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United Aerospace Workers Local 848 includes aircraft workers at Lockheed, Raytheon, and Vought. Our offices are at 2218 E. Main Street, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050

From the President

Thank God for Unions!

As we come to a close of what has been an interesting year to say the least, I find myself humbled and blessed by the experiences of holding the office of President for this great local. When I first decided to run for this office, I knew what would be required, but what I didn't know was just how seriously unions are under attack in this country. Dwight D Eisenhower once said, "Only a fool would try to deprive working men and women of the right to join a union of their choice." Well, brothers and sisters, it appears as though this country's legislative body must be made up of fools, because there is a big push to end the union movement in this country. The most amazing part of this push is that our "elected" officials have convinced most of America that this is the best approach to addressing a global economy.

Just the other day, I spoke with a gentleman (non-union I might add), and he proceeded to tell me that the reason this country is in the mess that it's in today is because unions have driven companies out of the U.S. by running pensions up so high that companies need to go overseas to survive. At this point I had to refrain, because I knew that his company and our government had been filling his head with this mess.

My question to him was, "Are you working this weekend," He said, "Yes," so I asked, "Will you be getting overtime?" His answer was "Yes." "Interesting," I said. "Do you also have a pension plan?" and he replied, "Yes I do!"
"How about paid holidays off, do you get those too?" His reply was, "Yes I do. What is your point?" My point, as I clearly stated to him, was that his company does not offer these things out of the kindness of their hearts, but because unions were formed and began negotiating on pensions, holidays, and for overtime over 70 years ago.

Regardless of whether they were union or non-union, Americans have enjoyed the benefits negotiated by our union brothers and sisters all those years ago. "So how does that affect me, being that I am from a non-union shop?" he asked. I then explained to him that companies either had to offer these same benefits to their employees or be faced with their wanting to unionize.

Therefore, all Americans have benefited in some way because of the existence of unions. That is why it is vital to everyone that we express our concern to the politicians of this country (Republicans and Democrats alike) about the importance of ending the war waged against labor in this great nation. Please don't take for granted that our negotiated benefits are locked in forever, because they are not. We are in a position today with this current administration and their lack of care for the working men and women of this country that we must continue to fight for the benefits we enjoy today.

At this time, I would like to thank all of those who have written letters or signed petitions directed towards lawmakers to help protect what we have fought so hard to get, and would especially like to thank all who have joined me at different events aimed at protecting our hard earned benefits.

--James Splawn


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