Press Room

A Special Holiday Message From General President Walter Wise

Dec 21, 2012

It was the week before Christmas in 1973 that I received, while visiting my parents in California, the call that I had been accepted as an Ironworker Apprentice and should report to the Local 697 Union Hall in Roanoke, Virginia, on January 2nd.  It meant that I would need to start back across country the day after Christmas and leave our family gathering.  Little did I know that I would soon be part of a new family—a family that would shape my character, see me through a variety of challenges, and help me to raise my own family. Our Union family.

As you and your family gather around the holiday table this season, you inevitably reflect both on what has passed and on your expectations for the future.  Our great Union works much the same way.  We are diverse individuals.   Some of us part the clouds with steel;  some tie rebar to support superhighways which will drive the commerce of the future, while others weld crucial components of America’s next generation of bridge and power infrastructure projects.  We install the gleaming curtainwall that forms the skyline or work in Shops to produce the materials to build these stunning structures.   We must balance our commitment to past generations as well as opportunities for future generations. Sometimes, we too, suffer tragedies and hard times. But as a family, we face it together.  We cannot succeed without each other, and we will not fail with each other. 

Thank you for your support in doing what we do best—building North America and our great Union.

As we close out 2012, on behalf of our Union family, we send you and your family best wishes for a joyous holiday and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Walter Wise
General President
Iron Workers

Press Contact:

Sara Schuttloffel
(202) 383-4885