Participants in the second cohort of UE’s Leadership and Staff Development Program met at the UE Local 506 hall in June for a few days of workshops and experiences on the picket lines outside the Wabtec plant. As these rank-and-file members traveled to Erie from around the country, UE Locals 506 and 618 were taking a vote on whether to accept Wabtec’s last contract offer or go on strike.
Leadership and Staff Development Program
A second cohort of UE activists began meeting in January, over Zoom, as part of UE’s Leadership and Staff Development Program (LSDP). As approved by delegates at UE’s last convention, UE embarked on the LSDP to strengthen skills and provide mentorship to members of all racial and ethnic backgrounds who are currently underrepresented in UE leadership or staff.
UE Local 1008 Vice President Fred Hatef reports on the second meeting of the UE Leadership & Staff Development Program (LSDP): “It was very encouraging and inspiring to be a part of this program and to learn about activism and union organizing from so many experienced and talented organizers from diverse backgrounds. In my experience, working with activist organizations in the past, I found that representation from diverse backgrounds was usually more of a talking point than it was a principle.
“Learning about UE’s history of fighting for workers of all racial backgrounds and our bottom-up democratic structure, and working with the other participants from diverse backgrounds, left me with all the confidence in the world that UE is a union that takes representation seriously as a principle.”
UE members participating in the Leadership and Staff Development Program met for the first time on October 21 and 22 via Zoom. This program will be a year-long set of meetings and activities for UE members from racial and ethnic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in UE leadership or on the UE staff.