I’m a United Auto Worker. More specifically, I’m a member of The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.
Honestly, I wish I had the skill to fashion aerospace and agricultural implements, but the only agricultural implement that I wield is my pen – and that’s how I got into the union. The National Writers Union is a correctly punctuated and fully affiliated member of UAW’s Local 1981, whose members include the excellent Holly Sklar and Ursula K Le Guin. In our newsletter recently came word of a fine project by one of my union sisters, Sue Doro. She’s a poet, writer and erstwhile machinist. She is also, of necessity, a historian/herstorian of tradeswomen’s organising. Hers are stories that rarely make it to the textbooks. “It chills me to know that workers [sic] history can be swept away like dirt on factory floors”, she says. Which is why one of her many projects is Pride and A Paycheck – a guide to blue collar jobs, tradeswoman news, photos, poetry and art. Women’s histories and workers’ histories are alive and well, because women workers are alive and well, and still hidden.