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UC Regents, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
10945 Le Conte Ave, Suite 2107
Los Angeles, CA 90095.
UNITE HERE Local 11
464 South Lucas Avenue, Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Biography/History: Karl Lechow, the former national organizing director of HERE, was born in New York in 1946 to a union family. He went to Earlham College with John Wilhelm—who would later become president of UNITE HERE International—and initially joined John in organizing food service workers at Yale University. Karl is one of the architects of UNITE HERE’s worker-leader committees, who run organizing campaigns, develop strategies, and make decisions about how their union should move forward.
Scope/Content: Interview contents: Childhood in New York City and early experiences in movement building — Watching his parents become leaders in their unions — College and becoming an organizer — Working union jobs in the summers — Vietnam and the draft — Organizing with HERE Local 217 in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1970 — Campaign to organize clerical and technical workers at Yale in 1980, with HERE Local 34 — Vinny Cerebella’s mentorship and organizing strategies — Forming strong committees and the philosophy of the committee strategy — Makings of a successful organizer.
Labor unions--California--Los Angeles Labor union locals--California--Los Angeles Karl Lechow UNITE HERE Local 11