On Thursday, June 17, President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, which establishes June 19 as the federal holiday, Juneteenth. Juneteenth (a portmanteau created by combining the words “June” and “nineteenth”), celebrates the day in 1865 that all black Americans finally received official notice from United States Army Major General Granger that “all slaves are free,” when the message was finally delivered to Galveston, Texas after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, almost two and a half years earlier.
This is a momentous occasion for all Americans, but it holds special significance for the Black Americans who worked tirelessly over the decades in their fight for equality in our great country. The creation of the Juneteenth federal holiday did not happen on its own. It was born from the collective effort of Black Americans over decades, and we thank them for their dedication to this noble cause. Juneteenth is a marker—an important marker—but it does not mean the battle for equality is over.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is committed to equality in the workplace and beyond. Since its inception, the TWU has been a champion of equality in the workplace, and we continue to honor and fight for that commitment on Juneteenth and always.