Chuck Hendricks Remembers John Sweeney

I have never met John Sweeney, however, I have one story about his commitment to organizing the unorganized.

When I was 19 years old, I attempted to organize my own union with a painting company in Baltimore. I didn’t know how to organize my co-workers, but I tried based on a book I bought called “Organizing to Win.” Eventually we tried to reach out to the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades. I tried a number of times get get someone to pay attention to me, but a 19 year old saying that they want to organize a union at a small company wasn’t of much interest. After many failed attempts at getting the local unions to organize us I was disappointed and a bit dispirited.

I got fed up and actually sent a random email to asking for help, and he personally responded my email, thanking me for the email, telling me that it was important that people like me organize and that the afl-cio stood with us. He assured me that someone from the painters union would follow up and the next day the Organizing Director of IBPAT personally called me to get the process moving.



1 reply
  1. Mary Kambic
    Mary Kambic says:

    Thank you, Chuck! These personal stories mean so much to all of us. I remember everyone who especially reached out to young organizers over time and pitched in to help us.


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