I don’t like to mix my personal life with my work life, but the union became personal for me when we went out on strike in 2003. For the first time ever, I went to my co-workers’ homes, talked to them about their lives, and built personal relationship with them. I pushed my boundaries because our union is only as strong as the relationships that we build. Through the house visits and organizing, our picket line grew and won the support of the community. This all culminated with a 10,000-person march. People came from all over the country to help. We won a lot of things in that strike. I recognized that building strength with my co-workers was at the core of that big victory in 2003.
Since then, I have helped with our political work to protect the things we have won through our fights. When Congress wanted to tax our healthcare and make it unaffordable, I joined other members and pushed politicians to eliminate the tax. Today, I lead the New Employee Orientation where we talk to members about the protections of our contract. I also get to tell them how unity is our strength and how what we have now is rooted in a strike and a 10,000-person action.