UAW Local 848

848 Hosts Laborfest

Local 848's Kenny Winfree at the Laborfest


The First Annual DFW Solidarity Labor Festival was presented at Local 848 on May 18. Check out the short video at http://youtu.be/xVD24VsbfXc.

Both Tarrant and Dallas AFL-CIOs sponsored it. Our own Kenny Winfree directed the singing and cultural part of it. He presented Matt Taylor from New Mexico and three very intelligent high school students from Skyline High in Dallas.

The songs and readings were strong with the true meaning of America’s working people through the years. The great union songs of Joe Hill, John Handcox, Joe Glazer, Woody Guthrie and Jon Fromer were featured. Matt Taylor involved the whole crowd in the old UAW standard “Roll the Union On!”

Labor’s true history got a thorough airing from labor history professors Dr. George Green and Dr. Max Krochmal. Green gave the early history of unions in Texas from the cowboy strike of 1883 through the turbulent 1930s and early 1940s when our union was originally organized as UAW 650 in North American Aircraft.

Dr. Krochmal talked about the real heyday of Texas unionism, when the AFL-CIO reached out to civil rights and community groups to form a progressive coalition that, eventually, took over the old conservative Democratic Party. Two of local 848’s officers played important roles in that struggle: Roy Evans and Pancho Medrano. Medrano was our first-ever Sergeant at Arms. He went on to become the UAW’s main civil rights man.

Roy Evans served as our president when we were Local 893 at Vought. He went on to head the state CIO and AFL-CIO. Evans was one of the first Texas labor leaders to realize the importance of joining with the civil rights movement to defend all working people.

The festival lasted four hours. Gerardo Contreras organized the sound and the food. Steve Krajca did the cooking. Pete Jimenez was in charge of overall logistics. President Romeo Munoz, of course, headed up Local 848’s participation.

Labor history and culture is advancing from our union hall! 

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