Hovik Bedurya, Local 132, YWIC Committee Member

A union cannot exist without “U-N-I.” A union is only successful and strong with the support and solidarity of the masses.

The corporate bosses will always be multimillionaires who will stand in opposition to workers’ attempts to receive fair compensation. They fail to recognize that union employees are the hardest working parts of the machine and do not admit how crucial we are to their success. I said ‘their’ and not ‘our’ success because when the time comes to sit down at the table for contract negotiations and reevaluate, these same bosses always seem to forget how crucial we really are.

We saw this story play out at this year’s SAG-AFTRA strike. You might ask, why did these two unions go on strike? They went on strike for a difference of $480 million dollars. Millions, not hundreds, not thousands, but millions. That’s the difference between what SAG-AFTRA wanted in a new streaming residual formula — $500 million — and what the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers was willing to pay — $20 million. This battle plays out while the motion picture industry keeps raising subscriber fees only to pocket and profit off those fees. Meanwhile, the workers and actual content creators are deprived of their fair and equitable compensation. This is what leads to a strike.

What is more powerful than a single, large labor union going on strike? Other labor unions across various industries joining that strike in solidarity. The Utility Workers Union of America, the UAW and the Teamsters joined in with both SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild to remind the bosses that their companies will collapse without the stable foundations built by each and every union member that shows up every day and puts in their 8 hours to keep these companies and industries running smoothly.

The YWIC, the UWUA and all of organized labor will always stand in solidarity with our union brothers and sisters no matter what sector. We will show the bosses if you mess with one of us you mess with all of us.

I was proud to represent the YWIC and stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers of SAG-AFTRA. The point of being a part of a union is to be united. There is strength in unity, and we are — and will forever be — union strong!