This November, more Americans than ever before turned out to cast their vote. This record participation in the midst of a global pandemic, and the robust system we have in place to count every legal vote, stands as a credit to the strength of our nation’s democracy. The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund of North America (LHSFNA) congratulate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris on their historic victory. Their win in this election is a victory for the entire labor movement and a victory for the future of our economy and infrastructure. It also brings hope to groups across the country who have seen their health and well-being particularly affected in recent years. So often these at risk-groups have also been our most vulnerable frontline workers.
LIUNA and the LHSFNA also want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the LIUNA District Councils, Local Unions and loud, proud LIUNA members who worked tirelessly to advocate for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the days leading up to the election. LIUNA and its members have never shied away from tough work that needs doing, and have never been afraid to use their collective voice, and their vote, to make a difference. That unity and drive helped put two candidates in the White House who understand the value of unions, who care deeply about the working class and who believe in good-paying jobs, improving available health benefits and strengthening every worker’s right to a safe and healthy workplace.
This increased focus on health and safety comes at a critical time, as there’s no bigger concern in today’s workplaces than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With cases spiking sharply across the country and our healthcare system under more pressure than even the early days of the pandemic, the next few months may prove to be particularly challenging. During this tough time, we ask that all LIUNA members and signatory contractors continue to follow federal, state and local guidelines put in place to reduce the spread of the virus. There is hope on the horizon in the form of several promising vaccines, but we must remember that building widespread immunity across the U.S. and Canada isn’t going to happen overnight. Until a proven COVID-19 vaccine has been developed, distributed and administered at a national level, we’ll need to continue taking many of the social distancing, personal hygiene and other precautionary measures that have become a normal part of our lives both on and off the job.
The holiday season is traditionally a time for hope, joy and optimism. This year, it may feel like those things are in short supply. Many of us have experienced hardships throughout the year, and made sacrifices for the health of our family, friends, fellow workers and communities. Most recently, for millions across the U.S. and Canada, that meant not spending face-to-face time with loved ones during Thanksgiving. We thank everyone who made that difficult decision. The health of our members, our families and our communities depends on all of us doing the right thing, even if that sometimes means making tough or unpopular choices. In the future, when this pandemic is behind us, we’ll look back on these temporary challenges as a necessary part of making it through, and the bonds that hold us all together will be stronger for it.
Our hearts go out to everyone who has struggled this year, especially those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. As 2020 comes to a close, we thank you again for everything you do on a daily basis to keep Laborers and their families safe and thriving, even when times are tough. We wish you all a safe and healthy holiday season.