UE has a proud history of representing the whole range of racial and ethnic groups that make up the American working class, and of fighting to move everyone forward together. We have a strong tradition of educating members to see that dividing workers by race is a tool that employers use to exploit workers. This has also meant that historically our union has actively worked to develop a diverse leadership and staff that reflects the membership.
Given the unleashing of overtly racist and white supremacist attacks in recent years, the greater visibility of police murders of people of color, the growing attempts to restrict voting rights, and the ongoing deep economic inequality in our country, many institutions are examining their leadership development and hiring practices to ensure that people of color are well represented in their organizations.
We have continued to organize workplaces with a broad array of workers, and we strive to have our leadership and staff appropriately mirror that diversity. However, we recognize that currently we have fallen short in developing members for some roles. It is therefore important that we redouble our efforts.
In our rank-and-file union, the leadership of the union comes from the membership, and we prefer to have staff that come out of the rank and file as well. It is in our interest to invest in a program that puts effort and resources into recruiting and training the people who are future leaders and staff of the union, especially from groups that are not fully represented in those roles today.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THIS 77th UE CONVENTION:
- Supports the Leadership and Staff Development program initiated by the General Executive Board, a year-long development program for UE members from all racial and ethnic backgrounds who are currently underrepresented in UE leadership or on UE staff;
- Encourages locals to participate in the program either by enrolling members or by providing opportunities for program participants to engage in hands-on work;
- Calls on locals to take part in the membership census that the national union will be launching in order to better assess the breadth of workers that we represent.