Since our founding, we have fought for basic worker protection on the job — at SMART, our predecessor unions and across the labor movement. Over the years, we have achieved many victories and suffered through turmoil and struggle in our constant effort to represent our members, who are the lifeblood of this union. Through it all, we have not lost sight of our basic purpose: to represent the workers who came together to protect and build a path to a better future for themselves and their families.
We continue that work today. Retirement security, Project Labor Agreements, community benefit agreements, strong labor standards, infrastructure investments for our communities, investments in public transit, two-person crew laws, operator safety — all of these we have fought for in recent years. When the last administration and its allies were in power, they kept us at a distance.
Today, the landscape has changed. Our work with our allies in Congress and in states and communities across the country brought Project Labor Agreements that will put you to work on all federal projects that cost more than $35 million. The American Rescue Plan put workers on the agenda and resulted in historic pension relief. A bipartisan infrastructure bill, which specifically includes indoor air quality, HVAC and other work for SMART sheet metal workers and the largest ever investment in public transit, means more work and stronger protections, with a real study on long trains.
The American Rescue Plan put workers on the agenda and resulted in historic pension relief.
In addition, the National Mediation Board recently released rail unions that are part of the Coordinated Bargaining Coalition (CBC) from mediation, and the SMART Mechanical and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Coalition received a proffer of arbitration from the National Mediation Board.
None of this was possible under the previous administration — and make no mistake, all our gains will come under attack if they are allowed to come back to power. We continue to work with the current administration, which has rewarded workers with an unprecedented open-door policy: They listen to and ACT on SMART’s legislative priorities, which we put in place to work for YOU!
In Canada, our hard work with elected labour-friendly allies yielded the long-sought Labour Mobility Tax Credit.
Besides our legislative progress, we still have work to do to fulfill our bedrock purpose of representing all workers.
The Belonging and Excellence for All (BE4All) Committee is working to expand our recruitment efforts by proactively reaching out to new members, implementing training to equip members with the necessary skills, tools and values of being in SMART, and creating an environment where people can advance and feel a sense of belonging — regardless of race, creed, ethnic origin, gender or sexuality.
The sheet metal industry is rapidly growing, with 45,000 new openings expected in the coming years. We will work together to be a part of that expansion.
We need to capture growth across North America, in every sector and emerging market. For instance, the sheet metal industry is rapidly growing, with 45,000 new openings expected in the coming years. We will work together to be a part of that expansion, representing the growing workforce and strengthening our union and collective bargaining.
Each of us has a choice in how we engage with our fellow members to shape our union’s future. As a labor organization, formed by workers to protect and pursue gains at work, it would go against everything SMART stands for if we did not welcome all of our union brothers and sisters, including potential new members, so they can enjoy good, union, middle-class jobs for generations to come. These are the union jobs that everyone who came before us stood up for, and we benefit from what they built to this day.
You will hear more about the work of the BE4All Committee in the coming months and years. Only when we stand united across all sectors of our union will we be able to realize our full potential for ourselves, our union and the future of our families. Stay safe!
Fraternally and in unity,
SMART General President Joseph Sellers, Jr.
- SMART statement on Inflation Reduction Act anniversary
- Special Focus: This is our time
- This is our time
- This is our time to prepare for a changing world
- Bus and transit workers deserve protection
- Raising the standards for all workers
- FRA issues safety advisory on long trains
- Darrell Roberts takes on new challenges as assistant to the general president
- New GP Coleman brings leadership, innovation to members
- Retired General President Sellers honored by SMART-TD