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Noel Beasley elected President of Workers United
May '11
During a special meeting, the General Executive Board of Workers United, an affiliate of SEIU, elected Noel Beasley the union's new president by acclamation. He succeeds Bruce Raynor, who resigned effective May 7. Beasley, who has served as director of the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board and executive vice president of Workers United, has a long history with the union and a proven record of success.

“Our members in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada are facing unprecedented challenges as our countries struggle to rebound from the recession,” Beasley said. “I am honoured and humbled to be elected to lead our union.”

Building upon his 35 years with Workers United, serving the last 25 years as the director of the Chicago and Midwest region, Beasley promises to build new strength for members by focusing on the foundation of workplace leaders and field staff, and continuing the Workers United tradition of recruiting and training member leaders and staff through the union's ambitious education and mobilization program.

“This is an extremely difficult period of transition for the global trade union movement and the problems that our International Union must confront are complicated. But these problems are in many ways reflections of the hard times that now assault our members, their families and communities,” Beasley said. “We must move from the defence to offence. We must reclaim North America for working families and stop the attempts to roll back virtually every hard-fought victory of the Twentieth Century.”

“If we can save jobs in the Rust Belt, we can do it everywhere,” Beasley added in reference to the successful Hartmarx and Hugo Boss campaigns, which were waged in his region.

Chicago-based Hartmarx, the largest menswear manufacturing company in the United States, filed for bankruptcy protection after U.S. banks curtailed its lines of credit. The clothing maker employs 3,500 across the U.S. and Canada, with about 1,000 of its employees in Rock Island and Des Plaines, Illinois, where suits for President Obama are made. The successful Workers United campaign to save the company included sit-ins and demonstrations to demand that big banks restructure the company's debt to save jobs.

Hugo Boss, the last clothing manufacturer in Cleveland, planning to shut its plant and lay off 400 workers in 2010. Hugo Boss planned to save money by shipping the jobs overseas to Turkey or Eastern Europe. Workers United launched a massive campaign to save the plant and the jobs, enlisting the support of influential people like then-Governor Ted Strickland and actor/activist Danny Glover. The jobs were saved and planted continues its operations today.

Workers United (an SEIU affiliate)

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