BCTGM Region 6 International Vice President Randy Roark reports that local unions on the West Coast are receiving phone calls from unorganized workers at a record pace.
Non-union workers, normally shy and fearful about getting involved in an organizing campaign, are reaching out to unions as they watch the poor getting poorer, the middle class disappearing and the rich getting richer. BCTGM Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Organization David B. Durkee notes, “It is a harsh new reality for working families and young people to realize that while average incomes in the United States actually grew by $1,460 from 2000 to 2007, the top ten percent of all U.S. earners received one hundred percent of that increase while the bottom 90 percent received nothing at all.”
Working Americans are now fighting for economic justice in the streets of major cities in the United States under the banners of “Occupy” and “99%”. They are tired of the unfair trade agreements, the deportation of jobs, Wall Street fraud, and the endless schemes by banks, brokerage firms and mortgage companies that gouge working families.
Vice President Roark reports that one recent surge of interest in the BCTGM came from United States (Franz) Baking Company. In October, within a nine day period, Local 114 (Portland, Ore.) held four representation elections at U.S. Baking. Local 114 won two of the elections at the thrift stores in Springfield and Newport, Oregon, and the election results were tied with the non-union engineers at the BCTGM represented plant in Springfield and the Coos Bay, Ore. thrift store. The results of the tied elections have not been certified because the union was forced to file unfair labor charges against the company. A fifth election at the Eureka, Ore. thrift was postponed after Local 114 was once again forced to file unfair labor practice charges against the company.
“I have seen the faces of so many discouraged workers who have not seen their dreams materialize and are now looking for a voice at their workplace—a voice that only a Union can provide,” observes International Representative Eric Anderson, who assisted Local 114 in all five campaigns.