Association for Union Democracy

Winter Appeal 2015

AUD strives, as it has since 1969, to democratize our labor movement. These days, we continue to provide guidance to unionists seeking to reform their unions, as evidenced by the testimonials below. Currently, we are working with reformers in IATSE, CWA, IUOE, Utility Workers and many many more. These reformers have come to AUD with questions and concerns about election rights, grievance procedure, fair trials, and occasionally improper terminations.
This year, we write as a very special project is unfolding at AUD. Some of you may know that we have been planning to create a documentary film of the history of AUD. We are happy to report that this project has now reached its second stage. AUD has retained, Sid Levin, a top notch film editor from the Boston area to help us edit and finalize the many hours of footage of the unionists and the AUD staff that were in the trenches with those unionists. AUD’s rich archives, including theHerman Benson Papers, residing at the Walter Reuther Library, provide ample documentary evidence of what the interviewees discuss.
The documentary will serve to memorialize the work of the many reformers that have been associated with AUD and Union Democracy, such as Ed Sadlowski, Frank Schonfeld, Dow Wilson, Dan Boswell, and Jock Yablonski, as you can see from the photo collage of some of our archives. We hope you will give to AUD as always, but perhaps increase your contribution to help us fund this exciting project. Your contributions can help offset documentary expenses such as the cost of travel to the archives, not to mention the costs of filming and paying for our editor. It is our hope to launch the film by next Spring and feature it at an AUD Conference on Union Democracy. We hope, as AUD supporters, you value this effort and will be even more generous.
What some of our supporters have to say:194498_10150099998583235_4535463_o
  • “If you are a worker like me who is looking to get involved in union activity while in pursuit of a leadership position, AUD is a great place to start. I began to connect with AUD online by checking out the website and Facebook page. After I made a small financial contribution to AUD for an Associate Membership, I began receiving the “Union Democracy Review” newsletter along with discounts on pamphlets like “How To Get An Honest Union Election.” I have also been able to get advice from AUD volunteer professionals who have a background in labor.Studying key historical union democracy advocates and AUD material has helped me understand that democracy can flourish in unions and society by providing workers like me with educational information about the right to participate in the decisions of the union which affect the welfare of the members, rights to equal treatment in enjoying the benefits of collective bargaining, and procedures within the union to fulfill the essential elements of fairness and the right to due process.If the community, state and national political leaders of tomorrow can first learn to work under the stresses and strains of the democratic process within their union, the general public will benefit from democratic labor unions.”-J.J. Popio, Gas Workers Union Local G555
  • “I am a union stagehand and good at what I do. I am also politically active within my local and believe in the ideals of trade unionism and the advantages collective bargaining can afford working class professionals. Unfortunately, my ideal of a vital and effective union movement has been seriously challenged by IATSE (my union) officials, and by less than responsive government watchdogs.The Association for Union Democracy has been an invaluable resource for me as I have waged my struggle to hold my union officers accountable and honor our members’rights under our constitution and bylaws, as well as federal law. AUD has provided me and so many other union reformers with the advice, information and technical legal support we union democracy freedom fighters need to clean up our unresponsive unions and unsupportive government agencies. It takes not just brave union members to wage the fight for honest, equitable, and democratic unions, but also the type of support AUD provides which would not be possible to us were it not for our own generous financial support of AUD.”-Anonymous

More footage of Herman Benson:

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Herman's Cure 2016