When I think of what makes our union family strong, there are a lot of people who make an incredible difference every single day in the lives of our members, but dare I say that, you, our stewards, are truly an amazing and special part of this family.
It is not easy to capture in words the critical role you all play for the UFCW. You are truly the heart and soul of this union. You are our face and voice not just in the workplace, but also in your communities. Every single day, you make our union better, our employers better, and you improve the lives of countless of hard-working families.
You not only do your own job, you embrace the higher responsibility of caring for the concerns of your coworkers and the community. You sacrifice time away from friends or from your own family – all to help others. Again and again, you stand up for what is right and fight to make a difference.
The truth is we ask a lot of you, more than I wish we had to, but every single day and night, you stand up and deliver. I want you to know that I will never forget that. We will never forget that. And, most importantly, you should never forget that!
We may judge our lives by many ways, but when our dawn comes, and we must ask ourselves what difference we made in our lives, and the lives of others, you can proudly stand up and say with one loud voice that I was a member of the UFCW; I made a difference; and, I made people’s lives better!
No matter the plant or the store, it is because of what you do that our union family has the opportunity to negotiate better contracts, organize more members, improve safety, fight discrimination, and provide justice across the workplace
Looking ahead, no matter the challenge we may face, we will face as great family does – standing together.
Be proud of what you do and the impact you have. Share your positive stories with family and friends, whether they are union members or not. Post them on your Facebook page or on social media. Let your community know the good you and the UFCW does every single day.
Finally, if there is anything that I, or the International, can be doing better, if you have an idea on how we can organize or negotiate better, please share your ideas at email@example.com. I truly want to hear your ideas and opinions because the simple truth is that only by working together we will make the UFCW even stronger.
Again, my sincere thank-you for what you do for our union family.
Marc Perrone is the International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.