Cleveland labor: 'All-out to beat Republicans!'

Charlotte Kates ckates at mosquito.com
Thu May 9 19:24:53 MDT 1996


**Cleveland labor: 'All-out to beat Republicans!'**

(Reprinted from the May 11, 1996 issue of the People's
Weekly World. May be reprinted or reposted with PWW credit.
For subscription information see below)

By Norm Weber

CLEVELAND -- Area labor leaders urged solidarity and all-out
efforts to defeat the Republicans in November at a spirited
May Day dinner and rally here. "What's happening here
today," Bud McTaggart, administrative assistant to the
executive secretary of the Cleveland Federation of Labor,
told the crowd at the San Lorenzo Club, "is that the new
leadership of the AFL-CIO has created an outreach to all
facets of working men and women throughout the United
States."

The aim, he said, is to educate and mobilize the union
membership in the critical 1996 elections. "We're excited
about the new AFL-CIO. We want to use our dues money to tell
our people what Martin Hoke is about and what Steve
LaTourette is about," he said, referring to two local
Republican Congressmen targeted by the labor movement.

McTaggart hailed the presence of union retirees groups and
the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement which, he
said, are playing a vital role in the outreach efforts of
labor and must be built.

Meryl Johnson, executive board member of the Cleveland
Teachers Union and chairperson of the union's Community
Relations Committee, said a teachers strike in September
appeared certain. The teachers, she said, are being blamed
for the school system's financial crisis and are asked to
take a 10 per cent wage cut and accept elimination of 10
percent of the system's teachers.

Johnson charged that plenty of money would be available if
tax abatements were repealed and the county collected
delinquent property taxes. The abatements, costing the
school system $9 million a year, would pay salaries of 300
teachers.

A new video was shown that features the story of last year's
lockout of United Steelworkers of America Local 1375 by
Warren Consolidated Industries in Warren, Ohio and Communist
Party Chairman Gus Hall's visit there last summer. Hall
played a key role in organizing the local in 1937 and was
invited by the union to address its June membership meeting.

Following the video, Local 1375 President Dennis Brubaker
told the story of the successful fight the union had waged
against a "military-style" attempt to break the local. He
stressed the importance of the preparations the union had
made before the contract expired, including having Hall
speak.

Because of these efforts, he said, not one of the 1,700
members of his local crossed the picket line during the six-
week battle. "Within 72 hours of the lockout, we were able
to get 8,000 union people to march in front of the plant."
The community support was so great, he added, that "to this
day the goons say 'I don't ever want to go back to Warren,
Ohio.'"

Wally Kaufman, secretary of the Painters' Retirees Club,
spoke of the role of the People's Weekly World in building
support for the locked out steelworkers. In response to his
appeal, participants contributed over $2,000 to the paper.

Other speakers included Danny Banyard, an executive board
member of USWA Local 188, who spoke about the union's fight
against LTV's attempt to build the non- union TRICO minimill
in Decatur, Alabama.

Frida Franyin, a retired Teamster and board member of Women
Speak Out for Peace and Justice, spoke about the fight to
save Social Security and the need for passage of the
Martinez and Dellums jobs bills.
##30##
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_____________________________________________________________________________
    Charlotte L. Kates     ckates at mosquito.com        Collingswood, NJ

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