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Earl Reed Oral History Interview


Earl Reed Oral History Interview

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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.

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BCTGM (Bakery Confectionery Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union) Local #351 New Mexico, Bimbo Bakeries (Grupo Bimbo Mexico), Andrew Gutierrez ( President Local #351), BCTGM International President Frank Hurt, grocery stores, contract benefits, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), NLRB National Labor Relations Board, organize, educate, inoculate, the Golden 80 (pension), truth in labeling, the Union label on bread purchases, weekend and overtime pay.


Labor History


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Earl Reed Oral History Interview