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For Labor Day, Let Me Introduce Ourselves: We’re Ullico, Not Wall Street

Edward Smith is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ullico, Inc., and a 51-year member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

By Edward Smith
Across America, many men and women earn fair pay, healthcare and a pension, and they have a voice on the job. There’s a reason for that and I carry it with me everyday: it’s my union card.
But far too many working people don’t have a union card and it’s one reason that in our land of plenty insecurity and dangerous inequality are at historic highs. Our mission at Ullico is to work every day to change that by helping more people have a union and by having the backs of those who already do.
As we commemorate workers on Labor Day, there’s no better time to introduce Ullico to those who don’t yet know us. We’re the only union-owned insurance and investment company in the nation, we’re profitable and growing, and we’re one of the greatest forces for helping workers organize unions, strengthen those unions and invest in the things our nation needs. We’re more than 90 years old and we think the best is yet to come.
There’s magic in the projects in which we invest – great energy projects such as solar and wind farms, multi-use skyscrapers, and sorely-needed infrastructure. Our Infrastructure Fund, for example, has helped make 200 projects possible, including the new JFK Airport Terminal One, one of the largest public-private partnerships in America. In fact, our fund was named one of the top 10 infrastructure managers by Pensions & Investment magazine. And our J for Jobs fund just this year committed to 23 construction projects in 12 states, from hotels to new apartment complexes.
But the greater magic is in the circle of our investment. When we invest, we support and create good union jobs. In turn, workers on those jobs provide new income streams for their pensions and other benefit funds, which in turn provide new resources for further investments, creating ever more union jobs. In 2018 alone, J for Jobs investments created 11.8 million work hours and 6,000 fulltime union jobs – all the while supporting development and tax bases in local communities.
We invest in families as well, covering 2 million workers with group life insurance policies. And we have their unions’ backs, with stop-loss coverage to protect their healthcare plans and professional liability coverage to protect their leaders so they can fulfill their mission of aggressively fighting for the workers they represent.
Just as many unions across the country are experiencing a resurgence – from teachers, to hotel workers to airport workers – so too are we at Ullico. In addition to profitability, the A.M. Best credit rating agency upgraded Ullico to “excellent,” or an A-, our best rating in generations and a salute to our strength.
With our growth will come new and expanded initiatives in the coming year to serve working people in ways that other corporations can’t. Our shareholders, after all, are workers’ unions. We’re Ullico, not Wall Street. From this 51-year union member, discover the difference we make – and Happy Labor Day.

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