Iron Workers Union General President Eric Dean issued the following statement on ironworker Saria Gwin-May attending President Joe Biden's State of the Union at the invitation of First Lady Jill Biden. The statement to the membership of the Iron Workers Union reads:
"Brothers and Sisters,
"President Joe Biden will address the State of the Union this evening. While there are many important issues on the table, we want you to know someone exceptional will be in attendance—an ironworker, just like you and me.
"Saria Gwin-Maye, a 34-year journeyman ironworker out Local 44 in Cincinnati, was selected to introduce President Biden earlier this year at the Brent Spence Bridge in Covington, Kentucky, a job supported by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. She had such an impact on the president and the Iron Workers Union she was invited to be a guest of First Lady Jill Biden at tonight's address.
"Sister Gwin-Maye is a black ironworker and single mother who graduated as the only woman in her apprenticeship class. Saria is a standout ironworker on job sites and highly involved with her local, helping to promote the trade and recruiting a new, diverse generation of ironworkers. Saria says, ‘We need more people of color; we need more women ironworkers. If I can do it, you can do it.’ I cannot think of anyone better to represent the current state of our great union.
"It is no surprise that the Iron Workers Union and other unions are in the spotlight. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS Act and Inflation Reduction Act in play, we will work on big, federally funded projects throughout the United States for years to come. Union ironworkers are the backbone of infrastructure, and we will continue to rise to the occasion, completing jobs safely, with good pay and fair benefits across the board.
"I urge you to tune in to tonight's State of the Union at 9 p.m. EST. You have the opportunity to support your fellow ironworker and to understand current issues our very pro-labor presidential administration is advancing on behalf of working families.
"Congratulations, Sister Gwin-Maye, the general officers and I are proud of the work you do for the Iron Workers Union every day.”