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investigation and the statement of the issue. After that the elected
representative takes over the grievance. So there's very little in the
structure to encourage rank and file participation.
At the same time, there are very strong pro-union people in that
union. The attitude for the most part that I could determine is rather
positive towards the union, that in large measure due to the
conditions. It has achieved very, very good conditions for its meat
The attitudes of the union on race and sex are fairly typical of the
average attitude of Americans towards race and sex. They're sexist
and racist. The union has a large number of women. Most of the
women are wrappers and in the wall to wall situations they are in
check-out. They play a very, very insignificant role in the union. Some
women are active and members of the executive board, etcetera. The
blacks play a relatively unimportant role in the union. Black meat
cutters are confined to, for the most part, work in black areas,
supermarkets in black areas -- for the most part. There are blacks
working in mixed areas too, I'm sure. I don't think that there's an
open discriminatory policy in that sense. There are very few Hispanics.
The union also represents about 600 workers in a whole variety of
unskilled areas, where they've been trying to organize because of the
loss of membership. In these areas, the workers are overwhelmingly
minority. They are black, Hispanic, Central American, Latin American,
diverse kinds of workers with very low wages. When they win
agreements the standards are fairly low, and its regarded primarily as
a source of dues, income.
They also represent workers in the fish industry. It's not a very large
What did they say to you when you left?
It was sort of, “Well, we're sorry it didn't work out better but
maybe you ought not to continue it anymore.”
Short and sweet.
Yes. They gave me one month's severance pay, and didn't want
me around. That's traditional in most unions. Once you're out they
don't want you hanging around, leave any feelings talking to people
and that kind of thing.
So that's the end of that.
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