By STEVEN M. GALLOWAY
General Vice President, Midwest Territory
International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers
This Labor Day, may we focus more on all that unites us. Instead of all that divides us.
We need America to remember its purpose of us.
Us is each of us. Not us vs. them.
We need to create common ground to eliminate the us vs. them.
Can we all agree that good-paying jobs are what we’re all ultimately fighting for?
E pluribus unum (Out of many, one) is one of our country’s greatest mottos. It’s meaning originates from the concept that out of the union of the original 13 colonies emerged one single nation. It’s a message of solidarity. A message of unity. Emblazoned all across our money, our national seals, and our government buildings.
Yet here we are, some 250 years later, and sadly that motto couldn’t be any further from the truth, in regards to how we function as a nation.
US VS. THEM
If you haven’t noticed, we’re becoming a nation of us vs. them.
How is it that a country built on a message of unity and solidarity can be so divided all these years later?
Because the more things change, the more things stay the same. When you fail to learn from the mistakes of the past, you’re destined to repeat them.
It’s Labor Day 2019. Almost 90 years from the financial crisis of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed. Seventy-two years since the passage of the Taft Hartley Act. And more than 50 years from the days of Jim Crow.
Yet, we’re still dealing with the haves vs. have nots. The rich vs. the poor. Union vs. non-union (Janus vs. AFSCME). And black vs. white.
DIVIDING THE WORKING CLASS
From a political standpoint, we have allowed leaders to come into power that don’t have the best interest of all working Americans at heart.
President Trump and this current administration is single-handedly trying to divide the working class.
They don’t care about American jobs. They don’t care about the middle class. They don’t care about health care. They don’t care about women. And they don’t care about people of color.
OUT OF MANY, ONE
E pluribus unum – Out of many, one.
Like the great leaders that have come before us, we have to make this right.
It’s up to all of us to fight for workers across America.
This Labor Day, may we celebrate the struggles and accomplishments of the American Labor Movement and the contributions workers have made to our country to date. But, may we also pledge to put our differences aside and come together, so that we – the working class, our families, our children, and our children’s children – can live a life of inclusion, respect and dignity on the job.
(Steven M. Galloway is General Vice President of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Midwest Territory. The IAMAW is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in aerospace, transportation, manufacturing, shipbuilding, woodworking and other industries. For more information, visit goIAM.org.)