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Shipyard Workers on Board with President Hill’s Message

September 20, 2011

Louie Pinto, a Local 733 shop steward at the Huntington-Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.,said he appreciates the need for President Hill’s call, in his keynote address, for activists to reach out, energize local union members and build stronger ties with neighbors in our surrounding communities.

Local 733 members are reaching out to religious leaders and community activists in a campaign to save New Orleans Avondale Shipyard from closing, which would put several hundred members of the Metal Trades, including 400 Local 733 members, out of work. Resolution No. 53 calls on the 38th International Convention to support the Save Our Shipyard campaign.

 

Pinto knows that reaching out to the community starts by convincing members that they need to make a personal commitment to achieving the IBEW’s goals. He says:

 

We mailed out 1,000 ballots with stamped return envelopes for our last local union election. We only got 300 back. I asked members why they didn’t return ballots. They said they were satisfied with the leadership they were getting. I told them they were taking a chance by not voting. We need to shake our members up, like President Hill said.

 

Leaving the convention center with 38-year member Denise Fox, a shipyard electronics technician attending her fifth convention, Debra Jones, a 21-year Local 733 member, said:

 

President Hill’s keynote address was on point. I’m hopeful for 2012 and what IBEW will bring to the table to get work back for our members.

 

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