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Alan Weaver Papers Related to the Sierra Employees Alliance, United Autoworkers Union, Local 2103 larc.ms.0248
larc.ms.0248  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions
  • Availability
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography of Alan Weaver
  • History of the Sierra Club Alliance (SEA)
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents

  • Title: Alan Weaver papers related to the Sierra Employees Alliance, United Autoworkers Union, Local 2103
    Date (inclusive): 1980-1996
    Collection number: larc.ms.0248
    Accession number: 2002/019
    Extent: 1.0 cubic ft. (2 boxes)
    Repository: Labor Archives and Research Center
    J. Paul Leonard Library, Room 460
    San Francisco State University
    1630 Holloway Ave
    San Francisco, CA 94132-1722
    (415) 405-5571
    larc@sfsu.edu
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English.
    Location: Materials are stored onsite.
    Abstract: Material collected by Alan Weaver related to organizing Sierra Club employees, including the Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA), United Autoworkers Union, Local 2103; and John Muir Local 100. Includes correspondence, emails, clippings, meeting agendas and minutes, contracts, committee records, flyers and information packets. Contains various documents relating to staff reorganization during the 1990s fiscal crisis, and domestic partner/ gay rights issues within SEA and the Sierra Club.
    Creator: Weaver, Alan

    Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Availability

    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Alan Weaver papers related to the Sierra Employees Alliance, United Autoworkers Union, Local 2103, larc.ms.0248, Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University.

    Acquisition

    Donated by Alan Weaver in 2002, accession number 2002/019.

    Processing Information

    The collection was processed in February 2005 by Heather Cooper.

    Biography of Alan Weaver

    Alan Weaver was an employee of the Sierra Club 1977-1997, beginning with the Hawaii Chapter and then moving to San Francisco, where he worked in the Books Department. Weaver was involved in efforts to create greater staff involvement in the company from the 1980s on and eventually helped to organize the Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA), which became an official representative of employees in 1992.

    History of the Sierra Club Alliance (SEA)

    The Sierra Club was incorporated in San Francisco on May 28, 1892 by John Muir and other supporters in order to study and preserve the mountain regions of the Pacific Coast. Since that time, the Club has worked to promote the responsible use of natural resources through outreach, education, and programs which make the Sierra accessible to the public.
    In 1978 the Sierra Club went through a fiscal crisis resulting in many lay-offs, which angered employees. In an appeasement effort management agreed to the creation of the Sierra Club Stewards, a non-union employee association. The Stewards produced an occasional newsletter, the Independent, for some period in the mid-eighties. In 1989 or 1990, management announced that it would no longer meet with the Stewards, claiming that it might be considered as a de facto bargaining unit. With this collapse of the only moderate alternative, many staff were radicalized in the direction of forming a genuine union and joined forces with staff who had been exploring more effective alternatives to the Stewards system since the early 1980s.
    Beginning in 1982, individuals within the Sierra Club had hoped to organize a true union, and between 1982 and 1989 they investigated various internationals, including OPEIU and others. Sylvana Nova, who worked on Sierra Magazine, was a former employee of Mother Jones, which was organized by District 65. Upon Ms. Nova's recommendation, Sierra Club staff approached District 65 for advice and support in the organizing process. Alan Weaver, who had been an active member of the Sierra Club Stewards, contributed significantly to the organizing effort along with Ms. Nova and Lorraine Vallejo. These employees were among the early activists working under the advice of professional District 65 organizers to organize national staff. At the time, chapter staff were hired and employed through the individual chapters.
    Sierra Club management vigorously resisted union organizing and a National Labor Relations Board election was called in 1992. Phil Berry was president of the Sierra Club and a lawyer at Berry and Berry, a law firm specializing in the defense of asbestos manufacturers against worker health claims. He responded to staff organizing efforts by creating a company union (independent) known as John Muir 100, named in honor of the 100th anniversary of John Muir's founding of the Sierra Club. During the NLRB hearings representatives from John Muir Local 100 sat at the table with management, which was attracted to the possibility of dealing with an independent union rather than having to face the resources, knowledge and professionalism of an international.
    Prior to the election, District 65 was melded into the United Auto Workers. Those employees who chose to join John Muir Local 100 argued that District 65's absorption into the UAW compromised conservation effectiveness because the Sierra Club and the UAW were sometimes on opposite sides of clean air legislation. The Conservation Department of the Club tended to favor John Muir Local 100 for this reason.
    In August, 1992 a three-way election was held with the following options: 1) no collective bargaining agent, 2) John Muir Local 100, or 3) Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA). Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA) won 55 percent of the vote, having received extensive support from the staff at San Francisco headquarters, and proceeded to bargain for a contract. John Muir Local 100, which had no staff, simply used Sierra Club's (SEA's) contract once it had been accepted by management. Following Sierra Club's (SEA's) victory, Executive Director Michael Fischer resigned, allegedly under pressure from Berry, and was replaced by Carl Pope.
    The Sierra Club faced another fiscal crisis during the early 1990s and worked with Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA) to negotiate a longer work week, voluntary lay-offs, and other alternatives. As of 2005, Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA) continues to represent Sierra Club national employees in concert with John Muir Local 100, which represents field employees.

    Arrangement

    The collection was not arranged in any meaningful original order upon receipt by the Labor Archives; the current order was imposed by the processor of the collection. Folders are arranged alphabetically. The contents of each folder are arranged in ascending chronological order, with any undated materials placed at the start of a folder.

    Scope and Contents

    Material collected by Alan Weaver related to organizing Sierra Club employees, including the Sierra Employee Alliance (SEA), United Autoworkers Union, Local 2103; and John Muir Local 100. Includes correspondence, emails, clippings, meeting agendas and minutes, contracts, committee records, flyers and information packets. Contains various documents relating to staff reorganization during the 1990s fiscal crisis, and domestic partner/ gay rights issues within SEA and the Sierra Club.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Sierra Employees Alliance.
    International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. Local 2103 (San Francisco, Calif.).
    Sierra Club.
    Collective bargaining--United States--California--San Francisco.
    Labor unions--Organizing--California--San Francisco.
    Nonprofit organizations--Employees.