The members of our union were born in the United States and in countries around the globe. Some are from families who have lived in this country for generations. Others arrived among the successive waves of immigrants who made the brave decision to leave their home country in search of a brighter future here. Still others are among the more recent arrivals who came in pursuit of that same hope.
Our members speak more than 50 different languages, embrace many different religions, and are of many different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Together, they are emblematic of the successive generations who established and built our country, and our union.
Look at our members' faces, learn about their lives and those of their children, and you will see in their faces and find in their life histories an important piece of the history of this country. Chances are you will also find they stir in you recollections of at least some members of your own family.
Our members found in and through their union the dignity and respect which otherwise would likely have been denied them, both inside and outside the workplace. Managers of our union hotels understand that the union will not tolerate violations of that dignity and respect. If a manager's behavior crosses the line-be it by a derogatory ethnic remark, a racial or religious slur or other insensitive and unacceptable comment, sexual harassment, or discriminatory conduct-the union acts swiftly to address a manager's offending behavior as soon as it becomes known.
The rights, protections, and benefits our union daily provides and enforces enable members to feel confident and secure in their workplaces. And the security the union provides members in the workplace carries over into their home lives as well. Husbands, wives, and children are able to know the daily rewards of a stable environment, an environment that makes possible the living of happy and productive lives. It is no surprise that over the years, so many children of union members have chosen to follow a parent into our union. They do so recognizing it will enable them to provide for their children the benefits their union childhood afforded them.
Whatever the differences in their backgrounds, ever since the beginning of our union our members have held dear the same things, shared the same fundamental values, pursued the same goals, and worked hard to accomplish them. They have been, and always will be, people who work hard to provide for their families, buy a home, save for retirement, and contribute to their communities.
They strive to provide their children educations superior to their own and enable them to accomplish goals, which in the past would have had to remain unrealized dreams. With each passing decade, more members proudly watch daughters and sons graduate not only from high school but also from college. Some go on to graduate school. We now number among our union family children who, many with the benefit of union-provided scholarships, have become teachers, lawyers, nurses and doctors, and successful business people.
Many of our members have remarkable personal histories. Other of our members (and their children) engage in activities that bring not only fulfillment to them but also contribute to enriching the lives of others in many different ways. Here are just a few examples:
The list goes on and on.
Sadly, the fine men and women who are our members are invisible to many people. These people don't give a thought to the room attendant who cleans up after them, the server who brings a delicious meal to their table or room, or the cook who prepares it. They do not see the front desk agent who welcomes them to the hotel and checks them in, the doorman who gets them their taxi in the rain or snow, or the house attendant who keeps the lobby and restrooms spotless. Worst of all, they fail to recognize in our members-in their devotion to their families and to their jobs and their selflessness and commitment to hard work-the same qualities so many of these unseeing people admire and respect in their own parents, grandparents, or great grandparents.
So, in this section, you will come to meet our union's members and their children. Once you do, we think it unlikely you will ever again take them for granted. They are the backbone of their families, their communities, and this country, and they are the strength of our union.
We begin to salute them here.
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