MAPE members participate in union trainings and classes and share what they learned

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Local 501’s Lolita Davis Carter and Amy Mueller, Local 401, recently participated in trainings and classes with other like-minded union members and have plenty of ideas about new labor programs to share with MAPE.     

Mueller and more than 80 other organizers came together in Las Vegas and St. Paul at the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute’s three-day training earlier this month. AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler joined organizers in St. Paul where they worked to reinforce the principles and skills necessary to assist working people win respect and dignity through organizing a union.   

Mueller said she enjoyed working with her fellow union members and AFL-CIO President Shuler, whom she described as “very strong, steadfast and down-to-earth.”  

Local 401's Amy Mueller

“It was an inspiring and memorable experience to be with union organizers and leaders wanting to learn more about organizing to better the work experience for all,” Mueller said. “I learned the importance of inoculation, which is preparing people for the journey of organizing to achieve a common goal and to determine what the worker is most interested in and ensuring that their concerns are heard and are invested. The best way to do this is through one-on-one conversations, it can also be done through listening sessions and surveys.”     

Mueller added she “would like to take what I learned about organizing to help make our region to become more strike ready.”   

Mueller, who serves as Region 4 Steward Director, said her local is currently working on steward recruitment.   

Local 501’s Lolita Davis Carter graduated from the prestigious Minnesota Union Leadership Program (MULP) at the University of Minnesota last week. The program helps unions develop and strengthen leaders, equipping participants with the knowledge and skills to address the challenges facing the labor movement.  

“I really enjoyed learning from my peers – we educated each other. They understood my passion for organizing people of color. I want to take a strong leadership position with MAPE as we work to increase membership with people of color, especially at my agency,  the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED),” Davis Carter said.   

Local 501's Lolita Davis Carter

She is a member of the Organizing Council and a steward for Local 501.She plans to talk with Council leadership about developing some type of informational session or membership campaign geared toward people of color.  

“We can really get a lot of new members joining MAPE if they feel a little bit valued, a little bit heard and it will help us to bring resources into our union,” Davis Carter said.  

She articulated that the program enlightened her on the significance of advocating in a composed manner, as individuals are more receptive under such circumstances. She underscored the necessity of advocating while actively listening, acquiring knowledge, and taking decisive action. Furthermore, she emphasized the importance of proffering solutions rather than solely articulating grievances about workplace issues. Additionally, she gleaned insights into formulating work plans that incorporate viable solutions. 

She emphasized that the course was pivotal in helping her focus on essential elements within the labor movement: the inclusion of people of color and young professionals. She stressed that the emphasis should be on universal skills rather than factors such as race or upbringing with technology. 

“These universal skills examples may encompass respecting personal space, adhering to appropriate dress codes, and minimizing excessive loud phone usage in cubical spaces.” Davis Carter said. 

Davis Carter added, “We are obligated to extend a measure of understanding to the younger generation following in our footsteps. Senior employees may perceive a threat from the advanced skills they bring to the table. It is evident that the world is undergoing a shift, necessitating our ability to openly embrace each other's proficiencies. By fostering inclusivity, we can progress collectively. This is my fervent commitment."