Lew Moye

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Lew Moye


Lew Moye worked in the Auto Industry at Chrysler Corporation assembly plants in the St. Louis Missouri area for 28 years. He was a member of the Bargaining Committee and Executive Board of UAW Local 110 and also served as the President of the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, from the early 1980s until at least 1993[1].

Life of activism

Moye has been an active member of the UAW for 50 years, and was an employee of Chrysler for 44 years, starting in 1964 when, fresh out of the U.S. Army, he was hired to work on the assembly line in the trim shop in the car plan and became a member of UAW Local 136. He transferred to the new truck assembly plant in 1966 and was one of the founding members of UAW Local 110.

In the late 1960s, Moye was one of the founding members of Black Employees for Equity at Chrysler. The group filed a racial and sexual discrimination complaint with EEOC against the local plant, which, in combination with local action, forced Chrysler to comply with the 1964 Civil Rights Act and open up job opportunities in skilled trades, clerical and supervisory positions for African Americans and women on the assembly line.

In 1978, Moye and CBTU played an integral role in defeating right-to-work in Missouri, coordinating workers in North St. Louis County to get the African American vote out.

CBTU was also supportive of the Machinists strike against McDonnell Douglas Corp. and, most recently, in the United Mine Workers fight to protect the pension and health care benefits of Peabody Energy retirees caught up in the bankruptcy proceedings of Peabody spin-off Patriot Coal.[2]

New Directions supporter

During Owen Beiber's time as leader of the United Auto Workers, in the 1980s, New Directions, 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 leader, won as Regional Director of Region 5. He appointed Lew Moye to the Resolution Committee.

When he was on the Resolution Committee Moye presented the minority report. The army of Ad. Caucus followers stationed throughout the audience booed and hissed. He held his ground. He said that many of the ideas he presented had since been adopted.

Moye recalled how when he first advocated for the UAW to support Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress he was accused of being a communist. When Beiber received the UAW Social Justice Award, Beiber's support for Nelson Mandela and the ANC was cited.

Lew Moye was the Bargaining Chair of Local 110. He was fired for leading a wild cat strike.[3]

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists chapter trustee Jim Wilkerson, attended CBTU’s founding convention with Lew Moye in the early 1970s.[4]

CBTU Missouri

In October 1992, Rep. Maxine Waters was keynote speaker at a Coalition of Black Trade Unionists meeting in St Louis Missouri - the 8th annual Ernest and Deverne Calloway Award at the Embassy Suites Hotel, held in honor of William Lacy Clay, Sr. Other speakers included Claude Brown (Teamsters), Lt. Governor Mel Carnahan, St. Louis Alderman Ken Jones and Lew Moye (CBTU chapter president)[5]

In 1996 Lew Moye was president of the St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and a a vice president of the national organization.[6]

Communist Party's May Day Salute

In 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper People's Weekly World, published a "May Day salute" to the "heroes in the class war zone". More than 100 unionists/activists endorsed the call, mostly known affiliates, or members of the Communist Party.

Lew Moye, UAW Local 110 St Louis Missouri, was one of those listed[7].

Birthday Greetings to William "Red" Davis

In December 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper Peoples Weekly World published a page of 75th birthday greetings to William (Red) Davis - "Lifelong working class fighter and Communist"

In the fight for the unity and integrity of the Party in St. Louis, Missouri, in the post-war years, "Red" has been a rock of confidence and commitment to building the Communist Party.

Greetings were sent from Lew Moye of Missouri[8].

Friends of the Peoples Weekly World

The Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World 1997 May Day Supplement listed several St. Louis Friends of the Peoples Weekly World. they were Lew Moye, Melanie Shouse, Jay Ozier, Zenobia Thompson, E. E. W. Clay, Luther Mitchell, Susan Davis, Jim Wilkerson, John Pappademos, Nafisa Kabir, William (Red) Davis.

Black Radical Congress

THE BLACK SCHOLAR VOLUME 28, NO. 3/4, page 46

At the 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago, a panel was convened on "Black Radicalism, Black Workers and Today's Labor Movement"

Panelists were Saladin Muhammad, Lou Moy, Frank Lumpkin, Jim Wilkerson, Theresa Polk-Henderson, Jarvis Tyner (coordinator)

Adviser to William Clay

In his successful 2000, Congressional campaign William Clay was aided by veteran campaign manager Pearlie Evans, headquarters manager Gwen Reed, Committeewoman Virginia Cook, Committeewoman Colleen Roche and consultant Mark Odom as field coordinators and Representative Pat O'Connor, former state senator John Bass and unionist and Communist Party USA affiliate Lew Moye as campaign advisers.[9]

Supporting Bowman in 2004

According to a Peoples Weekly World article by Communist Party USA member Tim Wheeler, John L. Bowman Sr., an auto worker active in the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), is "making waves" in his campaign for a second term representing the 70th Legislative District that includes his hometown, Northwoods, in St. Louis County. A tall, genial man, Bowman had just come off night shift at the Chrysler plant when he spoke with the World. He chuckled when asked if he was headed home to get some sleep. 'No,' he replied. 'Sleep can wait.'

Lew Moye, a 40-year veteran of this city’s Chrysler plant and a close friend of Bowman’s, told the World, 'A lot of people in 2000 showed up at their polling places on election day and were told their names were not on the voter rolls. They were purged.' A judge ordered the polls kept open to accommodate thousands of voters who had been waiting in long lines in Black precincts in St. Louis. 'Senator Bond went through the roof,' Moye said. 'He went to a higher court and got an order to close the polls. It was very similar to what they did in Florida.'

Moye, chairman of the United Auto Workers Local 110 Shop Committee representing 4,000 workers at the Chrysler plant and also president of the St. Louis Chapter of the CBTU, said, 'We have to turn out in record numbers Nov. 2. We cannot allow ourselves to be discouraged by what happened in 2000. People need to go to the polls early and report any kind of harassment, any attempt to deny them their right to vote.'

He added, 'I think we’ve got a great chance to defeat Bush in Missouri. It’s just a matter of getting our voters out to the polls.'

Working people 'are not better off today than they were four years ago,' Moye continued. 'Bush hasn’t done anything for us. He’s got us bogged down in a war we can’t win. We’ve got a health care crisis that is just getting worse. If ever there was a need for a change in the White House, it is now. I believe the people of Missouri are going to do their part to make that change this time around.'

'The defeat of Bush would be a big rebuff to the right-wing tendencies in this country,' Moye said. 'It would send a signal that unions must be able to organize workers without restrictions, obstacles and harassment. And it would go a long way to revitalize the labor-African American alliance that is the basis for all progressive change in this country,' said Moye.

'It’s a myth that Bush is going to sweep rural Missouri,' he said. 'Factories in rural Missouri are closing the same as in the cities. Who is dying in Iraq? It’s poor rural whites and poor urban African Americans.'[10]

Labor Campaign for Single Payer

In 2009 Lew Moye, President St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists served on the Steering Committee of Labor Campaign for Single Payer.

Communist Party Herschel Walker award event

The Missouri Communist Party USA's Friends of the People’s World hosted their 18th annual ‘Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Awards Breakfast’ Saturday, May 8, 2010, at the CWA Local 6300 Union Hall, 2258 Grissom Drive (in the Westport area), St. Louis.

Newspaper Guild International President Bernie Lunzer was the main speaker for the event.

The honorees were:

The awards honor the memory of late Communist Party USA member Hershel Walker, a Missouri labor and civil rights activist, who died in 1990 at the age of 81. Walker’s life – which spanned 60 years of activism – ended tragically when hit by a car on his way to deliver petitions to save 4,000 jobs at the Chrysler Plant.[11]

Known attendees included Communist Party USA affiliates, Tony Pecinovsky, Jim Wilkerson, Zenobia Thompson, Lew Moye, Glenn Burleigh, Julie Terbrock, John Bowman, Joe Thomas, Jeanette Mott Oxford, Democratic Socialists of America member Joan Suarez, plus Mahrya Monson, Don Giljum, Jessica Pace, Jason Kennedy, Jennifer Rafanan, Solveig Paulson, Dr. Greg Miday, Roosevelt Stewart, Michael Vossler, Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Richard Von Glahn, Shannon Duffy and State Rep. James Morris. [12]

2011 Herschel Walker award event

Moye.JPG

Getting out the Black vote

While Republican victories across the state and nation dominated news reports on the 2010 midterm elections, the power of the black vote in St. Louis was still in evidence.

Lew Moye, president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, helped to get out that vote.

“I was working primarily in the African-American community, which is something I’ve been doing for over 40 years,” Moye said election night at the Renaissance Grand, where the main Democratic election party was held.

“It was heavier than I’ve seen it in a long time, especially the young African Americans.”[13]

Calloway Awards Banquet

Clay6.JPG

The St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Ernest and De Verne Calloway Awards Banquet was held on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis. Speakers included Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr., Secretary of State Candidate Jason Kander, Governor Nixon representative Damion Trasada, State Representative Karla May.

The MC for the program was Mary Armstrong, President of the St. Louis Teachers Union. Over 250 guests were in attendance. Congressman Clay stated “the upcoming election is the most important election in generations, this election is about you, your families and your future, and we need to turnout in massive numbers for President Obama and the Democratic Party State Ticket”.

CBTU Chapter President Lew Moye stated “we can win Missouri for President Obama with a massive turnout from the African American Communities.[14]

Supporting striking miners

Nine miners, including their union's president, were arrested in protests against the nation's largest coal company in St Louis Missouri, January 29, 2013.

"I didn't come here today as the President of your union. I came here as a representative of our retirees and our widows, " United Mine Workers' of America international president, Cecil Roberts, told over 1,000 miners, union supporters, community and faith leaders, as they rallied just steps away from the St. Louis Federal Court House.

According to the union, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal - the nation's largest coal companies - created the spin-off company, Patriot Coal, in a scheme to rob thousands of union members and beneficiaries of their pensions and health care benefits.

Patriot Coal filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2012.

Lew Moye, president of the St. Louis chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists , called Patriot's actions "despicable and criminal."

Missouri state representative, Karla May, Dem.-84, a member of the Communication Workers of America, Local 6300, said, "I stand with you. We know their real goal isn't just to get rid of your health care and benefits. We know their real goal is to destroy all unions."

May, who is also a member of CBTU, also told the assembled union members about attempts "here in Missouri, and across the country, to impose so-called right-to-work, which would weaken all unions."[15]

42nd Annual Convention

Four Cubans being held in U.S. prisons should be released, according to a resolution passed by the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists at their 42nd Annual Convention, held in Orlando, Fla., in May 2013. Labor should take a stand on this question because labor has been an advocate for freedom and justice in this country and around the world, said Lew Moye, second vice president of CBTU's Executive Council.

Though they are little known to the American public, an international campaign for their release has won support from around the world, including a long list of Nobel Prize winners. "Cuba is no threat to U.S. security whatsoever," said Moye. "Labor needs to be standing on the right side of justice."

Moye, who is also president of the St. Louis Chapter of the CBTU, said that around the world "Cuba is viewed as a country that strives to take care of its people, environmentally and healthwise, and also strives to help people in other countries." He added, "We feel that it's time for the attacks on Cuba to end and for it to be treated as an equal partner."

"Cuba should be totally removed from the terrorist list," Harold Rogers, the resolution's author, told peoplesworld. Rogers recalled that the African National Congress and its leader Nelson Mandela were also on the same list until well after Mandela's election as president of South Africa in 1994.[16]

Standing down

.

After 35 years at the helm, longtime labor leader and social justice activist Lew Moye stepped down as president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), effective Nov. 1 2014.

CWA Local 6355’s Mark Esters, vice president of the St. Louis Chapter, will assume the leadership role.

Moye and St. Marks Family Church, which has served as a safe haven and central meeting place during the unrest in Ferguson, were honored Oct. 18 at CBTU’s 28th Annual Ernst and De Verne Calloway Awards banquet.

Moye is known in the St. Louis region and nationally for his progressive activism in the labor movement and the African American community.

“It is an honor to follow behind a legend like Lew,” Esters said. “Those are big shoes to try to fit into. It’s a big lift.”

Attendees at the event included CBTU International President Terry Melvin, CBTU founder and President Emeritus Bill Lucy, Missouri State Representatives Clem Smith, and Karla May, and CBTU Chapter Vice President Mark Esters. [17]

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

St. Louis Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Executive Board, as of December 2014;[18]

References

  1. http://www.greens.org/s-r/06/06-07.html
  2. Louis Labour Tribune, Indomitable labor and social justice leader Lew Moye retiring as president of CBTU St. Louis Chapter OCTOBER 28, 2014
  3. [http://www.soldiersofsolidarity.com/files/livebaitammo/lba33.html Live Bait & Ammo #33
  4. stays in the forefront, Roberta Wood, May 17, 2003
  5. PDW, October 24, 1992, page 5
  6. PWW August 31 1996, page 5
  7. People's Weekly World May 6 1995 p 2
  8. Peoples Weekly World December 9, 1995 page 19
  9. Bill Clay: a political voice at the grass roots By William L. Clay, 299]
  10. Message from Missouri: 'This is our country! Let's take it back! Political Affairs, Tim Wheeler, July 31 2004
  11. [ http://www.stlouisguild.org/headlines/?p=880St. Louis Newspaper Guild, Guild I.P. Bernie Lunzer to speak Saturday morning at CWA Local 6300, May 5th, 2010]
  12. [Martin Rafanan Flickr photostream, accessed Jan. 8, 2010]
  13. Black vote rescues Dooley, Russ Carnahan & Lacy Clay win, By Rebecca Rivas and Chris King of the St. Louis American Thursday, November 4, 2010
  14. [ http://www.metrosentineljournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Sentinel-10-25-12-final-review-pgs-1-8.pdf, Metro Sentinel Journal. 2012 CBTU Ernest and De Verne Calloway Awards Banquet. Oct 25, 2012]
  15. PW, Miners arrested in protest against coal company, by: Tony Pecinovsky, January 29 2013
  16. Black trade unionists call for new Cuba policies, by: Roberta Wood July 10 2013
  17. Louis Labour Tribune, Indomitable labor and social justice leader Lew Moye retiring as president of CBTU St. Louis Chapter OCTOBER 28, 2014
  18. CBTU St Louis Chapter