Building Communities, Building Lives
Greetings, Brothers & Sisters. I hope that this issue of the Journal finds you and your family healthy and safe as we enter the fall season.
The International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers just completed its 85th Convention. Over our 155-year history, BAC has been witness to many historic developments. This year one such development was the need for us to conduct our first-ever online Convention, where delegates representing every US state and Canadian province met virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (see pages 3-9)
I can’t say that this was the ideal forum for our Convention, but if there’s one constant for BAC over the years, it’s the ability of our members and our Union to adapt to circumstances as required. We do it as craftworkers every day on the job, and we must match that resilience in how we manage our union’s affairs.
The theme for this year’s Convention was “Building Communities, Building Lives,” recognizing not only the contributions that BAC members make every day in building the structures that make up our communities – the schools, hospitals, homes, factories, offices and churches – but also celebrating how BAC members and our local unions enrich their local communities through charitable works, and how the power of collective bargaining and our training programs improve members’ lives. Our union is quite literally a community of skilled craftworkers dedicated to mutual aid and the advancement of programs that benefit working people.
Of course, we recognize the need for partners in our communities to advance our goals, particularly those goals that are beyond the means of any single organization. We need partnership with government that helps ensure safe and healthy workplaces and provides the economic conditions that enable us to earn our livelihood. Politics isn’t the sole determiner of whether we rise or fall, but it’s far easier for unions to grow and win better conditions for workers when we have supportive partners in government.
The US members of the BAC will have a voice on November 3rd in deciding what type of partner at the national level they will choose to help better our Union. BAC respects the right of every member to vote their conscience. But our obligation as leaders of this Union is to make clear that the basis for receiving our Union’s support is whether a political candidate supports us. This year, on that score, the choice couldn’t be clearer. (see pages 16-17) Joe Biden’s career-long support for unions has earned him BAC’s support in return.
I want to close here by thanking the delegates to our recently concluded Convention, and you, the members who selected those delegates, for the trust that you have placed in me and my fellow Executive Board members. That trust needs to be earned every day, and you have my pledge that we will do our utmost to continue to earn that trust.