Putting My Values to the Test – LIVE BETTER – WORK UNION


Driving to work today, I got behind a large truck with a bumper sticker that immediately caught my eye. It wasn’t his GO RAIDERS! sticker. It was the proud and bold “LIVE BETTER – WORK UNION ” sticker. {Heck, yeah!} In the center of his bumper was his union sticker:  Operating Engineers Local 12. My kind of guy.

I do a lot of work with the building trades guys and they’re great. They really get it. The unions do a great job of communicating to their members the value of the unions which is something I can’t say everybody in our movement has excelled at. It’s a real challenge that we’re going to have to address if we expect the labor movement to remain vital as we move into the future.

But this guy in front of me seemed to really be on board — Union proud! And union strong! It’s always nice to see. And then I looked as his truck, a Nissan Titan. The truck is manufactured in the United States for a Japanese company, but it’s not a union plant.

I found myself scoffing in frustration. This guy belongs to a good union. A union that gets it. He’s union proud and even advertising that being union means LIVING BETTER… and he’s advertising that on a truck that’s not a union-made vehicle. What’s going on here?

At least I was driving a union-made AMERICAN Ford Escape!

Then I stepped back for a second and thought to myself, “And Cherri how long were you driving a Volvo for?

I guess it’s a process. I mean, one of the reasons I’m doing this challenge in the first place is to get the word out. We preach solidarity, solidarity, solidarity, solidarity in the labor movement and then we get beyond our own little causes and quickly we forget about the other guy who has the same struggles as we do and needs our support.

Well, I guess that’s what I’m trying to do:  Support that guy who I’ll probably never meet by spending my money the right way. I can’t expect everyone to do the same, but I can expect that I try and practice what I preach. Not always easy. But I have to try.

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