The following is reprinted from Speak Out Now’s workplace newsletter at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
Classes of new hires have been graduating and joining the ranks. Of course there are some generational differences, there always are. But the question in every workplace is, who will provide support and orientation toward the day-to-day work?
That’s up to the workers who see them in the break room, in the booth, station, in the shops, or elsewhere in the system. Most younger workers have no idea what a union is or could be. They know it takes money out of their check and has something to do with the wages and benefits they receive. Unless they have taken a labor history class or have family members or older friends with union experience, they have no idea the role unions have played and could play.
They don’t know that the real basis of the union is—the relationship between people who work together every day. And that trust goes a long way when it’s time to act. There’s no time like the present to support the new hires and build relationships with them. We need to approach the challenges ahead together.