Monday, September 1, 2014

UNION...Be Proud and Keep America Strong!

Today is probably the most important day in the Labor movement.

It gives honor to all those workers who get paid by somebody else. The lucky ones are fortunate enough to have a union to support them. 

I think most of you know that if it were not for the labor moment we would not have an eight hour working day, a five day week, the two week vacation and we set a minimum wage for our workers. Unfortunately we live in a culture today that devalues and often does not understand the value of what unions do...

The Congress did a study a few years ago and what is very clear, is not only do unions ensure that their workers get paid fairly for the work they do. They make sure that the environment the employees work in is safe and secure. They also found that even if the work isn't unionized, the mere proximity of the union raises all wages around it.

And for those people who feel they can do well without a union, just think, if you get hurt on the job, you are on your own. If you have a union card but subvert it by working off the card, not only are you doing a disservice to yourself, your fellow members and the union itself Every time you do a non union job you are reducing the ability of your union to look out for you when you have a problem of any sort. 

And one of the things I love about SAG-AFTRA is we have seminars to help you understand your contracts, to help you understand the business that you are in and how to make it work for you. We also have a conservatory with teachers who can help you refresh your skills or learn new ones.

We also have and Actor's Center that is part of the SAG Foundation. If I were you I would go to the New York page of the SAG-AFTRA website as well as the webpage of the SAG Foundation. There is also the Actor's Fund, the Motion Picture Players Welfare Fund.

I could offer a lot more reasons for joining a union, but I think you get the picture. 

No matter what your line of work is, if a union is available, you should join. And if you belong to a union already but complain about what your union doesn't do for you, then all you have to do is step up to the plate and volunteer. Your union works only as well as it's members are willing to work for it.


Mike Hodge
New York Local President

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