Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving message

I wanted to take a moment this Thanksgiving morning and reflect on my involvement in the Labor movement and my thankfulness for this opportunity.

What started as a meeting with Marianne and Ole in a coffee shop in Brooklyn, CT has led me to places and given me opportunities  I could have never imagined.
I have traveled extensively and made friends with labor leaders across this country.  Each friendship has helped me grow and made me more certain that this is the right place for me.
I have celebrated victories and held hands in loses, both professional and personal.  
I have sat at the negotiations table, testified before hearings, knocked on doors, and marched on picket lines.
Where once I was meeting in a coffee shop with organizers, now I am meeting others, telling them they too can find their voice.

I grew up being taught that we should share our good fortune, not step on one another to move ahead. That we should treat all with dignity and respect. That those in authority have an obligation to use their power to benefit others and that they should serve, not seek to be served.
The Labor movement has given me an opportunity to put those beliefs into practice.

My fiend Junior said it this way, "I'm thankful that I've been given the opportunity to be part of the labor movement, and I get to be in it with such terrific people."

I would be remiss (and in trouble) if I did not say I was thankful for my wonderful wife, Michelle, who is so tolerant of the time I spend in meetings and on trips. She understands the importance of the work I am trying to do, and though she is jealous of my time, she places the needs of others before her own. She is an example to me and I am surely not deserving of her.

We all play a role in the movement, whether we are in organized labor or not, by the way we live our lives and the choices we make.  Every day we either advance the cause of fairness and dignity or we advance the cause of selfishness and greed.
I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope you too will take a moment and reflect on your own place in the movement.  

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