State of the Union: 555 Leadership Re-Elected to Membership

Every three years, your Union elects its officers. That includes the position of President which I am honored to hold, Secretary- Treasurer, and the executive board, which is made up of members like you.

This year, our incumbent team (Dan and Jeff) won re-election by acclamation, as no opponents filed to run for office. On behalf of the Executive Board, thank you all so much for placing your continued trust in us to lead 555’s way to a better future for every member.

We know that, like any leadership position, we will always have those who disagree with us on certain issues. Abraham Lincoln made famous the poet John Lydgate’s very true quote, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all of the time.” We always want to hear from our members, even (sometimes especially) those who bring a different perspective or opinion, so we can continue to always work to make informed decisions in our members’ best interests. Please continue making your voices heard in member meetings, in our newsletter and social media member stories, and by sharing your questions and concerns with your union rep or appropriate staff member. While we will never be unanimous on every issue, as we are now more than 25,000 members strong, we must always choose to stand with one another in union solidarity and make real and lasting progress together.

What can that progress look like? In the past three years, your Union led, lobbied for, and won Fair Work Week. The final provision, mandating two weeks of scheduling in Oregon, went into effect last month. Unity Grocery negotiations fought for and won the strongest contract seen in decades. And due to the groundwork we helped to lay, Kaiser Members had a huge win in their own contract.

While 2020 started out like any other year, the impacts of COVID-19 still weigh heavily on all our lives at home and at work. While we have made some important inroads with employers (who ultimately decided to end hazard pay, which we are working on getting back) and elected officials, we know it is not enough. Our work is far from over.

With bargaining once again on the horizon, these rights and benefits will unquestionably be an item we bring to the table and fight hard to win. While no one wins every battle, we will never stop striving to continue to improve the protections you deserve as essential employees. We will NOT be allowing the pandemic to end with only those who have the ability to work from home coming out ahead.

With all that lies ahead, please continue to be involved in your union: Go to meetings, talk to your Union rep (your contract and management advocate and expert; our handy rep finder can be found on our website), join the Active Ballot Club, talk to your co-workers. Watch for contract violations and report them. Check for scheduling violations. If everyone does their part, we will come out with stronger and better results time and time again.

Again, thank you for putting your trust in me and my team. It’s our honor to serve and represent you.

Humbly yours,

Dan Clay