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Daniel Rivera Oral History Interview

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Dan Rivera grew up in a Union family of Plumbers and Pipefitters. Rivera explains how New Mexican men who left the state during the Depression returned to work in their trade and "built the bomb"  in Los Alamos.  Rivera  shares his work experience starting with his apprenticeship and licensing in UA Local 412 (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 412) in 1972 through to retirement in 2009.  Building a refinery in Lovington NM, he found his calling as an industrial pipefitter. He developed into a Union activist and also served as the executive director of the NM State Federation of Labor where he lobbied for Labor rights.  He explains that the issues (basic  human rights, immigrant rights,  workers' rights) never change; they always need to be fought for.  Rivera shared his garage Labor museum complete with picket signs and photos, posters and T-shirts.  As a singer of Labor songs, Rivera cites "May the Work that I've done Speak for Me" as a favorite. Interview by Diane Pinkey.

The Working People's History of New Mexico Project (WPHNM) is an oral labor history project created to gather the labor stories of working people in New Mexico. While part of the interviews focus on the specific jobs that the interviewees performed, the interviews also explore labor-management relations as well as union, workers council, and social activism participation.  The interviews contain information about family and social relationships and offer themes of social and historical interest in New Mexico and the US.

Tags: WPHNM

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