March 2013

One Union--One Ironworker

We are at a crossroads where we are beginning to see the worst recession in our history slowly diminish. Our union faces numerous challenges in this difficult time. Our International Shop Department has been under fire for many years due to slow economy, loss of manufacturing, loss of good union companies, loss of jobs and membership and most of all the "back seat" mentality. We are fighting for the bare necessities: milk, food, to pay our monthly bills, and most of all, to provide for our families just to stay afloat and make our way through life. I believe we can either keep doing business the old way; withering on the vine or we can stand together as union brothers and sisters and fight the good fight as our forefathers did. We are "ironworkers" and there is no job too small or too big that we cannot successfully accomplish. Together our diverse group of shopmen will be a force to reckon with. No one but us can accomplish this feat; together we shall succeed.

Our new motto is, "There is no tomorrow unless we are successful today." Each and every one of us must ask ourselves some hard questions: "Do I believe in myself, my fellow brothers and sisters, and the Iron Workers Union, and am I willing to fight for the betterment of the members and the organization?" If the answer to my question is, "Yes" then let's get started because we have much hard work ahead of us and we must start now.

The first step is to mobilize our membership, second step to motivate, third step to recapture market share and the fourth step is to move forward. These four simple steps will take leadership, vision and action in order for us to be successful.

We will need to put the tools, resources and people in place to provide our boots on the ground with what they need. And we will organize with a strategic plan like we never have done before. If we do all this, we can jump start the rebirth of the Shop Department.
We will succeed if we work hard, work together as shop men and women, work jointly with our outside ironworker brothers and sisters, stay focused on our goals, use the tools the International provides us with, and never give in to the non-union way of life. Non-union workers have all the same hopes and dreams as we do and we must work to educate them on how to improve their lives and the value of being a member of our union.

I ask that we not go where the path may lead us, but instead where there is no path and leave a trail for others to follow. In every challenge, there is opportunity. We just need to look hard enough to find it. I accept the challenges before us and I do see the opportunity in our future. We will all need to stand together as ONE UNION--ONE IRONWORKER.