IUPAT General President Kenneth Rigmaiden: It is Time to Act

Statement by International Union of Painters and Allied Trades General President Kenneth Rigmaiden on the Shooting Tragedies in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas

The tragic events in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas over the course of the last three days cannot be allowed to render us speechless or powerless.  As we send our thoughts and prayers to the families who lost their loved ones this week, we, as a labor movement, must also use our collective voice to end such violence in our communities.

IUPAT General President Kenneth Rigmaiden.
IUPAT General President Kenneth Rigmaiden.

Over the last few years, union leaders and members across the country have made concerted efforts to reconnect with our neighbors in our communities.  So many of us work every day to strengthen our ties with community groups to create opportunities for young men and women to find a way to build a successful personal and professional life, and we must continue to do so, not for the sake of labor, but to bring our communities together.

Police violence against the public, and public violence against the police is intolerable.  This is a ruinous cycle that we must all work together to stop.

I am immediately reaching out to IUPAT local leaders to generate new ideas on how the IUPAT can play a positive role in bridging the divisions in our communities.  We plan to be a part of the solution in solving the extremes that are tearing this country apart and fueling widespread tragedy on a nearly daily basis where people are literally dying in the streets.

There is much to be discussed and acted upon in the coming days, weeks and months, but we must remain resolute in meeting the challenges ahead of us.  I am calling on my fellow labor leaders to do the same. It is time to act.