COVID-19 Update 4/17/2020
My Sisters and Brothers,
In today’s message, I’d like to once again thank all of my UAW family for everything you’re doing to help keep our communities and our nation safe. We have so many stories of UAW members stepping up in so many different ways to help out. Members going back into plants to make critically needed personal protective equipment and ventilators, members setting up mask-making operations in their homes, local food banks, volunteering to assist neighbors — helping out in every way you can think of.
When the nation calls, we always answer. I want each and every one of you to know that your leadership is making it very clear to all of our companies across all sectors that we expect no less from them in this crisis. As we look to a plan for restarting this economy and going back to work, we are demanding that the restart is conducted with one overriding concern: The health and safety of our members.
This is what I have told the CEOs leading these companies: The only litmus test that matters is whether you would send your own family, your own son or daughter, into the plant and be certain that they will return home safely.
Now, we know that auto assembly workers will be among the first back to work as the economy emerges. So we are in deep discussions with all three companies and all of our sectors to plan ahead to ensure the implementation of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) safety standards and utilization of all available technologies to protect our UAW members, their families and the public.
This is a critical moment in our history, and it will impact millions of Americans for years to come. Our task in these coming days is truly momentous, and we have a responsibility to every person in this nation to get it right. The return to work plan must be dictated by science, not economic factors.
We have made it clear to the companies that testing is key and that we must create an environment where workers are comfortable to self-report symptoms and self-quarantine, without penalty. These discussions are ongoing. We will keep you updated as we know more.
We are also working with our elected officials in DC and locally to ensure that the decisions and legislation being put forward keep the safety and wellbeing of our workers at the forefront.
Today’s update includes another UAW loss. A brother at Local 160 from the GM Tech Center passed last week. Our prayers and support go out to this family and friends.
Please stay safe, support one another and continue to adhere to the 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