IUPAT Joins the Call for Justice vs. Structural Racism

Press Releases


Contacts on behalf of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

John Doherty, 617-592-2230, jdoherty@iupat.org

Statement from IUPAT General President, Ken Rigmaiden on Juneteenth:

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday marking the 155th anniversary of the end of slavery in this country.  A day viewed by those oppressed by the evils of involuntary servitude and the violence bestowed on entire people, held captive to labor, as a day of final relief. Yet that brutality continues, as the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too many other victims of police brutality and racially motivated violence so disturbingly and painfully demonstrate, we continue to live in a nation plagued by racism and intolerance.  Whether structural or explicit, enough is enough. We recognize as an organization and as a movement that injustice and the degradation of our labor still exist because it is allowed. Today serves as a reminder that we must organize and educate all workers that with a collective voice, comes power. That in order to move forward, we must remind those who view workers as a commodity that we stand ready to fight.

Part of moving forward together is recognizing that the system is not fair and that it never has been for African Americans and people of color. Until we acknowledge this, we cannot make adjustments that allow collective progress towards the eradication of racism. On Juneteenth and every day, the IUPAT stands with Black Americans and people of color. Our commitment to solidarity demands it. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all Unions and communities who commit to taking action as a movement to fight for racial equity.

Ken Rigmaiden, General President, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades

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Represents a growing community of over 110,000 active and retired craftspeople in the United States and Canada. The IUPAT membership extends far beyond the workplace. 

Recognized as one of the most active unions in the labor movement, IUPAT members help shape their communities in many ways: through an abiding commitment to service, by fighting passionately for workers’ rights that benefit all working families, and through effective worker education and mobilization. 

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