To my fellow USW Local 13-2001 Members,
I want to start off by thanking each and every one of you for allowing me the opportunity to serve this membership as the President and Business Agent. I want to thank each and every officer for their advice input and leadership on an array of issues that come before us on a daily basis. And I want to state that we have a tremendous amount of work left to do. This is worthy work; this is work that must be done to protect the three phases of our organization. If you are one of the few who have not heard me speak to these three phases I will document them here.
The first phase is protecting what others before us fought for and achieved through the collective bargaining process. The second phase is vigorously addressing the issues that arise for the work force of today. And the third phase is making sure that when we finish our careers that the working environment all inclusively is better than it was when we started our career. Past, present and future these are the phases and we cannot sacrifice one to save another. We must stay vigilant in our mission to be successful in all three phases.
Our mission and our fight will not be an easy one. We must all understand and come to grips with the fact that if it is worth having, if it is really important and valuable then we must fight to keep it, and we must also fight to make it even better. These are simply the facts and have been the facts since the labor movement in our country began. I have learned that this USW membership in Baytown is very strong, very smart and willing to do what it takes to protect the things won in the past, address the issues of today and assure ourselves that there is a better future for the ones that come behind us.
Our key to success is sticking together. Our core values and beliefs as trade Unionist can never be compromised. We have always got to be looking at the greater good for the majority. There is no ME in Union. This membership as it always has must continue to hold the elected officials accountable and educate themselves on the issues. The elected officials must always stay grounded to the fact that they work for and answer to the membership. This is true democracy. This is what empowers people and this is why we will be successful in our fight.
I offer you no guarantees in winning every fight that we get into. However, I can guarantee you that if we do not fight we cannot win. I can also guarantee you that every fight that we get into will be fought with vigor and our members who are involved will have exemplary representation throughout the process. We will also not allow defeats to change our mission. Instead we will use the defeat as an educational tool that enables us and drives us to find new and better ways to approach the problem.
In closing, I again want to again take the time to thank each of you tremendously for the opportunity to serve this membership. It is truly an honor and a privilege. I would also like this membership to review and get educated on what has transpired with our Clerical group, the Baton Rouge facility and the recent events that have taken place with me and Mark. These are reference points and or indicators. As we get ready for our negotiations in 2013 these reference points and indicators are crucial and must not be ignored. Knowledge is power and we need to get educated to the fact that this company does not like the fact that we have taken steps to assure that we go backwards and accept less any longer. I am speaking to our decision made in 2008 to join the National Oil Bargaining Program. We did so because we were going backwards accepting less and the company stated very clearly that they had no interest in our NOBP proposals because we were not part of the pattern. Well today we are, and now the company wants to make a claim that they some how have a say in who is in the program and who is not. To be very clear, NOBP is an internal union decision made only by dues paying members. We are an NOBP site; we will not vote on or ratify an offer that does not meet at a minimum the pattern settlement. We must get ready for this debate and fundamental fight. This is our fight. This fight affects all three phases of our organization. This fight is about this membership. This fight can, will be and must be won by this local union.
USW Local 13-2001 President/Business Agent