Monday, June 12, 2006

Benson Wins “Lifetime Troublemaker” Award

Herman Benson, AUD co-founder, received a “Lifetime Troublemaker” award at the Labor Notes conference “Building Solidarity From Below” in Dearborn, MI, May 5-7. According to Labor Notes, “These awards are intended to recognize grassroots activists whose efforts may not have made headlines, but have contributed to the struggle for union democracy and workplace justice.”

Benson’s acceptance speech (listen here):

“I never saw myself exactly as a troublemaker but rather as one among many trying to get rid of the world's troubles. As they say, however, it takes one to catch one. If your assemblage of the world's top expert troublemakers agrees that I fit properly among them, I must accept the parahonor with thanks. A word about my old friend Erwin Baur who helped steer me toward one of the best decisions of my life: becoming a machinist and toolmaker. When he was president of a Steel local in the late thirties, right after the defeat in Little Steel, when times were real bad, he convinced his members to yield to a wage cut rather than risk a hopeless strike. I was there. It taught me that a good troublemaker must sometimes see trouble ahead and lead people away from it. Thanks for the tribute to three representatives of a fast-dwindling generation. Now it's up to you.”

(Editor’s note: AUD friends Erwin Baur and Harry Kelber also received “Lifetime Troublemaker” awards.)

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