George MacGregor, a retired member of SMART Local 12 (southwestern Pennsylvania), claims that his more than 50-year-old decision to join the union has improved his life and that his union pension has given him “dignity and grace” in his later years. Visit his BE4ALL member profile to learn more:

“My story started back in 1969. I was working a minimum wage job and was married to my wife at the time. Her father was a union sheet metal worker, a foreman for a union company – and he asked me if I would like to work like him, in the union. So, I decided to go and see if I could work for the union.

“I got in as a permit worker, and I worked on permit for about six months before getting laid off. At that point, I decided to take the test to get in. Out of about 200 applicants, I scored 19th place. Several weeks later, I got a call and was asked if I would like an apprenticeship – so with no hesitation, I said yes.

“The main reasons I became a sheet metal worker were: 1. I wanted to get a better job. 2. I liked working with my hands. 3. I had a future in the union. 4. And there was also the fact that there was a pension in the future. My life was changed for the better, and now I have earned a pension and also earned a decent amount with my social security, so I can stay retired with dignity and grace. I want to thank the SMART International and Local 12 for my pension.”