By Jimmy Hart, Metal Trades Department President

This article originally appeared in the “Washington Update” read the full newsletter here.

It’s time to get involved …. It’s up to you to keep your Council strong! Keeping your Council strong and vital is hard work that involves your everyday participation. Most members will never hold council office, and many have never attended a meeting, some may not have even opened this newsletter. However, if we are to thrive and better our lives in the workplace, it will take a team effort with everyone pulling together. Indifference and benign neglect of our responsibilities as trade unionists to our councils, local and international unions can no longer be accepted if we are to remain a viable and dependable voice for workers in the workplace.

Our Councils serve as the lifeline for Metal Trades Workers. A union is not about its treasury or its elected executive board or officers. A union is built on participation and buy-in by all members, recognizing the reality that if you allow others to make the decisions, they just might make them in a manner that you strongly oppose.

As I travel around the country visiting metal trades job sites, attending council meetings and such, I never grow tired of meeting dedicated trade unionists who have become activists simply by attending an organizing or political meeting. I revel in meeting the once staunch anti-union advocate who worked against the Union in a representation election, who, over time, not only learned the value of union membership but went on to become one of our greatest advocates and assets. It’s inspiring.

Participation changes minds! The Metal Trades and the labor movement as a whole face serious challenges as we confront opponents in the world of politics and management. To confront our challenges, our councils will require interested, engaged and serious delegates and workers to come together as one to fend off adversaries whose sole aim is to set us back generations by attacking our job security, wages, and protections.

We are the Metal Trades and you and your fellow brothers and sisters are the members of Unions that make us strong. It’s time to get involved: signup a new member and join the fight to keep our unions strong and vibrant. May God Bless America and protect the house of labor, for it is truly the only place in which a worker may find their strength and take refuge.
I look forward to meeting and speaking with you as I visit your councils, plants, and facilities.

Remember …… We Need You! #MetalTradesStrong