June 19, 2020
Brothers and Sisters,
In recent weeks, our commitment to our country’s fundamental values has been put to a test, and we must all recognize the importance of this moment. For those who are quick to dismiss it as just heightened politics in a divided nation, we urge you to consider how your views on human rights fit within this struggle for justice.
We must not let partisan, class, or racial politics get in the way of the important human and civil rights issues we need to discuss right now. We cannot allow more suffering and the loss of the human connections we value as union members and as one nation. As union members, we are sometimes too comfortable taking these values for granted.
As elected union leaders, the entire District 141 Executive Board works to protect the rights of every member, and our processes guarantee equal rights for all. We are bound by an oath of office and by our personal convictions to represent people who may not look like us and whose life experiences may be very different from ours, but who are our Brothers and Sisters. Every day, and especially now, we reinforce our commitment to these values and honor the trust you have placed in us to represent all of you.
We ask that you read the statements that our GVP Sito Pantoja, IAMAW International President Bob Martinez, and the AFL-CIO General Board have issued recently, and use them to begin your own examination of how you can be part of a more inclusive future for organized labor and our nation. This moment in history demands that we not just take comfort in not being racist ourselves, but to actively denounce racism. We realize this self-reflection and conversations with others may be difficult, but we must have them so we learn from each other and grow.
We must rise to this moment, and work together to build a future where the labor movement and our nation will truly live up to our ideals of liberty and justice for all.
Michael G. Klemm
President & Directing General Chair
IAMAW District 141
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