One of the
most effective labor leaders in the history of the Tri-Cities was named the
2009-2010 CBC Outstanding Alumnus.
James (Jim) Watts
was the student body president for the first CBC graduating class in 1957. He
became involved in the organized labor movement while at Chevron Chemical
Company. In 1977, Watts successfully negotiated a merger between the Nucleonics
Alliance and the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union. He was elected
President of the Western Region of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union.
His region included six states and 26,000 members. He held the position from
1977 until his retirement in 2001.
Throughout his career, Watts has been
extremely active in community civic organizations as a board member for TRIDEC,
United Way, Washington State University advisory council, CBC advisory board, and the Tri-Cities Cancer
Center, among many others. Watts was also designated a Red Cross Hero for his
rescue of an elderly man in danger of drowning in the Columbia River.
Even with all his community activity, Watts found time to found or
participate in the founding of at least three successful businesses still
operating in the Tri-Cities today.
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