|New members of the MNPL Planning Committee are sworn in by GST Warren Mart at this year’s annual Planning Committee Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.|
With the fallout from the 2010 midterm elections still poisoning the political landscape in more than a dozen states, members of the 2011 MNPL Planning Committee are meeting in Albuquerque, NM, to evaluate ongoing campaigns and to develop aggressive strategies for the months ahead.
“We cannot sit back, we have to fight back,” declared Headquarters GVP Rich Michalski in a review of efforts by anti-union forces to silence the voice of labor unions and working people. “From Wisconsin to Washington, DC, these radical ideologues are opposed to everything we stand for.”
Michalski singled out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, not only for his highly publicized attempts to eliminate collective bargaining for that state’s public employees, but for his earlier refusal to accept nearly $1 billion in federal funds for the construction of a much-needed high-speed rail corridor in Wisconsin. “The same scenario is playing out from Ohio to Florida, where Republican governors are deliberately prolonging the recession as part of the GOP campaign to retake the White House in 2012.”
While the challenges facing MNPL delegates were given due attention, there were also significant accomplishments to celebrate, including innovative organizing campaigns, unique partnerships and the successful conclusion of the decade-long battle to secure the tanker refueling contract.
“This IAM never gave up on the tanker contract but we would not have prevailed without the efforts of the people in this room,” said Legislative and Political Action Director Matt McKinnon. “That’s what we do as a union and as a family; we don’t give up.”
The opening day agenda also included remarks by New Mexico State AFL-CIO President Christine Trujillo, who described the difficult economic times facing New Mexico residents, made worse by the loss of eight labor-friendly state representatives in the last election and the Walker-like policies of New Mexico’s Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.