Power Through Politics

Posted May 24, 2021

Power Through Politics:

The question we are asked many times  is “what does the union do for me other than collect dues from me?”  One of my jobs as your Business Representative is to be politically active.  The IUPAT, DC16 and all the local unions within DC16 are very active in the political arena.  Mike Greenlee is the DC16 Director of Communications and he keeps us updated and directs us where we are needed when it comes to Political influence. There are so many bills that rank-and-file members never even know about that help create jobs, more work hours and stability for all union and non-union members.  We also oppose bills that kill jobs, create an uneven playing field or hurt union members and union contractors.  Prior to Covid-19 we would go to the Capitol and make public comments on certain bills or lobby for certain bills by going door to door to speak with our friends of labor and even those who are not friends of labor within the capital building.  Now due to Covid-19, we have to call in to make comments.  We are continuously walking precincts or phone banking for our friends of labor to get them elected for the betterment of our members.  We use the Volunteer Activist Committee (VAC) to help get members mobilized to these political activities that benefit us all. Within all of the DC16 regions we interview politicians that are running for local offices such as, Mayor, City Council seats, local School boards and regional representatives.

I could continue to talk about the importance of being politically active, instead I ask if you would you do your job for less than you make now?  If you answer “no”, then you need to become politically involved.  The unions set the prevailing wage and if the Davis-Bacon act was to be done away with then there would be no prevailing wages.  We would still have jobs but we would no longer have a standard wage, just a minimum wage. There is quite a bit that goes on behind the scenes that the members are not aware of but is reported on in monthly membership meetings that all members should be attending to keep up to date with what is going on locally and regionally. Hopefully this opens your eyes and mind to the importance of getting involved.

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