In late 2017, by then weak and frail, Jim Baldridge attended the retirement banquet for his dear friend, Fred Mason, president of the 350,000 member Maryland-D.C. AFL-CIO. Mason was at the microphone thanking the crowd when he caught sight of Baldridge sitting at a table. He departed from his speech to praise Baldridge as a model trade unionist, loyal, clear-thinking, always working to unite the ranks of all races, gender, and creed against their common enemy. The crowd burst into applause.
“When Jim became President of the Maryland-D.C. ARA, it was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Mason told the People’s World in a phone interview.
Mason, now“emeritus” president, added, “I recommended Jim for a position on the Executive Board of the Maryland-D.C. AFL-CIO.” It was a position Baldridge accepted.
Added Mason, “Jim was the kind of leader who not only showed up at meetings himself, he always brought other workers with him. He was a good and loyal friend. You could always count on him. He was always on the right side of any fight we were in. We loved to talk politics together. He knew how to bring practical know-how together with his ideals. He was anti-racist and always worked to build unity in any struggle we were engaged in. He was not dogmatic. He brought those qualities into the workplace at Johns Hopkins Hospital.”
Mason was Executive Vice President of Local 1199-E, when he met Baldridge in 1989. Baldridge was a Local 1199-E leader in the maintenance department of the hospital. “We needed some strong leadership in that department and Jim provided it.” They became close friends along with other 1199-E stalwarts like Les Bayless, Armeta Dixon, who later was elected 1199-E Vice President, union attorney Steve Godoff and Keith Zimmerman.
WEB DuBois Clubs of America
In 2014, Leslie Bayless was listed a a friend on the DuBois Clubs Facebook page.
Supported Communist Party call
Endorsing Communist Party call
Of the more than 100 endorsers listed, almost all were identified members of the Communist Party USA.
Anti Bush statement
In May 1995 the Communist Party USA newspaper Peoples Weekly World published a May Day supplement. Included was an anti Bush/Quayle statement signed by several Maryland supporters of the party, including Les Bayless and Pam Bayless.
Communist Party MLK tribute
We salute Dr. King’s courage and vision. He saw and struggled for an America and world that can be. We pledge in his memory to work to reorder our nation’s priorities “so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war.”
The Left and Elections forum
- Event is free, and there will be plenty of time for discussion about legislative possibilities in the General Assembly in 2011.
- FB friends page
- PWW, May Day Supplement May 2, 1992
- People's Weekly World Sep 2 1995 p 14
- PWW May Day supplement May 2, 1992
- Democracy for Montgomery County, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2010 The Left and Elections forum in Baltimore Sun. Oct. 24th