Business Manager’s Desk
A Message from the Business Manager:
It has been a long time since I have submitted an article. I am not proud of that fact, but I believe that I have a good explanation.
Since I last reached out via the Labor News, so much has changed the atmosphere in which we operate that it has been difficult to put into a few paragraphs. Due to the intense political atmosphere, I believe it is the open window that I was waiting for in order to more fully describe where we stand as labor.
I’m sure that no matter how you voted in the last presidential election, we can all agree that we are currently living in a country that is divided. One of the points I made throughout the last few years is the polarization that has caused community and political leaders alike to try to figure out how to navigate through all of this in order to pass critical legislation that will keep citizens employed, and with basic rights that they deserve in order to live and thrive in our nation as we know it. That difficult task has reached a level that has surpassed anything that I could have dreamed of when originally running for business manager of my local, and certainly more than I dreamed of when running for this position in the Rochester Building Trades Council.
This has not deterred me from the obligations that I swore to fulfill under oath to our members, but it has forced me into an area of education that I, as a young apprentice electrician, never dreamed that I would have to face. I implore you all to adhere to what I have to say, as it is critical to the very foundation in which we have all embarked on in order to provide for ourselves and our families. I have been avoiding an article like this, because it is not pleasant. However, my message will be concise, and with not be the rhetoric that you will find on social media.
My brothers and sisters; we are one. We always have been, whether you would like to admit it or not. Labor has a long history of being the common ground that people from all walks of life have in common. In an era of dozens of movements throughout the country, labor has been the common denominator that brings them all together under basic human rights. Our mantra has been, and always will be, that humans shall be, and will be, created equal and with respect. Our basic needs are a given right, regardless of your religion, your race, your gender, or other orientation. You were born, and you – like every other human being on this planet – are here to survive.
To this day, I am baffled at how I came into this position. But when I agreed to become more involved, it is an oath I took seriously. And in this position, I am finding current events within the past year becoming more and more difficult to navigate through. I believe this is because of the incredible amount of time, energy, and money that is spent widening the gaps of communication with those convinced that somehow, we don’t relate to one another as much as we really do. I could preach to you to show up at your union meetings, to turn out and vote on election day, to volunteer more on labor walks, and to increase education and awareness in your local political communities. But I won’t. I have already done that. Instead, I am asking you to get to know your neighbors and co-workers better. You relate to them. You share a common talent which has led you to the industry in which you work. You have chosen to live in the same community. Your children or grandchildren may ride the same bus together every day.
You may not show up and participate as a much-needed voice this election season. But if you continue to communicate with people you care about, they may be the catalyst you need in order to mobilize and become active in the much-needed change we need in order to sustain that which we have built over the last several years. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day either. When you build such a grand civilization, history will tell how complacency will lead to gradual destruction. Those who have the will and desire to look past all that is happening around them and focus on the goals that will truly make their civilization great again are those who I wish to call upon. I will not make this article about the facts and figures that have created nor destroyed that which we enjoy or are facing in our everyday lives. I’d be writing a book instead of an article. I am encouraging each and every one of you to walk up to someone who has inspired you and start asking questions. I can assure you it will eventually lead to the courses of leadership that will always be unplanned, unexpected, and will ensure the survival of the brotherhood and sisterhood that serves as the model foundation of which the real great “American” country that we have come to idolize will begin to reconstruct.
David A. Young, Jr.