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March 09, 2020 - Joe Rodgers

As we begin 2020, we have thirty-five new shop stewards representing our two-thousand members on the workroom floor in Philadelphia. I want to thank you and promise that the branch officers will be there to support you in any way we can. Remember, it is a privilege to represent our members and with that privilege comes an awesome responsibility.

If you contended for shop steward and were not successful, I encourage you to stay involved. I admire anyone who aspires to make work-life a more pleasant experience. It is one of the most unselfish acts I can think of. When you participated in the election, you were making a statement. You were saying to your co-workers that you were willing to place your self-interest aside in exchange for the common good. Thank you for caring enough to take a chance by throwing your hat in the ring. In doing so, you are to be respected and held in high esteem.

The new union representatives will receive as much training as possible. I want them to understand that they are not in this endeavor alone. Lean on us, call us, communicate with us. We will always be there for you.

If I may offer one final piece of advice to those newly elected shop stewards, it would be to recognize that everyone is different. Everyone has their own story and not everyone sees the world as you may. The members you have the privilege to represent, want to be heard, understood, connected with, and treated with dignity as well as respect.