Next Generation of History Makers Takes Stage

next gen 70th annivIt’s not every day that you get a chance to take some small part in making history. I was recently honoured to be part of the delegation from Unite the Union attending the USW’s 70th Anniversary celebrations in Cleveland, Ohio. I was also humbled to be asked to address the inaugural Next Generation conference the following day. To say that the two events were the most inspirational days of my life would only just about do them justice.

As I stood in front of 500 of my brothers and sisters from across America and Canada, my heart was pounding so loud I was sure that the microphone was picking it up. I took a deep breath and started to speak. I spoke about preparing ourselves for when we would be the ones leading our great unions.

We have a great burden to bear; the world is very different than how it was 70 years ago. Our message can be heard instantly across the globe, translated into dozens of languages with only a few taps, and we have more power to be heard now than at any other time in our unions’ history. We need to harness the power of today’s technologies but in doing so, not lose sight of all that our forefathers, and mothers, have fought hard to achieve.

In this global age our bonds of unity must strengthen, our understanding of differing cultures deepen and our resolve to speak up for the oppressed, mistreated, underpaid and discriminated must harden.

The work,which was started on May 25, 2012, is some of the most important for our generation.

Together even the impossible is now possible.

Yours in Solidarity,

Naomi Shipsides Chair Unite National Young Members Committee

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