Presenting our very first Guild Community Spotlight! Each week, we’ll share a post getting to know a member of the Guild community. We’re excited to kick things off with Donald (DJ) Cronin, returning Guild School student, new Guild board member, and organizer at SEIU 888!
DJ got his start in the labor movement as a union steward when he worked for Shaw’s Supermarkets warehouse in Methuen. After he was fired for carrying out his union duties and fighting for justice for the workers there, he became an organizer with UFCW 791 and then worked with Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, IBEW, and now SEIU Local 888, which builds power among public service workers and higher education in MA. He says that his organizing team at 888 is the best team he’s been on since joining the labor movement, because the members, staff, and elected leadership are great to work with and because team members collaborate, plan, and act as equals. According to DJ, throughout his organizing experience, the most important aspect of his job has been having 1:1 conversations and following up with people to build relationships and power for the work.
DJ says that the Labor Guild is one of the only places out there to learn about the labor movement, something he thinks is crucial training for union members. He has been enrolled in Guild classes for the past 6 terms, and says he always learns something new. His favorite classes have been Paul McCarthy’s course on collective bargaining negotiations, and Ken Grace’s class on labor relations and history.
The Guild is lucky to have a student and community member like DJ!