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President's Report

Flexing Our ‘Gratitude’ Muscles

Jacques Loveall

President, UFCW 8-Golden State
UFCW International Vice President

As we go about our lives at work and at home, it is always a good idea to flex our emotional muscles in ways we might not be accustomed to.

We’re talking specifically of the emotion called “gratitude.”

Throughout the year, some may fall into the trap of expressing a wide range of toxic feelings, depending on the situation at any particular moment: anger, self-doubt, envy, cynicism, frustration and even, in our darkest moments, despair.

But gratitude, like love, is an emotion with curative properties. It provides a reality-based antidote to the negative emotions which can sabotage relationships with friends, co-workers and family members.

Gratitude enables us to take stock of the good things we have and leaves us open to the possibility of more good things to come.

The Roman senator Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” Indeed, many of our best virtues, including humility, empathy, hard work, patience and integrity, can be easily tied to gratitude.

Many of us are already content with our relationships, our work and our accomplishments in life. All members of UFCW 8-Golden State have many gifts made possible by our Union solidarity to be grateful for — things like industry-leading wages and benefits, workplace protections and the warm feelings of accomplishment which come from being part of something greater than ourselves.

Last year, our Union succeeded in negotiating historic contracts in all of the industries we serve. Many of these agreements feature the highest wage increases ever attained, as well as enhanced health care and protected retirement benefits.

These achievements weren’t easy, but in each and every case, our members were able to rise to the challenge.

Our members’ solidarity was a key reason employers paid attention to and respected your needs as essential workers. Your continued solidarity will ensure the gains we’ve made will be the foundations of even greater successes in the future.

For all this and more, we are grateful for the opportunity to serve the members of UFCW 8-Golden State. Thank you.

Solidarity Works!