Tribute to Pete Beltran, frontlines trade union leader against General Motors in the 1980s
Eric worked with Pete Beltran throughout the 1980s to stop General Motors from closing down its last car manufacturing plant on the West Coast and firing 5,000 mostly Black and Latino well-paid union workers. Pete worked at the GM Van Nuys auto plant for 30 years, serving at the plant as the elected president of United Auto Workers Local 645 from 1978 to 1987. He died on April 6, 2013 at the age of 73. Eric describes the 10 year campaign to Keep General Motors Van Nuys Open, and pays tribute to the essential role that Pete played.
The picture above was taken at the historical victory when a labor and community coalition built in the early 1980s in Los Angeles successfully threatened General Motors with a boycott if it closed down the Van Nuys GM plant. Pictured are Eric Mann, Jesse Jackson, Ed Asner, and Pete Beltran.
The Beltran Family’s obituary for Pete can be found here.