For UE Local 610 (poem)

May 12, 2022

Sister Oniboni wrote this poem for the members of UE Local 610 as they were fighting for a fair contract and against the threatened closure of their historic Wilmerding plant, and read it at a rally in Wilmerding on April 30, 2022.

This company was built with the blood and sweat and tears
of UE brothers and sisters throughout the years.

And on your backs you’ve carried them
Until they told you to stop
because they reached the top
while you’re left driven into the ground
yet bound
to the promise of supporting your family. 

You demand to get paid
fairly for the services and contribution you’ve made.
All while
You struggle to decide which bills to pay
while the boss and their families struggle to decide on which beach to lay

You clock 40 hours and the boss tells you to work more and more and more and more
until you’re sore
And you just want to go home
because your spouse has been taking care of the kids all week alone

And you’re deemed essential but they will fire you if you call off sick
during this global pandemic
where nature is selecting
who is worth protecting

Then they tell you they’ll close the door
on a facility that’s been at it’s core
since day one.

And the only way to stay employed is to make concessions and fall in line
but a threat to your family’s livelihood is a threat to mine

And we stand with you to fight the fight for all of our right
for sustainable work because
WE   are all    UE.

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