A message from your union leader: Our power is in unionhood.

Joel Smith, President & Business Manager of LIUNA Minnesota & North Dakota
Jan 7 2021

In the wake of the violent attack on American democracy that took place in our nation’s capital yesterday, we must reflect on our individual and collective responsibility to achieve a vision of unity and solidarity that all Laborers believe in. 

Immigrants founded our union, and today we represent 12,000 members from different racial, geographic, religious and political backgrounds. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Despite the attempts of others to divide us, our brothers and sisters have joined hands for more than 100 years to oppose and transform corrupt systems to achieve the best economic and just outcomes for Laborers and our families. 

LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said that yesterday marked “a repulsive moment” in our national history. The disgraceful insurrection we witnessed made clear how fragile our democracy truly is. I am thankful our leaders reconvened after several distressing hours and certified the election of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. LIUNA strongly supports Americans’ right to vote. Our elected officials have a responsibility to protect this right. Voting is the very cornerstone of our democracy.

Now, we have to begin repairing our nation. 

There has never been a place in our country and our union for sedition and violence, or to cast doubt on our democratic institutions. Our union constitution states clearly that "an individual shall not be granted membership if that person is a member of, or a sympathizer with, any organization that has for its purpose the overthrow of this Organization or of the Government of the United States of America or of Canada, by force or violence". It is imperative that we steadfastly reject indecency and turmoil and move forward together as a union and nation. 

Our power is in unionhood. I am so proud of the strong LIUNA participation in the 2020 elections as volunteers and voters. Many of us passionately supported candidates we believed in. Whether races were won or lost, the election is over and we need to come together and move forward.