Bernie Hesse: Don't Do Something Out of Charity, Do it Out of Solidarity

From St. Paul Union Advocate, 7/7/17:  He is gruff and often combative, principled and usually blunt. But above all else, Bernie Hesse is a trade unionist.

From his days as a grocery clerk to his current work as director of special projects for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, Hesse has made himself ubiquitous in St. Paul’s labor community. If you’ve walked a picket line or joined a get-out-the-vote effort sometime in the last two decades, chances are you’ve crossed his path.

Hesse worked the night shift at Lunds before taking a full-time job with his union in 2001, and he draws from a seemingly endless store of energy and dogged optimism about what working people can accomplish by coming together. It’s why news of his retirement, effective July 7, caught some – including this reporter – by surprise.

Hesse explained that decision and more in this interview, which has been edited for length.  Read entire article and interview here.