The Musicians’ Voice is an open forum for discussion about the state of union affairs. The letters published here do not necessarily express the views of Local 802. Letters must be 300 words or less. Send them to Allegro, c/o Local 802, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036, or e-mail Mikael Elsila, the editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
RE: TRUMPET MAKERS ON STRIKE
(In April, Allegro ran a cover story on Bach brass makers on strike, along with the names of two organizations where members could donate money: the official UAW strike fund, and an independent fund called “Food 4 Strikers.” That prompted UAW Local 364’s financial secretary to write us in the May issue with her thoughts on the Food 4 Strikers organization. Below, a rank-and-file UAW and a member of Food 4 Strikers replies. Local 802 does not wish to take sides in what is apparently an unfortunate split within the UAW local. However, rifts like this are common in long and difficult strikes.)
To the Editor:
I am one of the striking Bach-Conn-Selmer workers in Elkhart, Indiana. I’m a member of UAW Local 364 and also a member of “Food 4 Strikers.” I would like to respond to Local 364 Financial Secretary Connie Sanders’ letter in last month’s Allegro.
I am one of the “road warriors.” We go out across the country to talk about our strike, which is in its 13th month.
We’ve tried to talk with Connie Sanders about our issues and all she does is badmouth us for trying to help this union to do what she should be doing.
Out of 10 conferences which we have attended, she has been to exactly one. And that is because she was told she had to go. At the time there was a blizzard, so she stayed the night at a Hilton, paid for by the union, while others had to drive home in the blizzard because they didn’t want to take money out of the fund.
What kind of representation is this? This is what we have had from the president down to the financial secretary.
As for the money that has been donated to Food 4 Strikers, every penny can be accounted for and is used for what it is supposed to be used for. Connie Sanders has thousands of dollars and she just sits on it instead of getting it out where it is needed. People should clean their own house before badmouthing someone else.
In March there were four of us road warriors that went to Detroit to the UAW national convention but there was no one from our committee or anyone from our region. That really made us look good. Where was Connie?
So Connie Sanders, don’t badmouth the people that are going all out for this union.