Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As a Texas native, Juneteenth means more to me than just a day to mark the end of a horrific period in our history, the institution of slavery. It’s also a day when Texans gathered for food and drinks with family and friends to celebrate the end of a painful period in our nation’s history.
Juneteenth celebrations spread across Texas and cities throughout America. In Texas, it became a state holiday in 1980. Now, with the passage of legislation establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, all Americans can join together as one nation to celebrate the end of slavery in the United States.
The Machinists Union’s commitment to inclusion and diversity runs deep. It is critical that we be there for one another as the nation continues to struggle to unite against racism.
Today, I ask that you honor the pain caused by slavery and the lives lost. This is an opportunity to continue learning, connecting with each other, and reflecting on how we can move forward and achieve permanent and lasting change.
I am humbled to be part of this beautifully diverse and inclusive union. Together, supporting one another, we will continue to move forward during these difficult times.
Robert Martinez Jr.
IAM International President