As the UFCW continues to honor Black History Month and reinforces its commitment to racial and economic justice, we’re asking members why these issues matter to them. David Montgomery has been with UFCW Local 655 in St. Louis, Missouri for 15 years. David spends his days as the floral warehouse supervisor, coordinating various arrangements to be delivered to Schnucks grocery stores around the city.
David says the value of Black History Month lies in its ability to continue to educate the average American, even himself.
“It’s a time of year to celebrate and acknowledge the wonderful achievements and advancements that have been introduced to most of the world by Black people that many don’t even know about. I still learn something new every February,” David said.
David’s family has union roots, which is what first got David interested not only in a union job, but the labor movement as a whole.
“My father was always a big union guy and he always told me that it was good to help yourself, but it is great to be able to help others,” he said. “I started last year getting really involved, especially in the Fight for 15 rallies. I’ve seen how people from all over can come together for a great purpose.”
For other black workers interested in the labor movement, David has a simple piece of advice.
“Just do it. Just know you are continuing the same fight as legendary leaders that have come before us and you’re helping lay a stronger foundation for generations to come,” he said. “It’s a feeling you can’t put into words.”
David believes that civil rights and labor go hand-in-hand, because without strong union support, workers are open to having their rights violated. The 33-year-old father of three says labor can build lasting positive change in race relations by “building an inclusive and diverse workforce.”
“Labor and civil rights intersect all over the place,” he said.