On January 16 Local 848 joined again in the Fort Worth Martin Luther King Jr parade. As before, we were brought together by the driving dynamism of Brother Gerardo Contreras who almost singlehandedly provided the float and organizing work. Johnnie Welch, Chairperson of Local 848's Civil Rights Committee was aboard. She is planning a special Civil Rights program for February 18 at our hall. February is Black History month.
Just to enrich the experience, we made a lot of noise as we paraded through downtown. We did union chants and sang the chorus of, “Solidarity Forever” every time there was a lull. TV Channel 11 included us in their coverage. The Communications Workers of America had a walking delegation instead of a float this year.
Among the participants on Contreras’ float were President Romeo Munoz, Vice President Pete Jimenez, Guide Jeff Benge, Editor Gene Lantz, Civil Rights Chairperson Johnnie Welch, and a solid group of Jobs with Justice activists. The float carried UAW banners, Jobs with Justice banners, our own local union flag, and Gerardo Contreras’ own organization, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. It is very likely that Contreras will organize another big union delegation for the morning of March 31, birthday of union organizer Cesar Chavez, and will be looking for more 848 members to climb aboard!