Jon Hendry contributes a Labor Story rich in local and national Labor History. Born in Scotland, he moved to the US as immigrant in pursuit of the American dream. Hendry worked in Rock and Roll for 10 years before pursuing work in the movie business. Hendry started as an Assistant Location Manager.
Rose Martinez worked at Levi Strauss Company in Albuquerque for 28 and a half years, starting in 1971. She started sewing pockets on men’s blue jeans. After six months, she moved up to Supervisor- Instructor and showed new workers how to sew “on the line” and in a piecework system. Martinez provides a detailed description of work life at Levi Strauss. She reflects on the importance of the company as it provided good paying jobs with benefits for many Albuquerque residents.
Rosalina Grace first worked as a switchboard operator for the phone company. She then started a job at the Convention Center Services at the City of Santa Fe NM. In 1994, when the blue collar workers were forming a Union, Grace became involved in organizing for the Union vote. She ran for Vice President of AFSCME Local 3999 and won. Grace also sat at the first contract negotiations which won benefits and pay for City workers that was heralded as the best AFSCME contract in the state of New Mexico. Interview by Diane Pinkey.
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.
Marcos Griego proudly carries his 50 year membership card with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Griego joined the Union in 1964 and has been paying dues for 54 years. He worked with his tools at jobsites across New Mexico including the Farmington Power Plant where he and his crew built scaffolding for the other tradesmen working in the plant. Griego also worked as the Assistant Business Agent and Trustee for Local 1319. He started the NM Chapter and served as President of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (AFL-CIO) whose purpose includ
Kathleen Winslow offers a Labor story rich in advocacy and action focused on improving the lives of low income people in general and women in particular. During law school in the early 1970s, she shared in leading the movement to create a Rape Crisis Center on the UNM campus. Winslow worked for Legal Aid in Iowa and New Mexico. She also started the Battered Women’s Shelter in Albuquerque.
Frank Herrera joined the United Brotherhood Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 1353 Santa Fe New Mexico in 1964 and now carries his 50 year card. Herrera worked with his tools for 12 years at jobs in Northern New Mexico. He worked on many State of NM buildings in Santa Fe as well as hotels: the Hilton and the Eldorado. Herrera taught carpentry at Santa Fe High and then started work with the Union’s Apprenticeship program in 1978. After Joe Espinosa left to work in Albuquerque, Herrera took over as Business Agent for Local 1353.
Mandy Pino was born in Mentmore, NM, a coal mining town outside Gallup NM. Her early life took place in the turbulent Labor struggle and strike of 1933 that involved the United Mineworkers of America (UMWA) as well as the more short-lived National Miners’ Union. Pino remembers the conflict and highly charged period where “dirty Bolsheviks” was a term leveled against the striking miners in picket lines.
Janet Armijo worked at the City of Santa Fe NM in a number of jobs including Administrative Assistant in the Personnel office. Armijo left that job to work as a Compliance Specialist and then Scalemaster at the newly created (1995) SFSWMA (Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency) which oversees the Caja del Rio Landfill, Santa Fe County Transfer Stations, and the Buckman Road Recycling & Transfer Station (BuRRT). Within a short time of starting her new job, Armijo joined with other supporters to advocate for an election to unionize the SFSWFA employees.
Suzanne Shannon recounts her Labor story starting with a job as a part time secretary for the Bernalillo County Central Labor Council (BCCLC) in 1972. In a few years, she was encouraged to run and won as the first woman President of the BCCLC. She also worked part time with the NM State Federation of Labor and became a member of OPEIU (Office and Professional Employees International Union).