Greetings of Solidarity!

We bring this exciting message following our historic Southern Workers Assembly on September 3rd – Labor Day in Charlotte, NC. Despite the criticisms voiced by many of the big unions against the Democratic Party holding its Democratic National Convention in North Carolina because it bans collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and is an anti-union right-to-work state, the Southern Workers Assembly (SWA) was the main and most organized voice for labor leading up to and during the time of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Charlotte, NC.

Our UE Unions in the South, with support from the Eastern Region and National UE, played an initiating and leading role in organizing and convening the SWA on September 3rd. This successful action could not have occurred without the support and encouragement of the UE Eastern Region and the coming together of leaders in the Southern Sub-region to point out the importance of UE mobilization and participation in
this undertaking.

It points out concretely how our union is most effective when we are able to mobilize our regions to give strength to local and regional initiatives. The bringing of our Southern Sub-regional leaders and ranks together to mobilize and present at the SWA sent a message that our Union has a base in the South and intends to play a committed and leading role in helping to organize an historically divided working class that is under
represented by the broader U.S. labor movement. In the spirit of U.S. labor’s historical mantra that “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”, the SWA vows to struggle against racism and all forms of human oppression that impacts and divides the working class.

The make-up of the workers at the SWA – Black, white, Latinos, women, immigrants and the young; and from the public, private and worker sectors excluded from labor laws, reflects the SWA’s push for working class unity, which helps to strengthen and empower the working class against the efforts of the bosses, and representative in the state legislatures and U.S. Congress. The presence of cultural workers blending the messages from the multi-national working class calling for unity and solidarity was an example of
the need to forge a working class culture as a social movement fighting for worker rights as human rights.

As we prepare to participate in the SWA Strategic Planning Meeting with other local unions, worker organizations and rank-and-file worker committees to be held at the Southern Human Rights Organizing Conference (SHROC) that will be held on December 7-9, 2012 in Charleston, SC at the International Longshore Association Local 1422 Union Hall, lets reach out to others in our areas to invite to join this important and historical effort.

Without leadership and the practice of solidarity within our own union, it is almost impossible to promote and help to build solidarity with others throughout the South. The solidarity that we are building within our Eastern Region is an inspiration to our Locals in the South to continue to build a movement to Organize workers in the South.

In Solidarity and Towards a Southern Labor Alliance,
Eastern Region Executive Board

Deb Gornall, President Angaza Laughinghouse, Vice President
Roger Zaczyk, Financial Secretary Nina Williams, Recording Secretary
Jim Borowski – UE local 106 Bud Decker, UE local 329
Tom Gharing, UE local 622 Antwon Gibson, UE local 610
Pat Kunkle, UE local 165 Tim McCambridge, UE local 123
Matt McCracken, UE local 506 Ron McCullough, UE local 170
Donna Morgan, UE local 170 Jeremy Pratt, UE local 684
Karen Rizzo, UE local 613 Bob Smith, UE local 712
Larsene Taylor, UE local 150  

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