Virgil Thompson started his Union life as a member of the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) working at the Fender Guitar Plant in Fullerton, CA. Thompson then joined UAW Local 2244 working at New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) in Freemont, CA. where General Motors and Toyota built cars. In 1996, Thompson moved back to New Mexico to work for GE in the South Valley of Albuquerque where he joined the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers (IAM Local 794). Thompson shares his support for Unions and the benefits of Union membership. He has been active in Labor and Community activities in New Mexico. Thompson also plays 5-string banjo and has played in an IAM and ARA band; he views music as an organizing tool "like Joe Hill." . Interview by Adam Matthews.
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.