by Harvey Durham

If the transplants and their suppliers think they can just waltz around in Region 8 paying substandard pay and benefits to their employees while they reap huge profits and salaries and everyone should worship them they better think again! Under the leadership of Vice President Bob King and Region 8 Director Gary Casteel, over 6,000 new members were organized in 2003. Vice President King and Director Casteel will not be satisfied until all unorganized workers in Region 8 “Build Power and Win Justice” by forming their own local unions.

One of the elements of this strategy is to train an army of volunteer organizers in each area of Region 8. On December 10, 2003 a three-day training was held at the Lebanon, TN Region Office. The training was developed by Coordinator Larry Steele who also helped teach the classes. Helping Larry as teaching fellows were Organizers Rossetta Tibbs, Ricky England, Martha Poston, and Tom Savage, AFL-CIO Field Rep Chris Marston, and rank-and-file organizers Harvey Durham and Mike Fulbright.

Forty-Eight members representing locals from five states attended the training. The training consisted of the following: Campaign Basics, Employer Anti Campaign, One on One Communication, Housecall Skill Building, Listening, Leadership and Committee Building, Labor Laws and organizing Temporary/Agency and Immigrant Workers. Attendees were also given the assignment of running their own campaign from the initial contact thru an N.L.R.B. election.

We are proud to report that each team won their campaign! Everyone that attended the training worked very hard and did a great job. These are tough times in which to organize but if each of us gets involved we can make the future brighter for all workers. Now it is time to use the skills learned to, in the words of VP Bob King: “Organize, Build Power, Win Justice!”



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