Michael Coleman – Secretary-Treasurer
Bring Your Energy!
This summer, UWUA members from across the United States gathered in Las Vegas for our union’s 31st Constitutional Convention. Once again, we collectively upheld our duty to honor our past, assess the current moment, and plan our union’s move into the future. Our convention theme, Our Mission: Protecting Our Legacy, Building Our Future captures the spirit of what we, as life-long trade unionists do every day, recognizing those who brought us to this point, and uniting around new leadership, and new energy to carry us forward.
Convention resolutions guide us forward
As a part of this, our membership passed 28 convention resolutions, forming a map of the issues most important to our union, issues grounded in experience, and pointing the direction for the work ahead. Across a union as diverse as ours, every one of us can identify with at least some of the issues raised in these resolutions and, with the convention behind us, now is the time for each of us to ask ourselves how we can make a difference, how we can be a part of the solution for advancing at least a piece of the work mapped out in those 28 resolutions.
For example, many of us can relate on a personal level to the issues described in the resolution seeking to address the opioid crisis, a resolution that serves as a national call to action for those willing to put in the time and effort. An issue such as this is often intensely personal and emotional for those who can relate to the suffering of a relative, a friend, or a co-worker. Those who are so affected are called to harness those feelings and turn them into power. There are a number of efforts to address the opioid crisis underway at the community, state, and national levels to help affected persons, to build programs, to pass legislation, and more — efforts that those of us with the will to act should seek to join.
Whether it’s working with a community group, talking with state legislators, or even traveling to Washington, DC to share your personal experience at the highest level, we all know that it is only through the power of action that change can be affected. Ask yourself, what can you do? What can your UWUA local do? What can your community do to push for action on opioids, an issue of such importance to so many?
We have the power to make change
Across the span of 28 resolutions, we can all see ourselves, and our experiences reflected in at least some. Are you concerned about retirement security, family leave, labor rights, energy policy, clean water, rebuilding infrastructure, or supporting workforce training? All these issues and more, were captured at our convention as values that our union, and ourselves as trade unionists, have fought for in the past and will continue to advance into the future.
With the convention behind us, now is the time to put meaning into our union’s theme, Our Mission: Protecting Our Legacy, Building Our Future, and our resolutions by identifying the issues of greatest importance to each of us and taking action. Honor the work done by those who have gone before us by picking up the baton and carrying it forward. Get engaged with your local, with the national union, with elected officials and community leaders. Our voices, united as working people within the UWUA, hold the power to change our society, and our world, for the better.
Educate yourself on what you don’t know and educate others on what you do know. As the UWUA moves forward under new national leadership, remember that by demonstrating the power of collective action, by lifting our voices, we can all be leaders in our communities and in our union. Scan the list of resolutions at www.UWUA.net. Find your issue, get engaged.