My Sisters and Brothers,
This is my first Labor Day as president of our great union, and although it would be my wish to be with you in person, I can tell you that our virtual celebrations and the observance of what this day means to this union and all working men and women in this nation are no less heartfelt and meaningful.
For me, Labor Day has always been about our collective voice and celebrating and recognizing what that voice has achieved for the American worker. That voice built the middle class, spoke out against racial and social injustice and has been responsible for real job security, for health and safety advances and for a solid living wage, and that voice amplified by America’s great unions is what we celebrate on Labor Day and what we continue to fight for and protect.
As we reflect, we take pride in the fact that it has been the American worker that continues to be the engine that drives this economy. Much has been said in the past year about how our economy is changing, how mobility is changing and how industry and manufacturing is on the precipice of a monumental transition. For the UAW’s auto workers, the change we are moving toward will mean clean energy and clean vehicles.
As we navigate this transition, we at the UAW will use our collective voice to state very clearly that these jobs of the future must be good paying union jobs right here at home. I visited Washington, D.C. last month and stood with President Joe Biden and Local 600 President Bernie Rickie on August 5 as the president rolled out his vision for the future of mobility, and he emphasized this: That future will be clean vehicles built by American workers making union wages.
During that visit to our nation’s capitol, it was my great pleasure on August 2 to meet with Richard Trumka, former leader of the AFL-CIO. Sadly, as I’m sure you all know, Trumka died suddenly on August 5. He was a tireless fighter for labor and a dear friend. He was one of our nation’s great union voices. So, as we mark this Labor Day, I want to say thank you. Thanks for that voice. You were a personal friend, and a friend to all union brothers and sisters, one who fought until your last day for the rights of workers.
On this special holiday, I want to take a moment to thank each one of my UAW brothers and sisters for the strength and Solidarity you have shown in this past year as we have all been faced with the terrible reality that is the COVID-19 pandemic. So many of us have lost loved ones. I want to extend my deepest sympathies to our UAW family for those losses. I also want to recognize our frontline workers and every member of this workforce that has returned to work to keep our economy going. I want you to know that as president, I am doing everything in my power to keep us all safe as we navigate the months ahead.
Looking ahead, I have a quick update on the 2022 Constitutional Convention. We go into this iconic event with renewed energy, enthusiasm and purpose. I am looking forward to seeing so many of our members back in Detroit where this great union of ours was founded. The convention will be held at the TCF Center, formerly Cobo Hall, in Detroit, Michigan. The dates are July 25-29, 2022.
Lastly, as we head into this Labor Day weekend, I want to recognize the workers of today and those who have gone before us. Workers, one and all, who stood up to fight for safe working conditions, fair wages and benefits, and a voice in the workplace.
Keep up the great work, UAW members. The fight goes on and so does what we achieve together.
Have a safe and happy Labor Day.
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