Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

David Sickler: A Lifetime as Labor Organizer, AFL-CIO Leader and Champion of Immigrant Workers

Interviewee(s):
Sickler, David
Sickler, Carole
Interviewer(s):
Rubens, Lisa
Beagle, Danny
Title:
David Sickler: A Lifetime as Labor Organizer, AFL-CIO Leader and Champion of Immigrant Workers
Abstract:
David Sickler has a long and distinguished career as a labor organizer, as a leader within the AFL-CIO and as an innovator of efforts to organize immigrant workers. At 18, he began work on the bottling line at Coors Brewing Company in Golden Colorado, soon becoming a shop steward and then Commerce, Industry, and Labor manager of Brewery Workers Union, Local 366. Following a strike in 1977, AFL-CIO President George Meany picked Sickler to head the national boycott of Coors Beer, a struggle that lasted ten years and led to a successful resolution, and became a model campaign emulated by other unions. In 1986 Sickler was appointed AFL-CIO Regional Director as well as the Executive Director of the Los Angeles-Orange Counties Organizing Committee. Following passage of the Immigration Reform Act in 1988, he established the Labor Immigrant Assistance Project and the AFL-CIO Immigrant Workers’ Association. Subsequently he was the senior labor advisor to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, as Commissioner of Public Works, and as Executive Director of Employment Relations at the L.A. Department of Water and Power. Beginning in 2009 Sickler was Southern Regional Director of The California State Building and Construction Trades Council. He has served as Chair of the UCLA Center for Labor and Research Advisory Committee and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pat Brown Institute.
Subject area(s):
Advocacy and Philanthropy
Commerce, Industry, and Labor
Interview date(s):
2014
Project:
Commerce, Industry, and Labor - Individual Interviews
Rights:
Sickler, David. "David Sickler: A Lifetime as Labor Organizer, AFL-CIO Leader and Champion of Immigrant Workers." Interview by Lisa Rubens and Danny Beagle in 2014. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2016.