Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The nation and our union have been closely watching the events that have unfolded over the course of the last several days. Many of us are feeling a great sense of sadness, anguish and outrage.
The IAM has long recognized the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We have sought to make that principle real both in the workplace and in the community. George Floyd’s death, and the generations of injustices that have preceded what we are facing today, show in plain sight that we have fallen short of our nation’s promise. We have a lot of work yet to be done. The persistence of racial injustice and inequality is a stain on our democracy and diminishes all of us.
Many of our own Brothers and Sisters and their families go out into the world every day and confront the consequences and legacy of racism. We should all be angry that these questions must still be considered in 2020.
As members of our great union, we know what is possible when people join together. We have seen the power of solidarity. We have transformed workplaces, communities and our entire nation.
We have also witnessed the destructive consequences of dividing people against one another. We face a clear choice: Do we join in solidarity with each other, in accordance with our values—and do the hard and difficult work of building a racially just society—or do we allow misinformation, fear and suspicion to continue to divide us?
We must stand in solidarity with one another. There is too much at stake. Our country holds remarkable promise—we can be a beacon of light to the rest of the world if we are willing to act in solidarity.
We have seen our country make great strides in living up to its promise of equality. We have seen gains and we have seen setbacks. Progress in human rights, equality and dignity never comes without a struggle—it is always a fight. We must never be passive or quiet. In this fight, we must stand with those who seek racial justice and equality.
Today, and always, we join those who seek to make real the promise of equality, dignity and justice for all.
Robert Martinez Jr.