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NAACP and Labor Unions Moving Forward Together

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The NAACP National Convention was exciting, a great experience, and something that benefited the local Los Angeles community. In coming articles you will read about many of the events that happened including ACTSO and others.

Local unions came out to meet and greet each other, delegates, and elected officials during luncheon at the event.

The Honorable Curren Price, 26th Senate District in Los Angeles welcomed the audience. He spoke of the importance of the NAACP as well as the Labor movement in our country and the state.

Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter, 62nd District, and Assistant Majority Policy Leader also attended the luncheon.

The speaker Cecil Roberts President of the United Mine Workers of America said in the mines everyone is equal because of the inherent danger associated with the work. If there is an accident no one is protected. But he told the story of a man who worked in the mines in Virginia. He worked hard but thought there should be something more. He became the first black mine owner in America. He then pointed to an audience member and said that man’s son is in the room, his name is James Gibbs and he is the Vice President of the United Mine Workers of America.

Following the luncheon, hundred’s joined the SEIU, AFL-CIO, and delegates with a march on a local Ralph’s market. Union members were trying to avert a lockout as happened seven years ago. About 1000 marchers spilled out in front of the JW Marriott to march the 4-blocks to the downtown market. They chanted before hearing union members who were afraid of their future.

One Walmart employee spoke of her disappointment. She has about five major responsibilities and is a manager and still after three raises makes just over $9 an hour. She said she was promised $13 an hour to start. Another worker said that Ralph’s is proposing taking away benefits that will make him spend 50% of his paycheck on health insurance.

Councilman Herb Wesson said he has always supported labor because they only want fairness in wages and in benefits. "They have never asked me for anything I could not support,” he said. Maria Elena Durazo, the Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor was a fireball as she summed up the dispute. She indicated it is one of fairness workers should be paid a living wage.

More next week.

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