Friday, August 15, 2014

Being a Unionist

Been having a lot of talks with different people lately on what the Labor movement is and can be, and what it mean to be a unionist.
Word of warning......don't get me started on this unless you have an evening to devote to it.

I suppose, like most things, it means different things to different people.
But, what does it mean to me?

Four years ago, I had no involvement in the movement.  I was doing the best I could to help people as a Registered Nurse, to put up with the abuse we were receiving from the boss, and to go home and try to find enjoyment in outside activities.

Then someone offered me a chance to have a voice.
A hint of a promise that I could be treated with respect at work and that I could advocate for my patients without fear.
It was an easy call.

Once in, I was all in.

I have faced opposition to using my new found voice, I have been afraid at times, but I am also determined that I will never go back to those voiceless days.
What we have accomplished against all odds at Backus is remarkable.
But it is only the beginning.
There are so many other people looking for a voice.  Those of us who have found our voice have a responsibility to help them find theirs.

To me, that is the basis of the movement, and to be a unionist is to put the movement above myself, to put other people before myself, to put the common good ahead of myself.
It means setting aside thoughts of personal gain and standing with my brother and sister in solidarity.

From my recent conversations, I believe you can see a unionist in their eyes and hear them in their voice.
It's a beautiful thing, a beautiful gift, a beautiful life.

No comments: