Why the Machinists Honor Juneteenth

19 June 2022

Dear Sisters, Brothers, and Friends of the IAM,

We have had a whole year to prepare our nation for Juneteenth as a federal holiday. A holiday that remembers June 19, 1866, the day Afro-Texans gathered to commemorate the first anniversary of the ending of slavery.

This was acknowledged and celebrated across America throughout African-American communities. It signaled a new start to a brighter future. Many of these celebrations gave rise to fighting for workers’ rights. 

Our union is committed to ensuring that we never forget the successes and failures of our past. It helps us as our nation continues to fight against racism and against the erosion of civil rights. This holiday allows us to reflect on how we can better serve our community, fellow citizens, and union.

We can celebrate Juneteenth by recognizing how far we have come together and how much work we have to do in our society. Our union is always at its best when celebrating our diversity, and on this Juneteenth, we will fight to ensure every one of us is respected and treated with dignity.

In solidarity,

Robert Martinez Jr.
IAM International President

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