[Excerpt] On October 27,1994, employees of the Melrose Resort, on South Carolina's Daufuskie Island, made history. They voted 98 to 45 to be represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). With this vote, these workers became the first in the Hilton Head area to successfully organize and win union representation.

In the South, where corporate control is still the dominant theme and less than 3 percent of the workforce is organized, the victory in Hilton Head was remarkable. The campaign that lead to the vote was also remarkable because it pulled together an alliance rarely seen in this part of the country—labor and community. In order to win the vote and survive the 16 months of contract negotiations that followed, the workers depended on the support of an unusual and very successful partnership forged between the union and the Carolina Alliance for Fair Employment (CAFE).