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Informational Picket Carried Out
Three unions called an informational picket at the Dallas Convention Center on Friday, January 28. They asked for volunteers at the Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO) meeting in Dallas January 20. They began at 8 AM to inform the public that workers are not being treated fairly by one of the companies putting on a show at the convention center. Later, Mike Anawaty of the Stagehandlers reported that turnout was very good, especially from the Teamsters. Doctor's Guild organizer Kym Grant and Jobs with Justice organizer Rudy Anderson were there that morning. Serious attention came from the manager of the company being picketed.
The group did not continue all day as originally planned. Several more enthusiastic volunteers arrived after the picket was taken down.
The three unions are: Decorators, Stagehands, and Teamsters. A leaflet from Teamsters Local 745 says, "We ask for all unions to support this effort. Help us get the message out that Texas unions will not tolerate any company that ignores our hard-four-for area standards and refuses to employ union workers. Make no mistake about it, this is also your fight and we must make a stand!" Telephone numbers for additional information: 214-742-4741, 214-369-2503, and 214-398-0661.
The delegates at the CLC meeting also made nominations for officers. Caucuses of various unions selected their representatives for the Executive Board. New delegates were sworn in by Vice President James Whitehead.
Several committees made reports. Gene Lantz asked people to improve communications and especially to support the Texas AFL-CIO during the Texas Legislative Session now underway. Gerardo Contreras asked people to renew their membership to the Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). Angela Johnson reported for the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), and the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI). She proudly announced that more than $1,600 had been raised by AFL-CIO constituent organizations for local causes.
In other announcements, a CWA meeting to help get voter registrars going will be held by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) on February 24 at 5:30 PM. City workers need help to get the City Council to respect their American right to be involved in politics. The Doctor's Guild is greatly concerned with legislative proposals that would make Texas workers' compensation laws even worse than they are now. Kym Grant asked that people pressure their legislators and State Senator Todd Staples. She also asked for information about the many tragedies that have resulted from Texas workers' comp laws. She mentioned that there were at least 10 suicides!
A representative of one new local said his group would be paying dues in the next few days. Another union rep said that he was recommending that his local union join the Dallas federation. He explained, "We are facing a big enemy up there in the Administration!"