Memorial Day Message from President Hart

Memorial Day Message from President Hart

On December 28, 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed into law. The Act established the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance, to renew the legacy of Memorial Day.

In writing the legislation, Congress wrote, “greater strides must be made to demonstrate appreciation for those loyal people of the United States whose values, represented by their sacrifices, are critical to the future of the United States.” Citing a responsibility to “raise awareness of and respect for the national heritage, and to encourage citizens to dedicate themselves to the values and principles for which those heroes of the United States died.” Congress called for promoting the relevance of Memorial Day for future generations.

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day 2021, I hope that you will heed the call that Congress made more than two decades ago and join me in recognizing the men and women who have lost their lives in service to our military.

At 3:00 pm on Monday, May 31, I will say a prayer for peace and offer a moment of silence to pay homage to our fallen heroes.

As the National Moment of Remembrance says, it is time to reclaim Memorial Day as the sacred and noble event that that day is intended to be.

Brothers and sisters, I wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day. May God bless you and protect our military members both at home and abroad.

With solidarity and respect,

James Hart, President
Metal Trades Department

Give Thanks

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is usually our time to gather with family and friends and give thanks for what we have and all that we have achieved.

While this year we may have to forgo our large family gatherings, we can still give thanks for our bountiful blessings. I know that many Americans will not have the fortune of seeing their family this year. However, we can all take solace in knowing that this too shall pass and as Americans we will come back stronger and wiser.

Let’s never forget that materials items, no matter how indispensable to our way of life, can never amount to more than a foundation to live our lives. We must all build upon that foundation and create the type of people that we long to be. Yesterday is a cancelled check, tomorrow is a promissory note and only how you live life in the day and moment actually counts. Who we are as individuals and a collective people is what will define our legacy on earth.

Throughout the years, with Thanksgiving Day being no exception, union families have many times found themselves faced with adversity. A national emergency such as this pandemic defines who we are as a nation. Being an American shouldn’t change who you are; but it surely should reveal who you are. Being a union member reveals who we are, and each day metal trades workers, first responders and medical emergency professionals are stepping up and being revealed as true patriots, forsaking their safety and health and that of their families on behalf of the greater national good. No matter how difficult the challenge, how formidable the foe, one thing is certain, this is who we are, this is what we do and we are UNION Proud. This Thanksgiving, and every day we rise.

So, on this occasion, I thank you for being part of our Metal Trades family. Please join me in thanking each and every one of the proud, brave men and women of our nation’s armed forces and all Americans who work tirelessly to ensure and provide our safety, health and comfort each and every day.

On behalf of the Metal Trades Department, I wish you a happy, healthy Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Please be safe, wear mask, social distance and love one another.

May God bless you and your families …. God bless America!

MTD President Hart: Thank You Veterans

MTD President Hart: Thank You Veterans

 

In the midst of a health pandemic and the ensuing political turmoil surrounding this devastating event that has wreaked undue hardship upon Americans of all walks of life, Americans can always depend upon our nations armed forces and its cherished veterans to answer the call to duty, whether it be to protect and preserve our precious liberties or defend our homeland and peoples from harm. That is why on this Veterans Day, the Metal Trades Department, its officers, affiliates and councils pay homage to America’s veterans, all of whom comprise the sacred fabric of America and make up a large component of our Metal Trades Councils. All of our allied international unions have programs dedicated to training and hiring veterans or those about to close out their military careers and our Metal Trades unions and employers embrace our nations veterans with open arms of gratitude in thanks for their service and commitment to our nation.

On behalf of the entire Metal Trades community, I would like to thank all of our nation’s veterans. Your service and sacrifice have ensured that we all benefit from a free and open democracy. Thank you for protecting us at home and abroad and for your selfless service to our wonderful country.

I wish you a happy, safe and healthy Veterans Day. God bless you and your families. Thank you for your sacrifice. God bless America!

‘The Dogmas of the Quiet Past, are Inadequate to the Stormy Present’

‘The Dogmas of the Quiet Past, are Inadequate to the Stormy Present’

A 4th of July Message from Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln addressed Congress saying, “The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.”

President Lincoln’s profound words could, and probably should, be uttered by our nation’s leaders today. Our country is reeling. Reeling from the effects of COVID-19 and the loss of lives and livelihoods. Reeling from the unprecedented unrest of protestors calling for change. These turbulent times demand our leadership step up this 4th of July and unite us, not divide us.

While I would love to put forth a holiday message filled with platitudes, and wishes for a safe holiday weekend, I just do not feel that that is the appropriate message this year. Of course, I wish you all well and hope that however you choose to spend your holiday weekend you are safe and enjoy your time. But I would be remiss if that is all I said.

This tumultuous year has brought on suffering the likes of which many of us have never experienced. And unfortunately, there is no panacea. No magic pill to solve the ills and injustices. As Lincoln said, “the occasion is piled high with difficulty.” But our country has experienced great upheaval before. We can and will get through this. But we must “think anew.” And we must “act anew.”

Independence Day in 1776 marked the start of a novel adventure for our nation. Let’s join together as American workers to ensure that the events of 2020 become a marker for our next novel adventure. We have a nation of bright and earnest workers who can lead us through our troubles. Let’s listen to them as we march forward. America, despite its flaws, is a great nation filled with promise. We are, of course, “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

God bless you all and God bless America.

Statement from the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO on the Death of George Floyd

First and foremost, the death of George Floyd is tragic and at the Metal Trades Department we cannot allow his demise to be in vain. We mourn with you.

“An injury to one is an injury to all.”

We have all heard the saying in the house of labor, but what does it mean especially when we fail as a movement to address the human and civil rights violations rampant in our country.

Systemic issues such as police brutality, poverty, and racial inequality plague us. The horrific events surrounding George Floyd’s death, the terrifying reports of the killing of Ahmed Aubrey, the deaths across the country of far too many black and brown men and women. It is no wonder we are seeing such fervent protests.

We can utter platitudes and quote the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., and other great civil rights leaders, but until we actually face the continued problems of unequal justice and institutionalized racism, underinvestment in our communities of color and the continued oppression of black and brown Americans, labor cannot claim to be a great movement.

We must, in the labor movement and at every level of government, from city councils to the office of the President of the United States, admit that racial and income inequality are real, racism in America is real, and detrimental to our society. We must admit that we have a problem. We must truly believe and act as if, “an injury to one is an injury to all.”

Until that happens, America’s greatness will always be challenged.

Memorial Day Message from President Hart

Memorial Day Message from President Hart

Memorial Day has never looked quite like this one will. As we enter this long holiday weekend, meant to remind us of those brave men and women who fought and died so that we could be free, our country is facing a new war. A war that has no clear enemy but has taken lives and livelihoods across the nation and the globe. With record unemployment, shelter in place orders still in effect across the country, and Americans sick and dying, this Memorial Day may take on new meaning.

As is tradition, at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, May 25 I will join with the nation in a moment of remembrance to honor our fallen military members. And this year, I will include in my prayers those who we lost in this new war.

On behalf of the officers and staff of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, I wish you a safe and happy Memorial Day. God bless you all and God bless America.