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Forty Years in the Labor Movement

By suren - Posted on 11 February 2013

Lessons from Organizer and Strategist Peter Van Delft

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 7:00 p.m. At no previous point in its history has the situation of the labor movement been more dire. At the same time, new waves of immigrant and community organizing and the rise of middle-class activism may signal renewal for the movement that brought dignity to millions of workers. This event helps as look forward by first looking back on Peter's 4 decades of service to the labor movement.

About Peter: A longtime activist and a third-generation socialist, Peter Van Delft has spent more than forty years in the labor movement. Following World War II he attended the University of California at Berkeley where he earned an M.A. in Anthropology and where he was involved in activities leading to increased admissions and support for low income and students of color.

Until his retirement Peter was a Vice President of New York based, 30,000 member, District 65. Earlier, he had been a member of the National Maritime Union and of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement as a member of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) and organized union sponsored Freedom Rides in which more than 150 members participated.

In collaboration with colleagues he fought for contract provisions to prevent discrimination or harassment of gay workers. He also worked on programs addressing health and safety concerns. He also focused on worker empowerment within their unions, developing training programs on negotiating and costing contracts, and community organizing.

This event is organized and sponsored by: encuentro 5/Massachusetts Global Action, the Howard Zinn Memorial Lecture Series, and the Downtown Workers Center. Snacks and light refreshments will be offered. Note: this transitional location for encuentro 5 is NOT wheelchair accessible. In the short-term, events will be livestreamed from encuentro 5 ( ) and community members may also join the conversation by calling (605) 475-4000 and using access code 766688# For more information, please leave a message at 888-400-1225.


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