Having been a Union member since 1993 I have noticed a change in our membership. Perhaps it is because they have not had to fight the hard battles like their Brothers before them, but more and more Brothers are concerned about themselves and not the greater good. I don’t mean they don’t participate in their union, but they have chosen to deviate from the recommended candidate and vote their own choice. While it is understandable that it is difficult to vote for a candidate that may only support one issue you believe in, that issue is a fairly significant one. That issue is your livelihood and retirement. It is protecting your family and ensuring your safety.
This isn’t about voting Republican or Democrat, this is about voting labor. As union members, we need to go back to our roots and support those that support us. Every day we read about benefits being attacked, pensions being cut and labor unions being pushed to the edge. All of these things are happening because we are not supporting our candidates.
What this boils down to is, who are you? Are you a union fire fighter? Then you need to support your union. We all do.
Webster’s defines a union as “an act or instance of uniting or joining two or more things into one.” Our union needs to be of one mind and speak with one voice, whether the issue is conditions around the station or voting for political candidates.
You may feel like gun control or local taxes are the more significant issue, but where will you end up when the non-endorsed candidate attacks your job or your pension? We are in difficult times. Our government seems to be floundering at times, and many have lost faith in those elected to fix the problems. However, we are also faced with ever-increasing attacks on public employees, their benefits and their livelihoods.
We cannot have it both ways. We cannot support a candidate that will attack the benefits that were fought for by our Brothers before us. It is time for us all to support those that support us.
-- Dave LeBlanc
Harwich, MA Local 2124