Vote your values & educate your neighbors

June 13, 2012. We are at the halfway point in 2012 and there are still many challenges ahead of us. This being an election year, all of us are subjected to news and promises from politicians. As members of a Brotherhood we have to listen, not only to what the politicians are saying, but more importantly, what they are not telling us.  As union members we have to educate ourselves on the issues that affect us and our livelihoods. We don't have to remind you what happened in Wisconsin where politicians are working to weaken unions and their bargaining rights. We must make sure that as individuals and as union members, that we vote our values and support elected officials who support our bread and butter interests. We each have an individual responsibility to educate our non-union neighbors and answer their questions about the benefits of being union. Remind them that earning good benefit's come from working together, caring for one another and sacrificing selfish behavior for the collective good. People that don't understand and do not have any idea what unions represent are usually the first to cave-in and turn their jealousy into division. Working class people who vote for the candidates of the rich elect politicians who take away pensions, employer paid benefits and the right to bargain for raises. So please take some time to educate your friends, family and colleagues on why we are Union, why we are holding the line on the Middle Class and encourage them to vote with their pocket books in mind as well. Unions fight for better working conditions, better benefits for the family, better wages, and a pension or retirement plan so that at the end of the one's career, one will not be a burden to the State or to their children. An honest day's pay for an honest day's work is our mantra. Unions are not opposed to making profits, all we ask is that our employers share the wealth with the people who make that profit possible.
  
So we must support the politicians that support us. It does not matter what party they are affiliated with. Voting a straight party ticket is an easy task, and we as union members do not have that luxury. We must only support those who have and will stand behind us as we fight corporate greed and worker injustice. Support your Brotherhood by learning and understanding the issues, remember, knowledge is power. Most of all, remember not to let politics put a damper on your summer and the good weather. Get out there and enjoy life and be proud of where you work and proud that you are a member of a good union, Local 83 of the IBEW.  Please be safe doing what you love to do.