The Swinging Pendulum


There is continual focus, especially during the activities of an election year, on how we, as the IATSE and part of the labor movement at large, can effectuate positive change.  We often feel that no matter how intense our efforts are we cannot climb the steep hill to political victory that will translate into positive change for working families.


But there are many examples of instances where we have succeeded and our Canadian Brothers and Sisters are already seeing the fruits of their work in defeating the Conservatives in the recent national elections.  In addition, the voters in Alberta took power by defeating the right-wing after 44 years of political rule.  In the Canadian national election, the landslide for the Liberals has already resulted in the undoing of anti-union legislation, policy and regulation and it is expected that this pro-worker administration will have a lasting positive effect for unions and working families that were under constant attack from the Conservatives.


This is an example of what can be accomplished at the polls when voters show up and stand up for what is in their best interests.  And in the United States we have the same opportunity to effectuate change this election year.  Unions have been under attack, workers’ wages compressed and corporate profits have not been shared with the middle class.  The pendulum has swung too far and it is time for change.  But change will not come because we wish for it, we have to work for it.  As evidenced by the changes made in Canada (and to the surprise of many) our voices and votes are potent, but they must be exercised to have any force.


I am asking the leadership, membership and all the Locals to engage in the political process and make a resounding statement at the polls in the upcoming elections this year.  Register to vote and help others do the same, talk about why change is crucial, volunteer at the AFL-CIO regional or local offices or assist a candidate’s campaign, drive people to the polls who need help getting there and help your Local with its political program.


The time has come for change and the burden is upon us all to make that happen at the polls.  We must support candidates who support us and hold them accountable.  Having a political environment that is ripe for us to succeed is as important as anything else we do as unions to protect the members.  Let’s stand together for our collective interests and swing the pendulum back toward fairness.


President's Newsletter

IATSE Bulletin

First Quarter, 2016