September 30, 2014

We must understand the meaning of solidarity

Morr, Bonnie.2011

Morr

By Bonnie Morr, 
Vice President, Bus – 

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines solidarity as a feeling of unity between people who have the same community of interests or goals based on certain objectives and standards. Is this not what our union, and all of organized labor around the world, is truly about?

The term “solidarity” became well-known in the early 1980s from a Polish shipyard-workers trade union, under the leadership of Lech Walesa. It grew into an anti-bureaucratic social movement, using methods of civil resistance to advance the causes of workers’ rights and social change.

Nearly 35 years later, solidarity is what we need more of today.

It is important that all of our union brothers and sisters understand the meaning of solidarity.

Think of solidarity as all of our working families and our future working families standing in unity for the protection of all working families. This applies to not only our fellow SMART members, but workers of all crafts in all labor unions.

As members of a union, we know the benefits of a union contract. Or do we? Do you think your employer provides you with the benefits you and your family have out of the goodness of his or her heart?

Those wages and benefits came about from our predecessors standing tall and strong in the face of adversity, and we must continue that stand.

We must remain active in protecting ourselves and our families from the assaults of groups and corporations that are trying to downsize us. We must stand together to support the team and be part of the team.

A recent article on the SMART Transportation Division website entitled “More Americans see middle class status slipping” notes that many Americans’ sense of belonging to the middle class is that they are no longer part of it.

Your union officers are working hard for you and are trying to do the best they can. They need you and they need your support. Stand together. Stand strong. Solidarity!