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Rand Wilson

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Rand Wilson

Rand Wilson has worked as a union organizer and labor communicator in the United States since the 1980s.

Biography

Wilson started in the Communications Workers of America[1][2] and a member of the High Tech Research Group.[3] In 1989 he helped coordinate solidarity efforts in Massachusetts during a successful three-month strike by 60,000 telephone workers against health care benefit cost-shifting.

The strike victory helped spur the formation of Massachusetts Jobs with Justice.[4] As the founding director in the early 1990s, Wilson spearheaded efforts in Massachusetts to support legislation for World Trade Organization (WTO).

In 1995, Wilson went to work for the Teamsters union.[5] While at the Teamsters, he helped develop the union's 1997 contract strategy for national negotiations for 185,000 members at United Parcel Service. Wilson coordinated communications for a year-long campaign to build membership unity and get members involved in actions to support winning a good contract. When national contract talks broke down, Wilson was chief spokesperson during an historic 15 day strike. The Teamsters won a contract that created 10,000 new full-time jobs, limited subcontracting and increased funding in Teamster pension plans.[6]

After returning to Boston, Wilson served as Communications Director for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 285 (later renamed Local 2020 and now part of District 1199), assisting health care workers in dozens of nursing home and hospital contract campaigns.[7] While working for SEIU, he helped revive the Jobs with Justice Health Care Action Committee – pushing for coordinated actions by union members to link their struggles against cost shifting with the broader movement for health care reform.

In 2005 Wilson worked for the conflict of interest created by the financial services industry's support for privatizing Social Security while it managed trillions of dollars in worker's retirement assets.

In 2006, Wilson ran as the first (and only) candidate for a new Massachusetts Working Families Party where he received almost 20 percent of the vote for State Auditor in a successful bid to gain the party statewide ballot status. An initiative backed by the Working Families Party to change Massachusetts elections laws to allow cross endorsement or "fusion" voting failed.

From 2007 through 2011, Wilson was a communications coordinator for a joint Communications Workers (CWA) and Electrical Workers (IBEW) union initiative to help Verizon and other telecom workers build on-the-job unity. The project was coordinated by the national AFL-CIO.

Currently, Wilson works for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 888 in Boston, MA.

Wilson has written and lectured widely about contract campaigns, strikes, health care reform, and strategies to build workers' political power. He is president of the Center for Labor Education and Research, and on the board of directors of the ICA Group, the Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF), and the Center for the Study of Public Policy

Wilson lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

References

  1. ^ "Unions organizing in wake of At&T divestiture", The Telegraph, December 19, 1984
  2. ^ Bayles, Fred, "Clean risk-free industry is myth, safety experts say", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 27, 1984
  3. ^ "Report predicts end of high-tech boom times in Mass.", The Telegraph, December 20, 1985
  4. ^ Primack, Phil, "Labor leaders plan to go down to the wire to battle NAFTA", Boston Herald, November 17, 1993
  5. ^ Sewell, Dan, "UPS struggles to bounce back", Times Daily, September 5, 1997.
  6. ^ Greenhouse, Steven, "Yearlong Effort Key to Success For Teamsters", New York Times, August 25, 1997
  7. ^ "... puts (workers) in a position to not be able to care about their patients the way they're used to," said Rand Wilson, SEIU campaign support coordinator. ...", Powell, Jennifer Heldt, "Hospital workers cite problems", Boston Herald, September 15, 1999
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