The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday should be among the most sacred days for labor. It was Dr. King who moved us with the fierce urgency of now to remember that each of us are “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” This is the ethos of the labor movement. It is a testament to our commitment to solidarity and why we should venerate him today and every day.
The undeniable chill in the air and the early hour that darkness falls over us leaves no question that the Winter Holiday season is upon us. The many religious and cultural holidays celebrated around this time of year symbolize our collective commitment to gather and share our love among those we hold most dear. We call upon the sacred values learned from those traditions, to show one another the best versions of ourselves. We do this through fellowship, kindness, food, gift giving, and charity.
Shop stewards are the backbone of any labor union and necessary for the union to wield the power in the workplace that members deserve. Knowing that, AFT-Maryland convened a statewide training for public employee stewards to equip them with the skills and resources they need to help their colleagues as best as possible. Members from across the state, working in diverse industries from higher education professionals to correctional staff, came to Baltimore for the day-long training.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share that Metro Baltimore AFL-CIO President Emeritus Ernie Grecco has passed. Ernie was a lifelong champion for labor and particularly for public employees. He was a strong advocate for AFT-Maryland and offered the full support of the council to the state federation at every turn. He was a kind, engaging, and affable leader who greeted everyone he met with a warm smile and playful joke.