Regulo Martinez Interview

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
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REGULO MARTINEZ: I’ve been -- I spent about 21 years being a recording secretary.

AMY MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: And then I gave it up, because I’m getting too old for this. (laughter) I like to do my stuff, and I don’t have to go out there and repeat it twice, you know?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: When you run the meeting behind somebody’s against Atavan Escorimat I don’t need interruptions here, you know, the press room is really something, everybody is doing something, and you are really an idiot. And my favorite word is, “You are an under-- underachiever. You are a work-challenged individual.” (laughter) Because I don’t want to call you lame, you know? (laughter)

MELL: Yeah, yeah. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: That’s permissible. (laughter) OK, you conducted and -- what? At, uh -- William -- the double-Us?

MELL: Yeah, the double-Us is fine.

1:00

MARTINEZ: And -- uh, what is -- where -- the last --

MELL: OK, today is June 12th, 2013, and we are at the Winpisinger School. We’re doing a history of Local Lodge 1932 and I am Amy Mell, and I am joined by?

MARTINEZ: Uh, Regulo Martinez.

MELL: And we’re going to have a few questions and answers, so welcome, and thank you for coming.

MARTINEZ: Someway?

MELL: (laughter) So tell me, where were you born?

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: Where were you born?

MARTINEZ: Uh, Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico.

MELL: In Mexico, nice. How long did you live in Mexico?

2:00

MARTINEZ: Uh, until -- uh, ’63.

MELL: Nineteen sixty-three? And what day were you born?

MARTINEZ: March, March 30th, uh, ’43.

MELL: March 30th, 1943. Um, what did your dad do for work?

MARTINEZ: Oh, he was a, uh, pantry -- pantry worker for United too, you know so we had a -- a [hell of a root] tight [frame?] with the family. I got five people, and whenever I used to run elections, it’s -- I don’t worry about it. I got high -- we had five people ready to jump in, you know, just, you know… (inaudible) (laughter).

MELL: Is that the rest of your family, then? They’re --

MARTINEZ: Yes, yeah, dad had a -- ten kids, mom -- not dad. Dad was the maker.

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Lucky guy.

MELL: So. (laughter) So, there are ten children in your family?

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: And where do you --

MARTINEZ: And we lost, uh -- we lost one -- we -- Dad came up to the States in -- in -- in the fifties, you know, when -- uh, the -- my, uh -- my -- my 3:00grandparents on -- on my mother’s side, uh -- they had a -- a -- five boys and two or three girls, their -- their -- their family, you know. But you want to see something funny, uh, he would send, you know, there -- there -- there was a ranch, and cattle, and goats, and all of that stuff, you know. And we always went out there on -- on long weekends, you know, where every weekend, just, go and get a -- a little goat, you know, and kind of -- make sure there’s not -- it hasn’t began to eat, uh, grass, because then the meat sales is bad, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But anyhow, uh -- other than that, you know, uh, it was -- what, uh -- what, what, what -- I’m gone. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter) About his brothers and sisters, or you were -- you’ve --

MARTINEZ: Yeah, yeah, uh -- the last one was born in Chicago in 1967, and then that day, there was, my older brother was waiting, waiting -- (laughter)

4:00

MELL: The same day?

MARTINEZ: The very same day. And, uh, she was, uh -- delivering, here, at that the time, the mom was giving birth. (laughter)

MELL: Was your mom at the hospital, or at the wedding?

MARTINEZ: No, she was at the hospital. Then -- they went, uh -- they went over to the hospital and -- and looked after they finished the ceremony, and then, we -- we’re, “OK guys, you’re clear. Let’s go and hit the bar.” (laughter)

MELL: (laughter) Celebrate all around.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. (laughter)

MELL: That’s great. That’s a good story. So where did you end up? Were you at the beginning of --

MARTINEZ: Number seven. Number seven, even.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: See the thing, you know, uh -- since Dad, came up to the States early, to build up his, uh -- I guess his qualifications to get a, a -- uh, uh -- citizenship --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, he was just fucking around, and then he finally -- we finally make him say, never mind, as -- I’ll go and get it, and you’re gonna go -- (laughter) But, uh, uh -- we were at one time, uh, uh -- the nucleus of the 5:00family, you know, very, very strong ties.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Somehow, the, uh -- we become, uh -- I don’t know. Uh, uh -- they may be fighting later on for ownership of the house, you know, where they -- they lived, and yeah.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And I told them, say, say, “Listen, every -- every one of us has a home. You don’t need another home, and another -- I paid about five grand a year for taxes, you know, so you think I want to put another five grand? I-- no.”

MELL: Mm-hmm, yeah. So --

MARTINEZ: But, uh, we had a really nice relationship, and uh, our -- in Chicago, he had to do something, and -- and -- and he had to go to, uh, human services. So they’re interviewing him, and, uh, he says, “How many kids do you have?” There’s -- you know, “There’s ten of us.” “Oh, kidding, ten kids? So I’m assuming that you are receiving funds or something to help you 6:00out?” He said, “No. These are my kids, all feeding.”

MELL: That’s good. Back in that day, that was important. So then, he moved up here in 1950. When did all the rest of the family come up to stay with him?

MARTINEZ: Until my, uh, uh -- my older brother, he came up uh, in 1960.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Mom and the other kids in ’62, and I didn’t come back until, uh -– Apr -- the third -- uh, sixty-- ’63. Sixty-two, ’63, that was -- I stayed there, because I had to there -- uh, do my, uh -- military service, uh --

MELL: Oh, OK. So you were in the military in Mexico?

MARTINEZ: Mm-hmm.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: Well actually, it was in the academy, you know, so, uh -- I really loved it, said, “Shit, this is good.” (laughter)

MELL: Yeah?

MARTINEZ: And we’d go out on maneuvers, and we, uh -- they, uh -- they had a -- the whole list -- it’s a spinoff of, uh -- the French [skippy?], it, uh, when we were -- uh, when we used to go on maneuvers, you know, that 7:00everybody’s doing that, and then, they asked what’s in the people, they don’t know, it’s very -- why that is? Well, when you’re in the heat of the battle, it’s going to cover your neck and your back. (laughter)

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: That’s it. (laughter)

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: So I finished off, and I stayed there, uh, the remainder -- almost to the end of the year, you know, and then I came out, and -- and, we were -- we were a family again, you know, but uh, my brother, the older brother, uh, he, uh – he was more into sports than I was, so, uh, consequently, uh, anytime, you know, they had their own, uh, football, soccer teams from all over, you know, in Chicago, we played, uh, the Polacks, the Germans, everybody, Italians, Americans. (laughter) And, uh, uh, it was -- it was fun, you know, nice, clean fun. You know, the times were different.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: The music was great.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: And we were lucky that, uh, I did -- we drove twice, the -- all ’66, we -- we folded their clothes. (laughter)

8:00

MELL: Oh really? Yeah, Route 66?

MARTINEZ: Yup.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: So, you know, in consequence, you know, I had to, uh -- assume, you know, Herman, mom is the -- was the, uh, head of the family, and I was her right-hand man.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, uh -- and I got into the habit, you know, they sensed that dad wasn’t there. Uh, most of my friends, uh, they are older, if not a little bit younger, but not -- not much, you know, but more so, because of, uh -- not being -- my dad not being here, you know, and you feel that what probably was going to happen, when -- when we come here, and he was not here. (laughter) None of that stuff, you know, we had to play by the rules.

MELL: Was he not there because he was working, or traveling with the --

MARTINEZ: My brother? No. He worked, uh -- he was working too, you know, but uh, like I said, he -- he was spending more time at the football field than at home. (laughter)

MELL: Oh, OK, your brother. And how about your father, was he still there?

9:00

MARTINEZ: Yeah -- no. It’s -- Everybody came back. We -- we drove him out here in 1962. You know, we made two trips, you know, when -- when we brought him over, and then when we came over at -- a year or so later, a year and a half.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: But uh, that was the best thing that, uh, Dad ever did, you know, that was he -- make sure that we have a home, and the groceries, and all of that, so --

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: -- we don’t need no -- nothing fancy, and cars or any of that right now, yeah, but eventually we have to go and get a car, but in the meantime --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- we have excellent transportation, they don’t have to, in Chicago, I mean they -- walk, uh, you get on one -- one line, you get off, and then a diagonal, and go to, uh, we used to work for, uh, health inquiries, cosmetics.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: We started there, and uh, part-time job, uh, that eventually every year, uh, their -- their turnout was too much, so they hired, constantly hired, and they hired, uh, the school -- uh, high school kids, over a temporary basis. You know, “OK, you guys make your money because -- (laughter) -- you are going 10:00to be running out of -- you may be running out of money, and I’m not going to leave you anything.” (laughter) “You have to give me a financial statement, to see if I can give you --” (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: And by the way, you may have noticed, I’m the joker of the family.

MELL: I guess so.

MARTINEZ: (laughter)

MELL: So you worked in a cosmetic company.

MARTINEZ: Yes.

MELL: Was that union, or not?

MARTINEZ: No, it was -- uh, they -- we did -- they did try -- somebody tried to, uh, unionize us.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But, uh, we had a, uh -- I don’t know what happened, you know, we -- they were passing the literature, and the freaking guard took it away, said, if you don’t English -- if you don’t know -- if you don’t speak English, you don’t need this here. Said well, but I could go and -- and get somebody to read it for me, you know.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: I tell this, (inaudible) they were not successful, (inaudible). So anyhow, we -- we were uh, working for a buck and a half an hour. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah.

11:00

MARTINEZ: And then, in ’67, I -- I went and applied at United.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And I -- they hired me on the spot, you know.

MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: I started out to work in the -- and I screwed up there, you know. I didn’t understand, it -- that was [church?], (inaudible) [church?]. (laughter) They, uh -- they said, well, you got room service and -- and, uh, food service. And, I didn’t pay attention, so they said, “Well,” they said, “Go and get these things done,” drugs and all of that stuff, “And, uh, come back, and, uh, in a week, and you can be ready.” And eventually, you know, they -- I, uh -- at the same year, you know, I acquired a full-time, part -- uh, room service, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So I didn’t wait too much, you know, so I didn’t wait too much. You know, they (inaudible) [brought a third?], to my company seniority, ’67, you know, and -- and -- and I got April, uh -- and I got some -- uh, what -- what else? There was another date. Yeah. I guess really, the date from the cos-- 12:00uh, the first part, and then, the second part was when I moved out to, uh -- well I got the same thing, you know, so I guess, uh, it -- uh, the seniority remained the same for -- 4/3/67, and that was it.

MELL: Mm-hmm. And, did you start right up with the union, with the United [place?] Union at that time?

MARTINEZ: No. No, I didn’t even know that there was, uh -- exists [I’m saying?], and in that -- in that -- in that, uh, area there, every airport, you know, they -- so the, uh, three month period, uh -- and, I -- I went out there, and passed in, and also gave me a -- a blue card, they said -- you -- you’re in -- you know, you’re in on the ramp, and just start moving from the kitchen to a truck driver, and he said, “Well, never let known you’re here.” (laughter) Drive a food truck, and go to the airport, and -- and, uh, came back home on the next flight, and all that stuff, you know. But it was -- it was 13:00interesting, and uh, a little bit of a co-- uh, cl-- uh, what is the pha -- the phrase, uh -- uh, something like, uh -- sho-- like shocking, you know, that’s the -- [a deer?] unexpected. (laughter)

MELL: You were shocked?

MARTINEZ: No, that’s what -- that’s the only thing I can think, the only word, I guess -- uh, shoot, it’s -- the, they -- they exist, but I can’t remember where. (laughter) It’s still there, you’re still there. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: But, uh, uh -- other than that, you know, uh, that was -- like I said before, you know, that was the best thing that happened to us, you know, with -- we had more stuff. Uh, 30 bucks, it would buy you two to three bags of groceries. (laughter)

MELL: Yes, yes, yes. Back then.

MARTINEZ: It was, uh -- a culture shock.

MELL: Culture shock.

MARTINEZ: Is that --

MELL: To work at the airport was culture shock?

MARTINEZ: That, the whole -- the whole thing, you know, is -- wow, is this -- 14:00and it was a culture shock in a -- in a nice way, not a -- not at a --

MELL: So it was nicer than living in Mexico, or --

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: Was it nicer than living in Mexico culture shock, or United, you liked that job better than --

MARTINEZ: Uh, we -- no, I hired a -- that was when I hired, for the kitchen, and --

MELL: OK, so you’re going from the kitchen to the ramp?

MARTINEZ: To the ramp, and then when a --

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: -- food driver.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: Food driver, you know, and, uh -- uh, uh -- it was -- it was a great job, you know, that -- and then, uh, I was making a -- a dollar 90, or two bucks, I said, “Wow, I’m rich!” (laughter)

MELL: You’re making the money. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Thirty bucks a week (inaudible). (laughter)

MELL: That’s nice. Uh, were you -- so you mentioned others that were also working for United and your family, so who --

MARTINEZ: Uh, right now there’s only my sister is left. No, no, excuse me, she’s retired. We all retired almost at the same time, you know, a year or two apart, you know. But, uh -- uh, my si -- one of my -- the other sister, she 15:00married this guy, and uh, we got him a job at, uh -- at United.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And then his son, my nephew, he said -- we did the same thing he -- you know, and they said, come on down, you know.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: And uh, my sister, uh, husband, uh -- um, he was still, too cocky once in a while, you know, (inaudible), OK. So, he could have been a lot -- he would gain a lot more seniority --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- than when he waited four or five years, six years to do that. I mean, every minute counts.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: You can’t fuck around. (laughter)

MELL: No, no. And was all that work right then, was that all in Chicago?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, all.

MELL: How long did you live in Chicago?

MARTINEZ: Uh, a year or so, you know. The family was already there, when -- by the time I got back, um, from the uh -- from the service --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- I stayed another half a year, with -- with, uh traveling up and down the coast with my family and my cousins, that -- on that part of the world, you know, so -- until, Dad calls me up. “OK, get your -- go and pick up your 16:00stuff. (laughter) You already got to go, I’m waiting for you to go across.” (laughter) And my career -- I crossed the border in Laredo, Texas. Uh, from -- that was a trip, you know. That was a trip. (laughter)

MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, I went, uh, from -- on train, you know, the -- this couple was supposed to take me -- help me to get to Chicago, and at the -- uh, at the (inaudible) -- at the last day, they backed out, and I said, oh that’s fine, you know. So, I called -- my -- my uncle Da Silva waiting for -- for the bus to go, the train, you know, in San Antonio. So, uh -- uh, I -- I came back, and did all of that, and then, get on a plane, I got there. Uh -- I met another couple, and they said, “You want me to get you some food?” I said, “Yes, please, I’m hungry.” So they -- they put -- they were good -- good people, you know, and that’s good. So coming -- we get on, switched, uh -- switched uh, trains 17:00in St. Louis, and then in Chicago, there was a family, and they asked me, they said, “How, uh -- how come, that far, and, uh, you didn’t -- you didn’t speak English?” They -- you got to take your chances to go to where you want to go, you know? (laughter)

MELL: Yeah, yeah.

MARTINEZ: And uh, we get to the station, Union Station, and there’s nobody picking me up. (laughter)

MELL: Oh no! Did they forget?

MARTINEZ: I guess I was, uh -- it was a punishment for taking me so long to Chicago. (laughter)

MELL: Oh no. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: But it was fine, you know, it was, uh -- it was beautiful. I -- you know, uh, dad didn’t drive until they came out to uh, to California. I had -- I was the driver for -- (laughter)

MELL: Did you learn to drive right away when you got to Chicago, or did you --

MARTINEZ: I already knew in, uh --

MELL: Oh.

18:00

MARTINEZ: -- in -- in -- in Monterrey. And there were -- the uncle that helped him here, he was the sponsor, so uh, once a year, we all got together and go to the beach, you know, on the other side of the country, you know, and uh, let me drive the car around. You know, my dad says, “Don’t go too far, you know, right here in the parking lot, because you -- I don’t want to go and take out the car from the (inaudible).” (laughter) “You’ll make it with a teaspoon.” (laughter)

MELL: Oh goodness.

MARTINEZ: Good days, good days, I just --

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: They --

MELL: It was a different world then.

MARTINEZ: Mm-hmm.

MELL: It was a different world.

MARTINEZ: Oh yeah. And then, I -- I saw the -- the cambio, the culture -- the culture will change after, uh -- after Vietnam, you know.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: We, uh -- we didn’t treat those guys the way they should have been, right? These guys are out there, on the line, and you are spitting at them? I would shoot you myself, even, I had to go to, uh -- go to jail, you know, you have no respect for the, uh -- this is your country, not his, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And you don’t take care of it, that’s -- that’s wrong, you know.

MELL: Yeah.

19:00

MARTINEZ: But it was – overall it was nice, uh, when -- we live in the nice, uh, Italian precinct, I mean, in there, you know, Little Italy in Chicago, you know, we live -- we live, uh, the famous, uh Taylor Street and, uh -- and uh, Oakley St., you know, the --

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: Now was this the heart of the, uh -- the Italian city, and they had this, uh -- have you ever heard the word, “bocce” it’s a little Italian -- a wooden ball.

MELL: Mm-hmm. Bocce ball?

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: The -- the little old -- it’s about, four or five, uh, old Italians, you know, and that was -- that was the -- their thing, you know, go bocce. (laughter)

MELL: Go play bocce ball?

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: That’s fun.

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: So did you learn how to play?

MARTINEZ: No, no.

MELL: Oh, you were right there.

MARTINEZ: You know, for a little -- the, uh -- I was never -- I got into sports, you know, like -- like my brother do, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I said -- I was more, uh -- I’m a -- like I said, I’m a -- a -- a spontaneous -- if something, something’s going to happen, if something is 20:00happening, I start to see, or try to do my -- go my two cents in there, you know. (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, that was -- that was very, you know, and uh -- mainly, like I said, uh -- uh, I felt, uh -- uh, alone. For too long -- for too long, because he went up -- he came up, not every -- but, uh, said, seventies were still good. The eighties, somewhere in ’89, or the ’90s, yes, everything just went down the shitter. Although we still have some good -- good.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: And, be -- coming up here, you know, with -- where -- up there in Chicago, there is a flea market in -- on the South Side, which is not -- not too far from -- from Downtown. You know, everything is so close there. Uh, and uh, uh -- it -- what was it? [whistles] where are you? (laughter) Oh, no, no. Uh, a lot of jazz on the streets, you know. There -- there was no buildings, you know. 21:00Uh, I mean -- to, um, uh -- restaurants and all of that stuff, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But, uh -- there -- there -- there was a few there, uh, you know, small mom-and-pop, places, you know. And, uh, uh -- after that, you know, uh -- I became involved in the union in, uh, 1975.

MELL: So you had worked from --

MARTINEZ: From United, yeah.

MELL: And then in 1975, you joined the union?

MARTINEZ: Yes.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: No, it was required, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Three months into it, and you’re -- you’re -- you’re OK, you know, but now they raise it up to six month, which it gives the company and the employees a little more time to prepare, and them bring in -- don’t holler crap that doesn’t need to be working here.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Because uh -- it may sound, uh, [cold fewer?] the [cold?] [pulled out?], and obviously -- somebody has to update, you know -- uh, somebody has to 22:00do something about it, you know and, uh -- I was working on the crews, that -- I took out a little break, and I said, I don’t want to drive food anymore --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: You know, so then I went back out to the -- to the terminal, and they got me my little gate area, and they said, this is all yours, and with three or four guys.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: That was Charlie OK, AB, uh, the -- they used the terms they, uh -- they used in the second war, Echo, and --

MELL: Yes, for the letters.

MARTINEZ: That was -- that was, D something. You know, and uh, it -- I got along OK with the guys, and we talked -- we talked in a -- in the wintertime, the company, it was very good, you know, when -- they were humans, they drove up to, uh -- to the ramp and -- with, uh -- can -- canisters -- uh, soup, with soup, but for -- for the -- for all of the gates, you know.

MELL: Really.

MARTINEZ: See this one -- when you guys were, normal. (laughter) Yeah, the -- the guys were good, you know, we had no complaints. You know, so you do -- you produce more to an employee. Because they don’t have to be -- you cannot just 23:00-- keep to yourself, -- take care of yourself, you know, bull, you have to take care, you know, that, as human beings, these are the right to -- try to take care of each other. Don’t kick -- you don’t spit, or any, because that isn’t right.

MELL: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But if you ever work for me, guess what. (laughter) I’ll be waiting for you, you son of a bitch. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: No, I couldn’t use -- I could not use, you know.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: So we had a lawyer, a lady lawyer that United put in charge to, uh -- with the Title VII.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: The racial discrimination and sexual advances and all of that stuff, but they went out too far. So, uh -- uh, you couldn’t -- if, while I was on the crew, if I heard cussing words, and I didn’t do anything about it, she will get my -- wring -- uh, she’ll wring my ass out.

MELL: Ah.

24:00

MARTINEZ: So I said, “Oh, well, you tell me what --“ (laughter) So anyhow, they took (inaudible) -- they took us, uh, to a hotel, uh, main section it for us, to go and -- go to these classes, uh, the shop VII, [chart?], what was it, seven. And, uh, we flunked the first time. And -- (laughter) -- I’m talking to the lady, you know, I said, “You know, uh, I, uh -- I refuse to answer -- do you lead -- uh, do I respect, uh -- what do you call it with the -- title -- not Title VII, but, uh, my First Amendment?”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And she shut her mouth, and she says, “Why you got your own -- your lawyer?” “Oh yeah, these guys, here, he’s -- he was my leader.”

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: (laughter) But you know, that’s -- that’s another thing, you know, that, uh -- when we’re talking before, you know that -- we -- we socialize quite a bit with -- within our own little group, you know, but --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Ninety percent of these guys, don’t care, he says, so why wouldn’t you, you don’t have a wife, or what? (laughter) And you don’t want to go and 25:00-- and socialize once in a while, you go pick up, get on at -- a softball team, or soccer player, you know, and all that, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But, uh, they did -- you know, after a while, they did. But uh, we took out, two training sessions for her to release us to the jungle. (laughter)

MELL: And was that because you were, um, kind of the supervisor, so they wanted you to know the rules, or --

MARTINEZ: Uh, no. Uh, it was just -- uh, uh -- Tommy no longer exists, you know, but Tom was the leader of, uh -- the -- all the backrooms.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: And when, uh -- talking to him, he said, “You know, I’m tired of these little lessons.” And then, Tom (inaudible) [did much?], you know, he said, you know, they want to know, uh, where’s his check, how much is in there, and when is the next, uh, raise. I said, “Well, you know, (laughter), you may get pissed off about it, but I’ll think about it. I’ll think about it, (inaudible) I’m not going to let you go out, with that, you know, no way.”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I’m protecting my butt, you know, because you’re going to wrong-terminate for something I didn’t do, you know. (laughter) No way.

26:00

MELL: Mm-hmm. So, when you joined, um, the union, everyone was required to join the union, um, did you, um -- did you hold any offices?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, I was -- uh, I started up with, uh, trustee. And then, uh, uh -- they -- uh, sent -- they said, they said two -- two jobs from there in two are converting to one -- or again -- uh, ooh, what I said? Uh, uh -- I got it on the tip of my -- and I can -- (laughter) I can’t think what I’m saying. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Ah, shit. I’ll think about it.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: But anyhow, yeah. And then, uh -- [clears throat] -- another guy, you know, their -- their -- their current -- recording secretary for -- at that stage, uh, wanted to take a sabbatical, and she said, “I’m -- I’m getting tired of, uh, these jobs here,” you know, and uh -- uh, they’re asking 27:00around, you know, the -- at the executive board, you know, the president, and we -- and, uh, the rest of the -- the executive board there, and -- and, uh, the process, uh -- at EPS is going to leave us. I need a volunteer to be the recording secretary.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: You, yes, come -- get on this side. (laughter)

MELL: Oh, that’s good.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. And, uh, we cla -- uh, we classify the new people from the narisan -- the -- the later [camps/comps?] from, uh -- from the nineties, they gave us, uh -- the crap, that you don’t want to --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- [put it under?], uh, the carpet (laughter) I don’t want to see that. But, uh, no, uh -- uh, I told them -- you know, I said -- see, everything is union. Everything is union. And, any job is union, said, it takes you -- uh, a -- certain amount of the -- the time to do something, that’s fine, you know, but uh, we have to stay on -- on top of, uh -- we were -- we were working twen-- 28:00in 32 pairs of luggage, just in one [beldra?] (inaudible).

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Uh, two ti-- uh, no, four tiers, on each -- on each side, not the little space.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, all the way up to, uh, 32, you know. And, we had a few, uh, goings with the same people, they don’t -- didn’t want to do much --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- work, you know, and then, uh, getting back to this company seniority, says yeah, it is company seniority, but uh, let -- uh, but you know, uh -- these guys are, uh, opportunists -- uh, you know, 100 percent opportunists, you know. So they, uh -- they opened up a -- a driver -- uh, a driving -- two dudes to drive the, uh, the inbound flights, and -- and, uh, in both the outbounds.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, uh -- these guys, it was a -- really a cushioned work in there, you know, it’s just get up, and go and wait for the flights, and go 29:00and, go back and go and hide. But they blew it themselves, you know, they got screwed.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: So you know, they took them back down. And a little bit, uh, older in seniority than the -- the people that I already had there. So they come in, were very cocky, too -- too cocky, and he says, yeah, one of (inaudible) one that guy works, he says who told you “Well there’s this guy here, I was in the [Osteo B?] connector, and I have seniority.” I said, “Well, let’s set one thing straight.” I said “I am a union person. I represent you, and all of that, but I’m not going to per-- I’m not going to let you screw these guys, you (inaudible) [take it in].”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: “Because these are the guys that are -- while you guys were screwing around up in the terminal, you were probably laughing at these guys.” He says -- he says, “You want to call the union?” “I will call it.”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: He says, “Well, but I --“ “What? You don’t have a lane -- a leg to stand on.” I said, “My criteria for you to be is, uh, I don’t care about your company seniority. I don’t care, uh -- uh, if -- if, uh -- if you 30:00let the, uh -- the operation go down the drain willfully. I’m going to haul your -- and I hope they [stake?] they take you out for a walk. But maybe you’re -- you’re -- you’re too stupid or what. You know, I mean, how -- what are you doing there?” So, uh, I -- I made a lot of friends in -- being uh, the lead of the backroom He said, “Hey listen, I am the highest, uh, babysitter,” And I had to also, com-- uh, compatibility (inaudible) I said, I’m not getting paid for being a psychiatrist. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: He said, but anyhow, I says, you know, so you got -- you -- you -- you understand the rules, you know, you screw up with these guys, you’re going to come and talk to me.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, I’m going to get you, and I’m going to do the best I can to keep you out of United, because obviously you don’t need this job.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I said, take off, you know, I said, you want, there is a -- the committee man, and they didn’t -- they didn’t decide -- decide it with -- with me or nothing. What, they respected me. I really have, uh, the respect of, 31:00uh, my peers, you know, so, uh, except for that little clique guys, uh, little -- and, uh, it was working fine, you know, and then --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- us, back in since, uh -- currently, you know, I start moving the people up, you know, and the -- they -- I’m not -- I’m not after your job, (inaudible), but I have a system that you are going to work for, and what I tell you to do, you know, because -- you -- you -- you are not independent. You are not with mom and dad. So we called them the -- the class of the nineties, you know. Said, mom and dad bought you a car. You didn’t have to go to school on the bus. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah, the nineties. Um, so you were -- uh, were you ever shop steward?

MARTINEZ: I started with the -- with -- uh, how -- what is the question again?

MELL: Were you ever a shop steward?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, yeah.

MELL: And --

MARTINEZ: I was, uh, in ’75.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: I was a shop steward, and a -- captain, a strike captain, yeah.

32:00

MELL: Strike captain.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, we, uh -- when -- once we go out on strike, and if it’s going to be a long one, we designate a guy to, uh -- to bring in hot coffee, and rolls, you know, to keep them out there, uh, walking the picket lines.

MELL: Mm-hmm. Did your company ever go on strike?

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: Did your company go on strike?

MARTINEZ: Oh no, we went on strike.

MELL: When was that?

MARTINEZ: Because we were -- uh, and we had four -- five, uh, strikes. Uh, one -- the first one was in -- in 1963. And everybody in the union got fired. They -- they didn’t come back. And then, after that, uh -- and, uh -- in six -- uh, ten year -- ten -- ten, six -- ’96. Ninety-six, uh, another strike that was, uh, 70 -- 55 or 57 days out.

33:00

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: And only because they negotiated for, uh -- for the company and our people, this guy, uh -- uh, he was a total idiot. You know, he said, “Eh, go ahead, you know, you don’t -- you won’t -- you won’t last a week.” And then, that week went by, and a month passes by too. The guy called, uh, my president to say, “We need to sit down.”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Now, we’re not going to sit down, guy, you know -- you know what we have now? It’s -- all the fa-- five major airlines are supporting us. Everybody’s on strike. We shut down Chicago, as far as flights.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, 75 days -- uh, no, 57 days that, we were getting to approach, you know, and come and -- come and -- and he says, well, what is your final line, and -- on -- on, uh, the final, uh, effort you’re gonna give us? You know, and the -- then the money was good. The pres-- the insurance. Uh, they -- they gave us a lot of stuff, you know, from -- from making two bucks, I went up 34:00to make 3.50 plus another dollar and ten for being the shop steward. (laughter)

MELL: That’s good. You doubled.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. And then, like I said -- from now on, from then on, you know, uh -- any function that -- that we needed to do, take care of all of that stuff, for -- so, they -- it frees up, uh, the -- the guys in the executive board, and --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, the guys that are working on the side there. So I said, whatever you need to do, you know, I’ll take care of that. You know, I got -- I got time here, you know, don’t -- don’t kill yourself, you know. And you know, the trick also, you know, that you treat the people the way they want to be treated.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: And it’s -- it’s -- it’s right, you know, but, uh, however if -- some hardheads, uh, don’t believe that, you know, and says, “Hey, listen, it’s not my -- (laughter) -- my skin, you know, you want to get -- go ahead, do it.”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: We do -- uh, we did, uh, quite a bit of damage the luggage, you know, the -- they -- they, uh -- the passenger puts, uh, his lug in the band, you 35:00know, he goes all around.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And it comes on the right b -- uh, on the right, uh, tier, you know. So, uh, when -- when it gets to that -- that, uh, the tier, there is a -- it comes to the -- it comes down, and then it goes to the different sections. But there’s -- uh, another one here, a hydraulic arm that comes up, and grab the -- grab the bag, and puts it on the -- on this [other building?] and go to the destination there.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And we were doing too much damage, you know. And then one guy, uh -- he didn’t give a shit about it, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And he says, “Well, why don’t you go home?” “Oh, I’m going to kill you.” He was doing me a favor, I don’t have to work. (laughter) And I pissed him off. (laughter) So being that he threatened me with life, uh, the, uh -- the -- they have a group that takes care of that from the company.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: He says, hey, uh, somebody made a threat on your life. Uh, I said, and I gave him the name of the guy, said, “Yeah, we’ll just grab him.” Well it’s (inaudible) very simple, you know, let’s go downstairs so I can show you visually what, uh -- the damage they were doing to the luggage.” And 36:00then -- and, uh, they’re not buying freaking bags with the -- mar -- mar -- uh, courtesy bags, you know, with handles, you know, that’s a Mexican bag, you know. (laughs)

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: (laughter) And, uh, I took them downstairs, and uh -- and, there was a lady and a guy and the lawyers. And, uh, I ask, uh, the, uh -- the lead that run the bag, I was just like, “Can you come back here? I need a f-- I need a favor. Help me out.” Said, “What’s up Reg?” “Uh, I got this guy,” I said, uh, “damaged one -- uh, one bag.” And I told him, he says that couldn’t get -- get in -- don’t cover the electronic eye, because I was going to send the luggage to the other end, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And then, all that work is going to be done by somebody else instead of himself. So, I explained to him, that this here, and I gave you ample opportunity, [says it’s just?] gone. Keep your mouth shut. Go to work. And 37:00I’m not gonna -- it’s not gonna go anything more than you and I, you know. And -- and he just pissed me off. It’s, OK, screw it. OK, I guess, I -- go, go home. Go home, I said, I was going to do you -- go and sit in the back room in the lunch room for ten minutes, and come out of there, and have half-an-hour lunch, and come back, and stay on the line, you know. But, uh, since he was up that idiot, you know, he would not recognize -- you know, says -- I’m not playing games, you know. And I’m responsible for you --

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: -- and 33 more people, you know. They need you to come home to your family, you know. If something happens to you, you know, what the heck is going to happen?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, uh, since -- so, there was -- it was just a verbal thing, you know, and there -- but they have to report that to the police, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, uh, a couple of -- I was still working, and, I -- they -- they forced me out, uh, in 2003, you know. They said, either you, uh, take a -- you take a leave, or we’re going to, uh -- we’re going to cut back, uh, more on 38:00-- on, on your -- on your staff, what you’re doing here, you know, uh, try to sell -- salvage as much as you can, and that’s what I did, you know, and, I took it -- bad. (laughter) I lost -- uh, see, we -- we had ownership of the company from ’94 to 2000, and we gave up the equivalent of, uh, over 100 million dollars in -- in concessions that we gave them. We gave them rights to go and -- and only -- only the president of the district is authorized to, uh -- to, uh -- uh, uh negotiate there, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: When it gets to that stage, then we bring in the -- the international, and uh, get -- kind of, cluing in on -- on what’s going on within all that, you know. The thing is, as I said, uh, they’re -- they’re doing that, you know, I said -- I’m not ready to go, but if you don’t go, I -- I’m going to lose quite a bit of seniority, because I retire in June first of, uh, ’03, 39:00and uh, uh -- I was still working for the -- for the district, you know. I became a trustee for the district, now.

MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: And I’m the guy that’s the go-get -- the go-getter. Go-getter. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: So, uh, uh -- I did that, and I went and got some -- I didn’t do -- to a part, it was, uh -- I didn’t pay much -- much attention. But I could have done something better than that, you know. And then, in the end, you know, instead of paying $42 a month for, uh -- Blue Shield, PPO, for the wife, and I, and the kids --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I wound up paying, uh, uh -- it’s so far, this year, it went up -- it’s still, uh, $151 -- and --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But it’s still -- it’s still up there, in the high end of, uh, the Blue Shield, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, uh, I said, well, I still have to work with the -- with the district, and then, uh, my term expires in October ’04, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So I asked, my -- uh, my pres-- my -- my president, and, “Well, what do you want to be, and run the, uh -- you want me to stay, to finish the term, 40:00or you want me to -- just go. Oh, you can stay.” He said, “I need you in there.” I said, “OK, I’ll see you later.” So I finished the last convention here in Anaheim.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, that was my giveaway. Bye! (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: I don’t -- (laughter)

MELL: So you were forced to retire, pretty much, so you didn’t lose benefits?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, that’s -- uh, and, uh, I got -- we got it bad, you know. These guys, there are (inaudible) -- uh, ’94-2000, we gave them 15, 20 percent kickbacks to the -- the company. In 2002, the mechanics were threatening with going out on strike.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And that’s -- that’s mainly that’s what -- why -- one of the key things in there that we got screwed there, yeah.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, uh, uh -- the guy -- uh, what do you call? The, uh -- my -- my last convention, and it was a, uh -- T -- a kiss – kiss, hugs and, crying. 41:00(laughter) My wife, (laughter) she came up with that. They said the -- kiss, hug, and crying. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter) And --

MARTINEZ: But it had -- a good -- I made so many good friends, good people. And it was just, reciprocated, you know.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: Which was reciprocated. You know, every, uh -- every December, uh, we found a winery up in, uh -- in -- in -- down south, and of a -- and, uh, the last, there -- the last, uh, wine -- uh, winery there, it makes a -- uh, champagne, you know, they have made -- flav- uh -- I -- uh -- al-- almonds, uh, flavor.

MELL: Ah yes.

MARTINEZ: It was good.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: So I sent them a couple of bottles, and then another buddy up in San Fran. And you know, a guy in Chicago, other -- the full -- the, uh -- the crew that we get along with out there, you know, in every location. You know, it was -- it was fun here. It was fun. But, uh, you know, uh -- getting back, you know, 42:00at -- I -- something was missed out of me, with my dad not being here, you know. But when he comes, says, “I’m going to leave, and -- and you are the -- you are the -- you’re -- you’re the helper of your mother, you know, you take care of the kids.”

MELL: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: OK. And it was fun, you know. We didn’t get deprived or anything, you know, but, some people like to cry just for the hell of it.

MELL: Yes, I think they should get more. So, um, did you work United in Los Angeles? Or did you --

MARTINEZ: Yeah, yeah, I’m s--

MELL: When -- when did you --

MARTINEZ: I sat here in -- in the kitchen, I sat here in the kitchen in, uh, April 4th. April 4th at, uh -- ’67.

MELL: In Los Angeles, or Chicago?

MARTINEZ: No, in Chica-- no, in Chicago.

MELL: OK. So did you work -- did you work in Los Angeles at some point?

43:00

MARTINEZ: Not until I got -- uh, when I was (inaudible) I put my transfer. So you had to go, uh --

MELL: So when did you transfer? What year?

MARTINEZ: Uh, ’63.

MELL: Oh, OK.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, see, my, uh -- my tour of duty was a -- a year, and fraction. And, uh, I -- got out. I went and talked to my, uh, commander. He says, “Hey, listen. My family’s up in Chicago. I was staying, uh, doing my service. Do you think you can let me go now?”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: (inaudible), so yes. Well why not? They said, you have a -- we had a -- a good thing with those guys, you know, it’s a -- an academy, so they teach you -- I was, uh, the uh, rifle infantry, mountain infantry, the rifle. And also, the machine gun operator. (laughter) We never got to use it. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: In -- in violence. (laughter) We had to go and take them to the shooting range. Because we don’t want to start shooting -- (laughter) That’s right, (inaudible), I thought he was joking with that. Uh, one of my younger brothers, he’s, uh put -- they put the, uh, politics. And, uh, he was, uh -- 44:00what the heck was he? (laughter) It was so funny, that I can’t remember -- (laughter) But, uh, what was it? Uh, that, that -- shoot. Uh --

MELL: You’ll think of it. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: It’ll come back some time this [vacay?]. (laughter)

MELL: Oh wait, OK, so you mentioned that there were several strikes, and you’ve given me two. Uh, one in 1963 that everyone was fired, and then one that went on for ’57 days.

MARTINEZ: And then, uh -- and then in ’79, uh, that was another --

MELL: Seventy-nine?

MARTINEZ: -- oh no, there was 60. And then ’81.

MELL: Eighty-one?

MARTINEZ: Nineteen eighty-one, the pilots went on strike.

MELL: Oh, OK.

MARTINEZ: See that -- that was the -- the backbone of the whole thing. You know, that didn’t last too long, you know.

MELL: No.

MARTINEZ: No --

MELL: Because you can’t do any work if the pilots aren’t flying.

45:00

MARTINEZ: Ah, you know, uh -- uh, they -- they -- uh, the Teamsters, they help us out, you know, they -- the -- the truckers (inaudible) -- anybody that stays in there is not coming out. Either get out there, or you’re going to stay there for the duration, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And some of them didn’t think much of it. They stayed there until the -- there was a contract.

MELL: Really.

MARTINEZ: In Mexico, you know, once you shut down one place, it doesn’t open until it’s finished. And that’s the way that it should be -- I mean, heck your worry is that, all the wasted time and money, and seniority, because the company wants to have that, the upper -- the upper hand, you know, I said, no no no no no.

MELL: (laughter) Um, let’s see.

MARTINEZ: And I never -- uh, I -- I was never called to the service at the heights of Vietnam, you know, I was -- uh, I -- I finished the -- I -- I finished my military service, and I came over, and I don’t know if it had anything to do with the -- with the, uh -- the, the -- uh, the, uh -- ooh. Well, 46:00if you weren’t registered and all that, you know, and then -- and, the other guy says, no, he says, you -- yeah, they -- they called us in for indoctrination.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And I talked to myself. You know what, I think we’re going to be traveling pretty soon. (laughter) And with my luck, it’s going to be Fort Polk in Louisiana, you know, they -- the -- the, uh -- the -- what, something, we put in the -- we got a nickname for that two years. (laughter) But they took us around, and uh, here we are with a little brown bag, under your -- under your [undecent?] and no shoes, no. (laughter)

MELL: Yes, yes. There you go. But you didn’t have to go to Vietnam to serve.

MARTINEZ: No. No, no, they are -- although they are the freaking, I was used to the [staff?] you know, and what I needed to do, uh, I would do it (inaudible) and -- and avoid it. Uh, the guy -- he didn’t make anything out of it, you know, so I didn’t think it was -- it was -- bad or not. (laughter) But I said 47:00no for sure. And, you know, uh, at that time, I’ve always talked about coming up and getting to the full Air Force.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: As a kid, you know, I liked -- I -- I was always playing with the plastic models the -- the airplanes, you know. And (inaudible), you may come through now. (laughter) And, that’s the best of -- uh, of the -- the rest of the branches, (inaudible) you, uh -- you -- you do fly, or you do go to a -- you don’t directly to a -- to a war zone, to try -- to bring in, uh, stuff, by flying the planes in -- out over there, you know, and then, cargo liners. And go on, uh, uh -- when -- when they find out that uh, you know what are you doing, uh, work like that, you know, they’re loading aircraft, cargo yeah, they -- they said on the application, no, you can stay right there. (laughter)

48:00

MELL: (laughter) (inaudible) something just left me. Um, have you -- did you have any extra opportunities because you were part of the union that you may not have had?

MARTINEZ: Well, I didn’t, uh -- in -- in the beginning, yeah. I was new at that. Eh, but, uh -– tha -- uh, when I volunteered to become the RAS, I said, how can I start something new for me, and, uh -- I worry, some of the -- the work, what it takes to move, uh, 42 tiers of, uh -- belts, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And then, up front, and all that stuff, you know. And, uh, up front, and all that stuff, you know. And, uh, then (inaudible) those guys, and nobody -- you know, and I didn’t put too much emphasis on that, because no -- if I’m going to -- if I’m going to, uh, join something, it’s going to be the Air Force, you know, that’s it, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And I don’t want to go with the, uh -- with the Army, or the Navy, or -- or the Coast Guard.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But they said, I had been dreaming, you know, that I wanted to be a 49:00– a cargo liner in the Air Force. (laughter)

MELL: That’s a good dream.

MARTINEZ: Oh yeah, put in 20 years, and get a job. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah, yeah. You get to work first. You had to think that backwards. Um, let’s see. Um -- did you -- since you were from Mexico, and -- and you started working very early, when things were still, um, maybe challenged racially, and -- and by color, by sex, and that sort of thing, did you -- did you notices changes, or any discriminations when you were working?

MARTINEZ: No -- but you know what the funny thing is? Everybody thinks, uh, that is the case in, uh -- in Illinois, or actually the -- well, I don’t know about Ohio. Ohio is non-- non-Democratic, went for the (inaudible) Republican. But, uh -- uh, Illinois, uh, yeah, no sweat, you know. But, uh, I went and registered, and they gave me a -- about a month later, I got my, uh, draft card, at -- and I 50:00was, uh, 1A, for one or two years.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Then, uh, they finally, uh -- they sent, uh, my, uh -- my card, you know, and uh -- uh, it was, what, uh -- hmm. There was, a -- there was no need for me to -- to go anywhere, you know, ah. Everything was falling in place. Uh, uh -- and, uh, I didn’t -- I says I -- uh, first I get to find a job before I can go and move somewhere else. But, uh, if -- if anything, uh -- as far as, uh, discrimination, I’ve noticed more discrimination here in California than in Chicago.

MELL: Really.

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: Ah.

MARTINEZ: And I can see it, you know, in ’65, uh -- ’63 or ’65, uh, there was -- there was a, uh – what was -- there was a huge rally with the Latin -- Latin -- that is, in the Latin with f… I’m a Mexican, not a Latino. I 51:00don’t speak Latin. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: But, uh -- but, uh, I got that, and they classified me one -- 1-Y, and that I don’t know what that is, you know, but I had -- you know, I was 1-A, and then in 4-A, and the final step was the, uh -- the last one, and uh -- uh, I was -- shit, shit, shit, shit -- the, uh, instead of the 4-F guy. (laughter)

MELL: So you didn’t encounter any special issues?

MARTINEZ: No.

MELL: Did you -- did you notice at the time, maybe, that there weren’t, uh, many -- um, blacks, or ladies, uh, as, um -- officers, or, uh in the Grand Lodge? Did you ever notice that?

MARTINEZ: Well you know, I -- I had the -- the ref --(inaudible) -- I had opportunity -- uh, do you ever hear, uh, John Ca -- (inaudible), I mean John -- I mean John -- [Steve Cook?]?

52:00

MELL: Yes, mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: OK, he was -- uh, he was our president. And he was a committee chairman.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh -- uh, after, uh, uh -- we had a new, uh -- a new, uh -- a new board there, and some -- some of the people didn’t come back, you know, and then, Tom, uh, my other mentor, he talks to Steve Cook, and he said, “I’m going to tell Reggie to, uh, volunteer, you know, for that.” “Oh sure, no problem.” Then I went and he says, “You check it with your wife?” “Well, in this case, you know, I don’t think, uh, pants have to do anything with that.” (laughter) No. (laughter) But, you know, the, the -- I said, yeah, I’ll take it. You just, uh, tell me what, uh -- what if you want, well, uh, waiting to, uh, you and Ed do a meeting together. You, uh -- you -- you -- you 53:00ask for, uh – moneys to send to this, uh, companies that’s on -- on strike, you know, you help send them, uh, the first time is 35, or 50 dollars, up to a hundred dollars, yeah.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And we did move a lot of that through, uh -- Arizona, you know, the, uh -- the, uh -- uh, one -- one company, the mining company, uh, we were on strike again, against the company, uh, but they were doing -- uh, I don’t know what kind of -- uh, ore or something -- doing, yeah -- but, uh -- uh, (inaudible) they said. Then 20 -- no, not 21 -- yeah, 21, 21 year, yeah, I decided that’s it, you know, let somebody else, uh, do their -- I’ll teach whatever you need to be, uh.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But unfortunately, we had, uh, some really bad people with the ticket agent ladies, yeah.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, uh -- they -- they’ll stab you in the back, put a big -- you know, a big smile in the front, and -- ready for one more Mex-- (laughter)

MELL: My goodness.

54:00

MARTINEZ: And then, uh, oh, after that, you know, so, uh, there was a -- Steve did a one -- one or two turns in the –- on the, on the local lodge. And then, then they offered him, uh -- he was still a teacher too, you know, so they offered him, uh, to -- uh, to go to a -- to come here to be a trainer, you know. And, they says, shit, you know, I’m going to leave, you know, what are you going to do? He said, well I -- I – I might stay a little bit longer, until I can find somebody and train them and all that. (inaudible) he or she, says, oh that’s good. I’ll get you that. He said, no, (inaudible) you shouldn’t any problems with that.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: As a matter of fact, as if let’s see who’s going to be the, uh, appoint, uh, the -- the -- the director of the, uh, district office, you know, I says, well I gum -- if I become the director, you’re going to be my, uh -- A-man.

MELL: Yeah. So, you were pretty progressive then, that -- that -- were there ladies on the executive board then, or -- none at that time?

MARTINEZ: Oh no, not at that time, uh --

MELL: Not at that time.

55:00

MARTINEZ: But later, we had one, she was a fueler. She left and actually -- not -- (laughter) actually, I (inaudible). (laughter) Actually was a -- it’s -- uh, recall her as a fuelette. (laughter)

MELL: Fuelette. That makes sense.

MARTINEZ: (laughter) I’m not insulting her. (laughter) And I think that was the only girl -- lady, that, uh -- that was out there with us, you know, because we had -- everybody -- everybody was good, you know, and then, we got -- uh, in the early sixties, uh, I wasn’t here then, but, uh, the -- the, uh Department of Labor stepped in and, uh closed down the local lodge, until there is a -- a -- a search -- why, what happened, why -- is all of this crap coming along, and uh, they were doing something. Something -- somebody walked away with money, no 56:00question, but who -- or not, says. But -- yeah, that’s it there, you know, says -- that -- is when -- if I get it, you will get it, and that was the weekend before 9/11. We were in New York. (laughter)

MELL: Oh my goodness.

MARTINEZ: Cutting it short. (laughter) You know, I have -- I also, you know, I use -- besides doing that, the trustee, I was in charge of, uh, authorizing the, uh -- the daily, brief, you know, that -- they -- they go out of town, all their expenses, and food, and all of that, they fill in the -- uh, the request of, a, payment. And, uh -- uh and, uh do the, uh, do the adjustment, you know, and, uh, it -- it was a piece of cake too, you know. But, uh, I did, uh, work with that. And then, uh, there was, uh, one of the guys from Chicago that thought he was -- 57:00he should be the -- the Geo, uh, -- the district 141, uh, m-- uh, owner. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, he said, “Well, uh, I’m going to resign.” I said, “OK, God bless him.” But uh, we don’t have you in mind -- I don’t know where you got the idea that we were -- you would be the, uh -- the person, you know. There was only two people.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And where were you when we agree on which one we are going to support? You know, it’s just two people, you know. And -- Steve was one. And uh, who was the other guy? Uh -- oh, this other -- Don -- Don Johnson. He was the other one. Then when he found out that that wasn’t going to happen, he resigned and retire. And so this -- the, uh -- the president of the, uh district, yeah, 142, we split up, uh, the [anfa raids?] they had, uh -- they split up the -- the IAM, you know, mechanics and related -- are --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

58:00

MARTINEZ: -- are with him, and, uh, we picked up the rest, which is better with smaller foot, but when we organized the ticket agents that was 9,000 people, you know. That was a lot of people.

MELL: Nine thousand in Chicago?

MARTINEZ: No, in ah -- systemwide.

MELL: Oh, OK, systemwide, OK.

MARTINEZ: Systemwide, yeah. And -- and -- and -- [al final?], (inaudible) uh, there were two -- a few more people there that lost their job. But uh, that’s the nature of business. And then all of the sudden, the ticket agents, it’s all-female group.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: And I had no problems. We never gave -- we never gave them any hard -- he said, “You tell me who you want me to, uh -- who do you want me to tain-- to train.” All you had to do is give me a phone call.” “No, a gentleman don’t do that.” I said, “Well I’m not a gentleman, and, uh, this is what you needed. Do you, or don’t you?” But she didn’t -- she didn’t [give a 59:00really hurt?] So I said, “Screw you,” and that’s it, you know. Then they start talking crap.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: You know, they involve the international, and then, unfortunately, you know, they brought this freaking piece of shit, that came out of, uh, 142, a mechanic, yeah, and they brought him over from -- from 142, or 141, yeah. And he was a beauty, you know, this piece of shit. (laughter)

MELL: And who’s that?

MARTINEZ: Hmm?

MELL: Who is that that you’re talking about?

MARTINEZ: He’s -- he’s the current, uh, Grand Lodge rep for, uh, for us here.

MELL: For District 141?

MARTINEZ: Mm-hmm. Top secret. (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm. Um, currently, for United? OK. Um, oh OK. So what -- which District Lodge were you in in Chicago? I mean, what, uh, local lodge were you in in Chicago?

MARTINEZ: Uh, 1487.

MELL: Fourteen --

60:00

MARTINEZ: Chicago, Chicago, uh -- is my local lodge. Fourteen eighty-seven.

MELL: Eighty-seven.

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: That’s --

MELL: And now you’re helping out because you relocated to California, so you’re helping out with 1932?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, I’m still involved with, uh, 1932, you know.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: We’re still involved in it, you know, we take care of -- see, where we have a unique situation. We got -- we have people that retired in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and the 2000s.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Now, try to spread that out. (laughter) You can see that -- it’s shrinking, it’s shrinking.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: TWA end up, uh, meeting in -- at the -- at a Home, uh -- Home Depot, not (inaudible) a restaurant, you know or something (laughter) --

MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: And I went up going that wide, you know, and then we, uh -- uh, we wrote up, uh, the bylaw for -- for that, you know, that, uh, as long as there is a TWA employee alive, we will give them the money that, uh -- would have learn (inaudible), as if, uh, everybody was there (inaudible), and he said -- so we are -- we got in, seen the books, and they -- they were -- they were 61:00[careerers?] and worried that we were going to go and screw them, you know, and I (inaudible) said, no, we’re not, uh, Teamsters.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: We’re not 142, you know -- uh-uh. You got nothing to worry. A matter of fact, I said, I’m going to make a motion, that we get you out of the way right away. You know, don’t give them a chance to go (inaudible) [dig more?] (inaudible). But by then, there were a couple of rotten commies [write/right?] -- bad ones -- some lady, some guy there. And they just disrupt the meetings. You know, we had to escort the -- the -- the one woman there, get her out of here. We don’t need her here.

MELL: During a meeting? Wow. And was that, in Chicago?

MARTINEZ: Yeah -- no, that was here. That was out here, in, uh -- in Chicago, you know, I created some -- when I was leaving there, we had good -- good friendship with the -- with the -- with the office of the lodge, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But, uh, lately, they -- they went south, and, uh, whoever thought that this guy was going to be the -- the president forever, you know, has 62:00another thing coming. You know, the -- the -- the circle goes around.

MELL: It does, it does. Um, did you do anything out in the neighborhood, or anything, um -- uh, outside work for the union? Did you go door-knocking during --

MARTINEZ: Oh yeah.

MELL: Uh-huh.

MARTINEZ: I have done that. A matter of fact, you know, I goes -- I wasn’t alone, uh, from, uh, 147, uh, 1240-- uh, what’s -- 1487, I was on loan to a -- uh, a small -- a small company, uh -- well, small, out there, but uh, it’s, uh, called, uh, Carbon Fibers, and what they -- man-- manufacture is the cone of the nose, and uh, the, uh -- hydraulic systems for the brakes. But, uh, it was all Central Americans, South Americans, and there was just abuse (inaudible) from a German company.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, somebody dropped my name -- here, because I used to hang 63:00around, uh -- around there all over the place, you know, when -- when -- when we had to go, and we haven’t received the ballots, you know, at -- everybody, go -- go through your neighbors, and we’re not going to let these suckers get in and (inaudible).

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, that -- that’s -- I stayed there six months. We were winning -- we lost the first time. But then we file a protest, and uh, they were cheating somewhere along it. A Cuban law lim-- uh, law firm, you know, uh, uh -- very good people to -- to -- (laughter) get rid of contracts and all that shit. (laughter) No, it’s -- it’s funny though, how life is sweet here, and sour here.

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: But you still manage to go -- go through it. (laughter)

MELL: Yes, yes.

MARTINEZ: No, uh, and then, uh, I started, uh -- with them guys, you know. I don’t know if you remember, the uh -- the shooting out there in the valley, the -- what -- how long have you been out here?

MELL: Um, in -- in, uh -- Nevada?

MARTINEZ: In Nevada, yeah.

64:00

MELL: Since ’97.

MARTINEZ: Oh, OK. But you haven’t come in in -- through here until now, right, or --

MELL: Right.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. And, you know, that was, uh -- like I said, I started doing that, and, uh -- and then, after that, uh, uh -- we came -- we went back to, uh, redo the, uh -- the election. And this time, we won, you know, they --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- they said we won, and -- and, uh, the bad part, you know, I -- I felt sorry for these guys, you know, the -- the kids you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: They go in this neighborhood, you know, the -- in Hollywood, with their freaking potheads. Their schools are not that far, and these guys are peddling crap in their -- the, uh, the entire house, it looks like a freaking jail cell.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I tell my -- my -- my kids, uh -- complaining too much about little stuff. You know, “You know what guys, what if we go and visit these people, that I know, and the -- let’s go and get them -- let’s go and have a barbecue at their house, you know.” They said “Why, dad?” “Because you 65:00are complaining all the time, that -- that somebody’s stealing something, so I want you to see what it really – what the reality is, living in a good home – “

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: “ -- than -- live here, you know.”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: “And, uh -- and yet they make it, you know.” But they said, “uh, not -- not speaking English, and all that,” it took a -- I’m sure it did take a -- a toll on -- s--, uh, there’s another word I want to hear, their -- this -- desperation, or something, it -- it all accumulates, is, how we’re going to do it --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- next time, you know, and, uh -- and, uh, these people here, they think, uh -- they says, no, the -- the first thing they do is, uh, they -- they get hurt, they go to, uh -- they go to, uh, uh -- their hospitals there that they didn’t charge anything, you know, they take care of him. He says, “Oh, what have you -- (inaudible) a lot of you Latinos are plundering the -- the fund,“ he said, “And how, how do you do that?”

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: “Because I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t know what you’re talking about, you know, so --” uh, heal them up (inaudible) and 66:00-- and, uh, then, move on, “Yeah, [that], I see that it’s not going to go anywhere,” I -- this one guy, uh -- uh, (inaudible) anti-unions, and, uh, Republican. A redneck.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, uh -- they were doing -- went -- with Katrina they went -- both, the wife and him, you know, they went out, help out out there. But his demeanor when he gets back, all –- Oh no, oh no. But anyhow, they, uh -- he went to a place here in Baja, uh, Laredo.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh -- something happened out there. I can’t remember, uh -- hmm. Da-da-da-da-da, no, that is not going to come out. But, uh -- uh, then, 67:00the, uh -- we settled, uh, we settled the contract, and then, we did it all -- all that, uh, and I have, you know -- we have one, uh, at a business [first/fast?] [BP?] (inaudible) [threes?]. I had a whole batch, (inaudible), I ask him, he said “I think I don’t have to, uh, call you all the time, you know, not -- the girl in Chicago, and then, they met them with to me,” I said, why don’t you just ask, uh, if she wants to give me five at a time, or ten at a time, whatever she wants to do, so I don’t have to get her out of work (inaudible) --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- [get it at work?], you know. And, she did that, and, a very, very nice lady, and uh, when -- when I came out in, you know, I, uh -- was not the secretary of the district, and uh, uh, I came in with a ca-- uh, a basket of fruit, you know this.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, the lady, that helped me in getting the, uh, the uh, tickets, I got her a little gift, you know, the -- Miss, Madam, what’s a good -- Lady Godiva --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- and chocolate. (laughter)

68:00

MELL: Nice. A lady always like chocolate. Got to go there.

MARTINEZ: (laughter) Oh, she -- she sent me a nice, thank-you letter. (laughter)

MELL: That’s nice. So you mentioned that you did get married and had kids. And how old are your kids now?

MARTINEZ: Twen -- uh, uh, my daughter is 20 -- 22.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And my son’s 21. They were born, same day, April the 18th, two years apart.

MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: I told her, I said -- who was sleeping on my side? (laughter) It’s like --

MELL: And what do they do? Are they working now?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, he’s a -- deputy sheriff.

MELL: Oh, deputy sheriff.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, my daughter, you know, she’s -- I’m glad that she was the first one, you know?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: The brains are quicker than in the -- little shits. (laughter)

MELL: That’s good, so you’re proud of them.

MARTINEZ: We -- we got into a -- into an era where I think the relationship is flourishing a little more, they’re one-on-one, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

69:00

MARTINEZ: But I have a very bad character, you know it -- I will not -- mm. I will forgive, but I will not forget. That’s my [quarter?] (inaudible).

MELL: That’s you? Yeah.

MARTINEZ: Make it short so you don’t --

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: -- read -- write a speech or -- (laughter).

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Oh, I, uh -- you know, the, uh -- I am not a Catholic, or religious parent, but I haven’t found anything that fills that void, you know, and -- in Mexico, uh, I was baptized, and -- and, uh, the other one, the kind of -- kind of, a, hold you -- hold your breath underwater. (laughter)

MELL: Yes, underwater. (laughter) Yeah.

MARTINEZ: And I think it was three -- three, uh -- three areas in one, uh -- what is it, she’s from -- October, or Novem-- December, that way. But she’s, uh -- you can say that I robbed the cradle. (laughter)

MELL: Did you?

70:00

MARTINEZ: I’m uh, 13 years her senior?

MELL: That’s OK. Where did you meet her?

MARTINEZ: Uh, the school.

MELL: At -- at the school?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, (inaudible).

MELL: Oh, did you really?

MARTINEZ: No, there was a -- are you familiar with, uh -- with the areas in Southern Cal?

MELL: With the what?

MARTINEZ: The area in southern Cal -- Redondo Beach, and all of that stuff?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Yeah, that’s -- where we met, uh, she is from Spokane, and uh, her best friend in -- in -- in school, and in -- Spokane, they went together. And then the girl, she was very good to -- designing dresses, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, I think then -- they got off real good. You know, they sent her to, uh Milan --

MELL: Oh.

MARTINEZ: To the new, uh -- new stuff that is coming out before the next year and all that.

MELL: Really?

MARTINEZ: And, uh, Lena (inaudible) came and visit. “I’m going to come back. This is great.” (laughter) So here’s the dummy that show up to this bar -- (laughter) All uh, uh -- Fridays, you know, we went out and, uh, uh, we’re 71:00dated for quite a bite, you know that one of the first ladies that I brought home to mom, you know, that – I limited it to two. (laughter) But -- but we were trolling around, you know. (laughter)

MELL: You just didn’t bring them home. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: No, uh, uh -- it was a -- a, a restaurant bar.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And there is a sister bar that’s over in San Pedro. But anyhow, uh, when -- where were we? Uh, we were playing backgammon, and then she comes in and looks at me. Walked the other way. But then, uh, uh -- I’m out there making eyes at her. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: She go, and she says, hey, “Let’s go and dance.” OK. I said, “What about the next one?” “Oh, let’s wait, let’s wait here and wait here a long while or awhile.” So OK. And then, uh -- uh, we married in ’81.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

72:00

MARTINEZ: And, uh, the -- first kid, next year, the following year. (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: She was Carla Sherry and Matthew, Matthew Antony. That’s my boy.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: But it was -- uh, like I said, with -- with Carla, she is very -- a very, uh, strong-willed, uh --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Uh, you know, she -- she goes out with a di a did and they become -- they become an issue and all of a sudden boom, they are all over the place, and she’s, what happened? I don’t want to hear that name again, please.

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Of course, dear, of course dear. (laughter) But I like that in her, because she takes care of herself.

MELL: Yes. That’s good. So you raised her (inaudible) --

MARTINEZ: And Matthew, that shit -- this -- (laughter) when they were about this here, “Matthew.” He said, “Yes, dad.” If you see there, there was one little guy that come -- uh, worked around the neighborhood. If you see this guy, 73:00if you see, say yeah. What, what about that? If he ever -- if he ever comes and knocks on the door and calls your sister, you beat the shit out of him, right there -- (laughter)

MELL: That’s what she told him? (laughter)

MARTINEZ: (laughter)

MELL: So I guess he didn’t come by. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Oh really? Oh really dad? (inaudible) (laughter)

MELL: So what does he do now? Does he work?

MARTINEZ: Who, Matthew?

MELL: Your son, yes.

MARTINEZ: No, he’s a -- deputy. Deputy sheriff.

MELL: Oh, he’s the deputy sheriff.

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: And your daughter, what does she do?

MARTINEZ: She was a -- she used to work for, a -- a -- fabric, uh -- a farm -- not a farm, you know. Shoemakers, in -- up in Palos Verdes. And, they have -- and that’s all they do, uh, women’s shoes.

MELL: They make shoes.

MARTINEZ: They (inaudible) two, these things, this size.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: They are down there, they are -- they have so much, uh, sh-- uh, shoe that these guys sell, and then two X first a year, and then -- (laughter) by the way, I kind of get on her ass once in a while, I say, “How come that, uh, when 74:00you left here, you wear -- you have six pairs of shoes. Now you’re back, you got seven -- seven pairs. Seven pairs.” “Oh dad, the price was right.” I said, “I know it’s (inaudible), you got a freaking closet full of shoes.” And my wife --

MELL: Yes, so does she make them or design them?

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: Does she make the shoes, or design them?

MARTINEZ: What part?

MELL: The shoes?

MARTINEZ: No, they -- no, they -- they do the whole thing for, uh, making, and ship it out, and all that stuff.

MELL: So what part does she do?

MARTINEZ: Uh, sending the stuff around, and fill up -- uh, filling out the order, and all that. And, uh, they -- they make a good -- uh good -- uh, good shoe, yeah.

MELL: Are they union there, at her --

MARTINEZ: No, no, they -- I don’t think so, not -- not the first thing I asked, you know, I -- (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: When, when, uh -- when the kids were born, you know, I -- she picks up, uh Carla. And then, the s -- and Carla says, “What is this?” Hey, pick -- come here, what -- where’s the IAM logo here on her wrist?

MELL: (laughter)

75:00

MARTINEZ: This is not my kid, you know, where is the eagle right here? (laughter) And Matthew, the same -- the same way. It -- where is the -- the model of -- what do you mean, you know? He is in -- a union member. He is an IAM member. He said, “Where is this stuff (inaudible)?”

MELL: So is your son in a union, does the deputy sheriff have a police union or anything?

MARTINEZ: You know, uh -- you know, this company is making money, and they bring in -- mm, more people, more -- more educated, and because of that, they have to pay them more, and quite a bit more, you know, so, all of this fun -- uh, five or six, or ten people, that don’t -- that don’t get -- they haven’t gotten a raise in four years.

MELL: Wow.

MARTINEZ: Are out here, and these people are making a hundred thousand a year.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh --

MELL: Do you think they could get organized?

MARTINEZ: No, because -- uh, well, we haven’t tried it, though. We haven’t tried it. But, uh -- uh, I don’t think, uh -- they would -- but then, if you 76:00don’t ask you don’t know what exactly will --

MELL: Especially if they’ve waited four years.

MARTINEZ: Well, that’s a good point, you know. Because I’m still -- I’m still helping out with the -- with, if there’s any organizing drive, you know, we -- we did United, we went on five times. We won, and -- on the fifth. (laughter) The fifth time is the time charm you know.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: And we won, and then, uh -- uh, I was, uh, with one of my guys, that he is an organizer for -- for the company, uh, for the Grand Lodge. And, uh, we became friends, and -- uh, we worked together with -- through -- on that campaign, you know. We, uh -- we traveled, uh southern LA.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And parts of, uh, north, uh -- uh, San Diego. (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And then on east of the -- east of the 405.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: We did a lot of that stuff in there, you know. And then, uh -- uh, the 77:00guys says, uh, uh -- what else -- what else, what else? Mm.

MELL: Did you enjoy the traveling?

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: Did you enjoy the traveling, when you were --

MARTINEZ: Not anymore, you know, not anymore. Because I’ve done that in -- in ’71, and then in ’73, when I went to Europe. And, uh, it was fun, for a -- for -- for the -- for the (inaudible) [nine?] and all that, because, I went directly, uh, from -- from here to, uh, JFK, and from JFK, Al Italia, to -- to Rome.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And from Rome to Spain. I studied that long, and come back, and, I -- I, I -- I got, uh -- I got situated in a hotel halfway between the city and -- and the airport, you know, so -- it used to be the Hilton -- Hilton Cavaleri.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I -- I was out there for a week. Said, “Where are you going now?” “I’m going to go to Portugal. I’ll see you in a couple of days.” (laughter)

MELL: Nice.

78:00

MARTINEZ: And the thing, you know, was -- then, and in the seventies, they divided the -- the coun-- the countries.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And for a hundred a quarter, you could go and visit almost everything. (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: If something else, it’s going to be a little more expensive, you know, but uh, I went -- I went on the (inaudible), you know, I got passes up the (inaudible)? (laughter) And then, uh -- uh, the following year, then, uh -- Greek, you know Grecia, I -- I’d forgotten about that, you know, and, uh, I went up there. Now like -- I like, uh, the old history of, uh, the -- the Greeks.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: I -- I got, uh -- or, I had so many, uh -- many, r-- uh, books on, uh -- on, uh -- on, uh, on uh on uh bapapa, (inaudible). (laughter)

MELL: On Greece?

MARTINEZ: Ah, papa. Greek, Greece. Greece. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah.

79:00

MARTINEZ: How do I forget the Greece, you know they call us Greeks (inaudible). (laughter) No, but -- it was fun, and going, you know, they -- they, uh -- they’re the cradle, the cradle of the, uh -- democracy.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: From -- the Romans had some, but it -- it wasn’t -- it wasn’t anything compared to, uh, Greece, you know, the islands, and -- and, uh, the feat that the 300 Spartans beat the crap out of, uh -- the, uh -- the, uh -- the oppressors that were, uh -- on the -- on the -- (laughter) -- on the beach trying to get in, and you couldn’t do it.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Until they built a horse. (laughter)

MELL: (inaudible) They figured it out.

MARTINEZ: Yeah. (laughter)

MELL: Um, have you attended any classes here at the Winpisinger?

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: Did you attend any classes her at the Winpisinger? Union classes, while you were part of United?

80:00

MARTINEZ: Mmm, I -- uh, this is the longest I’ve been, uh, here.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: I got, uh -- a -- whenever there’s something to do, uh, they call me. [They batch?], because I tell them, “Guys,” I say, “Don’t bother with the -- don’t bother with the ticket agents. Don’t bother with anything else. What do you want to be done? Do you want me to go to a -- to, uh start a -- stri-- a strike or a picket, or do you want me to do something else?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: You should just call me, because uh, somebody helped me, an old guy, (inaudible) to help me to get to where -- where I got, at -- at the expense of his well-being.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: That’s (inaudible) recognized, uh, what -- what’s right, and what is wrong here.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So I tell him, you know, I got to go to, uh -- I got to go to -- back to it in October. We have the final chapter for the thing we’re doing with the seniors.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Because, we were -- uh, we were -- we were -- we already had three meetings. I missed one, uh, last year, so I’m going to have to go and make up for that. And then from then on, I got to go and take a test to be certified, to 81:00the -- we -- we -- we’re using, uh, the template, uh, that we used for the, uh -- for the active employees, you know, that assisted -- uh, the, uh -- this is what, whatever. (laughter) But, uh -- I -- I missed that one -- the one, uh, class I had to go, and then, right… go ahead and, -- go and get a license. And mainly, uh -- it’s -- I guess it’s going to be, uh, centered in -- in the, uh -- or -- on the -- elderly people we have. And uh, I said we are going to, uh we have a -- they have a lodge, they gave us an office. We got computers and all that. But we’re still working around (inaudible) which way we’re going to approach it, you know, because this -- normally, we just go and start handing out, uh, leaflets, and all that stuff.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But it’s already there, you know, so we had to do, uh, something different. And, uh -- uh, they -- I tell -- we tell them, he says, if you need 82:00to travel, let us know. We’ll -- (inaudible), if you want to -- uh, if you’re removable say, don’t just give me all the info on the phone, yeah.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But we’ll take care of your flying in and out. If there’s any contingencies, uh, we’ll call -- call us up, and we’ll take care of that. And, uh, if you -- live far?, and whatever you need, you know, the -- if you -- if you need a-- uh -- uh, what these guys are doing, and I don’t know where -- or they -- all those, I think they retired and start drinking alcohol again.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And uh, doing drugs. That didn’t much, uh mind the -- the -- the wine you know, but even though it -- wine is wine, and it has, uh, 12 percent --

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: That’s the only thing I like about it.

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: You get knocked out so fast. (laughter) See.

MELL: So you’re doing that all as a retiree now, in -- in --

MARTINEZ: Yeah, with the -- we -- we make the meetings. If I’m in town, I make -- make the meetings.

MELL: Back to the regular meetings.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, we do, a dinner dance, uh, at the end of the year. The first -- uh, our meetings, uh, the second Tuesday of the month is -- are the 83:00senior’s meeting, and it’s all potluck, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh --

MELL: Do you have a good turnout for that?

MARTINEZ: Yeah. Some days, uh, if he have 15, 20, that’s OK, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But, uh, normally, if we have something that happens (inaudible) we need to go over both, you know, they can.

MELL: They do. That’s fantastic.

MARTINEZ: If they’re -- if they’re, available to work, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Because, about two or three are -- on wheelchairs, and uh, they’re not well -- it’s -- it’s not right for them to -- now, stay home, we’ll mail you everything.

MELL: Mm-hmm, yeah, that’s definitely (inaudible).

MARTINEZ: You fill it up, and then give it to somebody to -- to take it for you, or -- or mail (inaudible).

MELL: So you’re keeping very busy then, with retirees, and keeping --

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: -- in your community. And with this, um -- with this project that you’re doing with the history of the local, and the history of the IAM, what do you guys hope to get from that? What’s your plan?

MARTINEZ: Uh, we’re going to have to find him, and thank him for where we got. (laughter)

MELL: Yeah.

84:00

MARTINEZ: It is late, but uh, it’s never too late for that.

MELL: Late.

MARTINEZ: No again, hopefully, uh, it’s -- it took me a few years. Not a few years, but uh, but my wife likes to go -- anytime we -- we used to go to conventions in Honolulu, she would write her name first, and no -- no --

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: -- and nobody, just one line, cut it off. (laughter) She’s picking up (inaudible) bad habits. (laughter) No, she likes to do that and -- and doesn’t give me any -- anything, or -- anything to make her think that I’m, uh, screwing around. (inaudible) Listen, uh, why do you think I turn 70, now and this month, you know, I said, “I’m 70. You think I t-- I -- I turned 70 because I was careless?” (laughter) Or because I knew, and -- I knew better. That’s it, you know. Once, that, you get hit, you know, the -- sometimes it’s better to shoot you so you don’t go through the pain. (laughter) 85:00(inaudible) No, but it’s, uh -- I enjoy that, you know, I enjoy --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And she knows. You know, what -- they call the -- the widows, uh, of uh, the -- the last convention, (inaudible) when I took a retirement, you know. (laughter)

MELL: Yes.

MARTINEZ: Ah.

MELL: Will you be attending the retirees conference in Las Vegas?

MARTINEZ: Yeah, yes, definitely, yes.

MELL: End of the year? Well that’s good. If --

MARTINEZ: No, just see, I like to see, what -- I like to see more -- more involvement. Uh, uh, we can -- we can -- we can do a -- a bingo night. We had the -- the space. We had that, and get the, uh -- get a -- senior shuttle home, you know, because --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: -- how long can you take pict -- be watching movies, you know?

MELL: Yes, yeah. That’s a good point. You can get them out and get them busy. And, um --

MARTINEZ: (laughter) You know, that’s, uh -- but I love it. You know, I -- I didn’t mind doing that. You know, I wish I would have stayed. No, no, I said no, I said, I needed to learn the -- the ropes. Somebody has to keep track of the history, and --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

86:00

MARTINEZ: These people are -- they’re -- they’re not doing much of a -- writing minutes, you know, so I -- I can get, uh -- no, I think that was the first thing they threw out, you know. But, uh, normally, I would get all the -- uh, all the, uh -- all the -- all the mail that we get normally every month you know. And then, uh, I go out there to the -- to the lodge. And then we start separating, uh, the mail -- everybody’s mail, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, after that, you know, take a look at what we need to do. Here, what are we going to eat dinner, or what -- what’s it gonna be, you know, and -- and, uh, we do not serve alcohol at all.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: [If everyone?] Because -- when the law (inaudible) passed at the, last served, he get the -- the hatchet. (laughter)

MELL: Mm-hmm. That’s good. You stay pretty active. Um, is there anything else you can think of that I may have forgotten to ask you that you want to share?

MARTINEZ: No, you know what, uh -- it’s -- it’s funny, you know, uh, we took care of the -- uh, the ideas (inaudible) and doubts -- ideas of, uh, my dad, you 87:00know. To a point, you know. But, uh, I’m trying to move, uh -- what we have right now, with us, and the new retirees, and see what happens.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh, we have to, uh -- we have to take people to, uh, the, uh entities to, uh -- take care, they are taking care for them and all that. You know, he says, I don’t want to go to a -- an orphanage, or -- or anything, with these guys, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Uh-uh. If they’re going to go, uh -- uh, natural causes, that’s fine. But a situation will arise where you can’t -- or you don’t want to do that, or you shouldn’t do that, (inaudible). Me, I said, uh -- uh -- cremation, (inaudible). Because, uh, once I’m gone, you know, you (inaudible) come and visit me. And -- if -- if you do that, I’m going to go, “See, I tell you.” (laughter) Or, I’ll drop my pants, and I’m going to moon you. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

88:00

MARTINEZ: Oh, you missed a lot of fun. Uh, uh, the last time, said, that we’re going to uh, Honolulu, you know. Uh, but the -- the trademark is, is that we go to any convention, and they took us to the, uh -- the happy Hawaiian village, and saw the -- show out there, and -- and on the way back, on the airplane -- on the what is (inaudible), one side of the – the aisle -- (laughter).

MELL: Really -- (laughter)

MARTINEZ: [with rubbing my very slope, and jus corkis was at??] -- (laughter)

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Well that’s -- that was the standard, you know, we do it -- who’s going to do it now, everybody. (laughter) The, the -- George, uh, wife, you know. “What did he do?” (laughter)

MELL: Oh really? (laughter) Oh my goodness.

MARTINEZ: We told the guy, I said, go very slow here.

MELL: Yeah, go slow.

MARTINEZ: (laughter)

MELL: Oh my gosh.

89:00

MARTINEZ: Said, life is a trip -- get it -- get the best out of it, get the best --

MELL: Sounds like you have. Sounds like you have.

MARTINEZ: Not that -- I don’t think, uh, one is a -- uh, I lost the, uh -- no, you have to have said more -- more people in -- involved, in that.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But we got too many -- too many egotistical (inaudible) persons, you know, that don’t -- (inaudible) leave out there, but one day wait is not going to kill you.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: We’re going to feed you. (inaudible) We cannot give you food, you know, because -- not food, but liquor.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: Because, that, I don’t want the -- the lodge liable for it.

MELL: Have them go home.

MARTINEZ: Yeah.

MELL: How do you get your members motivated to help you?

MARTINEZ: Uh, when I -- when -- when -- when there is a, uh -- a lot of controversy between the two groups.

MELL: Which two groups?

MARTINEZ: Uh, the ramper stores, rampi stores and the public contract employees.

MELL: OK.

MARTINEZ: With United only.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

90:00

MARTINEZ: And, uh, the, uh -- the rest of the, uh -- are taken care of, uh -- the USA -- not USA, but, uh, (inaudible) and, uh -- and US Air.

MELL: So (inaudible).

MARTINEZ: And the rest of the guys do their own -- their own, uh, meetings and all that stuff.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, for us, for this guy, uh -- he -- he gained quite a bit, you know, because he -- (laughter) There are not many, uh -- not many more people that are going to -- (inaudible) going to be helping out, you know. And right now, uh -- right now, there is, uh -- there is a need for -- for more people, you know, with, the --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But right now, we’re having a -- a little bit of a – prob -- not problem, you know, my mom, uh -- my mom has, uh, Alzheimer’s, so, uh --

MELL: Oh that’s terrible.

MARTINEZ: -- that’s what they want, (inaudible), one thing my father says, uh, he says, “Whatever you do, don’t let them -- don’t let them, uh put her in a -- an asylum.”

MELL: Mm-hmm.

91:00

MARTINEZ: “Don’t go near the f-- the -- the flames.” (laughter) “Because now,” he says, “there, what do you think, uh, they’re going to do to your mother,” he says?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: You see how it is (inaudible) and they got medication. He said, what do you think they’re going to do there?

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: They’re going to drug her, and she’s not even know, uh, what.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: So we’ll see what happens, yeah, one step at a time, you know. But, uh -- I still believe in -- we will survive. Very hard.

MELL: Yeah. It sounds like you’re doing good things. And doing good things in your community.

MARTINEZ: Pardon?

MELL: You’re doing good things in your community, and that’s good.

MARTINEZ: Mm-hmm. No see, we’re in touch with, uh -- with the fire department, and police department. And anytime we need something, (inaudible), we’re going to have something (inaudible) there is a couple in places in there behind the, uh -- behind the -- the local, uh the -- there’s -- there’s some people living in a little complex.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And then, there is a school for, uh -- uh, [Egypt -- Egyptians?], (inaudible), whatever that is, I think it’s a school, they -- they do -- you 92:00know, they do in -- in -- right next door to the -- the lodge, you know, down the street from the lodge. And thankfully, so far there hasn’t been any problems. You know, there’s still some good people there. You know, they’re not -- whackos, you know.

MELL: Yeah. That’s good. So, anything else? Any last words?

MARTINEZ: (laughter) Let’s see what -- uh, [whistles]

MELL: I guess not. I guess I’ve got you to say everything. (laughter)

MARTINEZ: (laughter)

MELL: I think a good thing though is, since you do have such, um, already kind of a rapport with the retirees and that in your neighborhood, uh, if you do have some [for?] in your local, that you can go out and record them as we’ve done today.

MARTINEZ: Meh.

MELL: Because -- you know when you just sit and talk to me --

MARTINEZ: (inaudible)

MELL: -- it gets pretty easy, you know we just --

MARTINEZ: I -- I told him, you know, when the new -- new people came in, I said, “Don’t -- don’t be afraid. You know, you’re going to be some times that you’re not -- you’re going to wish that you didn’t take the job, you know.”

93:00

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: But, uh, nevertheless, I’m here. I’ll help you out.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And I’m not begging you to give you the job. Accord-- remember that, you know, says -- if you feel that, uh, you need me, you call me, and then I’ll come out here, because I can’t read minds, you know. And mine is on the little green bean. (laughter) In the back... See if I go like that, I can hear going -- (laughter)

MELL: Oh, that would be a -- a frijole negro.

MARTINEZ: (laughter) I love those, you know.

MELL: Si (laughter)

MARTINEZ: There is a, a -- where do you go for, uh, food, like -- it -- I mean, Spain -- I mean, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or wherever?

MELL: Oh, there’s a couple places in town.

MARTINEZ: No, we used to go, uh -- on Manhattan Beach.

MELL: Oh.

MARTINEZ: That’s one on -- one of the avenues.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

94:00

MARTINEZ: And then, uh -- who else? Uh -- hmm. There was another guy that -- I can’t -- I can’t think of him.

MELL: I love Cuban food.

MARTINEZ: Ba-ba-ba-ba. Well see the -- the first thing I told -- I told him, I said, “We don’t have, a -- uh, problems, you know with -- with anything. Just, we get out of -- uh, out of synchronation or [security?] (inaudible) happen. But anytime -- whenever we fight, it is a yellow -- see who does the longest and the furthest, and all that, you know.

MELL: Really? (laughter)

MARTINEZ: Then the next morning, like nothing, says, OK, bye.

MELL: (laughter)

MARTINEZ: (inaudible) you’re not going to kiss me? I don’t even shake hands with you, what are you talking about? (laughter)

MELL: You’re (inaudible) (laughter).

95:00

MARTINEZ: Well I think that actually -- that’s about it, you know. But I’ve always -- there has never, hopefully a time that I refuse -- I help somebody out, who needs to be, uh, helped, or when -- even with that, the, uh, the, uh, (inaudible) too, you know, if the guy is not there, and we need something, we’re there, you know, that’s very similar. When -- once it gets in -- in place, we’re going to have enough people, men in each city --

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: Say we got three guys here, then, uh -- uh, there’s two more, some down, up north. And, there’s going to be in that way, you know, unless it’s a small station, then you could probably only get -- uh, get to see one guy.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: But, ideally we need two period. If my -- if -- uh, if more, requires more, that’s fine too. You -- no, no, you can’t refuse help at all, yeah.

MELL: Right. That’s fantastic.

MARTINEZ: But it’s just, that you get -- get it together, and uh, get that, whenever you need, you know, then, (inaudible) [teach?] because you didn’t get 96:00it, or -- I will not, uh I will not fight you, and -- un -- unless, that one time that, uh, we beat, uh the opposite -- uh, opposite, uh, team, you know. And this guy, uh, was a, uh a US Air guy that -- and, uh, the, uh -- his running mate, uh, from, uh, uh -- either sub, sub what are the airlines… But, uh -- uh, the, uh -- (inaudible) again. (laughter) No. OK, that’s enough. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter) You lost it? (laughter) It was the one guy from US Airways that was running. Any, if there’s someone from Southwest or Alaska, one of those?

MARTINEZ: Uh, I know, uh -- ba-ba-ba – that if, I need to see him there, because, I -- I -- I got involved with, the -- with that, that guy -- 97:00organizing, on that, with them guys.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And, uh -- uh, the same thing with all the ladies, and that, they think it’s one thing this -- this is their -- they, the national already print out something where, this is the way you’re going to do an election, this is the way you’re going to count ballots. (inaudible) And I don’t want to hear complaints about it. You know, oh yeah, but there would always be -- there would always be one -- one person -- you get, who, uh -- that doesn’t like everybody else, you know, there’s just one individual, you say Jesus Christ, man, what the heck, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm. Did you see the most recent, um, uh, United contract that’s come through, have you seen that?

MARTINEZ: Uh, money.

MELL: Yeah.

MARTINEZ: They didn’t need the money, though.

MELL: Oh.

MARTINEZ: See, but with -- with the -- with the -- (inaudible) if I got -- if I got, uh, some of the stuff, you know, because I -- I kept most of it. I have a cabinet, and I got all the, uh -- all the, uh -- all the, uh -- all the things 98:00that (inaudible) it on the -- on our conventions, you know, and other stuff, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So that I got that all, until -- I left -- or, I left office, you know.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: And I don’t know what happened after that. For a while, there wasn’t anything.

MELL: Oh.

MARTINEZ: And he says, you don’t miss the, uh -- and (inaudible) you don’t miss, uh, the, uh, the record of that, and if you are writing the history of the local lodge.

MELL: Mm-hmm.

MARTINEZ: So, there’s two differences there. If you’re going to be a jerk, you know, be a jerk, but don’t even bother me wasting my time on going with this shit, you know.

MELL: Yeah, yeah.

MARTINEZ: No I like -- I like to help out, (inaudible) you know and not, uh -- not (inaudible) ego, or -- I’m not on --

MELL: Mm-mm.

MARTINEZ: -- on no trip, you know, because I wouldn’t have done nothing since the -- since the beg -- beginning of time (inaudible), when (inaudible) request, where’s the will. (laughter)

MELL: Well, that’s --

MARTINEZ: No, it’s -- it’s -- it’s fun, you know, it’s uh -- you have to love the pl -- the work, and uh, and uh -- see how -- how far did you get, and -- on the scale you know, what you’re learning, and what states are you and 99:00then take it -- to go fine-tune it (inaudible) they’re gonna. No, it’s -- it’s -- it’s interesting. But, uh, like I said, (inaudible), these guys don’t want to do anything. And I said, you guys are so lazy, that if you were on welfare, you wouldn’t get up to go and out and cash the freaking check. (laughter)

MELL: (laughter) Yeah. That’s true.

MARTINEZ: But it’s fine, it’s fine.

MELL: Well good, OK.