Across our nation, throughout North America and in some instances stations around the world, Metal Trades workers of Christian faith will gather with family and friends to celebrate Easter Sunday. It is a time of great joy and reflection. While the religious significance of Easter and the resurrection is not lost to me, nor is the fact that this day signals the beginning of spring, which after a long winter offers the spirit of hope and revitalization to all.
Today I join all workers in celebrating this day and heeding the Easter message. In the spirit of renewal, I look forward to our continued work together in making our union even stronger.
If you are among the union ranks, this is a good time to reflect upon what being a trade unionist means to you. I believe that those who mislead workers by making unions about what is unacceptable and intolerable to society are wrong and must be strongly refuted. Not only do I think that intentional mischaracterizations of our union and mission diminish the positive effect that our work achieves on behalf of workers but serves as the means to deprive all workers of the dignity and respect that they have earned and deserve in the work place.
Trade unionism is under assault in America. Intolerance for workers rights and protections are maligned as much or more today than any other aspect of American life. We can no longer allow detractors of unions to dissuade workers from becoming part of our mission which is to protect the fabric of our communities, promote fairness in the workplace and make all dreams possible for workers.
When or wherever intolerance is demonstrated, whether it is against our unions, gays, people of color or anyone who disagrees with you, we must as trade unionists step up and join together to resist such efforts by demonstrating to the world what we believe in, by how we act.
We all have failed or fallen short at one time or another, but the point of this message is that in the spirit of the season we all deserve and get a fresh start. It’s time for all of us to try and do better. I am renewing my efforts as we speak, won’t you join me?
On behalf of the officers, staff, and councils of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, we wish you and your families a healthy, happy and reflective Easter Sunday. May the lord bless and keep safe the men and women of the armed forces who together with our nation’s first responders truly insure the freedoms that we hold near and dear in our hearts.
Happy Easter to all and may God bless America and its working families!