frank news is dedicated to storytelling across all mediums. A space for debate, discussion, and connection between experts and a curious readership. Topics are presented monthly with content delivered daily.

Founders

Tatti Ribeiro
Clare McLaughlin
Want to share your story?
Become a contributor
Contact Us
April: Philanthropy
30th
No articles
29th
No articles
28th
No articles
27th
No articles
26th
No articles
25th
No articles
24th
No articles
23rd
No articles
22nd
No articles
21st
No articles
20th
No articles
19th
No articles
18th
No articles
17th
No articles
16th
No articles
15th
No articles
14th
No articles
13th
No articles
12th
No articles
11th
No articles
10th
No articles
9th
No articles
8th
No articles
7th
No articles
6th
No articles
5th

news

COMING SOON

by frank
4th
No articles
3rd
No articles
2nd
No articles
1st
No articles
© Frank

interviews

Oral Histories: Unions

by The Portal to Texas History
February 7, 2021

Antonio Jimenez was born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. during the 1980s. He worked at Cactus Feeders then Swift, a meatpacking plant in Cactus, Texas. While at Swift, Jimenez felt that the United Food & Commercial Workers was not representing the meatpacking plant’s workers well. Thus, he and others, inspired by Trini Gamez and Coco Medina, launched a local union that eventually initiated a strike that brought better conditions. He eventually left Swift and the independent local union when he felt his family was threatened by United Food & Commercial Workers operatives. He was sued by the United Food & Commercial Workers, but the suit was thrown out. Jimenez began a successful automotive body shop.

Mr. Moore was the first Black elected official in Jefferson County (County Commissioner, 1986) and was involved in various aspects of pressuring the city for Black civil rights. He shared what he remembered about the 1943 race riot in Beaumont, mentioned class divisions within the segregated Black communities in Beaumont, discussed the significance of unions for workplace advancement, was critical to Black representation on schools boards/in PTAs, and helped form the South Park Voters League to initially influence school board elections and, later, Black voter enfranchisement.

Steven "Steve" Flores was born in 1954 in Houston, TX. Growing up in a segregated environment, he witnessed red lining and HISD's false pairing plan to integrate the schools. Due to an NAACP lawsuit that forced the phone company to hire minorities, Flores was hired at Southwestern Bell and would eventually become a shop steward. He discusses his involvement in the Latino Labor Leadership Council, how unions have provided a space for cross-racial collaboration, and what collective bargaining means. Flores also talks about how the immigrant rights movement and the labor movement intersect and his role as the vice president of the Communications Workers of America. Jesse Fuentes was born in San Antonio in 1956. He would migrate to Houston when he was fifteen years old. He discusses how the push for minority hires paved the way for his to get hired at AT&T. After becoming a shop steward and rising in the ranks of the Communications Workers of America union, he would become involved in the Latino Council for Latin American Advocacy where he remains very active in the area of voter registration. Fuentes talks about how union organizing paves the way for cross-racial collaboration. Later in his adult years, he participated in the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride and talks about the intersection of union organizing and immigrant rights.

Interview with Antonio Orendain, civil rights activist and founder of the Texas Farm Workers Union (TFWU), from McAllen, Texas. In the interview, Orendain discusses his childhood and family background, working with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta and the National Farm Workers Association in California, migrant farm workers, founding the TFWU, and his long career as a labor activist.

Mr. Polk discussed growing up in segregated Corpus Christi and career as a longshoreman/union man.