My Brothers and Sisters,
I’d like to talk a little today about the loss of my good friend and former UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks. Ruben passed on Monday, another casualty in this terrible pandemic. He was truly a gentleman and a tireless fighter for working men and women, for our members and for what is right and just. He served this union tirelessly for decades, starting at the GM Fisher Body Plant 2 in Flint, Michigan. He quickly rose through the UAW ranks, serving as committee person, executive board member and director of Region 1C. I will be forever grateful for his leadership and his friendship. And in thinking about my dear union brother and his contributions, I take strength in the fact that Ruben was one of so many dedicated individuals who have served this union.
I urge us all in these difficult days, to remember the sisters and brothers who have taught us, who have mentored us, who have lent a hand or a shoulder when we needed it. For we are truly a family and it is the strength of that Solidarity that will get us through this crisis.
Today, we also mourn the loss of a UAW brother from the Ford Livonia Transmission plant. On behalf of myself and the International Executive Board, our prayers and support go out to his family and friends.
One more note to recognize some extraordinary members, who just like Ruben, are sacrificing to help our communities and our brothers and sisters. At the GM Warren Assembly facility, our members produced 10,000 masks in just eight hours today. Good works like this are going on all across our union. I believe Ruben would be proud.
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, visithttps://uaw.org/coronavirus/.
Rory L. Gamble
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