On March 1-3, in Atlanta, Georgia, the RWDSU held its 23rd Quadrennial Convention.
Saturday, March 3, 2018
The second and final day of the RWDSU Convention featured addresses by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, and United We Dream Executive Director Cristina Jimenez. The session also saw the re-election of RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, RWDSU Secretary-Treasurer Jack Wurm, and Recorder Joseph Dorismond. Several resolutions were considered and passed, including one to urge Ivanka Trump to sign on to the Bangladesh Accord, which many other clothing companies have signed to ensure safer workplaces for garment workers in Bangladesh. Trump has so far refused to sign the Accord, despite the fact that thousands of garment workers have been injured or killed in unsafe workplaces in Bangladesh.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't let the northeast storm keep him away from the RWDSU Convention. The Mayor spoke with the Convention via Skype, praising the RWDSU as an organization that "helps improve the lives of working people, which helps lift us all higher."
De Blasio said he's proud to work with the RWDSU on important issues that help build stronger communities in New York City.
Watch the Convention videos:
President Stuart Appelbaum
Secretary-Treasurer Jack Wurm
Recorder Joseph Dorismond
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
(above) Global unions Federacion de Servicios de CCOO, Handels, and Unionen were given an award recognizing their efforts in helping workers around the world.
(above) Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble brought music of inspiration and action to the convention floor.
Friday, March 2, 2018
At the first day of the RWDSU Convention, words and music of inspiration, and videos showcasing members and accomplishments from throughout the U.S. fired up delegates, alternates and guests. Important business was accomplished as a dozen resolutions were considered and passed, and committees took to the stage to deliver reports.
Among the resolutions, the RWDSU pledged to fortify its contracts with provisions that will improve training opportunities for members, childcare funding and gender equality in the workplace. The RWDSU also adopted organizing resolutions that will grow our union through global support from fellow unions, global framework agreements and internal organizing in our current sectors. Through political action, the RWDSU has won legislative battles that have lifted workers up across the country. At the convention we pledged to double down on our political work and build strength in local, state and federal government.
Above all, an overriding theme emerged; through organizing, negotiating strong contracts, and political involvement that furthers the interests of workers, together, we are all standing for our values.
During the first session special emphasis was placed upon the fact that RWDSU activists continue to move working people forward in the South, despite hardships that have slowed others down.
The union’s success in the South shows the tenacity and resourcefulness of RWDSU organizers and activists.
Addressing the convention, UFCW President Marc Perrone commented on the union’s conviction and strength, even in the face of a political environment that is increasingly hostile to working people. “We never back down from a fight, and we never give up,” Perrone said. “We show them every day that we will do what it takes to fight back and win!”
"We are holding our convention in the South to make the statement that you can organize in the South -as we have done - and that the South is an important part of the future of the American labor movement; and to recommit ourselves to the civil rights struggles that helped define our country,” President Stuart Appelbaum said during his address to the convention.
Thursday, March 1, 2018
RWDSU delegates, alternates, and guests have come together in Atlanta, Georgia, ready to take part in the 23rd Quadrennial RWDSU Convention. They came from across the U.S. and across the world, as a larger number of international guests than ever before are joining the RWDSU, reflecting the increasing importance of relationships among global activists.
This past week hundreds of RWDSUers began arriving here in Atlanta and preparing for the convention, which begins this morning at 9 am. On Thursday, dozens of RWDSU volunteers helped assemble the delegate bags, including materials like the a political update, folder, RWDSU Constitution, and the red RWDSU hat that all attendees will wear for the panoramic convention photo this afternoon.
Volunteers also helped assemble the popular RWDSU goodies bags, which provide a real taste of what RWDSU members do across North America. From pepperoni to diced mangos, RWDSU members make it all.
As arriving members registered for the convention yesterday afternoon, the excitement built. It’s the only time every four years that we come together, to celebrate what we’ve done, set the course for the future, and stand four our values.