Calero, 31, lived in the Midwest for the past year, working in the cutting department at the IBP hog slaughterhouse in Perry, Iowa, and more recently on the kill floor at Dakota Premium Foods in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has been part of the effort to organize the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union at Dakota Premium, a beef cut-and-kill plant where workers voted 112-71 to affiliate with UFCW Local 789 last July. Workers subsequently beat back Dakota's challenge to the victory before the National Labor Relations Board and are currently fighting for a contract.
Calero was part of a delegation of UFCW members who traveled to Bloomer, Wisconsin, on the Labor Day weekend last year to support dairy farmers carrying out a "milk dump" to protest the below-cost prices they receive for their product, and he went to Omaha, Nebraska, to talk with meatpacking workers carrying out a union organizing drive at Nebraska Beef.
Calero was born in Nicaragua, where through an anticapitalist revolution workers and farmers overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator in 1979. His experience as a young participant in the revolutionary process, including his efforts to understand its decline when the leadership turned away from advancing the revolutionary conquests, left him searching for a scientific understanding of what had happened, Calero said. When he met members of the Socialist Workers Party in Los Angeles in the early 1990s, he was immediately attracted to the explanation given by socialists of the importance of the revolution and the lessons of its decline, which is contained in Nueva Internacional no. 3.
As he became active in the socialist movement, Calero participated in struggles against Proposition 187, an anti-immigrant measure on the California in 1994. He was a founding member of the Young Socialists in 1994 and remained a member until released in 1995 to take on greater responsibilities in the SWP.
Calero did a stint as a volunteer in Pathfinder's printshop from 1995 through 1999, where he worked in the bindery and on the printing press. He has been a volunteer for PM over the years, translating articles after work for the magazine. He is currently assisting Pathfinder Press in translating material for the forthcoming book, Bay of Pigs: Wash-ington's First Military Defeat in the Americas.
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home