Mike Swisher began his Labor history as a son of a Business Agent BA of Local #49 of the Sheet Metalworkers Union. At 16, Swisher worked as a clerk at Foodway and joined the Retail Clerks Union. Swisher started with the Insulators Union and worked in Arizona. He hired onto non-Union worksites as a “salt” and organized to unionize the jobsite. Upon returning to Albuquerque, he joined Local #49 of the Sheet Metal Workers’ in 1973 and retired in 2018. He worked on the Carver and Four Square Buildings in Albuquerque as well as the Four Corners Power Plant in Farmington. As the AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison, Swisher ran food drives: sometimes during strikes e.g. the coal miners’ strike in Window Rock and the CWA strike in the early 2000s. Community service has been a hall mark of his Union life. Swisher also describes the building trades’ involvement in housing and real estate which was intended to insure Union work on the job for a long time. 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.