Local 254 Council Rep. Cyndie Williams
Q & A
What experience has prepared you most for your current position as Council Representative?
Within my career, I have met many people, worked hard to learn the craft, was fortunate to work with very skilled and talented craftspeople. The people who stand out most in my memory were those whom I could turn to if I was unsure. I felt the challenges that knowing there were many ways to carry out a task, but leaning on trusted sources was the recipe to success. I learned to always surround yourself with talent.
What skills and experiences have you taken from your role as an instructor to your current position?
When working for the UBC Job Corps Program, I was given the opportunity to teach basic skills to disadvantaged youth. When working with them, I pulled from my experience and passed along practical knowledge and advice, I was proud to provide them with a pathway. I believe the most of my experience came from being a Field Coordinator. I traveled the East Coast, meeting many leaders within the UBC and gained much needed people skills.
Why did you want to be a Council Representative?
I knew going in, that this was a position that could provide members a service, and one that was not to be taken lightly. The industry has changed over the years, but I was ready to serve. We all can be an anchor, offering stability to the members and I want to be a Representative that everyone can turn to.
What political issue do you feel affects the Union the most? And how as a Union, are we doing to fix this issue?
“Right to Work” laws are a threat to our Union. At first glance it seems like an agenda we can all get behind. Unfortunately, this law has been undermining unions in many states by dismantling collective bargaining structures. It is imperative that our members educate themselves and understand the rights they are protecting and/or giving away. Our Union does the work to educate our members through texting platforms, website updates, and membership election engagements. I urge our members to continue to educate themselves and elect politicians that support the union agenda.
What do the members mean to you?
Membership is what makes this Union what it is. I want to make a difference in the lives of the members I serve. Even those that are strangers, we share the same beliefs…the belief that collectively, we are stronger. I always mention that concept when I engage with our members. We are stronger together.
Being in the Union, what does it mean to you?
I have built a career and a family lifestyle that fights for the middle class. I now work to teach my children at home to value the things that they have worked hard for. Unions have fought tirelessly to protect the rights of workers and to provide respectable living wages. Union values are synonymous with my personal values. And for that reason, I choose to serve the UBC.
How and when did you decide you wanted to join the union?
I was given the advice to join from a stranger. I wanted to learn the craft so I reached out via telephone to a local vocational school to sign up for carpentry classes. That stranger on the other end of the phone said, “Why don’t you apply for the Union, they will put you through school for free?” That bit of unsolicited advice was one of the best I’ve ever received. The rest is history.