Panel Discussion held in Bill Moore's Labor Oraganizing class on April 19
Veronica Mendez will be presenting in Bill Moore's class on Building Power for the Struggle: The work of CTUL (The Center of Workers United in Struggle). Veronica was born and raised in Zumbrota, Minnesota after her father moved their family there from Peru on a student visa. Currently, she works in the Twin Cities as an organizer for Centro de Trabajadores en Unidos en la Lucha (The Center of Workers United in Struggle). CTUL is a non-profit organization that works to empower low-wage employees of the companies that have contracts to clean large corporations such as Target and Best Buy. Through this organization Mendez helps to organize these workers and teach them how to advocate and speak out for themselves by education them on labor laws.
Following Veronica's presentation, three local union workers, Beth McCuskey, Alan Netland, and Dan O'Neill, will be speaking in a panel discussion. Beth McCuskey has been a teacher for the Duluth Public schools for 27 years. She has been an executive board member to her Union, the Duluth Federation of Teachers, since 1998, and currently serves as union Vice President. Beth is also currently the Vice President of the Duluth Central Labor Body. She has done many different activities and jobs for the schools that she has worked in and the union she has served in.
Alan Netland began his career as a social worker for St. Louis County, and held this position from 1976 through 2010. He has held a variety of positions in the labor world, including President of AFSCME Local 66 from 1983-2011, President of Duluth Central Labor Body from 1997-2009, and he has been the President of Northeast Area Labor Council since 2007.
Dan O'Neill started his career in the Local # 11 Plumbers and Steamfitters apprenticeship program in late 1973. By the time he was a Journeyman, after 5 years, he was also the badly needed union steward for the pipe fabrication shop. He became an apprenticeship pipe-welding instructor for the next 13 years as well as working in the field as a pipe welder and supervisor, building pumping stations for Lakehead Pipeline, which is now called Enbridge. After 25 years, Dan took on a job for the Minnesota Pipe Trades as a Union Organizer, a position he held for the next 12 years in Northern Minnesota. During this period of time, Dan was teaching the apprentices a program which the National Building Trades put together called COMET, which meant Construction Organizing Membership Education Training. Toward the end of this period, Dan was voted in as President of Local # 11 for 6 years, and also President of the AFL-CIO Duluth Central Labor Body, a position that he still holds after 5 years.