A Message from CWA Local 4900 President, Tim Strong
Brothers and Sisters,
2020 has been a challenging year to say it lightly. We have been challenged with a deadly virus that has resulted in more than 100,000 Americans losing their lives. Now we are facing another national crisis driven by the senseless murder of another black man at the hands of a law enforcement officer. These crisis’s are not new, it’s not the first time our country has encountered a pandemic or a tragic murder at the hands of law enforcement. We have the ability to make sure we do our best to make sure neither happen again.
The challenge we face regarding racism is not about just changing the way law enforcement interacts with any ethnicity, it is about changing how we treat each other. The reality is the entire working-class majority, especially among young individuals, has felt the knee of inequality’s crushing its opportunities, rights, and lives, too.
This is about changing things that we know are wrong like the “prison for profit” system that rewards companies for inmates in their facilities. This is about making sure every American makes a fair wage and has access to quality healthcare.
The protesters in the streets, across the country, are Black, Hispanic, Asian, middle Eastern and yes White. They feel the pain of injustice over the death of George Floyd, and so many others before him, but also the lopsided deaths of those who are economically challenged by low wages, lack of affordable healthcare and the opportunity for affordable education.
We know these challenges; we feel their pain every time we go to the bargaining table. We know how hard the fight is to get a decent raise and try to maintain affordable healthcare, all while working for employers that make billions of dollars while paying little to no taxes. Can you imagine where we would be without a union to speak for all of us?
Understand, the overwhelming majority of those peacefully protesting are simply looking for justice and change. There are criminals who undermine this message. Do not let this criminal element overcome the fight for positive change. Those protesting peacefully are doing so under the very foundation our Constitution was built upon.
We, as union members must reject racism, we have the ability and the experience to show the world how to treat one another as brothers and sisters as we do on the picket lines. We can show the world how to fight for better wages, for quality health care and for an America where our children have the ability to thrive and live healthy without being ridiculed or killed because of the color of their skin, their ethnicity, their income, their sexual orientation or their disability. We need to be an example. Because we know, that if you want things to be better, you must fight for it!
That is the dream of the America I want to see for you, your children and those who follow.
I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but for those who do; the first step is to reject systemic racism.
In the video linked to this message, you will see members of your local who are taking the first step.
May you and your families be well and safe.
With Love to my Brothers and Sisters,