With the holidays just around the corner, I thought I should reflect on how our family values and union values coincide.
Back in the 1880s, our forefathers were dealing with a lot of hardship. Fair wage for a day’s work, a reasonable workday and an ability to support yourself and family were not a given. Through civic action as well as union action our forefathers were able to work together and create an 8-hour workday. They also were able to get other workers in their communities a better wage by boycotting local businesses to “do the right thing” or lose community support. This community activism became very strong in a short period of time. The idea was that we are all the “producers and consumers” in our community and all can benefit by mutual support. This organization became known as “The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor.”
Many of these principles are still utilized today. Our union constantly encourages the membership to get involved through volunteer organizing committees, political action activism, craft skills improvement and helping out one another. We are a brotherhood. We have welfare support programs, community service and promote a better “you.” If these ideals appeal to you and you think you have something to contribute, then I encourage you to talk to your union leadership. What can you do and what can we do better?
Give thanks for all that we have. Do your best at being a good neighbor. Be safe and enjoy life!
President, IBEW Local 11