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Sixties I suggested that it be called Local 1199, the drug and hospital
nion, no workers, anything. I probably was wrong. If you have a
union, why do you have to say workers union? It's a union. So it
becomes the drug and hospital Union, Local 1199. Then it becomes the
District 1199, and then we begin to attach the national union to it. The
point I wanted to make was that I go over with Stanley Glaubach.
Remember, every time there's a Labor Day parade, we're counted on
to produce a lot of people and we do. We're there with the hats, and it
becomes something that we have to figure out something exciting for.
So Stanley has to figure out a new way of making signs. Instead of the
standard signs, we have to do some kind of cutouts with a die-cut,
with a design with slogans on it. Not to have fifty different signs that
say fifty different things, but have one sign. You have 5,000 people
carrying one sign, see, and that massive approach. Stanley designs a
multicolor placard that's a die-cut placard that says “We support your
fight,” and then it has 1199 Drug and Hospital Union, it says. A
peculiar kind of thing, but it's very clear, it's multi-colored. We take it
for any fight. “We support your fight. 1199.” That kind of thing.
Buttons, all kinds of crazy things, but it's tha t kind of thing that's
involved in the movement, so that very often people will say, “The way
I figure out whether I should be involved in this thing is to find out if
1199 is for it.” I've said that before.
I have three questions. The first one is, wasn't there any opposition
ever within the rank and file to some of the political stands which you
took? It's hard to imagine, even though the membership is largely
black and therefore more ready to identify with it by the various
oppressed groups, wasn't there ever a time when there were some
people who think that you're doing the wrong thing?
How does it manifest itself? Is there ever a conflict within the
In certain geographical areas it shows itself. In Long Island,
further out in the island where the membership is all white, you have
to be cautious on how you raise the issues. But Eddie Kay, has been
out in Long Island for I don't know since when, he had developed very,
very close alliances there and was able to bring people on.
Also, you have Israel is a problem for us, particularly you take a
hospital like Long Island Jewish, which is a predominantly Jewish
membership in the Guild. We have to be cautious. Davis sometimes
makes very strong statements on Israel, and I have to be careful on
how we pose it.
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