The Leader in You

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Sisters and brothers,

As you read this, our union will be preparing to convene the first in person Annual Delegates Meeting in three years! Our meeting will take place at the Sheraton Times Square in New York City from October 24-28.

Our theme is “The Leader in You.” It recognizes that our union leadership and members realize that leadership is not defined by a title or specific role, but that it’s a quality that is present within every one of us. Put simply, anyone can exhibit the qualities of leadership at any time and at any age.

Recently, we have been witnessing a resurgence of interest in labor movements, stemming from grassroots organizations fighting against greedy corporations and their already wealthy executives. It seems like every day there is a news story about new groups organizing and fighting for the dignity and respect they deserve as hardworking employees. There are many new faces of leadership, and they are leading a whole new generation of workers to stand up for their rights, their wages and their benefits. It is incredibly inspiring to see how these young laborers are embracing the union difference.

The new leaders and faces of the labor movement didn’t start out with someone bestowing a title on them. They didn’t have someone train them and hand them a certificate that said they could go out into the world and lead. They looked within themselves, found the leader in there, and set about doing what they could do to make the world a better place for themselves, their families and their co-workers.

The ability to lead is within every one of us, even if it’s just having a conversation with your colleague about how important union membership is. That means even more if they are just starting out – signing up new members is the lifeblood of the labor movement, and now more than ever workers want to be a part of it.

I would encourage all of you to look inside yourselves and challenge yourselves to see what kind of leadership qualities are within you. You never know what can happen, but at the very least, you may just improve things a little bit for yourselves and those you care about.

In Solidarity,

Mary E. Sullivan, President

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