COVID-19 Update 4/15/2020
My Sisters and Brothers,
In today’s message, I’m happy to report an update on the extraordinary efforts of our UAW family members who are producing ventilators at the GM facility in Kokomo, Indiana. When the call came in March, our members stepped up immediately to courageously volunteer their time, going through rigorous safety training at the GM facility so they could begin work producing the critically needed ventilators that will save lives. This month will see the first delivery of more than 600 ventilators with thousands more to come over the next several months. A total of 30,000 ventilators are expected to be produced by this August.
Once again, when our nation calls and our communities are in need, the men and women of the UAW always step up. Our history shows this time and time again, and today’s unprecedented global crisis is no different. When there is a need, the UAW is there.
In sad news today, we lost two more UAW members to this virus, both from Local 1264, FCA Sterling Stamping. On behalf of the President’s Office and the entire International Executive Board, our support and sympathies go out to their families and friends.
We also saw the passing of former UAW Vice President Cal Rapson, who spent his life and career working for working families. Rapson was elected a vice president of the International union in June 2002. He was elected to a second term in 2006 and served as director of the UAW GM, Delphi, Skilled Trades and Veterans Departments. His career as a trade unionist and community leader began in 1965 when he joined UAW Local 659 while working at the General Motors Chevrolet Engine Plant in Flint, Michigan. Rapson’s legacy includes the UAW Cal Rapson Endowed Scholarship & Fellowship for eligible students at Michigan State University whose parent or guardian is a UAW member. Our prayers and support go out to his family and friends.
As always, please stay safe, support one another and continue to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV.
For more updates and questions that you may have about your worksite, visit https://uaw.org/coronavirus/.
Remember, we are all in this together.
Rory L. Gamble