24 May 18 - Blog Post Local Chair - Solidarity Forever

24 May 18 - Blog Post Local Chair - Solidarity Forever

I thought I would share my thoughts tonight in a blog post on our site. I have been invited to attend the Annual General  Meeting of Local 95 over the next two days (friday/saturday) and I have just finished packing and getting ready for tomorrow. Local 95 is the largest local in our union with several thousand members. The members are General Support Services employees of Alberta Health Services in the greater Calgary area and I am looking forward to spending the time with them to both watch and learn how they manage such a big local.

Earlier this evening I joined my fellow sisters and brothers of local 039 along with our SAFA (SAIT Academic Faculty Association) sisters and brothers in a great year end event celebrated at the SAIT Gateway facility.

As I finish getting ready for tomorrow and reflecting on my friends and coworkers from earlier today the sense of solidarity I feel is overwhelming. I wanted to share with you the words of "Solidarity Forever" and ask you to reflect on the words as you read them. Think about the sisters and brothers that came before us and how much the words would have meant to them when they were written. Think about how relevant the words are to us today just as they were back then.

Solidarity Forever

When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
For the Union makes us strong

Solidarity forever, solidarity forever
Solidarity forever
For the Union makes us strong

Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite  
Who would lash us into serfdom and would crush us with his might?  
Is there anything left to us but to organize and fight?  
For the union makes us strong

It is we who ploughed the prairies, built the cities where they trade
Dug the mines and built the workshops, endless miles of railroad laid
Now we stand outcast and starving 'mid the wonders we have made
But the union makes us strong 

All the world  that's owned by idle drones is ours and ours alone  
We have laid the wide foundations, built it skyward stone by stone  
It is ours, not to slave in, but to master and to own  
While the union makes us strong

They have taken untold millions that they never toiled to earn
But without our brain and muscle not a single wheel can turn
We can break their haughty power gain our freedom when we learn
That the Union makes us strong

 In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold
Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousandfold
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old
For the Union makes us strong

In Solidarity
Rose Read
Chair, AUPE Local 039