Are you part of the solution?
This is the most important question we can ask ourselves at our critical moment in history.
Anyone who has looked at Facebook or Twitter should be aware of how toxic and negative some people’s public conversations have become.
Almost everyone agrees we can do better, and yet there are some who can’t help feeding into the problem and making it worse.
We can blame Russian trolls, we can blame the political parties and we can blame the cable news shows, but ultimately the responsibility for being part of the solution lies with us.
To solve any problem, it helps to approach it with a positive attitude. When we realize a solution is possible, we can then focus on identifying the solution and implementing it.
This means casting away negative thoughts — fears, despairs and cynical presumptions — which get in the way of progress and create futile and unproductive diversions.
Everyone experiences moments when problems seem overwhelming and negativity threatens to take hold. These are the times when the task of finding and implementing solutions seems most challenging.
When we resist those negative thoughts and push ourselves toward positive actions, everything changes. We find ourselves smiling more and, lo and behold, people are smiling back at us.
We realize we have friends and allies. And solutions become possible.
This lesson can be useful as we move toward the next round of negotiations with the major supermarket employers in Northern and Central California.
As it is with any endeavor of importance, our success in negotiating successful new agreements will require courage, faith and confidence in ourselves.
We have prevailed in the past and we will prevail in the future, as long as we remember we have each other.
Time and time again, our experiences in the Labor Movement have taught us the winning solution to substandard wages, benefits and working conditions is Solidarity!
Solidarity is working people standing together for everyone’s benefit. It is the means by which members of UFCW 8-Golden State have achieved industry-leading standards in pay, health care, pensions, work guarantees, job protections, vacations, sick pay and so much more.
Solidarity is possible when we understand the power of positivity within ourselves as individuals and our Union.
Lessons of Rosie the Riveter
As I write these words on positivity and solidarity, I am inspired by the legend of Rosie the Riveter, which is told in this issue of Voice of Action.
Rosie represents the “can do” spirit of the Union Movement.
She reminds us how inclusiveness, pride and positivity can fill our lives with promise.
We are proud. We are positive. And we never forget we are part of the solution.