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quote, that we're making the link all the time, and members make the
The civil rights movement is growing at that time, it's a powerful force,
it's a moral force, it's a political force, and in New York City it's a very
powerful force to be reckoned with, even though many blacks are not
registered to vote. But it's a moral issue. So in New York City you can
move with that, and this union is King's favorite union, and this union
is identified as the union. That's the symbol of that. You use this in
organizing, you use this in negotiations, in potential strike situations.
One of the things that gets the political people in Albany and the city
to say, “Okay, we'll go with them,” is that they recognize the power of
1199. It has a lot of power. They don't want confrontations with it. So
it helps us here and it begins to help us in '69, you see it in its full
bloom in Charleston. Charleston is after King's death. The SCLC is on
the way down and the civil rights movement is going back now. It's
now no longer in its ascendency. 1969 in Charleston, Nixon is in power
in the White House, and yet we are able to do what nobody has been
able to do.
Before we jump into that, talk a little bit more about some of the
actual activities, if you could, that the union was involved in with
respect to civil rights. Also you ought to update us a little bit about
some of the cultural things that are going on at that time.
Let's start with civil rights. The sit-ins and then the fight in
Baltimore to integrate some of the amusement areas, we're there,
whether it's Selma, we're there. All of those battles, we're there.
By sending members?
Sending members, sending delegations, and raising money.
Getting people to come to speak at delegate assembly
meetings, we were bringing in people from South Africa years and
years and years before. All of these things, whenever something
happened, we're bringing them in. In 1965, Vietnam -- we're the first
union to become actively involved. We're the union that organizes the
national opposition to the war from our headquarters. There isn't a
social issue, a civil rights or political issue, a broad political issue, that
we're not in the forefront of. We come with the hats and the signs. I at
that time got Stanley Glaubach to work on posters and leaflets. I
decided that we needed him. The union changes all the time, too. It
was originally Local 1199, the retail drug employees union. Then in the
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