Labor Day is a special day to celebrate our union and the difference it has made in our lives. But it can’t be the only day we stand up for our union – and for members of the UMWA, it never is. In the last five years more than 100,000 UMWA members, our families and friends have gathered in St. Louis, Charleston, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere as we fought to secure the lifetime health care and pensions our members have earned and deserve.
We’ve won half that battle with the preservation of retiree health care benefits for 22,600 people. Now we need to complete our victory and preserve pension benefits for 86,000 retirees across America.
We are on the path to doing just that. In the last several months, I have met with more than 3,500 members to prepare for our Special International Convention in November, where the delegates will consider giving our Union the resources necessary to win the fight to preserve our pensions.
I’m not sitting still as we get into that fight, and I don’t want you to sit still either. If you live in northern West Virginia, join me in Mannington, WV on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, for a Labor Day Celebration. Then on Labor Day itself, I’ll be in Marmet, WV in the morning for the Labor Day Parade, and I’ll be attending District 17’s Labor Day barbeque in Racine, WV on Monday afternoon. And on Saturday, Sept. 9, I will attend the District 2 Pensioners Picnic in Clarkesville, PA, along with Secretary-Treasurer Allen.
Please join us at one of these celebrations if you can as we come together and unite as one. On behalf of the entire International Union, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day weekend.