Jeep Gilliland describes his long Labor history by starting with his apprenticeship in the Sheet Metal Workers' Union. Gilliland shares his knowledge of the Great Cowboy Strike (1883) and the labor trouble in the potash mines in Carlsbad. Gilliland served as the Business Rep for Local #49 for 3 terms before he was elected President of the New Mexico State Federation of Labor in 1990. During his leadership tenure, he fought three major issues including Right to Work (killed 15 times), keeping the prevailing wage in place, and re-writing an improved New Mexico Workers' Compensation Act. Gilliland also taught at the Rocky Mountain Labor School for nine years. Additionally, he shared his many awards earned over his active social and political life as well as displayed his artistic tables created from various metals woven together.
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.