2006 Conference Call
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The Conference hotel is the Hilton Houston Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Boulevard, Houston, Texas. The special EWMC rate is $100.00 plus state and local taxes, currently 17%, for a single or double room. You must request the group rate for Electrical Workers Minority Caucus.
To make room reservations contact the hotel at www.hilton.com or: 1-800-HILTONS or 1-713 –961-9300. The first night’s deposit is required.
If you desire assistance in making your travel arrangements, you may contact Adrienne Miller (spouse of EWMC member Gus Miller) at Walker Travel and Cruises (800-503-9272).
In accordance with the provisions of Article IX, Section 2, proposed Bylaws Amendments and proposed Resolutions must be received at PO Box 642, El Cerrito, California, 94530, no later than 12/29/05.
Members interested in serving on any of the committees described in Article VI (Registration; Rules and Order of Business; Resolutions/Bylaw Amendments; and Sergeant-At-Arms) should submit a written request to President Robbie Sparks no later than 12/1/05, c/o Secretary/Treasurer at P0 Box 642, El Cerrito, CA 94530.
The EWMC will award its fourth annual scholarship to the child of a member in good standing of the National EWMC at the 16th Annual National Meeting in Houston.
A scholarship candidate must be the child of a National EWMC member and a high school student who has graduated or will graduate in 2005. A copy of the diploma or a letter from the high school confirming graduation in 2005 must be attached to the scholarship request. Scholarships are approved for enrollment in a state- certified trade school or a college certified by the Department of Education and accredited by the local accrediting association.
Only those scholarship request letters mailed to the EWMC at PO Box 642, El Cerrito, CA 94530 by certified, return receipt mail and postmarked no later than 12/31/05, will be eligible for consideration for the 2005 scholarship.
During the AFL-CIO Convention on July 27, 2005, EWMC National President Robbie Sparks was nominated by President Hill for a seat on the AFL-CIO Executive Council and was unanimously elected. As the governing body of the AFL-CIO, each of the 46 members of the Executive Council is considered a Vice President of the Federation.
“I am honored to have been elected to assume such an important role, where decisions that affect our union as well as the labor movement are made. I look forward to continue to promote the needs of all workers and to work diligently with the AFL-CIO, its constituency groups, and with human, civil and women's rights organizations to improve the lives of people of color and women,” said Sister Sparks.
Since she joined the IBEW in 1966, Robbie has worked to promote union values and the need for diversity in the leadership of the IBEW. For 20 years she has been the Business Manager and President of IBEW Local 2127, while also garnishing praise for her roles in many other posts. She’s been awarded the Atlanta’s Labor Woman of the Year in 1999, inducted into the Atlanta’s Labor Hall of Fame, as well as being the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. 2001 Community Service Award for Social Change.
Presently Robbie is President of the Labor Working Women of Atlanta and is a member of AFL-CIO constituency groups, such as the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist, Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. She is also active in Atlanta’s local politics and in other important community organizations.
Her many hats have not interfered with her dedication to the Local 2127 membership and her role as the EWMC president. The EWMC has prospered and grown under the direction of Sister Sparks. She has stated, “I am very proud that the EWMC is at the forefront within the labor movement in its efforts to expand the arms of labor to embrace people of color and women at all levels of the union and in our diverse work force.”
Delegates to the Convention reelected IBEW International President Edwin D. Hill to the Executive Council. John J. Sweeney was reelected President of the federation along with Richard Trumka as Secretary-Treasurer and Linda Chavez-Thompson as Executive Vice President.
Although the Convention was productive and many important issues were addressed, it was marred by the disaffiliation of some International Unions at a time when the labor movement needs to present a strong, united front.
Unfortunately, since the convention two other International Unions have disaffiliated. However, as Sister Sparks recently stated, “we will not allow these events to discourage us from doing the work that must be done to improve the lives of workers. We must move forward in unity and in our intention to strengthen our union and the labor movement as a whole.”
To this end, President Hill presented an impassioned call for unity at the convention, which was well-received. (For a full text of President Hill’s speech, contact the Human_Services@ibew.org) In the July/August IBEW Journal article, President Hill stated that “we will continue to organize and grow. This is our mandate as found in the IBEW Constitution, and this is what we will do.”
The Convention radically changed the leadership structure of the AFL-CIO Executive Board, reducing its size to 46 from 54—reserving 15 of those seats to ensure a diverse leadership. The delegates voted to empower an Executive Committee which will allow 19 leaders, including those of the I0 bigger Federation affiliated unions to share power with the officers.
The new Executive Council is the most diverse in the history of the AFL-CIO, and brings energetic new leadership to the world’s largest labor federation.
The following principles were delivered to the AFL-CIO Executive Council by the Working Women’s Committee and the Civil and Human Rights Committee prior to the AFL-CIO Convention.
1. Diversity in Convention Delegations. The Executive Council should request that all delegations to the AFL-CIO Convention in July 2005 reflect the composition of the affiliated organization on the base of race, ethnicity and gender. Delegations to future AFL-CIO Conventions shall include representation by people of color and women at least in proportion to their representation in the membership of the affiliated union. Affiliates are urged to include delegates under the age of 35 in the delegation.
2. Diversity on AFL-CIO Governing Body. The composition of the AFL-CIO governing body with regard to representation of women and people of color shall be no less than its current level and shall achieve a higher level of diversity by the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention.
3. State and Local Labor Bodies. State Federations and Central labor councils shall immediately develop a plan to achieve an increased level of diversity and submit a progress report on an annual basis to the National AFL-CIO.
4. Leadership Development. The AFL-CIO shall direct the national Labor College to develop and offer courses for the purpose of leadership and skill development for women and people of color and shall facilitate the sharing of best practices in training programs among affiliates. Affiliates are urged to provide leadership and skill development training to women and people of color and are encouraged to open training programs to members of other affiliates.
5. Accountability. The AFL-CIO, affiliates and state and local bodies shall report yearly to the AFL-CIO governing body on the representation of women and people of color as elected leaders and staff leadership at all levels of the organization.
Brother Gregory Lucero of Local 66 in Houston, Texas, was appointed IBEW 6th District International Executive Council Representative. Greg Lucero is an active member of the EWMC. He has been Business Manager of Local 66 and a member of the EWMC for roughly 12 years. He also serves as the President of the Texas State Association of Electrical Workers. Congratulations, Greg.
Sherilyn Wright accepted an International Representative position at the IBEW International Office in Washington, D.C. Sherilyn’s many contributions to the EWMC are greatly appreciated. She is an extremely hard worker and will be a tremendous asset to the IBEW in her new position. We wish her well.
The EWMC currently has one vacancy on its Executive Committee. In accordance with the provisions of Article VII, Section 9, "All vacancies on the Executive Committee created between regular elections shall be filled by the remaining members of the Executive Committee. The Secretary will notify all EWMC members of the vacancy and interested members shall have thirty days after the notice to submit a resume to the Executive Committee."
No more than one officer from the same local union and no more than three officers from the same IBEW Vice Presidential District are allowed.
Send a letter requesting consideration for the Executive Committee position with your resume to Dorothy Fortier, Secretary/Treasurer at PO Box 642, El Cerrito, CA 94530, if you want to be considered for the position.
The AFL-CIO’s Civil Rights Committee recently commissioned a study by Silas Lee, Ph.D. of Dr. Silas Lee and Associates, on overcoming barriers to full participation by people of color in today’s labor movement.
The report is illuminating and calls for decisive action to ensure diversity at every level and hold union organizations accountable to diversity standards. Visit the AFL-CIO web site for the full report.
Your hard work made our 2005 Conference a success! Again, thank you for your assistance, dedication and invaluable help.
Please mail membership status questions and new member applications to Dorothy Fortier, EWMC Secretary-Treasurer. Address other questions or concerns to the Executive Committee member in the area closest to you.
Local 2127, Atlanta, GA
Russ Ponder, Vice-
Local 134, Chicago, IL
Dorothy Fortier, ABM
Local 1245, Vacaville, CA
Rick Garcia, Organizer
Diamond Bar, CA
Victoria Gavin, Treasurer
Local 1637, Erie, PA
Yvette Goods, Electrician
Local 1, St. Louis, MO
Edwin Lopez, Bus. Rep.
Local 3, New York, NY
Fred Naranjo, Ex. Board
Local 66, Houston, TX
Local 1700, New Orleans, LA
Victor Uno, Business Mgr.-FS
Local 595, Dublin, CA
Editor: Robbie Sparks