I informed USW International President Leo W. Gerard of my decision and have recommended to him that recently retired District 4 Director Bill Pienta follow me in office. Leo supports this recommendation and has asked both Bill and myself to attend the USW Executive Board meeting scheduled for the end of July. I served with Bill on the International Executive Board for a number of years and saw firsthand the outstanding work he did as Director of District 4. I believe he is the right person to lead SOAR, as we face the challenges that lie ahead. I urge you all to give him your full support.
But before I leave, I want to take a moment to honor USW/SOAR President Emeritus Lynn Williams. His strength of character and leadership qualities made the transition into this job seamless. I thank him for his guidance and support.
I also want to thank all of you for the support you have given me these past six years and urge you to continue your involvement with SOAR. I have really enjoyed my years as President of this wonderful organization. As I have travelled around this great union, I have met many of you and applaud the good works you do on behalf of our nation’s retirees and working families.
SOAR must continue to grow. It has never been more important to our retirees and union. Retirees and working families are under unprecedented assault. Corporations are using the excuse of the global economy to gut our contracts and abandon their obligations to their retirees. Congress is attempting to balance our nation’s budget on the backs of the working class, while cutting the taxes of corporations and the wealthiest Americans. We can’t stand back and let that happen. We need to continue to fight back! SOAR provides us with the vehicle to make our voices heard.
In closing, I want to wish Bill Pienta great success in his new role as SOAR president and congratulate him on his appointment. Again, thank you for the support you have given me and for your continued support of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees.
Connie Entrekin, SOAR Emeritus Member