As the sun rose on Labor Day, a group of Union leaders, staff and family members gathered around the flag pole in front of our Union headquarters in Roseville.
We came to participate in an American ritual.
We saluted the flag of our country as it rose to meet the brightening sky.
In doing so, we also saluted the American worker.
unfortunate how America’s history books have been edited to exclude the
role of working men and women in making the nation great. One assumes
this was done to allow more room for the presidents, generals and
industrialists who “led” us to our national destiny.
I can’t help thinking about the tradesmen who were cut down by Redcoat
bullets in the Boston Massacre in 1770 and the Midwestern farm boys who
died at Antietam, Shiloh and Gettysburg to cleanse our land of the stain
not neglect the striking miners who battled Pinkerton agents sent to
crush their hopes for a better life or the brave suffragettes and
garment workers who marched for fairness and dignity.
In American history, it is often the working people who lead the “leaders” in building a better society.
Union members literally built our country, paving the roads and
constructing the buildings in which we live and work. The story of
America’s progress has many chapters to go, and working people are still
writing the pages through their Union Movement. As a member of the
United Food and Commercial Workers, you are helping write those pages.
We don’t have to go back far to see the contributions Labor has made to modern living standards.
September, President Obama — at the urging of Unions — ordered all
companies doing business with the federal government to provide paid
sick leave to their employees.
California, a new law protects grocery workers from being laid off just
because their store was sold to another company (see story on page 5).
This landmark law was enacted after the UFCW launched an intensive
lobbying blitz in Sacramento.
year, UFCW 8-Golden State scored an important victory for Unions across
the country when the United States Supreme Court upheld the rights ` of
Union pickets on private property in California.
Strong new contracts with Safeway, Vons and Rite Aid
Not all of the battles were fought in the courts and Capitols in Sacramento and Washington.
fall, our Northern California members at Safeway and Vons ratified a
great new contract made possible by their Union Solidarity.
of UFCW 8-Golden State also made modern history when we stood in
solidarity with our fellow UFCW Unions in Northern and Southern
California to win strong new con tracts with Rite Aid.
message of America’s Labor Movement is heard loud and clear in the
stores, plants, distilleries and offices where our members work.
It is the message of Union Solidarity.
has been the key to our success in winning better lives for ourselves,
and it will be the key to protecting the gains we have made, now and in