Building a better and stronger union has been one of the main focuses of the SSMRC since its inception. It prides itself on training, safety, efficiency, and dependability, and uses these characteristics to capture market share and ultimately, a good livelihood for all members. The force behind such a mission is the drive of those members who are pushing themselves, who care about their union and their work, and who encourage others to do the same.
One such member is Wayne McCrary. Wayne joined Local 1192 on July 28, 1966. His father, three brothers, and two nephews have also been union millwrights. Wayne said that for him, being a union millwright is, "It"s, well, it"s in the blood."
Because of this, he understands how younger and newer members will be the face of the union in the years to come and has made helping guide these members a top personal priority.
When asked how the union had benefited him the most, after some thoughtful contemplation he simply said, "I've made a good living. I've always been able to keep a job and make good money."
Wayne said that one of the best things the union has taught him is a good work ethic. He learned the importance of showing up on time and working hard by being a union millwright, and he never felt behind in his life compared to what he could've done with other occupations.
"I never felt that another occupation could get me any farther than being a union millwright has."
Wayne's work ethic and initiative paid off, as he worked his way up and eventually became a superintendent for many contractors. To accomplish this he plainly said that, "I was always trying to do the right thing."
His advice for those coming up through the ranks behind him is to take initiative. The good living that he made and the success he has had while being a union millwright is available to anyone if they just have the initiative. "Initiative is what it takes to succeed," Wayne said. "You get what you put in. You have to work hard, but you get what you put in."
He wants all to know that by bettering yourself, you better your union as well. When on a job, the member is a representative of not only themselves but their union as a whole. He added: "Never stop learning. Try to do new things and always keep trying to accomplish the next level. Always attend your union meetings!"
Wayne believes that these keys to success are not only for the member, but the union as a whole. He warned that unless this is passed down from generation to generation, the strength that we now have will no longer be there.
"If what we have learned and the good practices that we now have are not taught, not only will we not grow, but we will regress," he furthers.
When talking to Wayne, it is obvious that this is a subject he cares about and does his best to teach those around him. When asked if there was anything else he would like to add or something else he wanted to say that he was proud of, he said, "I have never jumped the fence. I have never once worked nonunion."
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