Members gain from being ‘Next Up’
Editor’s Note: Ronda Cockrell and
Emily Forest, Wichita SPEEA members
stepped up to attend the Next Up Young
Workers Summit in Chicago. Below is a
blend of their two separate reports.
CHICAGO - The AFL-CIO organized the recently held Next Up Young Workers
Summit to help younger workers
who are leading some of the nation’s
most critical fights for social and economic justice.
At the summit, participants chose
from more than 80 workshops during the four days. In the evenings,
the participants met with others from
their state or region for roundtable
discussions. More than 1,000 attended, and 44% of the participants were
women (the highest percentage ever).
Emily Forest, a soon-to-be-seated
Wichita Council Rep, participated in
workshop topics that “do not get a lot
of responsiveness in Kansas,” she said, including
‘Queering the Labor Movement.’
“After attending the workshop and understand-
ing the needs of people of the Lesbian, Bisexual,
Gay, Transgender, Queer (LGB TQ) community,
it is imperative that we be proactive with protect-
ing these workers including mobilizing, training
and education,” she said. “The UNION is the
difference for LGBTQ workers.”
Both Forest and Ronda Cockrell attended the
workshop called “Right to Work is Wrong: How
to Beat it, How to Organize Around it.”
This workshop had the largest attendance of any
of the workshops, noted Cockrell, a SPEEA Area
Rep. “The discussions also led to getting involved
with our local government to let them know how
important unions are to working people. New
Jersey has a Labor Candidate School to learn more
about unions in the workplace. They said that
has made a real difference in union membership.”
Forest added: “Right to Work (RTW) is a confus-
ing issue that corporate interests use to fool and
divide us, but really RTW means less freedom
for working people, not more.”
Both members really appreciated the oppor-
tunity to meet after the workshops with sev-
eral other union members from their state and
region. “This brought us all back together again
and allowed us to reengage in cross talk to better
absorb the day (workshops),” said Forest.
Forest also attended the LCLAA: Latino Loud and
Proud. “As a Latina, it was my personal interest to
see how the Labor Council For Latin American
Advancement (LCLAA) is building political
empowerment, cultural pride and economic development for Latino workers and their families.”
“Going forward, I am going to learn more about
what our union is doing with all of these groups
(LGBTQ and LCLAA),” she said, adding, “I
want to learn what I can do on a personal level
to be the advocate for young workers and people
from diverse backgrounds.”
Cockrell, who also attended “Collective Bargaining
101,” and “Work Like a Girl,” added: “I thought
the Summit was a huge success, and I learned a lot.”
process to form
The National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB) last month issued new rules to help streamline the election process
and increase transparency.
The Board noted it made the changes to “better
fulfill its duties to protect employees’ rights.”
Some of the new election rules are:
• Timeline for hearing - Once an election petition is filed with the NLRB, the
NLRB will set the date for the Notice
of Hearing, normally within eight days.
Before, the timeframe was set by the practices of the various regions.
• Identified issues in dispute - The
employer will have until noon the
day before the Election Hearing to
submit objections to the board in the
Statement of Position form. Before, the
employer would wait until the election
hearing to make objections and introduce new evidence, which could lead to
lengthy delays. For example, this occurred
when the Boeing pilots and Field Service
Representatives petitioned to join SPEEA.
• Challenges - Post election, if the challenged ballots are not enough to offset an
election, then the outcome is decided.
For more detailed information, go to the
NLRB website at
Help your local food banks
Members of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will collect gro- ceries Saturday, May 9. If you can contribute to the nation’s largest one-day food drive,
put non-perishable groceries, diapers, and/or baby
formula in the bag provided by NALC and leave
it at your mailbox for pick up Saturday, May 9.
SPEEA is looking for volunteers to help unload
the donations for the food banks. In Puget
email@example.com. In Wichita,
SPEEA Puget Sound delegates to labor councils
are also collecting peanut butter, a high-demand
source of protein, for the food banks. Drop off
peanut butter donations during business hours at
the SPEEA Tukwila or Everett halls by May 13.
See details for both food drive efforts at www.
speea.org (see link on home page for ‘SPEEA
and labor events happening in your region’).
Ronda Cockrell (left) and Emily Forest represented SPEEA at the
Next Up Young Workers Summit in Chicago. They joined more than
1,000 union activists from across the country who participated in the
training and discussion of labor issues. Cockrell is a Midwest Area Rep
and Emily Forest will be seated this month as a Midwest Council Rep.
for Union Women
Looking to grow your leadership skills and make your union stronger? Join more than 100 other labor activists at the annual
Summer Institute for Union Women (SIUW)
in Portland, Ore., June 23-27.
This year’s theme is “Fighting for a Fair Future
– Women Lead the Way,” with an emphasis on
growing leadership skills, improving workplace
conditions and uniting with allies. See details about
the conference, held this year at Reed College campus, at
If interested, email
firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday,
May 18, and include why you’d like to attend,
and what you hope to gain to bring back to your
workplace and SPEEA. The Executive Board will
review applicants. SPEEA will cover expenses.
email@example.com or call
(425) 355-2883, x 2104.