President’s Unity Letter

Sisters & Brothers,

I stand speechless over the events that have transpired in our country, not just in the last days and weeks, but also in the last few months. We have been hit with a virus that has claimed the lives of over 100,000 Americans and has changed the way we will interact with one another.

Now we must face another challenge that has lurked in the shadows for many years and has erupted into nationwide protests due to the despicable acts against people because of their color. To think that the police would be called and told lies about a black man, Christian Cooper, being a threat, because he asked a woman to put a leash on her dog. A young man, Ahmaud Arbery, is stalked, shot, and killed by a white man while simply jogging. Then George Floyd, who was on the ground, handcuffed and murdered by a white police officer who put his knee on his neck, as he cried out saying he could not breathe. And these are only the names that we know. This has to stop!

Brothers and Sisters, protest if you must but keep it peaceful. We want our voices to be heard without our blood being needlessly shed. We want positive changes in our neighborhoods and not destructive changes to them. The riots of 1967 forever changed Metro Detroit, if we forget the past, we may be doomed to repeat it.

Local 223’s Executive Board “Stands United” against all hate crimes, racism, and bigotry. We ask that you also “Stand United”. Our Union cannot and will not tolerate this in any form. Unions have been the voice of the oppressed for many years and we will continue to speak out and protect those who cannot protect themselves. We must uphold our communities, our families and our Union Sisters and Brothers.

We must work together, respecting the differences of the people and their cultures. Respect people for who they are and not because of the color you see. We must give respect if we want to receive respect.

In Solidarity,

Dave Cafagna