April 22, 2020
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Over the past few months, our lives have changed dramatically. Tens of thousands of our fellow Americans and Canadians – loved ones, friends, and coworkers – have lost their lives to COVID-19, and many more have fallen ill. If you have lost someone, you have our deepest condolences and sympathy. If you are sick, we wish you a speedy and full recovery.
If you are still working, you have our eternal gratitude; your sacrifice and courage have not gone unnoticed. The work you do is critical to protecting our communities, our countries, and our way of life. You are facing unique and unprecedented risks, and you are putting the needs of others before your own. On behalf of myself, General Secretary-Treasurer Armand E. Sabitoni, and the entire LIUNA General Executive Board, I thank you for your selfless effort, determination, and bravery.
At every level of our great International Union, we are doing what Laborers always do; we carry on through adversity and crisis. The foundation built by our predecessors and each and every one of you provides us with the tools and resources to respond quickly, strategically, and effectively to this unparalleled public health emergency. As always, we continue to conduct the business of our union; we are developing work site safety protocols to protect the most valuable asset of our union, our members; we are making sure our voices and our views continue to be heard by elected officials; and we are fighting for relief and stimulus packages that put our members and their families first.
I want to recognize the incredible job that our District Councils, Local Unions, and affiliated funds are doing to respond to this unprecedented crisis. I am awed and inspired by your dedication and commitment to our members, to our union, and to our two great countries. True leaders are defined not by how they perform in the best of times, but rather by how they lead, respond, and react in the most trying and turbulent times. Each and every one of you is a working-class warrior who makes us all proud.
I also want to thank all of our dedicated members who are following the guidance of public health officials, taking care of themselves and their families, checking in on neighbors, and doing their part to keep us all healthy and safe. Never before in my life have I seen such a clear demonstration of the goodness and greatness of all our members than I have witnessed over the past few months. I have never felt more honored and humbled to be your General President than I do right now.
In the 117 years since a small group of hod carriers and building laborers came together to organize our union, we have been through war and peace, boom and bust, good times and bad. We have survived the Great Depression, two World Wars, and many economic downturns. Through it all, we have persevered because of our solidarity, our unity, and our strength. No one member of LIUNA ever stands alone; each and every one of us has an army of 500,000 strong, proud, and united LIUNA brothers and sisters standing by our side.
Despite the challenges and hardships we are facing, I am convinced that LIUNA will emerge from this with a renewed and uncompromising commitment to fight for justice, honor, and strength for all workers.
I thank you and your families for your continued faith in, and loyalty to, our great International Union. May you continue to always Feel the Power, Use the Power, and Be the Power.