Retired UE International Representative Ed Bloch died in his sleep on Sunday, August 24 at his home near Albany. He was 90 years old. Bloch joined UE in 1950 when he got a job in a UE shop, and was hired onto the UE staff in 1951 in New York City. He spent most of his long career with UE in Upstate New York, assisting UE locals and organizing the unorganized. He retired in October 1984 but continued to assist UE locals, especially Local 332 at GE in Fort Edward.
|David Montgomery addressing delegates to UE's 71st Convention in New Haven, 2009.(Photo by Ron Flowers)|
March each year is Women’s History Month, so this is a good time to reflect on the contributions that UE women have made to their union and to the long, continuing struggle for women’s equality in the United States.
In an article posted on its website on New Year’s Eve, The Nation, highly-respected weekly magazine on the political left, named the “Most Valuable Progressives of 2008." In this year-end round-up of exemplary activism, The Nation’s Washington correspondent John Nichols placed UE at the top of an impressive list of agents for positive change.
One of the last of the founding generation of UE leaders, Charles Newell died May 30, just four months short of his 100th birthday. Newell was the father of Amy Newell, former UE organizer and UE Secretary-Treasurer from 1985 to 1994, the first woman to serve as a national from officer of a manufacturing union. His wife of 53 years, Ruth (Voithofer) Newell, was also a UE organizer; she died in 1999.
UE joins progressive women and men in honoring the life and work of Betty Friedan and mourning her passing. UE is particularly proud of the late author´s contributions to this union.
From 1946 to 1952 as the young writer and activist Betty Goldstein, she was employed as a journalist and staff writer for the UE News.
James Lerner, an outstanding labor journalist whose work for UE spanned six decades, died Sept. 20 after a long illness. He was 92.
Lerner was born in New York in 1911. He attended City College there in 1927-28, then spent almost an academic year at the Experimental College at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Forced out because of lack of money, he returned home and held a variety of jobs.
Some were murdered. Many were brutalized, many more jailed. Young and old braved police dogs, water cannons and batons, the jeers and stones of mobs, the bullets of snipers. But despite the odds, thousands of Americans, black and white, tore down the oppressive system of racial segregation that had dominated the South for decades.
This timeline was originally published as a companion piece to the UE News Feature "People In Struggle Changed History: The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s"
UE becomes the first American union to seek no-discrimination provisions in all contracts.
UE launches national campaign for laws against poll taxes and lynching.