|L to R: Charlie Fleming, President, Atlanta CLC, Rita Rogers, Vice President SSC, Rickey Wallace, President SSC, Bob Martinez, GVP Southern Territory, Judy Pierce, Secretary-Treasurer SSC.
Conference President Rickey Wallace dropped the gavel to begin the inaugural Southern States Conference of Machinists last week in Marietta, GA. The conference was the creation of Southern Territory GVP Bob Martinez and his predecessor, GVP George Hooper.
“Since the time I first came on staff at the Southern Territory a decade ago, I was asked by GVP George Hooper to resurrect the South Central Conference,” said Martinez. “As GVP I have made it my mission to establish the Southern State Conference of Machinists that consists of the 14 southern states and Puerto Rico for the purposes of Politics and Organizing.”
“This conference is geared for activists,” said Wallace. “The south is unique, and because of Right-To-Work (for less) and an anti-union bias, our strategies and tactics must match our challenges.”
The conference is seen as a building block for the future. “During the conference, we mapped out a strategic plan for success in organizing and political action for the south,” said Martinez. “The conference will build a strong grass-roots movement for working families in the south.”
At the conference, Rickey Wallace of District 711, Nashville, TN, was elected President, Rita Rogers of District Lodge 70, Wichita, KS, was elected Vice President, and Judy Pierce, also of District Lodge 70 was elected Secretary-Treasurer.