Message from Montana AFL-CIO's New Executive Secretary Jason Small
Joining my union was the best decision I made in my working life and I am humbled by the trust working people in Montana have placed in me. When I graduated high school on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, I felt lucky to get a job as a laborer, and joined LiUNA. That led to an apprenticeship in the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers (IBB). As a journeyman I got the opportunity to start a welding school at Colstrip to encourage others and was then elected president of IBB L-11 before running for state senate.
What I discovered first hand is that unions change lives and what we can accomplish together to build communities and local economies is unlimited. Workers need to be met at the bargaining table and at the legislature as equals. Our voice at work is critical to maintain balance in the economy, keep wages in our communities, and protect our safety on the job. Working people in both the public and the private sectors keep Montana moving forward and when workers are protected, Montana is protected. And here, in the spirit of the west, we advocate for all workers in Montana, union or not.
Together, we can get more young people into the trades and let them know about the incredible opportunities our apprenticeship and training centers provide. Together, we can ensure out of state corporations are held accountable and keep local workers employed. Together, we can ensure that first responders, healthcare workers, and teachers have the tools they need to do their jobs and keep our communities strong.
Great accomplishments are ahead for working families in our state and I look forward to working with all of Montana’s incredible unions over the coming months and years.