November Update from SOAR President Bill Pienta

SOAR Active and Involved

Recently, SOAR has been involved in two USW  sponsored  conferences:  During  the third week of November, SOAR had an information booth and participated in a workshop at the first-ever Next Gen Conference, in  Pittsburgh.  During  the  last week of October, SOAR participated at the Rapid Response Conference, in Washington, D.C.

At the RR Conference, 46 SOAR activists were involved in a rally and participated in lobbying our  elected  representatives  on  issues  of  importance  to  active  and retired workers, as well as attending District meetings and general sessions of all those in attendance.

Pictured: SOAR members attending the Rapid Response Conference, with USW International President, Thomas M. Conway center.

Many seasoned SOAR members were teamed with first-time attendees and helped  them  navigate through the process of lobbying. Many of the SOAR attendees were there because of the generosity of their District Directors. Without their help and support, our  numbers  would  have  been  greatly  reduced. All of the SOAR members who attended the  RR  conference  should  make  a  point  of thanking their local union or district director for providing the support to allow their participation.

Participation by SOAR at the Next Gen Conference proved to be both energizing and educational. I believe SOAR and Next Gen have much to offer each other and can learn from each other if we choose  to talk to, instead of talking at, each other. A number of our issues are different; but, we have common ground on many, and we should work hard to find the issues on which we can agree and work together on those issues.

Pictured: Doug MacPherson, SOAR Vice President, greeting young workers at the Next Gen Conference.

Four years ago, no one was speaking about SOAR and Next Gen and Rapid Response working together to address issues; and now today, we cannot think about conducting activities without the input and involvement of these resources.

I think that is what I like most about this Union. The policy of the USW of inclusion and working together to help others is something we can and should all be proud of.

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