Juneteenth, or June 19, is now a Federal Holiday. It marks the anniversary of the end of slavery in the United States: June 19, 1865.
President Joe Biden signed legislation on June 17, 2021, making it the 11th national holiday recognized annually by the federal government. Federal offices will be closed in observance on June 18. This year, as the country slowly opens after being shut down for over a year due to a deadly pandemic, Juneteenth can be properly celebrated in streets from coast to coast.
Just as we celebrate July 4th commemorating independence from the British Empire in 1776, we celebrate Juneteenth as Independence Day for millions of enslaved people. But we also recognize that nearly two and a half centuries after the Declaration of Independence was signed, many Americans are still not free from discrimination. Today, we still must fight for full and equal treatment under American law and in our modern society
But we still have so much more work to do. Fighting for equality both in the workplace and in our communities is nothing new for the TWU. Our union was founded on Mike Quill’s principles of dignity and respect for all workers, while we actively work towards a better life. Commemorating this holiday is a good start, but we need to do real, boots-on-the-ground efforts to create a society that works for everyone as we strive for internal unity.
The TWU is determined to continue this fight. We will not stop until each and every one of us is treated equally, everywhere.