January 15, 2016

Maryland/DC ARA at the Baltimore CLC’s annual Leadership Conference

Dick Bissell and I tabled Jan. 6, 7 and 8, 2016 at the 25th annual Leadership Conference of the Baltimore Metropolitan AFL-CIO at Bally’s Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, NJ for the Alliance.  Also attending were Ida Wells and Geraldine Cross-White from AFSCME Retirees Chapter 1 and Donald Morris and Laverne Foster from the City Union of Baltimore’s new retirees chapter and newest affiliate of the MD/DC ARA.

Held in January of every year at a union hotel and casino, the MD/DC ARA tabled with literature and stickers and sign-up sheets.  The annual event is an excellent networking opportunity, for which we are grateful to the Council and President Ernie Grecco.

Our literature included the national ARA tri-fold brochure, the ARA Statement of Purpose, Medicare and Social Security stickers, TPP pharmaceutical factsheets by the Alliance and my LTE to the Baltimore Sun on our position on the TPP.  We also had the new for 2016 Union Communication Services catalog of publications provided by Bill Barry, one of the presenters on Labor History for the conference.

In addition to Labor History, the conference included workshops on Workers Comp, Agency Fee Updates (think Friedrichs v California Teachers Assoc.) and several other short presentations.

The guest speaker at the Thursday luncheon was Richard Trumka who provided an excellent update on the TPP and the stance of organized labor and allies to Stop the TPP.

The Leadership Conference had two cocktail receptions, hosted by AFGE Dist. 4 and the big Social Security HQ local 1923, Domino Sugar, CareFirst BC/BS and Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP.  The food was excellent and the networking fantastic.

Dick Bissell and I talked to union members, leaders and retirees from AFSCME, AFGE, CUB, USW, UAW, Plasterer’s and Cement Finishers, IBEW, IBT, CHOICE, AFT, NALC, UTU, ATU, OPEIU, APWU, CWA and IAMAW.

At the conferences closing, President Grecco awards participants with a “Gen-u-ine I-talian 18 Carat-Gold Certificate” of attendance.

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