Unions for All!

Unions for all Summit, October 3, 2019- October 6, 2019

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On October 3, 2019 the Pennsylvania Joint Board MPO team traveled to sunny Los Angeles California to attend the Unions for All Summit. 

This was a three day summit that allowed the MPO team to meet other Union members, in addition to workers that are fighting for their Union, and discuss issues that are important to everyone. Issues like racism, immigration, climate change, poverty wages, unfair working conditions, unsafe working conditions, and most importantly what we can do to solidify Unions for All!

We heard from a man from Ethiopia that found when he arrived in America that making ends meet isn’t easy when you are only making minimum wage. He spoke to the group of 1,200 attendees and expressed that he didn’t know that the road would be so hard. He works two full time jobs to make ends meet, and his wife works one job and they still live paycheck to paycheck. His name means the road is hard, but he didn’t think the road should be this hard. He is active in the Fight for 15 because he came to this country to make a better life for himself and his family, and with poverty wages, he can’t do that. 

 

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Friday and Saturday were jam packed with speakers. The summit heard from Democratic presidential hopefuls, with John Thomas participating in a ‘Clutch’. He got to meet one on one with some of the candidates and hear what they had to say on wages, immigration and Unions for All. Some of the hopefuls included Vice President Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, and Pete Buttigieg.

 

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Union members from all over the USA got to stand up in front of the crowd and ask questions to the hopefuls about their platforms and how, if they secure our endorsement, they would raise wages, fight for immgration reform, secure racial justice and solidify Unions for All. We told them, if you want our vote, come get it!

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Saturday morning the Pennsylvania Joint Board team went to the Action Center where we learned how to use Purple Text and text people across the US to remind them to use their voice and register to vote. After a brief introduction to Purple Text the gauntlet was laid,  the top ten texters out of the twelve hundred people in attendance would be recognized.

We spent the next 24 hours texting as much as possible during our free time. Sunday morning as the summit closed they announced the winners. From the Joint Board Zach Shotz, Kelli Trent and Christine Miller were numbers 4,5 and 6! The three sent approximately 110,000 between the three of them. 

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All throughout the summit attendees participated in workshops and games in breakout groups that allowed us to explore common misconceptions in regards to racism and social injustice. We were tasked to dig deep into our feelings and emotions and train of thought to look at how we may view things differently and to see if government really works for the people. We learned how certain racial hate groups, like the KKK, are closely tied to things like Right to Work. like the KKK, are closely tied to things like Right to Work.                        La65

 

In our workshops we practiced how to ask questions that may lead to organizing new shops and how to get people involved. We talked about what our communities and country would look like if there was Unions for All. 

Sunday, before the Summit closed breakout groups made their ideal planet using magazines and art supplies. In our groups we named our planet, and then cut out and pasted down, pictures and words that signified the ideal planet to us. 

The Summit closed with a speech from Mary Kay Henry. She projected that we will continue to build, and win, Unions for All if we all stand together and keep fighting. 

 

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