Today we see thousands of workers taking back their power, grabbing headlines and securing big wins against the country’s most powerful, anti-union employers. Starbucks baristas, Amazon workers and young workers who have never been involved in an organizing campaign are taking on the Goliaths of the world and delivering radical change in their work lives.
It’s inspiring to see these individuals rise up to demand better working conditions, wages and benefits. We can all take something from the intensity and passion they demonstrate. I know that we – as UWUA members – cannot take everything we secured for granted just because we have a collective bargaining agreement. We have to keep pushing ahead.
We’ve been given a task from those who came before us: to carry what we have forward and hand off an even stronger union to those who will follow and continue the fight.
In this moment, pushing ahead for the UWUA means looking to see what other workforces we can organize – whether we are working alongside them today or looking to try to organize a group beyond our own workplaces.
I’m encouraged by a recent success where almost 100 employees of Delta Gas in Kentucky voted to join the UWUA by an overwhelming 65% majority in exercising their right to join the UWUA. Our officers have been meeting and speaking with these members for months now. I’m excited to see what comes next as these individuals move forward as a unionized group, bargaining their first contract.
We all have to be on the lookout for that next organizing lead. Check out more coverage throughout the magazine about the work UWUA’s new Organizing Director Deirdre Brill is doing to train organizers and support our organizing priorities.
Apart from organizing, there’s no better way to take back your power and make your voice heard than by voting in your city, state and federal elections.
In this country, many people have died and been physically harmed in an effort to cast their votes. Make sure you go out and vote during this mid-term election, Tuesday, November 8. Make the right choice for workers and for you and your family. Don’t sit on the sidelines and just complain about the state of politics. Get involved. Do your research – beyond scrolling social media – to find out where the candidates stand. If you want to interact with your elected officials but aren’t sure how to begin, ask your union leadership for assistance, both Local and National. We’re here to help you lift up your voices.
The labor movement is strong today because of your work. You’ve made this country run. We’re strong, we’re powerful and we’re moving forward.
Know that everything I do goes into the labor movement and working to steer this great union into a bright future. I value and appreciate every one of my members. I want to make sure we keep growing, that we’re not stagnant.
I’m doing everything I can to evolve and build our strength – not just to bring the benefits of a good, union job to the younger generation – but also the next and many more after that. We’ve been given a task from those who came before us: to carry what we have forward and hand off an even stronger union to those who will follow and continue the fight.