Jerry Tucker

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Jerry Tucker


Jerry Tucker died in 2012. He led the successful effort to beat back a right-to-work referendum in Missouri in 1978, uniting unions and farm organizations. He reintroduced work-to-rule strategies to UAW plants, winning critical early fights against concessions (read about them in the Troublemaker's Handbook). He died in October 2012.

Tucker stood at the head of the New Directions Movement within the UAW in the 1980s, pledged to resist both givebacks and the "partnership" mentality. He dared to run for UAW regional director against the "jointness" candidate—and won, despite a slew of dirty tricks.

Tucker later turned to advising workers and unions in a host of industries. His tactics were adopted by the workers at the Staley plant in Decatur, Illinois, before and during their lockout, as detailed in the book Staley.

Jerry was on board at the founding of US Labor Against the War and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, as well as the Center for Labor Renewal. In 2011, he helped train public employees in Wisconsin trying to reorganize in the aftermath of their uprising. [1]

According to New Directions Movement co-leader Elly Leary;

My friend and colleague of more than 25 years died today from pancreatic cancer. If you never had the privilege of meeting and working with Jerry Tucker, it is truly a shame. Rarely do we cross paths with someone who makes such a difference in our lives. Jerry was such a man. I first heard of Jerry in the mid-1980s. I was part of a progressive/reform caucus in UAW 422, the GM autoplant in Framingham, MA. Our caucus, the STANDUP, had, against all odds, elected a delegate to the UAW Constitutional Convention. On the first night of the convention we got a very excited phone call: “You all won’t believe it. There is an entire region here running on a exactly the same platform as ours! The leader is the Assistant Regional Director, Jerry Tucker.” We knew we needed to find out more.
Jerry started as a rank and filer and then held just about every elected office inside the UAW, except for International President : committeeman (stewards in the rest of the world), Grievance Chair, Bargaining Chair, Local President, UAW staff in Region 5 and for the International in Washington, Political Director, Assistant Regional Director and Regional Director (which made him a member of the International Executive Board).
But as impressive as those titles and duties are, that is not what made Jerry such a visionary. Long before the union movement learned that you needed to be partners (as in equals) and in coalition with the community, Jerry figured that out in the mid 1970s bruising campaign to defeat Right to Work in Missouri. Jerry led this trailblazing effort on behalf of the UAW.
Jerry’s other great contribution was in worker education. Learning from his own mentor and friend, Victor Reuther, and the experiences of Brookwood Labor College (in the late 1920s) and the very early days of Highlander Folk School (1930s), Jerry helped train many rank and file workers. Labor education wasn’t just learning to file grievances and how to lobby. For Jerry the essence of labor education was help workers bring forward what they knew, reorganize it so that it could be part of strategic planning, and adding a dose of a world view to put everything into context. Participants in any Tucker inspired “Solidarity School” was at the same time a teacher, facilitator, and learner. There were never a dichotomy between the “experts” and the “students.” Participants were “both/and”, to use the Ella Baker phrase.[2]

Democratic Agenda

More than 1,200 people attended the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee initiated Democratic Agenda Conference held November 16-18, 1979, at the International Inn and Metropolitan AM Church in Washington 1 DC. The conference focused on "corporate power'; as the key barrier to "economic and political democracy," concepts many Democratic Agenda participants defined as "socialism.'

The Democratic Agenda meetings attempted to develop anti-corporate alternatives" through influencing the direction of the Democratic Party during the period leading to the July 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York.

Workshops included "Enforcing Full Employment" - Jerry Tucker, Ellen Vollinger [3]

New Directions

During Owen Beiber's time as leader of the United Auto Workers, in the 1980s, New Directions Movement, an opposition party, "was a real contender and the Ad. Caucus had to resort to illegal tactics and behind the scenes pressure to suppress the insurgents. In 1986 a Department of Labor investigation uncovered fraud and corruption by the Ad. Caucus and forced a new election". Jerry Tucker, a New Directions Movement leader, won as Regional Director of Region 5. He appointed Lew Moye to the Resolution Committee.[4]

Tucker was listed as being associated with New Directions in 1993.[5]

People's Progressive Convention

In 1992, a "call" went out to leftist radicals and communist revolutionaries of various orientations to hold a national People's Progressive Convention in Ypsilanti, Michigan, August 21-23, 1992.

Endorsers included Jerry Tucker - New Directions Movement.

Radical Scholars & Activists Conference

In 1993 Jerry Tucker was a featured speaker at the Midwest Radical Scholars & Activists Conference. The theme of the conference was, "Popular Empowerment in the Clinton Era". The conference was held between Oct. 29 - 30, 1993 at Loyola University, Chicago.[6]

Forward Motion

Jerry Tucker contributed an article to Freedom Road Socialist Organization's Forward Motion, January/February issue 1993 "Competitiveness and cooperation as a union strategy." Jerry Tucker was National Coordinator of the UAW New Directions Movement.

MDS Board member

On February 17, 2007, the Movement for a Democratic Society held a well attended conference[7]at New York City’s New School University.

The business portion of the meeting followed with each board nominee introducing themselves to the conference. The board, a very diverse group, was voted in by acclamation... Board nominees where were not able to attend the conference were included in the appointment by acclamation. The list included Elliott Adams, Panama Vicente Alba, Tariq Ali, Stanley Aronowitz, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, John Bracey, Jr., John Brittain, Robb Burlage, Noam Chomsky, Jayne Cortez, Carl Davidson, Angela Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Barbara Epstein, Gustavo Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stephen Fleischman, Bill Fletcher Jr, Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Florence Howe, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Alice Kessler Harris, Rashid Khalidi, Mike Klonsky, Betita Martinez, Ethelbert Miller, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barbara Ransby, Patricia Rose, Michael Rossman, Studs Terkel, Charlene Teters, Jerry Tucker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Cornel West, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn.

Open Letter to Obama on Iran

In 2008 Jerry Tucker, Former UAW Exec Board Member signed an online petition “A Open Letter to Barack Obama on Iran”.[8]

Labor Campaign for Single Payer

In March 2009 the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Conference was held in Washington DC. Attendees included Anne Feeney, Kay Tillow and Walter Tillow, Jerry Tucker, Donna DeWitt, David Newby, Donna Smith, Tim Carpenter from Progressive Democrats of America, Dr. Margaret Flowers, John Conyers.[9]

Center for Labor Renewal

In 2009 Jerry Tucker was listed as an endorser of the Center for Labor Renewal[10].

Labor Campaign for Single Payer executive

In 2009 Jerry Tucker, former UAW Exec-Board Member & CLR served on the Steering Committee of Labor Campaign for Single Payer.

Kopkind Colony

The Kopkind Colony Program Advisory Committee, as of 2015;[11] The Kopkind Colony Honorary Board, as of 2015;[12] Angela Ards, Fred Azcarate, Jennifer Berkshire, Pamela Bridgewater, Francis Calpotura, Margaret Cerullo, Tim Costello, Kim Diehl, Heidi Dorow, Scott Douglas, Theo Emery, Laura Flanders, Ku‘umeaaloha Gomes, Joe Grabarz, Jennifer Gordon, Pronita Gupta, Muna Hamzeh, Amber Hollibaugh, Mary Howell, Janine Jackson, Si Kahn, Robin D. G. Kelley, KipuKai Kuali‘i, Brad Lander, Eric Mann, Nikki Morse, Scot Nakagawa, Debbie Nathan, Amy Newell, Rev. James Orange, Robert Pollin, Verandah Porche, Luis Rodriguez, Deb Schwartz, Barbara Smith, Makani Themba-Nixon, Jerry Tucker

References