Greetings, Brothers and Sisters, it is Tuesday morning after a great Labor Day weekend and I am rested and relaxed! I can't say enough about what the Labor Day weekend means to me as an active member of the labor movement. I never forget to take a little time and reflect on the great effort and sacrifice that went into making this an official Holiday. Did you know that Labor Day would not even exist without the strength and unified determination of the American workforce beginning with a march back in 1882? Though the Holiday wouldn't be officially signed into law until 1894, the first Monday in September had long held the significance of the worker's Holiday. We celebrate Labor Day year in and year out but I wonder how many know this was a hard-fought, bloody, and even deadly won Holiday for the working class. Labor Day is another instance that shows when working people band together, there is nothing we can not accomplish. If you are interested in learning more about our Holiday, I encourage you to look into the September 5, 1882, Manhattan workers march, the Haymarket riot and the Pullman palace car company dispute. These stories will shed more light on how the labor movement has changed America.
On a lighter note, I thought I would share some other interesting points attached to Labor Day that you may not have known. They call Labor Day weekend the end of hot dog season. This seems odd considering all the tailgating that occurs this time of year, as Labor Day is also the unofficial kickoff weekend of college and professional football. I don't know about you, but a grilled hot dog and a beer on a cool fall day sitting with my family watching Michigan football is about as perfect as it can get. Go Blue! No disrespect to Sparty; I just love my Wolverines.
Back to a more serious topic, as we proceed through the calendar, another important day that should be a National Holiday is Election Day; this year, it falls on November 8, 2022. For many in the middle class, Election Day is a day where we can vote to protect all that we have fought for and earned. We all know Walter Reuther’s famous quote about the ballot box, but it bears mention. What do they say, never talk about politics or religion? Well, as a labor leader, it is a part of my job to be involved in the Local, State and Federal politics that directly or indirectly affect the membership of Local 652. Understanding which politicians are proposing or enacting legislation that promotes a solid and stable future for the American worker and our Local is of paramount importance to me. We, as working-class citizens, need to understand that having a good-paying career with secure benefits is vital to our futures. That is why evaluating the candidates and identifying those who support these concepts is critical. I am proud to be the Recording Secretary of the Capital Area UAW/CAP Council, who invites all Local, State and Federal candidates to apply, be screened and potentially be endorsed by our Regional and National UAW/CAP councils. If you are interested in looking at the endorsed UAW candidates you can always go to uawendorsements.com. This opportunity is open to all politicians regardless of affiliation; candidates need only apply and follow the process. I am hopeful we can make Election Day a National Holiday just as the American workers made Labor Day. Remembering our history is how we protect our future, and learning from the past is how we get stronger moving forward. If we apply lessons learned, we can create a brighter future for workers and maybe even gain another National Holiday that directly supports and honors the American worker. We all know when the working class turns out to vote, America wins.