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ATU Named ‘Most Valuable’ Thanks To You

We all know some people who have arms so long they spend lots of time patting themselves on the back. Sometimes we in the union movement have been known to sing our own praises too.

No shock there; as leaders in democratic organizations, if our members don’t know what we do – we don’t get elected. As former New York Governor Mario Cuomo used to say, “in politics if you don’t blow your own horn, sometimes there’s no music.”

But it’s really nice when someone else does it.

‘Most Valuable International Union’

Much to my surprise one night in late December I received an email from a friend congratulating me on the ATU – our Union – being named, “Most Valuable International Union of 2012” in the annual Progressive Honor Roll of The Nation magazine. (The Nation is the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States – since 1865).

There are over 70 international unions in the United States and Canada, so to be singled-out as the most progressive is a high and prestigious honor.

‘A force to be reckoned with’

Here’s part of what they said about why we stood out from the pack: “With their Occupy Transit T-shirts and aggressively progressive approach to fighting for local and regional services, the 190,000 members of ATU are a force to be reckoned with in debates about economic and social justice.”

What a wonderful thing to hear about our Union! All thanks to hundreds of hard working ATU officers and thousands of our dedicated members.

I really feel it was well deserved. Our troubles have multiplied over the last few years but so have our efforts. In 2012, your local union leaders organized events, mobilized passengers, hit the streets and worked hard in the U.S. national election to re-elect President Obama, and elect many transit-friendly candidates like Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Proud to be ATU!

Campaigns are always led by a small group of dedicated members. But the growing number of ATU rank and file members who are involved is impressive – not only to us, but to opinion makers all over the United States and Canada.

Thank you and congratulations. As a member for more than 34 years, I have never been more proud. The future of working people depends on unions and ATU stands in the forefront of the fight everywhere.