Friday, August 31, 2007
Labor Day Message
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Labor Day is our holiday. It is a time to stop and reflect on the many contributions of North America’s workers, to celebrate our accomplishments and to honor those who struggled before us.
This Labor Day, we are at an important crossroads. We have endured much and persevered through some of the toughest times in our union’s history. Now, we have the opportunity to turn those tough times into a better future for our members.
It is appropriate that we just concluded our National Staff Conference on the eve of Labor Day. IAM representatives from all over North America met to consider what we must do to ensure our union stays strong for years to come.
An important part of securing our common future is making sure the people who govern our nations are on the side of working people. We took an historic step toward that end this week at our National Staff Conference. We endorsed two U.S. presidential primary candidates, Hillary Clinton from the Democratic party and Mike Huckabee from the Republican party . We made this decision after four candidates, three Democrats and one Republican, agreed to appear at the Staff Conference and explain their vision for working people in America.
We made this historic dual endorsement after careful consideration of the candidates’ appearances, and extensive polling of our members. And, we endorsed a candidate from both parties because in the struggle ahead to fight for our members and their families we must all be united by our common bond as union members.
No matter what party, no matter what religion, no matter what ethnic background, we all want the same things: a secure job; health care when a loved one gets sick; a good education for our kids; a secure retirement and dignity on the job.
So, as we gather over this holiday weekend to celebrate Labor Day, let us focus not on our differences, but on the common bonds that unite us as union members. For as Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” And this Labor Day we must begin a journey that will unite all of us to make sure the Labor Movement grows and millions more workers in North America can live better as union members.
Finally, let us remember and wish a safe return to the working men and women who have volunteered to serve in the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.
Best wishes for a safe and happy Labor Day,
R. Thomas Buffenbarger