The 2011 Food & Drug Council convention was a great success!
Nearly 200 labor leaders and service providers from 11 states gathered in Las Vegas on Dec. 11-14 for an event that many attendees described as the "best ever" in the organization's history.
FDC affiliates reflected on the year's achievements, which included securing a fair contract for grocery workers in Southern California, organizing workers in Alta Dena's City of Industry plant, and supporting public employees in Wisconsin and Ohio, among other accomplishments.
The convention also provided an opportunity for participants to share ideas and develop strategies for the challenges that confront America's Labor Movement in 2012 and beyond.
Expert guest speakers engaged the participants on a variety of topics. Mark Blum, executive director of America's Agenda: Health Care for All, described preparations for establishing health care exchanges across the country. Brigid Kelly, communications director for UFCW Local 75, delivered inspiring accounts of the struggle to maintain workers' rights in Ohio.
Monica Wofford, President of Contagious Companies™, imparted lessons on leadership and how to effectively communicate to members. Focus Creative President Robert Grossman explained how to use social media for organizing campaigns and collective bargaining.
A highlight of the convention was actor Ian Ruskin's performance of a portion of his one-man show, "From Wharf Rats to Lords of the Docks," chronicling the life and times of legendary ILWU leader Harry Bridges.
More stories and photos from the convention will be featured in the FDC's "Call To Action" newsletter in a few weeks.
The Food & Drug Council, Inc. is a nonprofit, educational coalition of affiliated unions in the retail food and drug industries. It is a powerful vehicle to advance the causes of its membership.
Established in the 1940s, the FDC now represents union members in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Washington.
In an era of unparalleled challenges confronting labor in general and food and drug industry unions in particular, farsighted labor leaders have forged a new and more proactive agenda for the FDC.
The central axiom of the labor movement is "strength in numbers." To that end, Food & Drug Council affiliates are committed to support each other in the fight to improve the lives of working people and their families.
The Food & Drug Council communicates a variety of messages on the vital importance of strong and vibrant trade unions. These messages go to union and non-union workers as well as the general public. The Food & Drug Council also provides support to affiliates during contract negotiations, traditional and non-traditional organizing campaigns, boycott campaigns, informational demonstrations, leafleting, and advertising, as well as during strikes and lockouts.
Affiliates of the Food & Drug Council consist of local unions from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union; the International Union of Operating Engineers; the International Longshore and Warehouse Union; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union.