Meet Your Release Staff: March Cochran, USW - Mississippi AFL-CIO - The son and grandson of union aluminum workers in Muscle Shoals,Ala., Mark Cochran carries the values and spirit of a union household to every shop he visits and every volunteer he enlists as USW’s Mississippi coordinator for Labor 2008. His work helped Democrat Travis Childers win a congressional election last year in a district that has historically voted overwhelmingly Republican.
Leafleting USW shops—from paper mills to facilities producing air conditioners and golf club shafts—Cochran and his volunteers have been confronted by security guards and escorted of plant properties. “Anywhere we’ve been turned away, we’ve returned to get the job done,” says Cochran.
Mississippi is not used to having a high level of coordination between local unions on political campaigns. “But we’re here to stay,” says Cochran. It’s a serious message from the father of three who played two years of football at the University of North Alabama.
As a member of the Alliance (CWA, USW, IFPTE, UAW), Cochran is working with AFL-CIO affiliates to introduce Sen. Barack Obama, Rep. Travis Childers and former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove to the sizeable numbers of unionists who work in southern Tennessee, but live in Mississippi.