Vincent Diaz, “A Prominent Voice for Union Business” Retires March 1, 2023.
Written by Linda D. Wattley
Vince Diaz was a long-time officer of ICWU Local 110 and eventually transferred to Local 121 in Washington, where he is well-known for victorious outcomes for union members. Edward Marquard had this to say:
“My story stands to archive what Union Representation can accomplish in the face of corporate mistreatment. Our Union stood by me steadfastly and patiently pursued every legal measure to be my advocate and represent my interests. We did not compromise or settle. We trusted that the Arbitration System would render an objective result and we prevailed.
It goes without saying that such an undertaking is costly. I am deeply indebted and grateful to my Local 121C, the International Affiliate and expressly: Roy DeLeon, Kevin Berner and the Executive Board of Local 121C, Vince Diaz and Randy Vehar.”
In 2002 Vince Diaz was hired as an organizer who soon became an International Representative assigned to the ICWUC Region One office. In 2013, Vince was appointed as ICWUC Vice President/Regional Director assuming the responsibilities for ICWUC Region One from Vice President John Lewis who retired during this time.
Anybody who knows Vince Diaz knows he is a behind-the scenes type of guy with a voice that proved to be a powerful weapon when it came to union business. When he had to come from behind the scenes, he always left a profound impact on resolve or sending union issues to the forefront for best outcomes.
No one knows better than John Lewis how Vince Diaz proved to be an amazing Union Brother.
“Vince Diaz is the best union rep I ever met, and we had a lot of fun together!”
John Lewis, retired as Vice President of ICWUC Region One office in 2013. He was honored to reminisce on his experiences with Vince Diaz.
“Vince came out of his local on a temp assignment I think in the mid 90’s. We had a local in Henderson Nevada serviced by Kent Wilson at the Ker McGee plant in Henderson. Ker McGee wouldn’t only give us one-year contracts and try to get de-certs going every year. They had already decertified the machinists and electricians; we represented the production workers. Vince got in his car and drove down from his home in Washington and stayed in Henderson and Vegas for more than a month working to organize the resistance to the de-cert. He was successful and I was assigned to the local to do the negotiations and Kerr McGee gave us another 1-year contract.
We worked that year trying to turn the Local around, but Kerr McGee found enough people to file another de-cert. Vince came down again and he, I and the Local President worked hard trying to win again, however this time we narrowly lost and both of these campaigns were going on during the Thanksgiving holidays, and while I got to go home Vince stayed and worked during the long holiday week. We still laugh remembering some of the characters we ran into during those campaigns.
Vince was always the Local Union officer we could go to when we needed help in the Region, whatever we needed or wherever the location, Vince was always ready to help. Working with him was some of the most enjoyable times I had during my career. Vince was one of the best union guys I had ever been associated with, no matter how hard or long the hours he always made the work enjoyable.
The sacrifices he and his family made during those years were really something special, not something we see too often. Knowing Vince and having the honor to work with him was truly an inspiration and some of the most enjoyable times of my career. I know he will be missed.”
Even today, Vince Diaz leaves an unforgettable impression on union members who appreciate and enjoy his presence. Dar Huntley of Local 121 had this to say as she accepts his retirement:
“Well, I feel a little selfish starting this off by saying, although I’m happy for Vince and his retirement, that I really, really wish he wouldn’t leave us – he’s irreplaceable. He’s been the absolute best advocate for our union and is taking so much knowledge with him! For the last 15 years I’ve been on the board of Local 121-c and in all the times I’ve needed help, I can’t remember even one time that he didn’t answer his phone or return a call no matter where he was or what he was doing. I’ll miss seeing the opposition’s faces during negotiations when Vince would leave them stuttering and stammering after bombarding them with all his legal knowledge. So many times, he could have lost his cool during those negotiations, but he would just calmly chuckle and say ok, let’s move on. Vince, we’ll miss you and all your fishing stories!!”
ICWUC President Lance E. Heasley had this to say:
“It has been an honor to work with Vince for the last 8 years. His dedication to the labor movement, the ICWUC and its members, can never be questioned. Every local in his region always had wonderful things to say about his leadership and knowledge. His friendship and honesty are things I have and will always cherish. As Dar said above I am happy for him to be able to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labor. But he will be dearly missed as a Regional Director and Representative of the ICWUC. Vince, enjoy this next chapter in your life my friend and brother, you have earned it!”