Sisters & Brothers,
I want to wish all of you a heartfelt happy and safe Labor Day. I also ask that you take a moment and consider why we have a Labor Day.
The current working landscape is vastly different than it was for the first Labor Day in 1882, and we must not forget that. The Labor Movement, through sweat and blood, fought for several rights that too many of us take for granted. I’m talking about eight-hour workdays, 40-hour work weeks, the weekends, paid holidays, overtime pay, protections on the job, child labor laws and much, much more. This includes the right to collectively bargain and negotiate a contract, like we recently successfully did with the Inside Wiremen and the Intelligent Transportation System agreements and are working on for other units.
These rights weren’t just handed to us. Employers and management didn’t grant us these things out of the kindness of their hearts. They were fought for and won by those who came before us. And don’t forget that there are people in power who would like to see many of these rights taken away. Our work as unionists and the work of the Labor Movement is never done.
I am grateful to report that the job picture is still strong, and the hiring halls are walk throughs. So be sure to keep current on your certifications, make sure your dues are paid and you participate in your Local Union.
IBEW 11 Business Manager