My Sisters and Brothers,
I want to begin this message by recognizing the strength and courage of this union and each and every one of you. These past couple of months have been extraordinarily difficult for all of us — and for all of America. And as we work to open up our economy and go back to work, I know there are so many concerns and fears.
Many of our brave brothers and sisters began returning to work over the past few weeks. I know that you are working long hours in uncomfortable masks and gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). In many cases, equipment that our brothers and sisters built because they bravely volunteered to return to these plants to help this country, and all Americans, combat this terrible virus.
It is truly the sacrifice and dedication of our members that keeps this economy running, and I pledge to you that the International Executive Board and I will not let the employers forget this sacrifice.
I want all of you to know that we continue to work very closely with the Big 3 Task Force and all employers in all sectors to keep our members safe as we transition back to work. This is an unprecedented time for us all, and we must stand together and watch out for one another. I urge you to report any issues you see in your workplace that do not comply with the COVID-19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines to your local leadership, and please, self-report if you have any symptoms.
We have been very clear on this point with the companies: Our members will not suffer any consequences for doing the right thing to protect us all by self-reporting.
It is up to all of us to ensure that we have swift reporting of any gaps in our defense against this pandemic.
In terms of testing, we continue to be resolute in asking for as much testing as is possible at the current time. We are asking for a commitment for full testing as soon as it is available.
I also want to say a few words about the horrific tragedy of George Floyd’s death last month. I’d like to reiterate a few comments from the statement I issued on this terrible event. I would like to urge us all not to focus on our differences, but to look at who we are and what we value as Americans. If this terrible pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we must stand together and protect one another. We, as working men and women, are this nation and our differences should be our strength, not our weakness.
As always, I urge you to stay safe and continue to support one another. Please note that we have FAQs and a dedicated email address for specific questions that you may have about your worksite at https://uaw.org/coronavirus/.
I will have more updates as we work through this difficult time.
We are all in this together.
Rory L. Gamble
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