Happy Holidays Union Brothers and Sisters,
I hope you and your family are doing well, despite the current divisions in our society.
We have a newly elected United States President and as with any leader, a person chooses to be a leader for a reason. Biden has stated his intentions to alleviate inequity, unite our communities, and promote justice and equality. But no one can do it alone - WE must do OUR part to help make changes to improve our world.
We also have a new plant manager. Now is the time to call on all of our leaders to be inclusive, value People before profits and build coalitions. More than ever, we have the potential to be heard by the folks in charge, whether here at home or in Washington, D.C. Labor has won a sympathetic ear in the White House, and we must keep this momentum going.
Simply electing pro-worker candidates to office does not mean that all is good and great. Unfairness, discrimination and exploitation still exists. We must stand up for everyone's rights, especially those who have suffered the most, been pushed out of the way and vilified - not just over the past four years, but over the last 400 years of our history.
Hopefully our leaders will take the necessary steps to bring all of us into the process. We are fortunate that “The Squad" of progressive congresswomen got re-elected and a new member was added. #TheSquad now consists of Rashida Tlaib- Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez- New York, Ilhan Omar- Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley- Massachusetts and Cori Bush-Missouri. These are leaders who stand for Labor causes, as well as Medicare for all, a living wage, stopping global warming, ending systemic racism, and forgiving student debt. Let’s hold these and all other leaders who represent us accountable to the People first.
Being part of a Union, I hope that everyone takes steps to unite, in our plant and in our country. Solidarity is the only way forward.
And speaking of togetherness, while I want us to be united metaphorically, what I’d really like is for us to stay six feet apart literally and follow other guidelines put in place by the CDC. Sadly, we are entering into a season that this year will be more defined by separation than by gathering together. While many of us long for the company and warmth of our families and friends in these chaotic times, we know that the best way to show our love for each other will be to keep our get-togethers small in order to keep each one of us safe. The scientists who study pandemics have warned these coming months hold the potential of sparking the biggest outbreak of coronavirus yet, which puts not only Grandma and Grandpa at risk, but our plant, our company and our national economy. Another massive shut-down would be painful for everyone and some businesses would not survive. We all must make difficult decisions to keep ourselves healthy and employed.
The good news is, as far as I know, Cyber Monday has not been canceled! (Please don’t use Amazon.)
Take care of yourself and your loved ones.