Members of the TWU International Working Women’s Committee met in Cocoa Beach, Florida on July 26 and 27, hosted by Local 525.
TWU International Director of Human and Civil Rights and Working Women’s Committee John Bland and Committee Chair LaTonya Crisp opened the meeting with remarks stressing the importance of voting this November, registering those who aren’t and contributing to COPE. LaTonia Benoit served as the conference’s co-chair.
On the first day, Kennedy Space Center Firefighters gave attendees CPR training. Kevin Smith, president of Local 525 gave instructions and details about the next day’s rally, taking place outside the Kennedy Space Center. The 80 firefighters represented by the TWU have been in intense negotiations with Chenega Infinity, facing slashed retirement and cut sick leave. The Working Women’s Committee agreed to take part in the July 27 Day of Action.
Next up were workplace presentations of women in non-traditional roles. JoAnn Rota, Fleet Service Clerk, Local 501, showed us the different tasks she performed throughout the day. Terry Hind, Business Agent, Local 252, virtually took us on the job for the day with a school bus driver. Shirley Martin, Vice President, Local 100, shared all the struggles she had to overcome to become a machinist. The day wrapped up with Cheryl Pollock, Local 513, giving a presentation on Grievance and Discipline Procedures.
The conference culminated at Local 525’s rally. Attendees joined hundreds of others on the picket line outside Kennedy Space Center, informing drivers passing by about the inhuman conditions the firefighters are facing. Despite the broiling temperatures, committee members sang, chanted and danced holding picket signs all afternoon. Local 525 hosted a barbecue afterwards.
“It means the world to us that you are here,” Smith said to the Working Women’s Committee.
For more updates on the Working Women’s Committee, visit their new Facebook page, facebook.com/TWU-International-Working-Womens-Committee-1815578568480947/. When posting on social media, remember to use the hashtag #TWUWorkingWomen.