Despite the challenges, we as members of Local 3 have much to be thankful for. The benefits and wages established by those who led the way have resulted in the middle-class lifestyle Local 3 members are lucky to enjoy. Our wages, our deferred compensation, our medical and pension benefits are all exceptional. Not all workers are as lucky. Harry Van Arsdale Jr. and his associates fought to establish many of the plans that we continue to be participants in. The educational opportunities, summer camp for the children, scholarships and a college loan program have benefited so many Local 3 families for decades.
Harry died on February 16, 1986. More than 30 years have passed since his death. Too many new members never knew him but we hope they all know his name. The older retirees revered him and all that he did for the members of Local 3. His good work continued with Thomas Van Arsdale. Both Tom and I had instilled in us the values that Harry lived by, the most important of which was this: the only purpose of the union is to serve the membership. I hope I have lived up to his expectations.
He also reminded us often to help those less fortunate, something we should all commit to, especially now with so many in need including the Spectrum strikers. Last but not least he taught that “Eternal vigilance is the price of good unionism”. Pay attention, support our great organization, and be thankful for what we have. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving.