It was an honour and a pleasure to address our annual conference once again yesterday, and talk about a word that means a great deal to me, a word that defines our union – solidarity.
Around the world, our union is known for its solidarity. At home, we show our solidarity to each other every single day. Everywhere I visit, branches across the land, I am humbled by what I see. We’re a union of compassion, caring and kindness. A union of solidarity.
We care about each others lives – that’s what sets us apart. A union full of people with their own challenges in their own lives, but still coming together to achieve more for each other than we ever could alone. Real, lasting, personal solidarity.
My life in this union, well over forty years, has been about that solidarity. I’ve been part of our union all my adult life – for me, it’s never a job, it’s a way of life. And the driving force that keeps me going is solidarity for our people and our class.
It’s a word they say is old fashioned, no longer relevant – but for me, solidarity has never been more relevant or more necessary. It’s what keeps our union strong. It’s what makes me proudest of all about our great union. And it must always be at the heart of everything we do.