TAKING OWNERSHIP OF OUR UNION
Report from Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Conference
By Troy Green
My name is Troy Green and I’m a member of IBEW 1245. I was recently brought to the team to build relationships between IBEW members and provide information on why voting is such an important task. I would have liked to bring you this news in person, but unfortunately that isn’t always possible.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been learning how important it is for all of us to take ownership of our union, and participate in our future by becoming educated and voting. There are struggles taking place across the country between the rich and powerful and the everyday hardworking people. The top 1% of the people in our nation owns 33% of the nation’s wealth; as far as I’m concerned, the other 99% are blue collar workers, even if some of them have six figure salaries.
The struggle in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee, for starters, as well as right here at home, is not about a few dollars being taken out of working families pockets. This is about fairness and democracy in the workplace. There are many politicians who believe working people shouldn’t have a voice. I’ve been learning about the struggle in the public sector. I’ve listened to people tell me about how they are losing their collective bargaining rights. As union members, we must not let that happen.
What can you do? Vote. All members, along with their family and friends, should be registered voters, and cast their ballot on election day. Know your candidates, and make an informed decision. Many of these issues will affect you and your family for years to come. Voting is more important now than ever before. We have contracts coming up for bargaining at many locations, and having elected officials on our side can make a huge difference. We should all be active in the future of our union.
Lastly, become a member of the CBTU and show your support. The CBTU is committed to increasing union involvement in voter registration, voter education and voter turnout projects.
I’d like to thank you for your time, and look forward to seeing you at voting booth!
Troy Green is a 36-year member of IBEW Local 1245, employed at PG&E. He represented Local 1245 at the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Annual Convention in Las Vegas over Memorial Day Weekend.