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Why We Plan for Action

Gene Lantz, Digital Organizing Committee
17 Sep, 2019
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A major topic of the Dallas AFL-CIO Central Labor Council meeting on the third Thursday, September 19, will be how to win the strike at General Motors.

Against the combined onslaught of corporations and government, the only way to win for working families is united solidarity. We are seeing more of it every day. On the first day of the strike, special solidarity planning meetings were held by the Young Active Labor Leaders, Tarrant County AFL-CIO, and UAW Area Retiree Council. All of them headed for the picket lines!

Affiliated members gathering at the Central Labor Council will also be making a critical decision on who to support in the November election for State Representative in District 100. The fate of working families will be the subject of further discussion and planning.

Support UAW Local 276 at General Motors!

See the Dallas AFL-CIO Facebook Page where principal officer Mark York and UAW retiree leader Gary Livingston are calling for an all-out effort,


Drive south along the service road for Highway 360 and turn on Abrams. You see 8-9 gates with UAW Local 276 members picketing. If you stop and talk, you see a lot more.

At the GM gates, newspersons abound. About every third car that goes by honks its approval. Lots of cars stop to unload bottled water or "solidarity treats" of cookies or other goodies.

Then you find out that some of the picketers aren't even members of UAW 276, General Motors employees on strike. Some of them are from other unions. Transport Workers Union Local 513 had their own banner up at one gate.


Some of the picketers aren't even union members. A lady with a baby brought her own homemade sign to picket at the main gate on the first day! Jeff Woods, a candidate in Tarrant County, helped bring the first picketers to their stations at midnight when the strike started. Lots of candidates and office holders have already posted "I stand with the UAW workers" on their social media accounts. People who live a hundred miles from the nearest General Motors facility are posting their support!

Top officers from Tarrant County AFL-CIO were on the picket lines early. I went with Mark York, Principal officer of the Dallas AFL-CIO. He brought a load of bottled water, then went to every gate to talk with the picketers. 

The National AFL-CIO posted this, "Early this morning, UAW members went on strike against General Motors (GM), rallying tens of thousands of people to picket lines across the country. “This is a fight to win dignity for the 46,000 autoworkers who have delivered their bosses record-breaking profits for years,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (UMWA), pledging the solidarity of the federation’s 12.5 million members. “We will have their backs every day until they win the respect and security that they deserve.”

Most of the volunteers know that hostile newspersons, corporate leaders, and government officials are watching closely for any opportunity to discredit the strike. They deliberately coordinated publicity from an investigation of union leaders with the contract expiration. Volunteers respect the right of the UAW members on strike to run their operation through their own democratically elected leaders.

So far, the strike is successful across the nation and the GM facilities are shut down. But nothing comes easy for working people, and more help may be needed soon. The union has been collecting contact information on their national web site.  A number of North Texans have been gathering signatures and contact information with the following pledge: “We are backing the United Auto Workers union in negotiations with the auto industry. Many of the best things in American labor history came from the UAW. Standing with the UAW is standing for America!”

We are witnessing the most popular union action of recent times! Americans are tired of getting kicked around and we're happy to back those who are fighting back!

Labor Endorses on Thursday

Delegates to the Central Labor Council meeting at 7:30 PM on the third Thursday, September 19, will complete the most thorough candidate screening process in North Texas. It began when the AFL-CIO sent questionnaires to all declared candidates for the special election in Texas House District 100. Candidates filled out several pages of questions about their attitudes toward working families.

The next step was candidate screening night at 1408 N Washington. While 20 members of the screening committee read through the questionnaires and asked questions, candidates took the “hot seat” for half an hour each.  Each session began when applicants were asked to sign a pledge to working families. It read, “I affirmatively seek the endorsement of the Dallas AFL-CIO. In seeking this endorsement, I pledge to support the rights of workers to join a union and negotiate about working conditions. I understand as a community leader I may be called to defend the rights of workers.” See our video.

The numerical results of the questioning were tabulated. The final discussion takes place at the Central Labor Council meeting where a final endorsement is projected. Then we get to the real work – electing labor’s candidate. The first mobilization will come on the morning of Saturday, October 5. Get ready!

More Actions Coming Up

Sep 18, Noon: Fort Worth Alliance for Retired Americans meet at Golden Corral, 3517 Alta Mere Dr in Ft Worth

Sep 18, 7P: Green Energy Future campaign launch at the Half Price Books, 5803 Northwest Hwy

Sep 19, 7:30P: Dallas Central Labor Council meeting for all affiliated members at 1408 N Washington. 214-826-4808

Sep 20-27: Dallas activities concerning the international week on the climate crisis. #globalclimatestrike 

Sep 28, 10:30A: Tarrant County informational meeting on electoral reform at North Richland Hills Library, 9015 Grand Av, North Richland Hills

Oct 1: International Day of Seniors

We win when we pull together