Andrew Gutierrez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Andrew Gutierrez
Andrew Gutierrez grew up in the South Valley of Albuquerque and worked a number of jobs in the food and beverage industry before he started his Union job as a dough mixer operator at the Bimbo Bakeries in Albuquerque. Grateful to finally have job benefits and a living wage, Gutierrez immediately supported the Union (BCTGM Local #351) and developed leadership as a shop steward to enforce the Union contract on the front line. Gutierrez also attended Labor Education classes at the Grace Carroll Rocky Mountain Labor School and deepened his interest in educating the Local’s members to know their Weingarten Rights, to be aware of safety and health issues on the job, and to foster Union solidarity. Committed to Joe Hill’s famous call to organize and not agonize, Gutierrez envisions organizing new workers to join and build the BCTGM Local. With enthusiasm, conviction and a strong belief in the Labor movement, Gutierrez recently took on a new role as Union President of Local #351.
Annette Arvizu Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Annette Arvizu
Annette Arvizu was born in Vaughn NM and grew up in Albuquerque NM. Having tried her hand at many different jobs, she attended college at the University of New Mexico (Valencia) and attained her BA. In 1999, Arvisu started working at the Los Lunas Community Center as a job developer for special needs (mental and physical challenges) persons in Valencia County. Besides dedicating her life to serving the population of need, Arvisu also became an active Union member of AFSCME Local 1894. She continues her activism as a leader with AFSCME Council 18 Retirees.
Ann Rader-Tate Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Ann Rader-Tate
Finding her way into the Social Sciences in college, Ann Rader-Tate earned her Masters in 1984 at Colorado State University and launched her career in Counseling. Rader-Tate taught parenting classes in Greeley CO before she moved to Arizona where she lived and worked in Cottonwood AZ and the Verde Valley. As a Counselor at Yavapai Community College, she taught assertiveness, wellness, and Intro to Psychology. After moving to Santa Fe, Rader-Tate taught Psychology and Sociology at Santa Fe Community College until she retired. With her partner, George Tate, she championed multicultural counseling in expanding approaches to counseling. Rader- Tate worked in a period of significant change in approaches to counseling and therapy. She also represented adjunct faculty in creating the first ever hiring salary matrix at Santa Fe Community College.
Barbara Petersen Oral History Interview (Two Parts)
Olivia Kottke, Barbara Petersen, and Richard Wood
Barbara Petersen shares her work experience as a sewer at Levi Strauss in Albuquerque in the 1970s where she was active in a union organizing drive. Petersen talks about her developing political and social and economic justice consciousness around issues of civil rights, workers’ rights, and teachers’ rights. After leaving Levi Strauss, she worked in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) in kindergarten as an EA for 2 years and a teacher for 33 years. As a member of AFT, Petersen learned the “bigger picture” of union membership that included teacher voice, political action centered on school funding, standardized testing, tests score data issues, and workers’ pay and benefits. Petersen has been a member of the CLC since 1978 where she appreciates the diversity of union members with whom she shares solidarity. She is currently an APS School Board member.
This interview has two parts. Please click here to view part 2 of Barbara Petersen's interview in a new window.
Baudilio Baca Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Baudilio Baca, and Richard Wood
Baudilio Baca talks about his work as a welder, plumber, and pipefitter at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM. He shares his experience starting with his apprenticeship and licensing in UA Local 412 (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412) from 1973 until his retirement in 2008. Baca reveals the development of his activism in the union and New Mexico politics.
Billie Weaver Oral History Interview
Xian Bass, Billie Weaver, and Richard Wood
Billie Weaver discusses her life as a union member and leader, first in Prescott, AZ, as a member of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) and later in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a federal employee of USDA Forest Service. She shares her beliefs on the importance of union membership; unions’ role in improving working conditions, wages, benefits, and workplace safety; and labor education in the schools. Shares advice for others who may feel hesitant to join a union.
Bill Lang Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Bill Lang
Bill Lang shares his long Labor history which began in his family as the son of a Union Electrician. Lang joined the Carpenters Union in 1955. He provides a personal and social history of the Carpenters and Joiners Union during the second half of the 20th century in New Mexico. In particular, Lang explains the consolidation of smaller New Mexico Union Locals into the District Council of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Lang also describes the ingenuity of the Union to invest in Albuquerque land development and provide good Union jobs to members of New Mexico Trade Unions. Lang describes the legislative work developed by his Union to support a fair Workers Compensation system as well as to oppose Right to Work legislation in order to maintain Little Davis Bacon, the prevailing wage law in New Mexico.
Bob Eichhorst Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Bob Eichhorst
Bob Eicchorst heralds from a Union family. His grandfather and father worked as Union carpenters, and his sons, wife and daughter belong to a Union. Eichhorst shares his work experience starting with his apprenticeship and licensing in UA Local 412 (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412) in 1972 through to retirement in 2014. During his 42 years on the job, he worked on major construction projects including Intel in Rio Rancho and the Sandia Base. Eichhorst has been teaching in the UA 412 Apprenticeship Program for 20 years, and he provides a strong case for the value of Union training and workplace safety. Eichhorst also reflects on the legislative challenge of yearly "Right to Work" legislation in New Mexico.
Carla López Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Carla López
Having grown up in a ranching family in Tucumari NM, López moved to Santa Fe and started work at the Community Law Center on San Francisco St. in 1973. During the time she worked at the Center, she developed her paralegal skills on the job and at the UNM Law School. She worked with the law center’s legal team in cases involving civil rights, Labor Unions, police violence, medical malpractice, water and land issues. As a member of the National Lawyers Guild, she traveled to Cuba in 1974. López served on the Santa Fe School Board for 2 terms. She worked in health education and Indian education, (NITI). Working for the City of Santa Fe in the David Coss (mayor) administration, she also participated in the Living Wage Network, the City of Santa Fe Immigration Committee, and numerous educational, immigration, and social justice initiatives in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico.
Carol Oppenheimer Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Carol Oppenheimer
Carol Oppenheimer grew up in a socially conscious family and engaged in her first Labor action with Haitian apple pickers in Western Massachusetts while she attended Smith College. Oppenheimer was drawn to the community organizing of Saul Alinsky, the folk music of social justice concerns, and civil rights actions of the 1960s. After finishing law school, she started teaching as the first woman on the UT Austin Law faculty. Following her heart, Oppenheimer worked in social, labor, and environmental justice organizations and engaged in numerous endeavors for women’s rights and equity, law and social policy, and health and safety on the job. Working with her partner, Morty Simon, Carol championed safe and just legislation for New Mexico and US workers.
Coral Pitkin Oral History Video Interview
Diane Pinkey and Coral Pitkin
Coral Pitkin’s Labor story begins with her quest to become a midwife. In the late 1970s, Pitkin started working at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos NM as an LPN and a midwife apprentice. In 1978, Pitkin also took on the job of Union President of the Nurses Union Local – Professional Performance Association at the Hospital. Describing the difficult working conditions as well as the bleak terms of employment, Pitkin and the other Union nurses at Holy Cross took a stand and won on a challenge to the Hospital Board to improve pay, benefits, and working conditions. Pitkin provides a snapshot of health care and health care workers’ lives in the 1970s and 1980s in a rural New Mexico hospital.
Cristóbal "Chris" Chávez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Cristóbal "Chris" Chávez
Chris Chavez’s Union life started as a member of the Mill Hands Union in Ipswich, Suffolk, England. When he returned to the states, he started working at Sierra Electric in Albuquerque NM. After “salting” the job, he became a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers IBEW Local 611, and Sierra Electric became a Union workplace. Chavez worked with his tools in residential and commercial jobs for years and then ran for a leadership position in Local 611. After Chavez was elected, he started a Newsletter and served as the Editor for 10 years. As Executive Director of the NM State Federation of labor, he set a goal to get Unions to unify on politics. He walked many picket lines and supported Union member education. Chavez supported Harry Teague in his congressional election (2009-2011). Chavez’s proudest achievement is bringing the AFL-CIO Working America program to New Mexico.
Daniel Rivera Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Daniel Rivera
Dan Rivera grew up in a Union family of Plumbers and Pipefitters. Rivera explains how New Mexican men who left the state during the Depression returned to work in their trade and "built the bomb" in Los Alamos. Rivera shares his work experience starting with his apprenticeship and licensing in UA Local 412 (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412) in 1972 through to retirement in 2009. Building a refinery in Lovington NM, he found his calling as an industrial pipefitter. He developed into a Union activist and also served as the executive director of the NM State Federation of Labor where he lobbied for Labor rights. He explains that the issues (basic human rights, immigrant rights, workers' rights) never change; they always need to be fought for. Rivera shared his garage Labor museum complete with picket signs and photos, posters and T-shirts. As a singer of Labor songs, Rivera cites "May the Work that I've done Speak for Me" as a favorite.
Daniel Trujillo Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Daniel Trujillo
Daniel Trujillo was born in Santa Fe NM and worked a variety of jobs (hospitality, construction, and the movie industry) before he started work in the Streets Department for the City of Santa Fe. Starting off in Maintenance (street patching) and then moving to heavy equipment operator, Trujillo joined AFSCME Local 3999 and became a Chief Seward representing City workers in contract negotiations and workplace grievances. He worked with Local 3999 on bringing front line supervisors into the bargaining unit. When he became President of the City of Santa Fe's AFSCME Local in 2008, the City and country were experiencing the great economic recession. Despite the downturn, Trujillo negotiated a contract that guaranteed his members' pay as well as prevented furloughs in City of Santa Fe jobs.
Darrell D. Deaguero Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Darrell D. Deaguero
Having grown up in the Four Corners region of New Mexico in a Union family, Darrell Deaguero followed in his father’s footsteps and joined Laborer’s Local #16 Union. After working for a few contractors, Deaguero left Union work and attended college at San Juan Community College to pursue a Business degree. Returning to Union work, he worked at the San Juan Generating Station, and Deaguero describes the job of the Laborers working in the power plants when they go off line in the “outage” phase of the year. Deaguero also worked on oil and gas pipelines in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico before he worked “in the office” for LIUNA Laborers Local #16. In his role as President of the Union, Deaguero offers a comprehensive overview of the scope of work of Union Laborers throughout New Mexico from the past to the present.
David Coss Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and David Coss
David Coss’ Labor story starts in a Union family where his grandfathers were members of USWA (Steelworkers) and LIUNA the Laborers’ International. Both his father and mother were public school teachers and NEA National Education Association members. Coss describes his tenure with the State Environment Department working on New Mexico water quality planning and watershed protection. He povides a rich history of Union organizing in the public sector in New Mexico from the 1970s to the present. Coss also presents the history of the Living Wage Campaign in Santa Fe and the development of the AFSCME Local #3999 (City of Santa Fe). Adding to his resume his membership and support for Somos un Pueblo Unido (immigrant and workers’ rights), Coss offers his Labor story which is grounded in a robust life of public service and social and economic justice activism.
David Evans Oral History Interview
Jeffrey Maloney, David Evans, and Richard Wood
David Evans talks about his work as member of UA 412 (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters). Evans is a 3rd generation member of UA 412. He shares his experience starting with his apprenticeship and licensing in UA Local 412 from 1993 until his retirement in 2016. Evans reveals the development of his activism in the union and New Mexico politics. He expresses his belief in Unions as a force for a good life in the US as well as a way to develop solidarity with other union members involved in political change.
Deborah Simmons Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Deborah Simmons, and Richard Wood
Deborah Simmons talks about her work as a PFS Director and health care consultant in Health Care settings including Alta Vista in Las Vegas, NM. She shares her experience during the union organizing drive at Alta Vista which lead to her union membership in District 1199 NM Hospital Workers Union in 2014 to the present.
Delfinio Tapia Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Delfinio Tapia
Del Tapia reflects on his 25 + years working for the Solid Waste Department at the City of Santa Fe NM where he was a laborer and a heavy equipment operator. Tapia provides a history of waste collection in the City prior to curbside pick up. The institution of his union, AFSCME 3999, lead to long overdue raises as well as attention to the health and safety issues in the City’s most dangerous job.
Delma Delora Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Delma Delora
Delma Delora talks about her work at St. Vincent's and Christus St. Vincent's in Santa Fe, NM where she started as an LPN in 1962 working in the emergency room. Delora describes the changes that she has seen in the provision of health care over her long career as an RN in which she worked in various departments including the cancer ward with AIDs patients during the 1980s. Delora's union membership takes shape in 1974, acting as the President of the Professional Performance Association (PPA) at St. Vincents. She emphasizes the importance of the Taft Hartley Act of 1974 which gave nurses the right to organize a union and bargain collectively. In the 1980s, the Union decided to affiliate with a national union, and they became District 1199 NM Hospital Workers Union. Delora's life of Union and social and economic activism contributes a long and rich Labor history story in New Mexico.
Diane Wood Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Diane Wood
Diane Wood grew up in a Union family where her father was a member and Business Agent (BA) for Local 481 of the Ironworkers Union in Texas. In 1969, Wood worked as a Clerk at the Kroger Market where she also belonged to the Retail Clerks International Union (RCIU) of the AFLCIO. Moving to New Mexico in the early 1970s, Wood continued her retail and Union membership working in various grocery food chains in Albuquerque, NM. Serving in various leadership roles in the Union, she describes the fight for improved contracts. In 1982, The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) pulled in numerous small unions under a Union that would become the largest AFLCIO Union. Her long and robust Labor story includes a history of Union development in New Mexico as well as the landmark Winn Dixie Labor battle in 1977 where the Union won the day. Wood’s Labor story recounts many of the Labor battles in New Mexico around Right to Work (RTW), prevailing wage, Public Employee Bargaining (PEBA), sexual harassment on the job, and workers compensation legislation.
Dianne Harris Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Dianne Harris
Dianne Harris started her career in radio early in the development of FM stations. She was the first woman radio host on the air in Oklahoma City. Harris went on to broadcast for NPR delving into the controversial issues of the times at Pacifica Radio (Vietnam War, student protests). Harris was hired by Henry Nicholas (President of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees 1199 ) as a Staff Representative to service Union contracts. In 1990, Harris worked in Albuquerque with nurses in the bargaining unit at the University of New Mexico Hospital as well as with respiratory and radiology therapists seeking to join the Union. For the next 18 years, Harris continued working with 1199 bargaining units throughout New Mexico (Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque) on various initiatives for improving staffing and safety in hospitals as well as holding management accountable to staff and patients.
Dominick DeGregorio Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Dominick DeGregorio
Born in Cervinara, Italy, Dominick DeGregorio came with his brother to the US in 1954. Immediately, he started working in his Uncle’s grocery store in New York City. At 18, DeGregorio started his Union career by joining the Mason Tenders Local #37 in Brooklyn. After transferring his book to Local 6A Concrete Workers Union, he became a power buggy operator transporting concrete to build numerous skyscrapers in the New York City skyline. In 1974, DeGregorio moved to Albuquerque and joined LIUNA Local #16 with his first job working as General Foreman at University Heights Hospital. Assuming the position of Training Director for the NM Laborers’ Training Trust Fund, DeGregorio started with a small trailer and drove all over New Mexico training members. In 1980, LIUNA Local #16 purchased land in Edgewood, NM and built a permanent training facility that opened in 1983. DeGregorio worked his entire career promoting union membership with all its benefits. He proclaimed in his interview, “when I came to this country, I thought the streets were paved in gold. What I discovered was not gold, but opportunity for a career that I have loved for so many years.”
The attached file contains photos from the photo board displayed in the video.
Donald Meaders Oral History Interview
Foley Hayden, Donald Meaders, and Richard Wood
Don Meaders describes his life and the circumstances that led him into a career in construction and leadership within the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, where he remains a retired member. He emphasizes his career-long work to get rank and file members into leadership positions within the union. He also discusses his disappointment in the international union’s takeover and dissolution of his local union in 2007.
Don Manning Oral History Interview
Dalilah Naranjo, Don Manning, and Richard Wood
Don Manning shares his Labor story starting with his first Union job as a sacker at the Piggly Wiggly in Grants, NM where his Aunt was his Union Steward. Manning worked in mining jobs as a welder and mechanic mining uranium and copper in Western New Mexico. He served as USWA Local 890 President through the 1982-1983 copper mine shutdowns in Grants and Silver City NM areas. Manning was active in the Bill Richardson campaign and served as Director of Workforce Investment for 2 years. As the Field Rep for the AFL CIO, he worked many statewide and national political campaigns. Manning discusses the changes and the future of Unions in the US. He focuses on the role of Union women in New Mexico politics as well as the importance of Unions to families and the significance of Unions for democracy in the country.
Donna Swanson Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Donna Swanson
Donna Swanson's Labor story begins with working in the Albuquerque (UNM) and Los Lunas Training Schools with children and young people with severe special needs in federally funded (Title 6C) programs . At the same time, Swanson was attending UNM and working towards her degree in Special Education. Swanson was hired at Albuquerque TVI (Technical Vocational Institute), now CNM (Central NM Community College) in 1986 in the Special Needs Department. Her job eventually located in the Developmental Education Department at CNM. In 1990 Swanson and her colleagues faced untenable workplace problems (harassment, workload, due process abuses) which would lead to a Union organizing drive for fulltime faculty at CNM. Swanson provides an important 25 year history of the CNM Union from its inception and development into the four bargaining units that included faculty, security guards, instructional support and teacher aides.
Earl Reed Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Earl Reed
Earl Reed ‘s Labor story began after a stint in the oilfields of West Texas. Reed joined Local #351 of the BCTGM International Union in 1988 and would advocate for 30 years in his leadership roles for the benefits of the three-legged stool of a good Union contract: health care, good wages, and a pension. In his interview, Reed also provides a rich history of the bread bakery industry in the U.S., and its consolidation from smaller bakeries into the powerful Grupo Bimbo enterprise of Mexico City. Reed focused on a Union organizing perspective as he fought for good contracts in bakeries in grocery stores, identified and corrected unfair labor practices, advocated for sick and injury leave and, most importantly, maintained the retirement pension for his members. Reed ends his interview by noting the recent 600 job layoff in Chicago of Nabisco workers and the call for a boycott of Nabisco products as the company moved its operation to Mexico. A Union man, Reed believes in the power of organized Labor even as he considers unionizing in the pest control industry, his latest venture since retirement.
Eleanor Chavez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Eleanor Chavez
Eleanor Chávez heralds from a political family serving New Mexicans from as far back as her great grandfather who served in the NM Territorial Legislature. Chávez grew up in a Union family with her dad being a Union carpenter; her mom worked at Albertsons grocery as a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Chávez’s work life has centered on social justice job positions working for a better life for New Mexicans. This includes staffing in Unions (AFSCME, NM District 1199, AFT). She also worked at the State of NM Department of Human Services (Child Protective Services) and was a member of AFSCME Local 2839. Her work life extends into public advocacy for important legislation focused on children, women, incarceration, mental health, affordable and accessible health care, rights on the job, abolition of the death penalty, voter protection and more. Chávez served as a NM Legislator and represented her home District #13 Albuquerque from 2008-2012.
Eloisa Corona Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Eloisa Corona
Eloisa Corona grew up in a Union family as her father was George Quintana, a 50 year member of the Albuquerque Local #16 of the Laborers' International Union of N.A. She started her Union life as a member of the CWA Local at the Telephone Company in Albuquerque, NM and went on to join the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Education Assistants' Union. Corona also worked at the AFT Educational Assistants' Union office and co-taught CPR classes as an AFT National Instructor.
Ester Griego Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Ester Griego
Ester Griego describes her work life in various jobs where she was often “the first”, e.g. the first Hispanic woman HMO Marketing Director. Griego’s professional life started with her work at the Bureau of Weapons (Navy) on the Polaris Missile Project. She moved to a job at NASA at Langley and then transferred to Houston. As a telecommunications specialist, she tracked flights to sites around the world during a mission. She noted that working with astronauts and “Being in the control room during a mission was the best experience of my whole career.” Her work life progressed to jobs at Lovelace Health Plan, the Federal Housing (FHA) and Social Security (SSA) Administrations. Mainly she worked in marketing in many of her jobs; Griego was a frontrunner for Hispanic women in her field.
Fonda Osborn Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Fonda Osborn
Fonda Osborn worked as a nurse for 38 years. Her passion for the importance of the Union in health care staffing started at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos, NM where the Union contract worked well. Osborn then moved to Las Vegas to work at Alta Vista Hospital where large patient loads, understaffing, and favoritism lead staff to unionize. Despite winning the vote for a Union, the failure to negotiate a contract was a difficult lesson. After the Las Vegas campaign, Osborn was invited to work on contract negotiations at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, NM in 1987 and worked through numerous Union contract negotiations in various leadership roles until her retirement in 2015. Reflecting on the transition of St. Vincent’s to administration by Christus St. Vincent’s, Osborn describes the success of Union contracts to improve staffing and gain benefits. A long life of Union activism and work on the social justice issues of affordable and accessible health care in New Mexico are hallmarks of Osborn’s Labor story.
Frank Froschle Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Frank Froschle
Frank Froschle started his Union life working as a Union bricklayer apprentice during his college summer breaks. Froschle then joined the very first Peace Corps cohort in 1961. Upon returning from the Philippines, he made his way to Chicago IL where he participated in social activism in civil rights and the anti-war movement. After finishing his RN degree in 1971, he worked in various nursing jobs around the country and finally arrived in Crownpoint NM where he worked for the Indian Health Service. In 1981, he started work at St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe; he also joined 1199NM. Froschle describes Union actions and events that occurred from 1981 to the present as the hospital transitioned to Christus St. Vincent's in Santa Fe, NM.
Frank Hererra Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Frank Hererra
Frank Herrera joined the United Brotherhood Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 1353 Santa Fe New Mexico in 1964 and now carries his 50 year card. Herrera worked with his tools for 12 years at jobs in Northern New Mexico. He worked on many State of NM buildings in Santa Fe as well as hotels: the Hilton and the Eldorado. Herrera taught carpentry at Santa Fe High and then started work with the Union’s Apprenticeship program in 1978. After Joe Espinosa left to work in Albuquerque, Herrera took over as Business Agent for Local 1353. Working with many apprentices over the years, he is proud of those who advanced to positions of Foreman and Superintendent on jobsites. Being a Union member has provided him and his family with a good life.
George E. "Jeep" Gilliland Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and George E. "Jeep" Gilliland
Jeep Gilliland describes his long Labor history by starting with his apprenticeship in the Sheet Metal Workers' Union. Gilliland shares his knowledge of the Great Cowboy Strike (1883) and the labor trouble in the potash mines in Carlsbad. Gilliland served as the Business Rep for Local #49 for 3 terms before he was elected President of the NM State Federation of Labor in 1990. During his leadership tenure, he fought three major issues including Right to Work (killed 15 times), keeping the prevailing wage in place, and re-writing an improved NM Workers' Compensation Act. Gilliland also taught at the Rocky Mountain Labor School for nine years. Additionally, he shared his many awards earned over his active social and political life as well as displayed his artistic tables created from various metals woven together.
Harriet “Mandy” Pino Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Harriet “Mandy” Pino
Mandy Pino was born in Mentmore, NM, a coal mining town outside Gallup NM. Her early life took place in the turbulent Labor struggle and strike of 1933 that involved the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) as well as the more short-lived National Miners’ Union. Pino remembers the conflict and highly charged period where “dirty Bolsheviks” was a term leveled against the striking miners in picket lines. Describing herself as a radical Democrat, she shares a story of her politicization by association with the Quakers, Communist youth groups, and the Merrill Palmer Institute in Early Childhood Education in intercity Detroit. Pino continued political work in New Mexico as part of the Grassroots Democratic Committee starting in 1958. She is a current member of the NM Progressive Democrats of America Central NM chapter. Pino has spent a lifetime working on social justice issues focused on aging with dignity, affordable and accessible health care, and Labor justice concerns.
James L. Moran Oral History Interview
Manuel Carranza, James L. Moran, and Richard Wood
James Moran talks about his work as a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers IBEW locals 827 (New Jersey) and 611 (New Mexico) where he started as an apprentice lineman in 1965 and advanced to installer and to more complicated positions dealing with data lines and terminals. Some of his work centered on government installations whereby he was required to have a top secret government clearance. He retired in 1996. During that time he was active with his union and served in a number of positions on the Central Labor Council as well as participated in political actions and boycotts (JP Stevens).
Janet E. Armijo Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Janet E. Armijo
Janet Armijo worked at the City of Santa Fe NM in a number of jobs including Administrative Assistant in the Personnel office. Armijo left that job to work as a Compliance Specialist and then Scalemaster at the newly created (1995) SFSWMA (Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency) which oversees the Caja del Rio Landfill, Santa Fe County Transfer Stations, and the Buckman Road Recycling & Transfer Station (BuRRT). Within a short time of starting her new job, Armijo joined with other supporters to advocate for an election to unionize the SFSWFA employees. With the success of the vote, the decision was made to join the City Of Santa Fe AFSCME Local 3999. Armijo offers strong belief in the power of the Union to improve the working conditions and benefits in her workplace.
Jerry McBride Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Jerry McBride, and Richard Wood
Jerry McBride shares his Labor story starting in 1978 when he joined the IBEW and thereafter apprenticed to become a journeyman lineman. McBride worked in 10 states for 18 different IBEW Locals over the course of his career describing challenging jobs on the east coast and throughout New Mexico. McBride emphasizes the role of the Union to create a culture of safety and camaraderie with a "buddy system." He emphasizes how the Union provides a mentality of safety and how the Union built safety into the way the IBEW does electrical work.
Jewell Hall Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Jewell Hall
Jewel Hall has led an activist’s life. She taught science and math in the public school for 38 years. Sixteen of those years, Hall taught in Albuquerque NM where she was a member of the Albuquerque Teachers Federation (affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers AFT). Hall was elected President of the ATF Local in 1981. Hall describes the Labor issues that teachers in Albuquerque faced in the 1970s; she highlights the changes that improved teachers’ lives during her tenure. Hall has spent her life serving her community in various organizations including the Albuquerque Martin Luther King Jr. Multicultural Council (founding member), AARP, the Albuquerque Northwest Retired Educators Association, the 1st Rio Rancho Public Schools Board of Education, and the Rio Rancho Branch of the NAACP.
Jimmie Martinez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Jimmie Martinez, and Richard Wood
Jimmie Martinez talks about his work as a Grocery worker and manager at Safeway, Furrs, and Smith's in Santa Fe, NM. He shares his experience starting with his Retail Clerks (UFCW Local 1564) union membership in 1961 until his retirement in 2002. Martinez shares his community service as a Santa Fe School Board member, a Santa Fe City Councilor, a leader in the National Hispanic Caucus of the National School Board Association, and as a sponsor of the Santa Fe Living Wage Ordinance (2004).
Joan Friedland Oral History Video Interview
Diane Pinkey and Joan Friedland
Joan Friedland’s Labor story starts in Arizona and New Mexico where she worked with DNA People’s Legal Services in Window Rock AZ and Gallup NM. Upon moving to Santa Fe NM, Friedland assisted grassroots organizations in Northern New Mexico in legal matters focused on civil rights, Labor issues, and law enforcement abuse. In 1971, Friedland joined the Community Law Center in Santa Fe. In her work with the Center, Friedland represented various individuals and organizations that included the Brown Berets (East L.A) who marched in Santa Fe, prison abuse victims, women in the New Mexico Penitentiary, acequia organizations, and employment and workplace rights, e.g. nurses at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe. Friedland represented Pedro Archuleta, founder of La Clinica del Pueblo and Land Grant rights’ activist in the Tierra Amarillo grand jury. Continuing her legal work, Friedland became active in support of immigration rights and continues that work today.
Joe O. Romero Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Joe O. Romero
Joe Romero’s Union participation started at the Chino molybdenum (AMAX) mine in Leadville, Colorado in 1967. Twenty years later when the mine closed, Romero worked various construction jobs and then moved to Santa Fe NM and started working at the City of Santa Fe’s Solid Waste Department as a heavy equipment operator. Romero and his co-workers attempted to create a Union at the City in 1990. That Union ordinance was voted down, and not until 1994 did AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) Local 3999 receive the needed City Council votes. Advocating for Union membership, Romero describes how he convinced his fellow workers to join the Union to improve working conditions and improve benefits.
Jon Hendry Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Jon Hendry
Jon Hendry contributes a Labor Story rich in local and national Labor History. Born in Scotland, he moved to the US as immigrant in pursuit of the American dream. Hendry worked in Rock and Roll for 10 years before pursuing work in the movie business. Hendry started as an Assistant Location Manager. When he moved to New Mexico in 1989, he became involved in the film incentives program first introduced under Governor Gary Johnson’s administration. Continuing his movie and TV work as a Business Agent for IATSE Local 480, Hendry has been involved in numerous endeavors highlighting the value of film as a viable and robust industry for New Mexico.
José Enriquez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and José Enriquez
José Enriquez describes the work and training he receives as an apprentice in the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 1505, NM. After becoming indentured as an apprentice in 2015, Enriquez sees the value of his Union job with the emphasis on safety and quality work. He has been active in a number of political campaigns, more recently supporting Bernie Sanders in New Mexico and Hillary Clinton in Nogales, AZ where he worked as a field organizer for the Arizona Democratic Party. Enriquez expresses an interest in issues relevant to young people in the country today, including climate change, college affordability, sustainability as well as a more anti-capitalist view of political party politics.
José "JC" Guerrera Cruz Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and José "JC" Guererra Cruz
Born in LA, Cruz started work in the printing business in a bindery before he joined the Labor movement. Organized by IUPAT Local #623 in Orange County CA, Cruz started an apprenticeship program and graduated as a journeyman in the early 1980s. After working for Superior Wall Systems in Anaheim for 13 years, he and his family moved to Albuquerque, Cruz joined IUPAT Local #823. Eventually, he went to work in building maintenance for Intel in Rio Rancho NM. Cruz’s life as a Union Organizer for IUPAT began in the 1990s. After studying at the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Maryland, Cruz worked various campaigns for IUPAT, as well as for Local 254 Cement Masons. Cruz provides a heartfelt insider view of Labor organizing and the Labor movement in the building trades in the Southwest.
José V. "Joey" Atencio Jr. Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and José V. "Joey" Atencio Jr.
Joey Atencio grew up in a Labor family. His father was a member of LIUNA Local #16 and worked mostly in the Farmington NM area. After attending San Juan College for a welding certification, Atencio joined the Laborers’ Union and started working at the San Juan Generating Plant. In his working life, he also was employed by Jaynes Construction as a foreman. Over time, Atencio took on leadership roles in the Union and worked on Union contracts and workplace grievances. Atencio also describes the ups and downs of his journey as a Business Manager in the Union. Involved with training and the apprenticeship program, Atencio demonstrates his pride in the “Union Family” that he devoted his working life to fostering in unity and solidarity.
Kathleen Winslow Oral History Inteview
Diane Pinkey and Kathleen Winslow
Kathleen Winslow offers a Labor story rich in advocacy and action focused on improving the lives of low income people in general and women in particular. During law school in the early 1970s, she shared in leading the movement to create a Rape Crisis Center on the UNM campus. Winslow worked for Legal Aid in Iowa and New Mexico. She also started the Battered Women’s Shelter in Albuquerque. Her stint working for UPS (United Parcel Services) as a Teamster provided a change from the challenges of legal aid work. Involved locally in Albuquerque with the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), she also attended the National CLUW Conference in New Orleans in the early 1980s where she met Union women from around the country who were working to improve the terms and conditions of their workplaces.
Larry "Mike" Archuleta Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Larry "Mike" Archuleta, and Richard Wood
Mike Archuleta talks about his work as a Foreman in Fire Protection at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in Los Alamos, NM. He shares his experience starting with his apprenticeship and licensing in UA Local 412 (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412) from 1978 until his retirement in 2014. Archuleta reveals the development of his activism in the union and New Mexico politics.
Lillie Sandoval Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Lillie Sandoval
Lillie Sandoval started work as an LPN in 1974 and worked at St. Vincent's and Christus St. Vincent's in Santa Fe, NM for 42 years. Sandoval recounts her experiences from starting in "med surg" to becoming an RN in 1990 and spending most of her career as a pediatric nurse. She shares her participation in her Union starting in 1974 with the Professional Performance Association at St. Vincents. Sandoval notes that the Taft Hartley Act of 1974 gave nurses the right to organize a Union and bargain collectively. In the 1980s, the Union decided to affiliate with a national union, and they became District 1199 NM Hospital Workers' Union. Sandoval serves as Treasurer of the Union since the 1970s even though she retired from her job in 2012.
Lois Goldfarb Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Lois Goldfarb
Lois Goldfarb joined the Albuquerque Federation of Teachers (AFT NM) in 1964. Goldfarb explains that the teaching conditions in many of the Albuquerque schools were challenging, and teachers needed an organized voice to solve classroom problems. Citing the difficulties with attaining Union recognition and legitimacy, Goldfarb also provides a history of the early days of the teachers' Union. Besides advocating for Union membership, Goldfarb also worked as the Union Representative at the Albuquerque United Way. In this position, she worked with Air Traffic Controllers who lost jobs and, in turn, medical coverage, after the mass firings in 1981.
Lorraine Miller Oral History Interview
Shandel Dodson-Morgan, Lorraine Miller, and Richard Wood
Lorraine Miller describes her long history of union involvement. After 7 years as a member of CWA at Southwestern Bell in Kansas, she was transferred to Mountain Bell in Albuquerque, where she promptly joined the union. There, she moved through the leadership ranks as a steward, a representative for operator services, secretary treasurer, and president. She discusses the reasons for her involvement in CWA, the importance of unions in New Mexico, awards she has received in her career, and her longstanding leadership in the CWA National Retired Members Council.
Marcus Griego Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Marcus Griego
Marcos Griego proudly carries his 50 year membership card with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Griego joined the Union in 1964 and has been paying dues for 54 years. He worked with his tools at jobsites across New Mexico including the Farmington Power Plant where he and his crew built scaffolding for the other tradesmen working in the plant. Griego also worked as the Assistant Business Agent and Trustee for Local 1319. He started the NM Chapter and served as President of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO) whose purpose included voter sign up and GOTV efforts. Griego shares his interest in Labor history as well as his efforts to battle against anti-Labor legislation. Interview by Diane Pinkey.
Maria "Bernice" Romero Oral History Interview
Gema Gonzalez, Maria "Bernice" Romero, and Richard Wood
Bernice Romero shares her work experiences working at Mountain Bell from 1972 until 2003 where she worked first as a phone operator using a "cork board" in Durango, CO and then as a Repair Clerk and finally as an Outside Technician. Romero was also a member of the Communication Workers of America CWA locals in Durango, CO and Albuquerque, NM. Romero describes her Labor and political activism advocating against discrimination of women, Hispanics, and Gay and Lesbian persons in New Mexico. She reveals the discrimination she experienced early on in her job as an operator in Durango CO as well as her own fight to work in a job that traditionally hired men only. She is currently active with CWA RMC 70010, retired CWA members.
María Cristina López Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and María Cristina López
María Cristina López was born in San Francisco del Oro, a gold mining town in Chihuahua Mexico. After moving to Juarez, she attended school in El Paso TX. She attended college in Albuquerque and started her work life as a Lab Tech at Lovelace Clinic. Moving to Milwuakee WI, she started working and teaching English as a Second Language ESL with the immigrant and migrant workers’ community, and the Concentrated Employment Program. Eventually making her way back to New Mexico, López worked in Santa Fe with La Clinica de la Gente doing Health Educatio. In the 1990s, she became involved in the Central American Sanctuary Movement. An immigrant, López has dedicated her life to working in the immigrant community in New Mexico. She is one of the original founders of Somos un Pueblo Unido (a statewide immigrant rights organization). In her faculty tenure at Santa Fe Community College, she developed the Heritage Language (New Mexico Spanish) Program. As a Court Interpreter, López, she continues her involvement in immigrant rights and justice. The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.
Mark Marquez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Mark Marquez
Mark Marquez served in the US Army from 1987-1993. He started working at the Santa Fe Fire Department in 1994 when the Santa Fe Firefighters Association existed as a fraternal group. When AFSCME American Federation of State, county and Municipal Employees started organizing a Union with the City Public employees, AFSCME also encouraged Fire and Police to consider unionizing. Marquez was involved with organizing the City of Santa Fe IAFF Local #2059. He shares the challenges of building a Union as well as the negotiation for improved retirement benefits, health and safety on the job, and staffing. Marquez describes his organizing work with other IAFF Locals in Gallup, Espanola, and Alamogordo.
Michael E. Vigil Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Michael E. Vigil
orn in Santa Fe NM and educated at the University of New Mexico, Michael Vigil joined with other students to address the civil rights and social and economic justice issues of the 1960s and 70s. He graduated from UNM Law School in 1974 and started work at the Community Law Center in Santa Fe. Vigil and his partners represented New Mexico community organizations, Labor Unions, La Clinica del Pueblo in Tierra Amarilla NM and other litigants in civil rights issues, particularly in police brutality cases throughout the state. As a member of the National Lawyers Guild, he traveled to Nicaragua as an observer and Labor consultant after the Sandinistas took power in 1979. In 1994, Vigil was appointed Judge in the First Judicial District NM where he was involved in the development of Drug Court and Treatment Court (alternative sentencing programs).
Mike Swisher Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Mike Swisher
Mike Swisher began his Labor history as a son of a Business Agent BA of Local #49 of the Sheet Metalworkers Union. At 16, Swisher worked as a clerk at Foodway and joined the Retail Clerks Union. Swisher started with the Insulators Union and worked in Arizona. He hired onto non-Union worksites as a “salt” and organized to unionize the jobsite. Upon returning to Albuquerque, he joined Local #49 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ in 1973 and retired in 2018. He worked on the Carver and Four Square Buildings in Albuquerque as well as the Four Corners Power Plant in Farmington. As the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison, Swisher ran food drives: sometimes during strikes e.g. the coal miners’ strike in Window Rock and the CWA strike in the early 2000s. Community service has been a hall mark of his Union life. Swisher also describes the building trades’ involvement in housing and real estate which was intended to insure Union work on the job for a long time.
Morton "Morty" Simon Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Morton "Morty" Simon
Morty Simon’s Labor story starts as a member of the Retail Clerks Union working at Safeway in New Jeresy. After Simon finished law school at Columbia, he traveled to Southern Colorado to work for San Luis Legal Aid representing the United Farm Workers (UFW). During the next few years, he worked in a legal storefront (Community Law Center) with Law partner, Joan Friedland, and was involved in civil rights and Labor representation cases in New Mexico. Simon represented Steelworkers Local 890 (the Salt of the Earth Local) as well as the first health care workers Local at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe. Over the course of 30 years, Simon and his wife and partner Carol Oppenheimer provided legal representation to New Mexico Unions and advocated for economic and social justice through the development of just workplace legislation. Simon and Oppenheimer started the Southwest Organizing School, a popular education approach to teaching Union workers in the Southwest about arbitration, rights on the job, internal organizing, and Union culture.
Norma Yates Oral History Interview
John Russo, Norma Yates, and Richard Wood
Norma Yates talks about her over 20-year career at Smith’s Food and Drug, which is now owned by Kroger. She discusses ways in which union membership benefited her personally and tells stories of times when the union advocated for her in disputes with management. Through these experiences, she saw the value of union membership, became a shop steward, and came to see fellow union members as family. She describes the way the union president and members supported her during her husband’s illnesses, while the company did not.
Patrick J. Chavez Sr. Oral History Video Interview
Diane Pinkey and Patrick J. Chavez Sr.
Patrick Chavez became a Union Man in 1974 when he joined UA Local 412 and started his apprenticeship in the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union. Chavez was active in his Local by participating in contract negotiations and benefit plan development as well as serving as leadership. He also acted as organizer in New Mexico. \Shifting gears in 1986, Chavez worked for AFT NM. In that time, he served as bill analyst for Sen. Carlos Cisneros. Chavez then went to work for the National Educators Association NEA in NM and served as NEA National Staff Organizer for the Western States. Chavez also sat on the Board for the NEA National Pension Plan. Chavez’ Labor story is a robust account of many of New Mexico’s organized Labor struggles and successes.
Rick A. Martínez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Rick A. Martínez
Born in Santa Fe NM, Rick Martinez’ first job was as a mortician at the Berardinelli Funeral Home. After a few years, Martinez left that job to start working with his father and brothers in a family painting business where they developed contracts at various commercial businesses and with many residences in Santa Fe NM. The painting business lasted for over 20 years and then Martinez found his real work in neighborhood protection, preservation and appropriate development in the City of Santa Fe. Martinez has promoted community input in strengthening neighborhoods in Santa Fe City Council forums. He has been vigilant to monitor zoning designations and affordable housing set asides as well as to facilitate neighborhood participation in growth and development. One of his proudest achievements is the creation of the caboose landmark at the corner of St. Francis and Cerrillos Roads.
Robert Aubert Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Robert Aubert
Growing up in the South Valley in Albuquerque NM, Robert Aubert describes his family as blue collar. His father was a member of the Laborers’ Union (LIUNA), and his mom worked retail. After a stint in the military and a few years of studying business management at UNM CNM, he worked construction and got started on his career in painting. Joining the Painter’s Union IUPAT Local #823 in 2001, Aubert then worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory LANL . Aubert provides a history of his Union IUPAT with its development of an apprenticeship program, improved health and safety on the job, and, most importantly, the merging of allied trades: painters, glaziers, wall coverers, flooring installers, convention and trade show decorators, glassworkers, sign and display workers, asbestos worker/hazmat technician and drywall finishers into IUPAT. Aubert also contributes an account of projects developed in cooperation with other New Mexico Unions including the Build New Mexico initiative and the Union Savings Bank in New Mexico. See the Free Choice Act 2008.
Robert "Bob" Ryan Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Robert Ryan
Bob Ryan worked 43 years as a Union member, leader, and trainer for the Sheet Metal Workers Union (now SMART). Ryan was born in Northern Colorado. His dad apprenticed and attained his journeyman's license at the Sheet Metal Workers' Union in Boulder CO. The family moved to Albuquerque and Ryan's dad affiliated with the El Paso Local #188 until Local #49 was chartered in 1963. Ryan apprenticed to the Sheet Metal Workers' Union (SMWIA) from 1954-1958. In 1958, he started his Union apprentice teaching career which lasted 40 years. Ryan lays out a history of the times from the 1960s to the present and the role of Local #49 in its development of benefits (pension, health care, and wages), apprenticeship training, and legislation. Ryan shares an important chapter of Labor history from the building trades in creating the local technical college (TV-I, now CNM). Ryan joins his dad and his son, Michael, to represent three generations of Presidents of Local #49.
Robin Gould Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Robin Gould
Robin Gould’s Labor story began in 1989 while working as an editor at the NM State Office of Archeological Studies. Gould joined CWA Local 7037 during an organizing drive for NM State workers. After becoming involved in the Union, Gould supported the contract language for family (pre-FLSA) paid leave for Union work as well as improved worker evaluations. In time, Gould took on the role of Steward for Local 7037 and started to represent State workers in grievances and health and safety issues on the job. She also developed an interest in the culture of the Labor Movement. In her work and Labor careers, she served as a leader in CWA Local 7037. Gould participated in her Union from the time prior to the Public Employee Bargaining Act (PEBA) through to its inception, sunset, and re-institution of the law. Gould participated in many Union organizing drives and Labor actions in New Mexico. Gould served as administrative support for the Southwest Organizing School of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies. She rounded out her long Labor career serving as Staff Rep for CWA in the Denver office. Gould served working people with courage and success in Labor relations for 30+ years in the Labor movement in New Mexico.
Rosalina Grace Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Rosalina Grace
Rosalina Grace first worked as a switchboard operator for the phone company. She then started a job at the Convention Center Services at the City of Santa Fe NM. In 1994, when the blue collar workers were forming a Union, Grace became involved in organizing for the Union vote. She ran for Vice President of AFSCME Local 3999 and won. Grace also sat at the first contract negotiations which won benefits and pay for City workers that was heralded as the best AFSCME contract in the state of New Mexico.
Rose Martinez Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Rose Martinez
Rose Martinez worked at Levi Strauss Company in Albuquerque for 28 and a half years, starting in 1971. She started sewing pockets on men’s blue jeans. After six months, she moved up to Supervisor- Instructor and showed new workers how to sew “on the line” and in a piecework system. Martinez provides a detailed description of work life at Levi Strauss. She reflects on the importance of the company as it provided good paying jobs with benefits for many Albuquerque residents. Martinez worked until the factory closed in 1991 and noted the good severance packages and job training opportunities Levi Strauss offered to laid- off workers. Martinez also explains how the Union drive of ACTWU (Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union) raised awareness of safety on the job.
Sally Gallosa Oral History Interview
Anais Garvanian, Sally Gallosa, and Richard Wood
Sally Gallosa shares her work experiences at Mountain Bell from 1973 until 2000 where she worked first as a phone operator and then as a Maintenance Administrator and finally as a Plant Line Assigner. Gallosa was also a member of the Communication Workers of America CWA locals in Deming and Albuquerque, NM. During her tenure at Mountain Bell, she served as a Union Steward assisting her members with workplace issues that included disciplinaries, grievances, seniority, and job changes. She describes the discrimination she experienced as a Hispanic and also as a woman. She is currently active with CWA RMC 70010, retired CWA members.
Sam Baca Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Sam Baca
Sam Baca grew up in Santa Fe NM and started college at the University of Michigan in 1970. In 1973, the United Farmworkers of America (UFWA) launched a nationwide boycott in the 20 largest grape markets in the US. Politicized by the success of the Farmworkers’ first boycott, Baca directed the Detroit boycott along with his classmate, Arturo Rodriguez (current President of UFWA). Using community organizing tactics to build support for the boycott, organizers held house meetings and grocery picket lines to build the movement. Baca and his family’s personal connection to Cesar Chavez (UFWA leader) and Chavez’s family provide a powerful history of the UFWA Labor story.
Sharon Argenbright Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Sharon Argenbright, and Richard Wood
Sharon Argenbright talks about her work as a Clinical Nurse at St. Vincent's and Christus St. Vincent's in Santa Fe, NM. She shares her experience starting with her union membership in District 1199 NM Hospital Workers Union in 1993 to the present. Argenbright served as Vice president of the union and participated in union contract negotiations. She also taught nursing classes at Santa Fe Community College. She is an active member of the New Mexico Central Labor Council.
Shirley Cruse Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Shirley Cruse, and Richard Wood
Shirley Cruse talks about her work as a Certified Respiratory Technician at St. Vincent's and Christus St. Vincent's in Santa Fe, NM. She shares her experience starting with her union membership in District 1199 NM Hospital Workers Union in 1990 to the present. Cruse served as Vice president of the Technicians Bargaining Unit, as a delegate, and as the lead negotiator for the Nurses/Technicians in union contract negotiations from 1998-2011.
Stanley Rosebud Rosen Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Stanley Rosebud Rosen, and Richard Wood
Stanley Rosen talks about his work as a Labor Educator teaching classes at various universities (Rutgers, University of Illinois) as well as with a diversity of Unions (CWA, Textile Workers) over his 35 year career. During that time, Rosen worked with unions that faced plant shutdowns and taught classes in union democracy, worker empowerment, and unions as a part of political movements. Rosen participated in Labor for Peace in Vietnam. He acted as co-director of the Legislative Institute in Washington DC. Rosen conducted a number of oral Labor History projects including one focused on Jewish Radicals.
Suzanne Shannon Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Suzanne Shannon
Suzanne Shannon recounts her Labor story starting with a job as a part time secretary for the Bernalillo County Central Labor Council (BCCLC) in 1972. In a few years, she was encouraged to run and won as the first woman President of the BCCLC. She also worked part time with the NM State Federation of Labor and became a member of OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union). Describing a passion for the Labor Movement and Labor issues, Shannon shares a time when Unions had power in New Mexico to win legislative support for workers’ issues. Noting also the emergence of women’s rights in the 1970s, Shannon describes her work with the Women in Construction project of the NM State Department of Labor and the Building Trades Council (1970s).
Tracy Hall Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey, Tracy Hall, and Richard Wood
As a third generation electrician, Tracy Hall has been an IBEW union electrician nearly his entire adult life. In this interview, he describes how he got involved in the trade and the different types of electrical work he did throughout his long career and his many active roles in the union over time. He describes working in the systems and safety of conveyor belts in copper mines in Hillsboro, NM, and details a 1985 workplace accident that left him blind in his right eye. During much of his interview, he describes the benefits of apprenticeship and trade unionism, which include high quality job training, family-sustaining wages, and the value of craftsmanship.
Vince Alvarado Oral History Interview
Diane Pinkey and Vince Alvarado
Vince Alvarado is a third generation sheet metal worker. Starting in El Paso TX and traveling to various sites in the West, Alvarado worked on large commercial jobs with his Union. For many years, Alvarado stood in opposition to Right to Work legislation testifying at the NM State Legislature. He is currently fighting that battle county by county in New Mexico as Americans for Prosperity money now targets counties to dismantle prevailing wage laws. As the new president of the State Federation of Labor, Alvarado brings his strong social and economic justice beliefs to the task of fighting for New Mexico workers.
Virgil Thompson Oral History Interview
Adam Matthews, Virgil Thompson, and Richard Wood
Virgil Thompson started his Union life as a member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) working at the Fender Guitar Plant in Fullerton, CA. Thompson then joined UAW Local 2244 working at New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) in Freemont, CA. where General Motors and Toyota built cars. In 1996, Thompson moved back to New Mexico to work for GE in the South Valley of Albuquerque where he joined the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM Local 794). Thompson shares his support for Unions and the benefits of Union membership. He has been active in Labor and Community activities in New Mexico. Thompson also plays 5-string banjo and has played in an IAM and ARA band; he views music as an organizing tool "like Joe Hill."
The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation. The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US. The project was initiated by Prof. Richard Wood's Sociology 452 class from Spring, 2016 and continues under the direction of independent researcher Diane Pinkey.
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