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Business Managers Message

 

Sisters and Brothers,
As we start the Labor Day holiday weekend and we head out to be with family and friends I want to personally thank all of you for your hard work. If we can let’s pause and remember some quotes from some of our Labor leaders who have devoted their lives to the labor movement.
“Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected”. Samuel Gompers
Our labor unions are not narrow, self-seeking groups. They have raised wages, shortened hours, and provided supplemental benefits. Through collective bargaining and grievance procedures, they have brought justice and democracy to the shop floor. —John F. Kennedy
We have come too far, — struggled too long, — sacrificed too much and have too much left to do, — to allow that which we have achieved for the good of all to be swept away without a fight. And we have not forgotten how to fight. — Lane Kirkland
All that harms labor is treason to America. —Abraham Lincoln
We have much work ahead of us to finish 2016 strong, we have just finished contract negotiations for our call center and the months of hard work from organizing and negotiations have culminated in ratifying a first contract for our call center brothers and sisters.
I have made this a priority of mine since I took office and became your business manager with a vision to create respect from the employer and the rest of our labor community we could not continue to operate with 824 members and the eventual path to dissolving local 18007. We continue to grow our membership by seeking all avenues to organize and grow. WE have started our 3rd class of veterans with their training, this added 75 more brothers and sisters to the 18007 family and with the call center we are just shy of 1200 members, a number that the local has not seen in well over a decade.
This struggle has not been easy with court appearances, lobbying trips to Springfield, hours of testimony in Washington D.C . to gain funding, countless hours of meeting with political allies, and to those who doubted us, we continued our fight and have never given up, and as a result have grown our union family that we will never apologize for.
I will be preparing for our 2018 contract struggle starting in early 2017. We have learned from our brothers and sisters in our coalition who are currently in negotiations with WEC as we speak, that we have our work cut out for us, wages, contractor issues, higher medical costs, retiree health care are all under attack these are just a few of the company proposals that the company will be seeking concessions on from our brothers and sisters 90 miles north. I assure you we will be prepared for the fight here in Chicago because our futures to provide for our families depend on keeping our resolve to hold our ground together.
I leave everyone with this please remember you are labor – you are the long line of those who have entrusted the labor fight to us. Have a safe and great holiday weekend with family and friends.
Richard Passarelli

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