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And I think that one of the biggest problems we continue to face is that we have staff people who were elected after the Turner thing, who had been active in the Save Our Union campaign, who wanted to be on staff and who were wonderful people, but lack the skill to do the kind of jobs that they do, and we have to wait until they disappear and replace them. But for the most part, our people are committed to do the right thing or to want to do the right thing.

I think with Dennis in a society where politics is so much more important and political relations are so much more important, you have an opportunity for the union to play a much, much more important role, and the union is doing it under Dennis. Nobody dreamed that 1199 would be this institution that Presidents would want to come to, that need their help, that people in high office would contend for their support.


One could make the case that there are other labor leaders who've done much less than you have over the years, who have received more recognition, certainly more material rewards, but partly because of 1199's position within the labor movement, for various reasons -- [tape interruption]

I was asking if what might be seen as lack of recognition for some of the things you've done, looking back, whether this is something that bothers you.


No, it doesn't. Frankly, I was never interested in being recognized as the most important person in the world. I recognized that union leaders contend for power in their own areas. It's never been my feeling that I wanted more than I had. I always felt, and I still feel, lucky that I had the opportunity to do what I've done. If I had to do it over again, maybe I would change certain things that I've learned. Who could get a chance to be working in a union that turns out to be a union like 1199? I don't know. But for me, I just am grateful for the opportunity it's given me.


One last question. If you had an opportunity now to speak to the people who come after in 1199, the people to whom in some sense you've passed the torch, what would you like to leave them with?


I would say stay close to the members, stay close to the concepts that built the union. Understand, get to understand and appreciate how this union was built and why it was built, and take that information and use it so that you know about it, that you're familiar with what it took to reach the point we are today. And if you would do that and learn from it and just serve the members, things will be fine.

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