A special word about respect for workers

From Greg Gomez, SEIU 521 Region 5 Vice President

I’m sure all of you have been watching the events that have unfolded in Wisconsin. How labor has suddenly become a target and a scapegoat. It always has been, right? But never like this.

Many of you undoubtedly may be questioning your own political affiliations. There may be no stranger bedfellow than labor and conservativism, but I put to you that both are not mutually exclusive. To be conservative is to (forgive this) give value to your values. To me, one of those values is that which I give my labor: the work that I perform and the time away from my family that I sell to my employer.

Can you think of nothing more precious? I will give you an example. Not too long ago, I had to work two jobs to make ends meet. That second job came with a price and that price was not being around for my two daughters when they turned from children into young ladies. I still remember, vividly, going school clothes shopping with them and my wife and realizing they were no longer my little girls. That lost time was priceless and irreplaceable.

I know each of you has a similar story, whether you work late to catch your work up (or your boss’) or like me, have had to carry a second job to support your growing families. I want you all to value the work that you perform and give it the honor that it rightfully deserves.

You and I aren’t trying to bankrupt the system, as many a politician would have us believe.
Quite simply, what we are saying is that our time deserves respect.

In Unity,

Greg Gomez

SEIU 521 Region 5 Vice President

March 24, 2011

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