Greetings from Mid-Michigan – The Great Lakes State!
We left the convention with high hopes for the International and all the members. That all came crashing down when we heard about a member dying on the job from Local 11. A week of looking into the future that stopped just like that! I know the future will be good for all the members and their families, but it won’t be for any family that has lost a loved one. Wake up thinking safety, go to bed thinking safety, and always think safety. Don’t push ten hours work into an eight hour day. Please take time before you start a job and look over everything to be sure it’s safe. Jim Miller (Local 11) told me Lenny (Local 1) told him he tells his members when your family is all together step away. What you will see is what it looks like without you (something like that anyway). There are no words that will make us feel better, nor do I have the answer to what will stop the heart breaking deaths on the job. However, take time, slow down, keep your mind on the job you are on, not the job you have to do next. That’s a start (I think!).
“We all came to this trade to have a better life not a shorter one”
There will be many changes at the International over the next couple years. Do we want to stay stagnant or strong? If we drop some of our market share there will be cuts in wages, benefits and membership across the country. I know every member out there is thinking about the increase in dues, but we all need to remember we don’t get the wages and benefits without a cost. How many people do you know that would give $5.00 or even $10.00 an hour to have your benefits and wages? Well it’s not $5.00 or $10.00 an hour but I would pay that to keep everything I have and believe I deserve. We had a great meeting with many retirees in attendance and they will tell you, to get where we are was with a lot of sacrifice. Sacrifice is something most of us don’t know or understand. We didn’t have to stand on a picket line to get a 5 cent raise, benefits, or call in sick to support another member that was being mistreated by an employer. Most of us think we’ve sacrificed by taking calls or working overtime causing us to be away from our families. To be what we want to be and where we want to be as a Union, it takes sacrifice. We are only as strong as our membership, so stand tall, work safe, support your Local and support your International.
September dates to remember:
September 5, 2016 Labor Day (paid)
September 14, 2016 Gaylord Meeting, 6:00 pm, Hampton Inn, Gaylord
September 15, 2016 Marquette Meeting, 6:00 pm, Country Inn, Marquette
September 22, 2016 JAC Meeting at 9:00 am
September 27, 2016 Union Meeting
Apprenticeship classes started a couple weeks back. We need to start some Continuing Education classes, call and tell us what you want to take.
Golden Rail Club
Kalamazoo: 9.7.2016 First Wednesday at 10:00 am, Theo & Stacey’s
Grand Rapids: 9.20.2016 Third Tuesday at 9:00 am, New Beginnings, 1455 Michigan Street, NE, Grand Rapids
Lansing: 9.21.2016 Third Wednesday at 9:00 am, Zeus Restaurant, 6525 Pennsylvania, Lansing
In Unity There Is Strength,