From UWUA’s Convention Speakers

Delegates and guests heard from an impressive roster of guest speakers — both in person and via video — who delivered impassioned messages recognizing the essential and exceptional nature of our work and addressing the convention’s themes of embracing our differences, leveraging our strength and determining our future together. 

“…No matter your background or your history, we’re all sitting in the same room today together with one goal: to create a better future for our unions and for our members. I hope all of you never lose sight of that goal…the future of the labor movement depends on you!” 

-Susie Martinez, Secretary-Treasurer, Nevada State AFL-CIO

“With your help, we’re rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure from upgrading the power grid, the wastewater systems, and replacing every lead pipe in America. We’re making our biggest investment ever in climate and clean energy, creating thousands of sustainable jobs, good-paying union jobs.” 

-Joseph Biden, President of the United States

“We have to be engaged and we have to be educated and equipped. The only way for us [the labor movement] to remain in power is to have those two things in our toolbox and make sure that we position ourselves moving forward to protect the integrity of what we do now, respect what has happened yesterday, and advance the ball for those that are coming behind us tomorrow.” 

-Tony Clark , Executive Director, Major League Baseball Players Association 


“This spring, we restored workers’ rights to improve workplace safety and help workers bargain together for fair wages and benefits. I also called for the reopening of the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, which produced more than 800 megawatts of carbon-free electricity and employed 600 UWUA members.” 

-Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan 


“My calls to action today are simple: seek clarity, not certainty. When we were talking about clean energy, seek clarity, not certainty. Don’t fear the future. Recognize opportunities, anticipate and embrace change…When you go home, you have to help the UWUA write the next chapter, not complain.  Embrace the change and look for solutions but be present in the here and now. You gotta be present to win. It’s not the lottery, it’s a raffle.  And if you’re present to win, you’re going to make a positive difference in the outcomes and the impact of the UWUA for years to come.” 

-Colonel (Ret.) David Sutherland, Chair, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services 


“Through the investing in America agenda, we’re driving hundreds of billions of dollars to your workplaces, power generation, distribution stations, wastewater processing facilities, nuclear plants, not to mention the roads, the bridges, the highways that you drive every day to get there…Altogether, we’re on track to create one million jobs every year over the next decade, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure they’re good-paying, high-road union jobs.” 

-Jennifer Granholm,  U.S. Secretary of Energy 


“We must embrace diversity and demonstrate great strength for the future of women, for the future of families, for the future of unionized workers everywhere.” 

-Terri Carmichael Jackson, Executive Director, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) Players Association 


“As we expand the offshore wind industry, unions need a seat at the table to ensure that our transition to a clean energy economy prioritizes the worker. Offshore wind holds enormous promise for domestic energy production and job creation. As it gains momentum, it is important that we leave no one behind.” 

-Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island 


“We have members in around 150 countries, we have different cultures, we have different traditions, we have different religions, races.  But the most important thing…is to find the commonalities on which we base the construction of our solidarity, of our unity. We need to be able to seize the moment, to change society, to change the economy, to change the country, to change the world, and also to change our union movement.” 

-Kemal Özkan, Assistant Secretary General, IndustriALL Global Union