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With the winter holidays upon us this year, that one word may mean more than ever before.

The senseless tragedy that occurred in Connecticut last week has brought into sharp focus for us all what matters most in our lives--the family and friends we hold dear.

I know you, like me, feel shocked, saddened, angry at the loss of all those innocent children and the courageous adults who sacrificed their lives for those in their care. And in a school, of all places. Young children killed in a school. It is unthinkable, and yet it's hard to stop thinking about.

But we cannot not let our grief or frustration extinguish the internal flame that helps see us all through trying times, the light of hope.

Hope that those who lost loved ones and friends at Sandy Hook Elementary will find peace. Hope that we will conquer violence and prevent tragedies like this from occurring again. Hope that this world can be a better and safer place.

But hope is nothing without endeavor. By working together and using our collective voice, our union has achieved much to improve the lives of workers, our communities and the children and citizens we proudly serve. We believe that when we encounter challenges, through our united efforts we will prevail. We do have hope, a hope based in the experience of work and success. I thank you all for another year of hard work you have committed to your union sisters and brothers and the people you serve.  

So as the tragedy in Newtown weighs heavily on our hearts and minds this holiday, do not lose hope for brighter and more peaceful days ahead. In our communities, our nation and here in our union we will continue to do what we have always done--support one another and persevere through difficult times by working hard. That's what labor does.

This holiday season, I wish you and your families peace, love and prosperity in the New Year.

In Solidarity,




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