuses, delegates discussed plans for statewide political action, including conferences and localized visits to elected representatives. UE locals in both Iowa and Wisconsin are planning political action days in their state capitals.

Delegates also considered how best to support the National union’s organizing work.

International Solidarity

Becky Burke, Local 893, and Tom Dunne, Local 1172, reported on their trip to Mexico this past summer as part of a UE delegation hosted by the Authentic Labor Front (FAT). They said the FAT works tirelessly for workers’ rights and in opposition to governmental and union corruption.

A fund-raising reception on Oct. 16 was dedicated to the UE-FAT Strategic Alliance; both Burke and Dunne accepted additional donations for the margaritas they made for thirsty and appreciative delegates. More than $450 was raised for the work of the FAT.

Genl. Sec.-Treas. Bob Clark stressed that a key to international solidarity is worker-to-worker contact, such as the exchanges with the FAT, and the trip that allowed Local 1107 Pres. Glenn Bush to meet with European workers employed by the same parent corporation in Brussels, Belgium that same weekend.

The UE national officer also gave delegates an update on various developments around union, and on National union finances.

Delegates participated in a workshop on "Stress in the Workplace," coordinated by Field Org. Ryan Downing. In small groups, delegates considered the nature of workplace stress and how to combat it.

Elections returned to office the incumbent top district officers and filled 10 executive board plus four trustee positions. Re-elected were Pres. Carl Rosen, Vice Pres. Shirley Harrison, Fin. Sec. Bob Rudek and Southwest Coordinator Bill Austin.

UE News - 12/99

Home -> UE News -> 1999 Archives -> Article

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