A Labor Perspective From Ashley Blom: A Union Leader's Daughter On How Family & Union Value Sets ‘Are Synonymous And Last A Lifetime’
My Father is a proud Union Leader with the Farmingdale, New York-headquartered Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1104.
Over the years, he has taught me so much in life and I learn more every day from him still.
Being in the Union is a Brotherhood, where everyone supports each other through good times and bad.
He’s made lifelong friends from the Union and is surrounded by amazing people.
My Dad is my role model and I can only hope to be just like him one day.
As the daughter of a Union Leader, I have been to countless rallies and strikes from when I was in a stroller till now in my college years.
Every Thursday, his Union wears red - and when I was younger, I used to wear my red Union Strike T-shirt to school every Thursday because I wanted to be just like my Dad.
The CWA wears red to represent that Working People deserve livable wages, health benefits and time with their families.
Donning red is symbolic to pay respect to those who have made sacrifices to make the telephone company a great place to work.
On August 15th, 1989, Gerry Horgan was struck by a Scab Driver.
That’s when CWA was on Strike against the NYNEX Corporation fighting for medical benefits.
Gerry was the first CWA Member ever killed on a picket line.
The one thing that my Father has always instilled in me was the importance of working under a Collective Bargaining Agreement. He always says a higher wage means people are able to spend more money - and as a result, the economy will grow.
When I was younger, he sat with me at the kitchen table and explained how important people and families just like mine are.
I experienced kitchen table economics even before UCOMM talked about it.
There were days my Dad used to stop home for lunch with his bucket truck when he worked on the telephone poles.
I thought my Dad having a big truck was the coolest thing ever as a child.
Because of my Father working Union, it made it easy for him to come to my school concerts, soccer games and all my extracurricular activities as a child – and even now that I am away at college.
He always makes sure he can come to all of them because of how happy it makes me see him there in support.
To this day, my parents have never missed one of my soccer games even in my college career playing at SUNY (State University at New York) Purchase.
They travel to home and away games just to see me smile and support me.
This makes me happy every time I see them in the stands.
My family is very grateful to be a Union Family.
I am blessed to have a father who makes a decent paycheck, who is able to send me to college and provide stability for my family.
Thanks to his Union Job, my Dad is able to ensure we have a roof over our head, food on the table and some extra spending money.
My father is a Union Worker and I’m proud of that.
Thank you CWA Local 1104 for giving my family amazing memories, friendships, and opportunities.
It’s rubbed off and it’s my duty to never forget my roots.
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