So, What Is This Sticker All About?
” So, what is this sticker all about?”
This question is one that I have received quite frequently. Let me take a few moments to tell you what it means to me.
This sticker says that even though I do not know you, you are my brother and sister. This sticker says that no matter what state I live in, we are all unified. This
sticker says that no matter what happens in my life, I will never have to stand alone. This sticker says that if you are ever down on your luck, I will be there for you. This sticker says that I will help you raise money and awareness for the less fortunate. This sticker stands for duty, leadership, and sacrifice. This sticker signifies honor, dependability, selflessness, trust, and bravery. This sticker reminds me that, whether I’m a 1 year person or a 30 year person, I have a responsibility. This sticker says everyday, EARN ME.
This sticker says…….UNION
President – Local 1045
Professional Firefighters of Concord, NH
I wrote this a few years ago and thought it’d be a good addition to your post.
The Union Sticker
By Daniel Ragland
The union sticker is a symbol, but a symbol of what? To some, it is a symbol of pride that comes with being a firefighter. To some, it is symbolic of the camaraderie that is inherent on our job. And to some, it is nothing more than an excuse to get out of a speeding ticket. It has become symbolic of a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But what does it really mean?
Like most workers in America in the early 1900’s, firefighters were faced with long hours, low pay, and insufficient safety equipment. Workers needed to unite together and fight for better working conditions. The first firefighter’s union was formed in 1903 in Pittsburg. Their first president was promptly fired by the city and the union brothers banded together and fought for his job. Their solidarity achieved a partial victory when he was rehired but at a lower rank. This union movement began to grow and in 1918 delegates from across the country formed the International Association of Fire Fighters.
One of the first proposals of the union was to create a Fire Fighters Fund to benefit children of firefighters killed in the line of duty. The union succeeded in raising the standard of living of firefighters, the safety of our profession, our healthcare, and our standards of retirement. In 1958 the John P. Redmond Foundation was established and has played a major role in correlating heart and lung diseases with the firefighting profession. In 1975 the IAFF formed it’s political action program, FIREPAC. The political involvement has led to federal funding for many essential areas within our job including the 1976 Public Safety Officer Benefit Act and today’s SAFER grants which KCFD and other shops within Local 42 have recently relied on.
Every benefit we have on this job we owe to previous union brothers and sisters who fought for them. From our working conditions, our safety equipment, our health benefits, and our retirement benefits to due process, grievance procedures, and overall job security. And it is our fight to maintain those benefits.
The union sticker is a symbol of our solidarity, of our unification to continue in this fight. It represents the name of the IAFF and everything that previous members have fought for and gained. The bottom of the IAFF logo shows our membership in the AFL-CIO. Because we are united in the labor movement with union workers of all professions. What we do with that symbol should never contradict the purpose or cause that the IAFF stands for. It may be your car, but the sticker represents it as an IAFF member’s car. And you should be aware of how you are representing the IAFF when displaying the logo.
The IAFF recently passed Resolution 23, “Our Good Name,” pertaining to the use of the IAFF logo. It states, “…This entire body of delegates to the 50th IAFF Convention hereby commits a show of solidarity to union workers everywhere that we do stand for good, secure jobs so workers and families can have good lives and retirements and will abide by those principles for which this union has stood for since 1918 and will stand for, for all time.”
When this logo is displayed on a shirt, vehicle, or anywhere else, it represents the IAFF. It should not be displayed on a non-union made vehicle. It should not be displayed on a non-union made shirt. It should not be on display on a vehicle driven to a business that our union has an active boycott against. It should be displayed proudly. It represents a membership to be proud of. But it should not be displayed in a way that contradicts the core values that our union is fighting to protect.
The complete text of IAFF Resolution No. 23 reads:
“Whereas, the International Association of Fire Fighters is a proud trade union with ninety-plus years of history as part of the North American Labor Movement fighting to raise the standard of living of fire fighters and workers across the continent; and
Whereas this union’s commitment to standing strong for our members and for union workers everywhere is as strong as ever; and
Whereas this union represents members who stand up, lead and hold people accountable for their actions; and
Whereas just as we would not and do not expect nor do we accept anyone, especially our union brothers and sisters to sell us short or sell us out; and
Whereas the IAFF Executive Board works hard to ensure that when the IAFF logo is put on apparel or other merchandise it is ONLY put on union made and made in the U.S.A. or Canada materials and products; and
Whereas the Executive Board Public Relations Committee meets regularly to review requests to manufacture products bearing this union’s good name in the form of the IAFF logo, the letters IAFF, or the words “International Association of Fire Fighters; and
Whereas the Public Relations Committee only approves products that are union made or made in the United States of America or Canada that will bear the IAFF logo, the letters IAFF or the words “International Association of Fire Fighters; and
Whereas the determining factors in deciding approval fall within the guidelines of Executive Board Policy; and
Whereas individual members and state, provincial and local affiliates continue to ignore Executive Board Policy, continue to violate the basic principles for which this union and every member in this Great Hall stands for by applying or ordering this great union’s logo, the letters IAFF, or the words “International Association of Fire Fighters” on apparel and merchandise made by workers forced into labor under appalling sweat shop conditions and/or by child labor in third world countries, just to save a few bucks on a tee shirt or coffee mug; and
Whereas selling our brothers and sisters in labor out for a few bucks is not only embarrassing for the IAFF but also is encouraging anti-union sentiment and anti-union companies and corporations to grow and continue to eliminate good, union jobs; and
Whereas this is a slap in the face to the Labor Movement and to those IAFF members who fought so hard before us in building this great trade union; and
Whereas at the very least in this Great Union a trade by all accounts comprised of blue collar workers, it could be interpreted to be a chargeable offense against an individual or an affiliate body to engage in the above stated acts, therefore be it
RESOLVED that this entire body of delegates to the 50th IAFF Convention condemns the act of ordering or applying this union’s good name in the form of the IAFF logo, the letters IAFF or the words “International Association of Fire Fighters” to any piece of apparel or merchandise that is not UNION made, or is made outside the United States of America or made outside of Canada; and be it further
RESOLVED that the IAFF expressly acknowledges the right of the IAFF’s global partners to adopt similar measures as applied to their respective countries; and be it further
RESOLVED that this entire body encourage those IAFF card carrying members who own or operate a business that produces items that carry our good name on them, join the apprpriate trade union of that industry; and be it further
RESOLVED, that short of changing this IAFF Constitution and By-Laws, this entire body of delegates to the 50th IAFF Convention hereby commits as a show of solidarity to union workers everywhere that we do stand for good, secure jobs so workers and families can have good lives and retirements and will abide by those principles for which this union has stood for since 1918 and will stand for, for all time.
Im iaff. The sticker also says, look at me. I’m a firefighter. I want you to know I’m a firefighter. No good comes from these stickers, haven’t had one on my car since the end of my probation a very long time ago. If you ever drive poorly, act in anyway in which you would not in uniform, you make us all look bad if you have a tshirt or a sticker showing. These do more harm than good to the image of the fire service.
“No good comes from these stickers, haven’t had one on my car since the end of my probation a very long time ago.” Brother Ryan, that’s some twisted logic. Unless you have some driving issues that you’re not sharing with the rest of us, I can’t imagine how YOU are going to hurt OUR image by displaying an IAFF sticker. For some reason, you think you’re doing the rest of US a favor by separating yourself from US. Maybe you are.
Maybe your behavior off the job should mirror your behavior on the job. Always conduct yourself as though you are in the public’s eye. Be courteous, be kind, help others, I display it on all of my cars because of that. You don’t have to worry about being seen or known as a firefighter, and giving all firefighters a “bad name” if you conduct your life properly.
All the better…if you have a sticker on your vehicle or wear “the t-shirt” then you have no choice but to act accordingly…don’t knock it it’s your choice to or not to.
That sticker has nothing to do with saying look at me. 90% of people do not even know what that sticker even is (And that is fine). To bad you made it through your probation cause you sound like a terd.
Yes it does! When any Union Firefighter is having work done on their home…please hire union workers! Only shop at places that are unionized. We need to keep all unions strong and support one another! Stay safe, friends! As a union lineman–we keep the power going!
I think its about pride in who you are and what you do. Yes if you’re going to drive or do anything that would bring shame on you, your department or any of my brothers and sisters don’t put the sticker in your window. Now if you’re the ones that stop to help people and lead a life that others can look up to as a goal to be more like. Well your the ones that should proudly show your membership. just my thoughts.
The Maltese Cross signifies fire services. The IAFF decal is indeed a proud indication that the person displaying that decal is a career union firefighter.
Of the roughly one million firefighters in this country, well over 3/4 of them are volunteers or career firefighters that are not union.
That doesn’t mean they don’t have to go through the same training and testing that the career guys/girls go through.
The fires are just as hot, the hoses just as heavy, the smoke is just as thick.
Here’s to every firefighter in the country, every friken one if them are brothers and sisters. We weep the same when we lose them to LODDs
The one article is incorrect the first Union formed was in Schenectady,NY who for some chose #29 (formed on February 29th) , next day Pittsburgh which took #1.
IAFF 3686 Supports the statement made regarding the sticker and the Brotherhood it represents
Take my Union sticker off your foreign car!!
Don’t forget to scrape your stickers off your car when sell/trade it in. I see a lot of non firefighters and non-union(i.e. call/volunteer) firefighters driving around with them on their cars.
Good article, but with one exception. It is an “Association”, not a “Union”. There are very distinct differences, advantages and disadvantages. The wording means it is only recognized by a large labor organization. Some people might think the difference is small potatoes, but if you’ve ever been a real Union member, say a Teamster or a labor organization, your will really understand and appreciate the difference. Stay safe Brothers.