Promoviendo la participación de nuestros miembros de base en el proceso político de nuestra nación puede ser un reto difícil para cualquier oficial o delegado de la UE. Sin embargo es algo importante que hay que hacer, especialmente durante un año electoral.
Using Political Action
Engaging our rank-and-file members in our nation’s political process can be a vexing challenge for any UE officer or shop steward, but it’s important work that needs to get done, especially during an election year.
“Hay una diferencia entre la acción política y el jugar a la política. Cuando confrontamos a los políticos y logramos la legislación que ambicionamos, la UE no está jugando a la política; estamos participando en la acción política. No frotamos nuestras barrigas con los políticos. Hay mucho aire entre nosotros. Uno puede ver la luz. Hoy día, intenta encontrar el aire y la luz entre las barrigas de los dirigentes sindicales y las barrigas de los políticos. No hay. No lo encontrará. Están jugando a la política”.
“There is a difference between political action and playing politics. When we fought the politicians and we won what legislation we did, UE didn't play politics; we engaged in political action. We didn't rub bellies with the politicians. There was plenty of air between us. You could see light. Today, try to find some air and light between the bellies of labor leaders and the bellies of politicians. No go. You won't find it. They are playing politics.”
—UE Leader James Matles, addressing the 1975 UE National Convention.
The Town Employees of Cabotville are mad. They have been without pay raises for 2 years because of the state budget cuts, which cut aid to their town. At their union meeting some of them made it clear they wanted to do something. "We're always the ones to take the hits," said Mary Higgins.
The Union at Cheap Enterprises was getting ready for contract negotiations, and so was the company. Union Stewards were out taking a survey of members on what were the most important issues. At the monthly Steward meeting, most Steward's reports were similar in one area.
"Seems like the foremen have been talking up a new insurance plan that the company is going to propose," said Harry Sternberg.
The Union Committee for the Town employees of Causewell were prepared for a tough negotiations. They knew that the budget was tight because the town was not getting an increase in aid from the state.