UAW https://uaw.org International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America Sun, 02 Aug 2020 16:22:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://uaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/uaw-official-logo-white-150x150.png UAW https://uaw.org 32 32 UAW President Rory L. Gamble Statement on the HEALS Act https://uaw.org/uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-statement-heals-act/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 16:22:37 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29235 “Outside the bubble of Washington, D.C. our families continue to struggle with an economy devastated by this pandemic. This impacts UAW members, their families, their communities and their jobs, all of which depend on a resilient economy. This issue needs to be solved. In the short term, families need a temporary extension of current benefits,

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“Outside the bubble of Washington, D.C. our families continue to struggle with an economy devastated by this pandemic. This impacts UAW members, their families, their communities and their jobs, all of which depend on a resilient economy. This issue needs to be solved.

In the short term, families need a temporary extension of current benefits, including the $600 a week supplemental unemployment until a final bill is resolved.

In the long term, families need a continuation of these enhanced $600 unemployment benefits, access to affordable health care coverage and adequate funding for local and state governments to support their needs. For those of us lucky enough to be working, we need to keep the economy moving so the goods and services we produce can be sold. To do this, we need adequate health and safety funding and government support for testing in the workplace.

Unemployment, health pandemics and sudden poverty are not partisan issues. It’s time to solve this — extend what we have and address our families and our nation’s economic needs while we battle this pandemic.”

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UAW Statement on Joe Biden Plan for Mobilizing Talent and Caregiving https://uaw.org/uaw-statement-joe-biden-plan-mobilizing-talent-caregiving/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 13:18:09 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29210 Detroit – “For working families, the ability to focus on work and productivity is often challenged by demands at home. Often at the bargaining table, issues of child care and elder care become key issues both for our members and their employers. Challenges at home can impact absenteeism, productivity and stress in the workplace. In

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Detroit – “For working families, the ability to focus on work and productivity is often challenged by demands at home. Often at the bargaining table, issues of child care and elder care become key issues both for our members and their employers. Challenges at home can impact absenteeism, productivity and stress in the workplace. In the case of children access to quality child care increases their learning at a crucial age and for the elderly increases the length and quality of their lives.

The Biden policy proposal focuses on filling crucial gaps in long-term services; expanding access to universal preschool for three and four-year-olds; building safe facilities and encouraging skilled childcare staffing; eliminating wait list for services for the elderly; focusing on keeping the elderly at home and in their communities; and increasing elder care staffing and training.

There is a cost at the workplace for some of the gaps in coverage and services that children and elderly experience. This is a common-sense plan that focuses on improving access to services and availability of services that in the long run helps economically at our worksites. It’s a long-overdue overhaul of crucial gaps in the American safety net.”

Read more about the plan on Medium >>>

 

 

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UAW President Rory Gamble Statement on the Passing of Congressman John Lewis https://uaw.org/uaw-president-rory-gamble-statement-passing-congressman-john-lewis/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 13:17:59 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29202 “The world John Lewis leaves behind is a very different world than the one he entered, in large measure because of his courage, tenacity and belief in the human spirit. Our own UAW history is forever linked to John Lewis and our support in Selma. Today, UAW members lost a friend; the nation lost a

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“The world John Lewis leaves behind is a very different world than the one he entered, in large measure because of his courage, tenacity and belief in the human spirit. Our own UAW history is forever linked to John Lewis and our support in Selma. Today, UAW members lost a friend; the nation lost a civil rights leader; and the world lost a human rights legend. But we will never lose the spirit and legacy he forged from the days of Walter Reuther to today. John Lewis leaves mankind better and we are grateful for it.”

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UAW Bargaining Committee at Jones Lang LaSalle Reaches Tentative Agreement https://uaw.org/uaw-bargaining-committee-jones-lang-lasalle-reaches-tentative-agreement/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 13:14:20 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29223   Dear Brothers and Sisters: Your bargaining committee appreciates the support and solidarity that we received as we worked toward a tentative agreement with Jones Lang LaSalle. The result of that hard work is in the document before you. We worked to achieve key gains through the collective bargaining process in many areas that you

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Dear Brothers and Sisters:

Your bargaining committee appreciates the support and solidarity that we received as we worked toward a tentative agreement with Jones Lang LaSalle. The result of that hard work is in the document before you.

We worked to achieve key gains through the collective bargaining process in many areas that you identified as priorities, including wages, bonuses, holidays, vacation time and in other areas.

Collective bargaining is never easy. But we always expect that the members’ interests will be protected and built upon — and we believe that once you examine this document that you will agree. Take some time to review the highlights of this proposed tentative agreement. The bargaining committee recommends a YES vote when it is called for ratification.

In Solidarity,

UAW President Rory L. Gamble and UAW Vice President and Director UAW-General Motors Department Terry Dittes

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Columbia Postdocs and Associate Researchers Ratify Contract https://uaw.org/columbia-postdocs-associate-researchers-ratify-contract/ Thu, 16 Jul 2020 23:49:20 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29193 Postdoctoral workers at Columbia University approved their tentative agreement today, with 99% of workers voting yes. Their new contract will increase minimum salaries, provide paid parental leave and provide strong protections against discrimination and harassment. Congratulations to our brothers and sisters at Columbia!

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Postdoctoral workers at Columbia University approved their tentative agreement today, with 99% of workers voting yes. Their new contract will increase minimum salaries, provide paid parental leave and provide strong protections against discrimination and harassment. Congratulations to our brothers and sisters at Columbia!

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Statement from UAW on International Students’ Policy https://uaw.org/statement-uaw-international-students-policy/ Tue, 14 Jul 2020 22:44:28 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29187 Today in Boston, Mass., a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT challenging Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new directive on student visas was heard. The UAW immediately filed an amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit, held demonstrations at ICE headquarters and state capitols across the country and stood with the Attorney Generals

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Today in Boston, Mass., a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT challenging Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new directive on student visas was heard. The UAW immediately filed an amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit, held demonstrations at ICE headquarters and state capitols across the country and stood with the Attorney Generals in Massachusetts. Connecticut, New York, Washington, and California to launch their own challenges. And we succeeded.

The Government agreed to rescind the directive and any efforts to implement it going forward. Since July 6 2020, when this unprecedented directive was issued, we have heard from thousands of our members whose livelihoods stood to be disrupted. While we claim victory today, we remain concerned about an Executive Order issued on June 22 that prohibits non-immigrant visa holders from returning to the United States to study and work until the end of the year. This Executive Order is damaging to our economy, our members, and universities.

Barring international workers from entering the U.S. will make the COVID-19 crisis even worse. Cutting visa programs will not deliver a single additional job, rather it will reduce the number of jobs available to U.S. workers, and it will lessen the quality of scientific research in the U.S. over the long term. We remain dedicated to reversing this order.

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UAW Statement on Joe Biden Plan to Create Auto Jobs and Invest in Manufacturing https://uaw.org/uaw-statement-joe-biden-plan-create-auto-jobs-invest-manufacturing/ Tue, 14 Jul 2020 15:17:11 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29178 “This ambitious plan is a win-win for American manufacturing, auto industry jobs, new technology and a cleaner environment. By focusing on investments in new technology, increasing demand for American-made and sourced clean vehicles; investing in our plants and our auto manufacturing facilities and creating 1 million new jobs, this all-American plan will ensure that the

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“This ambitious plan is a win-win for American manufacturing, auto industry jobs, new technology and a cleaner environment.

By focusing on investments in new technology, increasing demand for American-made and sourced clean vehicles; investing in our plants and our auto manufacturing facilities and creating 1 million new jobs, this all-American plan will ensure that the industry will thrive for decades to come with good paying union jobs.

This comprehensive plan will also increase investment in batteries and charging infrastructure and set fuel economy standards that involve all stakeholders. And this plan will save consumers money and cut air pollution.

UAW members are looking to Washington, D.C. to invest in future jobs; new technologies; a world race to cleaner air; and to save consumers their hard-earned money. This plan checks all those boxes.”

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Is This the Best Tesla Deal this Texas County Could Reach? The Austin Community Deserves More. https://uaw.org/best-tesla-deal-texas-county-reach-austin-community-deserves/ Tue, 14 Jul 2020 14:43:06 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29169 In Austin, Texas today, the Travis County Commission takes a key vote on whether to make sure public funds going to TESLA for a new plant require good-paying jobs with adequate health and safety assurances. Let’s hold TESLA to its promises: Or click here:

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In Austin, Texas today, the Travis County Commission takes a key vote on whether to make sure public funds going to TESLA for a new plant require good-paying jobs with adequate health and safety assurances. Let’s hold TESLA to its promises:

Or click here:

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Statement from UAW President Rory L. Gamble: We must reverse policies that punish international students https://uaw.org/statement-uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-must-reverse-policies-punish-international-students/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 17:52:41 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29164 In the past two weeks, the Administration has announced the latest in a series of policies that target workers and students who come to the United States to live, study, and work. On June 22, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Proclamation prohibiting many H, L and J visa holders from around the world

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In the past two weeks, the Administration has announced the latest in a series of policies that target workers and students who come to the United States to live, study, and work. On June 22, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Proclamation prohibiting many H, L and J visa holders from around the world from entering the U.S. to work and study. With the international scholar community still reeling from this order, U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on July 6 that international students on F and M visas will face deportation if their school switches to online classes for the fall 2020 semester due to the pandemic. These policies must be reversed immediately for a wide variety of reasons.

Tens of thousands of UAW members at colleges and universities across the country will be adversely impacted. UAW members work as teaching and research assistants, administrative and clerical personnel, adjunct faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and more at esteemed universities like NYU, University of Washington, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts, University of California, Harvard and Columbia to name a few. They teach hundreds of thousands of students a year, conduct critical research that is a vital driver of U.S. industry and technology, and bring billions of dollars in research funding into their universities and local economies. Our members are also on the front lines of research pursuing vaccines and therapies for COVID-19.

Make no mistake, barring international workers from entering the U.S. and deporting international students will make the COVID-19 crisis even worse. Studies show that cutting visa programs will undermine economic activity in many ways: it won’t deliver an additional job, it will reduce the number of jobs available to U.S. workers, and it will lessen the quality of scientific research in the U.S. Moreover, by prohibiting students from returning to their course of study, these policies have a direct impact on the finances of our universities and communities and create dangerous incentives for universities to hold in-person classes against public health guidelines.

UAW members support any and all efforts to help workers and families who are under tremendous stress in the wake of COVID-19. But cutting off visa entry and barring International students from freely working and studying in the U.S. are ineffective economic policy and inconsistent with our values. We call for a response to the economic downturn that prioritizes all workers, including immigrant and international workers. There is plenty to be done to get this economy back on its feet. Let’s get to work.

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Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Series Returns https://uaw.org/union-sportsmens-alliance-series-returns/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:24:51 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29139 The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s television series Brotherhood Outdoors is back for a 12th season. Each episode follows a union member as they embark on a hunting adventure and share stories from their lives and workplaces. The season 12 premiere follows steamfitter Adam Rule as he ventures into the Canadian wilderness on the waterfowl hunt of

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The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s television series Brotherhood Outdoors is back for a 12th season. Each episode follows a union member as they embark on a hunting adventure and share stories from their lives and workplaces. The season 12 premiere follows steamfitter Adam Rule as he ventures into the Canadian wilderness on the waterfowl hunt of a lifetime. Later episodes this season cover hunting and fishing expeditions across the Western United States.

Find out when and where you can watch the show in your area at http://www.brotherhoodoutdoors.tv/.

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Solidarity is Giving and Getting Support https://uaw.org/solidarity_magazine/solidarity-giving-getting-support/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 13:00:48 +0000 https://uaw.org/?post_type=solidarity_magazine&p=29121 Students say the outsourcing issue cuts to the heart of what the institution’s values are.  Events Show How We Can All Help Each Other The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of solidarity is “unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.” With the UAW, that is

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Students say the outsourcing issue cuts to the heart of what the institution’s values are. 

Events Show How We Can All Help Each Other

The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of solidarity is “unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.” With the UAW, that is always the case, but three recent situations involving UAW members clearly show what the word is in action.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition to urge Oberlin College’s administration to reverse its decision to lay off its UAW-represented staff and outsource the work.

Having allies is important — Teamsters Local 337 in Monroe, Michigan, knows that well. About 120 Teamsters work at Sysco’s Sygma distribution facility in Monroe and went on strike March 4 to win a first contract.

Right by their sides were UAW members, including many from UAW Local 723, an 11-unit amalgamated local that represents workers at Chrysler’s Dundee Engine plant, Gerdau Steel, driveline manufacturer Neapco, plastic injection manufacturer Yah Feng, and others in Monroe County. They didn’t need to be asked to help, said Local 723 President Jeff Morris.

“They all jumped right in,” Morris said. “I’m so proud of our members.”

The Teamsters local is based in Detroit, about 30 miles north of Monroe, so the UAW local provided a great deal of logistical support, by providing the use of their building, portable shelters, and access to the local’s food pantry.

“We had our members down there walking the line with them,” Morris said. “Every day we ran some sort of fresh food up there.”

The Teamsters won a four-year contract that included raises, significantly lower health care costs and other improvements. Todd Lince, president of Teamsters Local 337, expressed his local’s appreciation to those who stood in solidarity with his local.

“These workers organized in January 2019, so they are relatively new to the union, yet they stood strong throughout the strike despite the company taking away their health insurance,” Line said. “I want to thank other unions who helped us during the strike, including the UAW, the firefighters’ union and AFL-CIO.”

That solidarity came from the opposite direction during the General Motors strike in late 2019. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa joined UAW members on the picket line at the General Motors Lake Orion Assembly Plant in Lake Orion, Michigan, in September. Teamsters also refused to deliver any GM products to distribution points and dealerships during the strike.

“Teamsters and the UAW have a decades-long relationship of having each other’s back,” Hoffa said in announcing his union’s support.

And solidarity is not simply union members supporting other union members. Morris said the Monroe County community was deeply invested in the Teamsters strike. It was union members helping union members, but also neighbors helping neighbors.

“It was great to see the community come together, not just the UAW,” Morris said. The same communal spirit was demonstrated by students, faculty and community members at Oberlin College, a small liberal arts and music conservatory school 35 miles southwest of Cleveland. They took up the cause of 108 UAW members faced with losing their livelihoods through the college administration’s desire to outsource their work cleaning and preparing food for the 3,000 students at the institution. They denounced the move at a March meeting of the school’s board of trustees.

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF PEARSE ANDERSON

“The overall message that students hoped to impress upon the board of trustees was that this issue of outsourcing isn’t and can never be just about the numbers,” Elsa Schlensker, chair of the Oberlin Student Labor Action Coalition told the Oberlin student newspaper, The Oberlin Review. “This is an issue about what our institution values and what we’re going to commit to as we approach our 200th anniversary,” Schlensker said.

More than 1,000 people signed a petition urging the board to rescind the move.

The COVID-19 situation caused the school to cancel the remainder of classes for the semester. The outsourcing issue remains unresolved. But the workers know they have allies and any moves by the administration will not go unnoticed — or unchallenged.

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Support Michigan’s Front Line Workers https://uaw.org/support-michigans-front-line-workers/ Mon, 06 Jul 2020 12:00:11 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29160 Union members in the public sector are once again under attack and need our support. The Snyder-appointed Civil Service Commission is using the cover of a global pandemic to engage in underhanded union busting targeted at State of Michigan workers. This is not only an attack on dedicated state employees, but also their ability to

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Union members in the public sector are once again under attack and need our support.

The Snyder-appointed Civil Service Commission is using the cover of a global pandemic to engage in underhanded union busting targeted at State of Michigan workers. This is not only an attack on dedicated state employees, but also their ability to provide quality public services to the people of Michigan.

At a time when state workers have been on the frontlines of protecting the people of Michigan from the coronavirus, these anti-worker commissioners are trying to undermine the right of state employees to collectively bargain.

Stand with our brothers and sisters and tell the Civil Service Commission to end these anti-union attacks.

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UAW Donates $28k to Help Members in Puerto Rico https://uaw.org/solidarity_magazine/uaw-donates-28k-help-members-puerto-rico/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 13:00:45 +0000 https://uaw.org/?post_type=solidarity_magazine&p=29118 Earthquakes, Hurricanes and a Pandemic Have Hit the Island Hard It’s been a difficult stretch for Puerto Rico in the last couple of years. People there have been hit with hurricanes, earthquakes and now a pandemic. But whatever challenge is thrown at our 5,000 members who work at a variety of public and private entities,

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Earthquakes, Hurricanes and a Pandemic Have Hit the Island Hard

It’s been a difficult stretch for Puerto Rico in the last couple of years. People there have been hit with hurricanes, earthquakes and now a pandemic. But whatever challenge is thrown at our 5,000 members who work at a variety of public and private entities, they know their UAW family is ready to pitch in.

After devastating earthquakes in January — while the island was still in recovery after Hurricane Maria hit in late 2017 and caused $91.61 billion in damages — UAW Region 9A Director Beverley Brakeman met with 45 UAW members in Ponce, Guanica, Yauco, Mayaguez, and Arecibo in late February and delivered $28,000 in financial assistance to UAW members whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

The UAW represents 5,000 members who work at the Department of Education, Transportation, Agriculture, ADEA, Hacienda, Lotteria, Familia, Environmental Quality Board, AEELA, Pavia Hospital and Bacardi.

In addition to meeting with members and hearing about their challenges and perils on the island, Brakeman pledged to share their concerns and stories with the IEB and the UAW, who stand ready to help UAW members living and working in Puerto Rico who have been impacted by these natural disasters.

“We stand ready to help our UAW family in Puerto Rico recover from these events and will continue to provide whatever assistance we can,” Brakeman said. “We appreciate the generosity of members who donated to help those in need.”

UAW President Rory Gamble is deeply concerned. “Our members in Puerto Rico need their union. Their economy is in shambles, their infrastructure remains in ill repair after Hurricane Maria and now the recent earthquakes have further increased the vulnerability and instability of the lives of our UAW family. We didn’t let them down after Hurricane Maria and we certainly won’t let them down now.”

Natural disasters aren’t the only problem impacting UAW members in Puerto Rico. Due to the Commonwealth bankruptcy and imposition of the Federal Oversight and Management Board created under PROMESA, members in every local are fighting for fair contracts that reflect their hard work and toiling to ensure workplaces are safe and healthy.

UAW Local 1850 Employees of AEELA is one of the UAW’s oldest locals on the island. They have been fighting an uphill battle with their administration and the powerful and ruthless Pablo Crespo, executive director of the Association of Employees of the Commonwealth (AEELA), who continues to refuse to improve employee wages, benefits and working conditions.

“We call on Crespo to stop grandstanding, quit dodging workers’ rights and negotiate a fair contract now,” said Brakeman. “Enough is enough — we are angry, we won’t back down and we stand ready to negotiate.”

UAW Local 2373 employees of the Treasury (Hacienda), held a press conference on Feb. 26 to call out Hacienda Secretary Francisco Pares for refusing to share with workers a copy of the building certification ensuring that their building is safe for them and members of the public.

“Hacienda employees deserve to know without exception that their workplace is safe and secure,” said Brakeman. “If Secretary Pares cannot produce the building certification for us to review, the UAW stands ready to do its own inspection to ensure its members’ safety.”

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U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory Gamble Meet to Discuss Reform of the UAW https://uaw.org/u-s-attorney-matthew-schneider-uaw-president-rory-gamble-meet-discuss-reform-uaw/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 21:31:10 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29153 U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory Gamble jointly announce that they had a productive and helpful first meeting to begin negotiations to further the cause of reform in the United Auto Workers union. U.S. Attorney Schneider welcomed the opportunity to sit down with the UAW’s President in order to work together toward improving

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U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory Gamble jointly announce that they had a productive and helpful first meeting to begin negotiations to further the cause of reform in the United Auto Workers union. U.S. Attorney Schneider welcomed the opportunity to sit down with the UAW’s President in order to work together toward improving the union for all its members. President Gamble appreciated the chance to meet with the Department of Justice so as to further his efforts at reforming the organization and to ensure integrity in the union’s leadership.

During the meeting, President Gamble and representatives of the UAW set forth in detail the reform measures that President Gamble and the International Executive Board have put in place for the union. President Gamble and U.S. Attorney Schneider also discussed the importance of democracy for the selection of the UAW’s leadership. The parties addressed the concept of an independent monitor who could provide further assurance to the membership of concrete changes to the union so as to reduce the possibility of a reoccurrence of corruption. In addition, they are considering whether third party oversight on any future agreement would be helpful. The parties agreed that there are a number of reform options that are on the table and that will be the subject of further negotiations when the parties meet again to consider them in further detail within the coming weeks.

“The Justice Department seeks genuine and sincere reform of the UAW so as to provide the best possible representation for its members,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “I look forward to working toward a mutually agreeable resolution that will protect the interests of the UAW’s members and their families.”

“Today’s discussion was productive and both the U.S. Attorney and I have the same goal for the UAW International Union. As we turn the page to a stronger, better and cleaner union, we continue to make critical decisions that will protect the sacred dues money of our members. I look forward to continued discussions in the near future that advance toward closing one dark chapter and opening new brighter chapters for members of the UAW,” stated President Rory Gamble.

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Harvard student workers vote to ratify first union contract One-year agreement includes victories on discrimination protections, healthcare, and childcare https://uaw.org/harvard-student-workers-vote-ratify-first-union-contract-one-year-agreement-includes-victories-discrimination-protections-healthcare-childcare/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 21:30:00 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29144 CAMBRIDGE, MA — Student workers at Harvard University made history today, voting in favor of ratifying their first union contract. The one-year contract agreement with the university will improve pay and benefits for over 4,000 student workers, and guarantee health and safety protections in the midst of a pandemic. The contract strengthens protections for student

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CAMBRIDGE, MA — Student workers at Harvard University made history today, voting in favor of ratifying their first union contract. The one-year contract agreement with the university will improve pay and benefits for over 4,000 student workers, and guarantee health and safety protections in the midst of a pandemic. The contract strengthens protections for student workers against discrimination and harassment, including racial discrimination and sexual harassment, and includes new provisions aimed at increasing job security for international student workers.

The contract is a major victory not only for the Harvard Graduate Students Union (HGSU-UAW), which is the largest private-sector student worker union in the country, but also for the growing graduate student worker movement across the country.  HGSU-UAW’s victory is particularly powerful in the midst of the Trump administration’s efforts to end the right of student workers to bargain under federal law. The contract was ratified overwhelmingly by 96.9% of those who voted and a majority of the bargaining unit participated in the ratification vote.

“Student workers at Harvard make this university run by teaching courses and conducting cutting-edge research,” said Rachel Sandalow-Ash, a member of the union’s bargaining committee. “It is about time that we have a union contract that ensures we can do that work in a safe environment. HGSU-UAW and our first contract make Harvard a better university.”

Since winning their union over two years ago, student workers at Harvard have applied consistent pressure on Harvard administrators to reach a deal that would guarantee basic workplace rights and protections. The student workers’ years-long fight included holding protests, rallies, petitions and sit-ins, occupying administrative buildings, and organizing a month-long strike in the midst of last December’s finals.

During the pandemic, HGSU-UAW has also been supporting and taking part in solidarity efforts to uplift other workers across campus who have faced uncertainties in recent weeks. They have delivered masks to custodial staff and ran mutual aid efforts helping hundreds of community members. Like so many other workers on campus and across the country, the lives and work of teaching and research assistants at Harvard have been upended in many ways by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic’s consequences have increased the urgency for guarantees in a union contract including: health and safety protections as on-campus work resumes, protections for international student workers, support for child care as parents try to juggle work and home life, paid sick leave and family medical leave as student workers take care of loved ones, and support for the rising cost of health care. Student workers across Harvard’s schools organized for stable pay and benefits and have called on the university to provide certainty around their working conditions.

The contract between Harvard and the student workers will provide important measures to create much-needed stability and certainty for Harvard’s student workers in the upcoming year, when many student workers across the country are worried about continued support and funding from their university employers, including:

Compensation. The contract agreement guarantees pay raises for most student workers. As the Administration considers hiring freezes and reduced enrollment, HGSU-UAW achieved a 2.8% raise for salaried workers and substantial increases for the lowest-paid hourly workers. Hourly workers currently earning the Massachusetts minimum wage will receive a 25% pay increase.

“Having predictable pay helps student workers plan for our futures and dedicate more time and focus to our work. That will be particularly helpful over the next year as the nature of research and teaching positions has changed. Our community is unlikely to return to normal in the near future, but I’m glad to not have to worry about pay cuts at the same time,” said Cherrie Bucknor, a teaching fellow and research assistant in Sociology and a member of the bargaining committee. 

Child Care. For the first time ever, student workers will have access to child care subsidies. HGSU-UAW won a $350,000 fund to help offset the cost of childcare for student worker parents. The contract also protects the Parental Accommodation and Financial Support program, a program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) for parents whether the student worker takes a leave or not. The child care fund is a significant improvement to the university’s current policies, which had zero support for student worker parents outside of GSAS.


“Too many capable scholars are forced to choose between pursuing their academic careers and being a parent because the cost of childcare is prohibitive. For instance, in December, the cost of childcare was 70% of what I make as a teaching fellow,” said Carleigh Beriont, a fifth-year PhD student worker parent in Religion. “I’m hopeful that this new fund in our contract will help ease the burden on student worker parents.” 

Health Care and Benefits. The contract establishes nearly $600,000 in health care funds to help offset student workers’ and their dependents’ premiums and co-pays for health, dental, mental health and specialist doctor visits. The inclusion of this benefit in the agreement will allow HGSU-UAW to grow these funds in future contracts while also advocating for important changes to the plan’s benefit structure.


“For student workers with chronic illness, Harvard’s limit of six specialty visits per year is completely inadequate,” said Lee Kennedy-Shaffer, a member of the bargaining committee and May graduate from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. “The richest university in the world should offer all of its employees the health care they need—period. This contract agreement is a step toward that goal.” 

Non-discrimination. The contract establishes provisions that will help protect student workers from harassment and discrimination, including power-based harassment from supervisors. At a time when Betsy Devos and the Department of Education are rolling back Title IX protections, HGSU-UAW won the right for guaranteed interim measures for all forms of discrimination and harassment that ensure a safe workplace while complaints are investigated. The contract also guarantees that student workers who come into the Title IX office to make a complaint will be given a letter outlining their right to union representation, providing a crucial support system for navigating a difficult process. The union’s involvement ensures an entity other than Harvard itself can track these cases and patterns, and take action if the system fails survivors.

“Union representation for student workers with discrimination and harassment complaints is incredibly important because there is no transparency or accountability in the university’s internal process,” said Clare Canavan, a rising third-year student in the Chemical Biology program. “Student workers still need a neutral, independent grievance procedure for reporting cases of harassment and discrimination, but I’m hopeful that having an initial non-discrimination provision in our contract will open the door for greater improvements in future contracts. Our union will continue to fight to ensure that demand is met.” 

Leaves. The contract guarantees leaves from work, including paid bereavement and sick days for salaried workers. HGSU-UAW also won provisions for student workers to have their positions protected when they take extended unpaid leaves to address medical concerns or to care for family.

“Having leaves in our contract will dramatically change student workers’ lives,” said Jenni Austiff, a member of the Bargaining Committee and fifth year PhD candidate in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology . “Despite our being paid as employees, student workers at Harvard have never had the protection that other university workers have when they need medical care for themselves or for a family member. This is an important step forward.”

In addition to highlighting student workers’ vulnerability, the coronavirus pandemic has accentuated their enormous contributions to education and research. Teaching fellows have had to adapt their methods and material to teach students remotely. Research assistants at Harvard are fighting COVID-19 in many ways—sequencing and identifying information about the pathogen, creating and implementing testing protocols, researching potential treatments and vaccines, and modeling the course of the disease to better understand how to implement effective public health policy. Despite this, Harvard insisted on a lower pay rate for teaching assistants at the T. H. Chan School of Public Health than the contractually-guaranteed rate for every other professional school.

Under the current circumstances,  student workers see the contract  a major achievement—and a direct outcome of their organizing and December strike. This historic contract provides important protections and guarantees while laying the groundwork to achieve even greater workplace rights and protections in future contracts.

###

About HGSU-UAW

Harvard student workers from all departments joined together in April 2018 to form HGSU-UAW. They formed their local union UAW Local 5118 to fight for fair pay, comprehensive and affordable healthcare, and key protections from harassment and discrimination, guaranteed through a union contract.

 

About UAW

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations. The UAW has more than 430,000 active members and more than 580,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The UAW represents roughly 80,000 higher education workers nationally, including 18,000 postdoctoral researchers, adjunct professors, and graduate workers in the Northeast who have chosen UAW representation in the last five years.

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Update on Reforms https://uaw.org/update-on-reforms/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 16:43:09 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29136 Brothers and Sisters, When I accepted the office of the presidency, I pledged to keep you updated on all of our reforms and progress on restoring our member’s trust in leadership. As you know, we have instituted a comprehensive reforms agenda and top-to-bottom review of our operations and financial house. One of the many reforms

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Brothers and Sisters,

When I accepted the office of the presidency, I pledged to keep you updated on all of our reforms and progress on restoring our member’s trust in leadership. As you know, we have instituted a comprehensive reforms agenda and top-to-bottom review of our operations and financial house.

One of the many reforms we promised to our membership was to work very hard to return any dues dollars that were inappropriately spent. I am very pleased to report today that upon discovering, through our independent review process, that former president Dennis Williams had received travel expenses that were not appropriate, those funds have been returned to the membership. Williams has reimbursed the UAW for $55,000 in travel expenses. These monies will go back to the membership, where they belong.

Additionally, we are finalizing the sale of Cabin 4, which has been the topic of much discussion and concern. Monies from the sale will come back to the UAW, as promised. When that is finalized, I will report back to you.

As I said from day 1, we are committed to recovering any and all dues funds that have been misappropriately spent. I hope this sends a strong message to all UAW leadership that you are stewards of sacred dues dollars and we will do whatever is necessary to protect that oath of office.

Tomorrow, I will meet with the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan regarding what I hope to be constructive discussion toward the closure of a dark chapter in UAW history. I go into this meeting confident that we will bring this chapter to a close soon and continue to restore your faith in our leadership and our role as the defenders of the working men and women across this great nation of ours. I look forward to our next chapter.

You will receive an update from me tomorrow on these talks.

In solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble

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Courage Against COVID-19: Members Face Down a Deadly Virus https://uaw.org/solidarity_magazine/courage-covid-19-members-face-deadly-virus/ Mon, 29 Jun 2020 13:00:50 +0000 https://uaw.org/?post_type=solidarity_magazine&p=29069 Everyone has a role to play in the battle against COVID-19. Whether they are an academic researcher looking for a drug to fight the deadly virus, an autoworker making a quick pivot to manufacture ventilators and masks or shields, a maintenance worker disinfecting the plant, or a health care worker making sure the sick can

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Everyone has a role to play in the battle against COVID-19. Whether they are an academic researcher looking for a drug to fight the deadly virus, an autoworker making a quick pivot to manufacture ventilators and masks or shields, a maintenance worker disinfecting the plant, or a health care worker making sure the sick can receive treatment, UAW members are courageously doing what they can to battle COVID-19. They are the heart and soul of the union. Here are just a few of the stories of UAW members stepping up to the challenge the world finds itself in today:

Michelle Crumbie, Registered Nurse/ Occupational Health and Wellness Nurse
Louisville, Kentucky Assembly Plant
UAW Local 862
Region 8

UAW Local 862 member and registered nurse Michelle Crumbie has worked in a hospital as an X-ray technician, and as a nurse in the hospital, the local health department and as a veteran’s benefits representative.

None of those prepared her for COVID-19. As a nurse in an auto plant, it is a different world than she is used to. Now, when she is at work at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, she wears a mask and sometimes a welder’s shield over her eyeglasses if she is dealing with an ill worker. If needed, she has a medical gown at her disposal.

“We are dealing with something that can lead to death very quickly and that is scary. Because of the uncertainty of this virus a lot of time is spent talking to workers and giving directions and reassurance of the protections that are in place because they are sacred,” she says.

“They are concerned that it is too soon to be back to work and some are concerned because they have underlying health issues that might put them or their families at greater risk,” Crumbie says.

“As a medical professional I have worked and seen a lot” she says, “but this is the job I choose and I will continue to perform my job as long as possible.”

David Gordon
Associate Researcher Krogan Lab, University of California, San Francisco
UAW Local 5810

“I was wrapping up a genetic interaction mapping project on HIV in January when we became aware of the new coronavirus. Since then, we’ve been working around the clock to find the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 proteins and human proteins. By uncovering the human proteins that enable the spread of the virus, we are able to identify existing FDA-approved drugs which might be repurposed for COVID-19 patients.

“This effort has grown to include over 20 labs and a range of other collaborations, including Mount Sinai in New York and Institute Pasteur in Paris. We are gearing up to do live infection studies and are waiting for safety protocols and PPE. The same things we need to do the work is what the frontline hospital needs – so that is impacting the live virus work.

I am grateful I can try to make a difference. I like to be able to support others and try to contribute to the greater good. I’m lucky to be in this position with the kind of lab that has the experience and resources we have. The team has been absolutely incredible. The dataset we gathered would not have been analyzed for months or even years — but what we’ve shown is that we can come together and push this stuff out quickly when we all work together.”

Debby Hollis
Production Worker, General Motors Components
Holding, Kokomo, Indiana
Local 292

Debby Hollis doesn’t make a big fuss about things. She just acts. That is exactly what she did when she signed on to make Ventec critical care ventilators capable of supporting patients fighting COVID-19.

“I don’t like to get into a panic about things. I just do what is needed,” says the Local 292 member. “There was no question that I would do this. I feel like it is my obligation as a union member and as an employee.”

Hollis, who usually makes circuit boards for airbags, has worked at the GMCH Kokomo plant for nearly 21 years. Her husband, John, is a Kokomo city employee and deemed an essential worker. They have no children at home.

“It’s just the two of us and since my husband has to work anyway, I figured why not volunteer. I’m proud to step up and do my part. It’s my chance to contribute to something,” says Hollis. “There are a lot of people who don’t have a choice. This is their profession. It’s what they signed up for. I understand that and I want to be part of that team to do what I can.”

Keeping busy helps her focus less on the personal impact of the COVID-19 threat.

“I have an elderly mother and she may be one of the people who needs a ventilator. And my 18-year-old grandson just lost his paternal grandfather to it. So, this does have an impact on my family,” Hollis says. “Not everyone can contribute in the same way. This is what I can do. In times like these, everyone gives whatever they can and that is good enough.”

Travis Fick
Metal Model Worker Warren (Michigan)
Technical Center
Local 160

The day COVID-19 shutdown the Warren (Michigan) Technical Center is the day Travis Fick jumped wholeheartedly into the fight against the virus.

“It was a Friday. I believe March 20. I had been paying attention, so I knew there was a shortage of personal protection equipment, so I started a Facebook group to see what we could do,” says the Local 160 member.

Immediately, he posted information about the need to get protection gear to medical professionals. He called businesses like dentist offices that had closed because they were not essential, but might have N95 masks, gloves, medical gowns and caps, or anything that could be used on the front lines.

“At first there were three of us,” Fick says. “My mother, Cindi, and my wife, Jenny, started sewing masks and I was making the calls and delivering supplies,” he says. “In a couple of days, we had a few hundred people in the Facebook group, some sewing, and some helping raise awareness.”

Fick, a metal model worker, used his personal credit cards to buy fabric for the masks and paid for gas to deliver whatever he could procure from businesses throughout the Detroit area. When he reached his financial limit, he set up a site for donations.

Now, there are about 1,300 members in the Facebook group, a website with a map to show how his Michigan COVID-19 Relief project is coming and where donations are going, and 50 sewers producing 500 masks daily for workers on the front lines in Detroit, Port Huron, Grand Rapids and more. The donations allow the campaign to supply the protection gear at no cost to those who receive them.

About 6,050 masks and counting have been donated. The Facebook page posts photos and thanks from medical professionals who have received donations. The website allows visitors to register to help.

“All it takes is a spark to start a fire,” said Fick. “It has been a huge effort. You want to talk about community and solidarity to answer the call in a time of need, that is what we are doing.” Fick says he stopped counting the hours it takes to keep the project going. “This virus doesn’t sleep,” Fick says. “I figure I shouldn’t sleep either.” For more information visit the Michigan Covid-19 Relief Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/239086287487039/ and the website at mc19relief.com.

Penni Cox
Production Worker, General Motors Components
Holding, Kokomo, Indiana
Local 292

On March 13, Penni Cox was laid off from her job at the General Motors plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

“Business wasn’t good, and the company was downsizing. We prayed for more work. We were willing to build anything. We just wanted to work,” says Cox. “And now, here we are building ventilators.”

Cox, a mother and grandmother, is a third-generation autoworker and member of UAW Local 292 and is proud and excited to contribute to the COVID-19 fight.

Her husband John, and son Kevin, are members of UAW Local 685. Kevin is laid off from FCA and is hoping to start making ventilators as soon as he gets the call. Her son, Cody, is a member of UAW Local 1166. Her daughter, Kellie, is a medical assistant. “So, union and helping others are very much a part of our family. Not only for my friends and work family at GMCH here in Kokomo, but my own personal family as well,” says Cox.

“We tell our children and grandchildren to give back and pay it forward,” she adds. “Here is our opportunity to show them exactly what that means.”

Cox said she never imagined she would be building medical equipment. “But that is what is needed so that is what we have to do,” she says. “And what we build will be used to save lives. That is a good feeling.”

Is she scared? Yes, she said. But there is a bigger picture.

“We all just want to protect our family and friends,” she says. We’re not on the front lines like doctors and nurses and medical professionals, but this is our way to support the fight. This is history. One day we can explain to our grandchildren that this was the year they couldn’t have a birthday party, but it was the year we helped save lives,” she adds.

“In Kokomo, we are a very giving community. As a UAW member, this is just who we are. I am hopeful people may bring us other work for our plant. Because as soon as this is over if we don’t get more work, we will lose these jobs,” she says. “We really need it and for them to just pray for our country.”

Robert Nader
Die Repair, Troy Design & Manufacturing Company
Plymouth, Michigan
Local 245

Local 245 member Robert Nader gets antsy sitting still. Instead of going stir-crazy, he signed up for a job that would keep him busy and hopefully save lives. He is making face shields to help fight the spread of the devastating COVID-19 virus.

“It’s not just me. It’s a lot of different people in here coming together to help,” said Nader. “The medical community really needs these masks and other personal protection equipment right now.”

Nader, who normally handles die repair, now spends 12 hours a day at Ford subsidiary Troy Design & Manufacturing Company in Plymouth, Michigan.

He is now helping to produce transparent full-face shields for medical workers and first responders. The shields fully block the face and eyes from accidental contact with liquids and when paired with N95 respirators can be a more effective way to limit potential exposure to coronavirus than N95 respirators alone.

“I think helping out is a good thing and it keeps your mind off what’s going on,” said Nader, who has friends who have tested positive but survived COVID-19. “It was pretty touch-and-go there for a while, but thankfully, they made it through.

Sandy Welch
Medical Transcriptionist
Janesville, Wisconsin
Local 95

UAW Local 95 member Sandy Welch is a five-year cancer survivor. She has high blood pressure, too.

That means her immune system is not 100%. But, while others in Wisconsin are told to stay home, she heads to work every day as a medical transcriptionist at a medical clinic in Janesville.

“I have a compromised immune system and sometimes I think about that, but I don’t let that take over my thoughts,” she said.

Welch, chair of the amalgamated local’s Unit 9, has been a UAW member for 20 years and has worked at the clinic the entire time. The unit represents about 165 members including nurses, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, health care transcriptionists, assistants and receptionists.

For others on the front lines, Welch is keeping them in mind. Normally, four transcriptionists and a host of doctors at the clinic see about 500 patients a day. Wisconsin’s COVID-19 order encouraging residents to stay home has reduced traffic at the clinic to about 90 patients a day seeking only essential medical care. Welch is the sole transcriptionist at the clinic now.

Audrey Richardson, Hannah Tanabe, Elizabeth Whiteway, Luz Arevalo, Joey Michalakes, Brian Flynn and Monica Halas, Greater Boston Legal Services, Local 2320

UAW Local 2320 National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW) represents more than 4,500 members across the country. They are UAW’s only national amalgamated local union. Its members provide free legal services to low income residents needing assistance with housing, domestic violence, safety net services, health care and more.

Members from Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) unit jumped into action immediately when COVID 19 started impacting Boston’s low-income communities. Using the power of individual representation, hands-on training and support, systemic advocacy and legislation to support their clients and immigrant worker centers, the Employment Unit at GBLS has never been busier.

Its members Audrey Richardson, Hannah Tanabe, Elizabeth Whiteway, Luz Arevalo, Joey Michalakes, Brian Flynn and Monica Halas are working around the clock to protect Boston’s most vulnerable residents and families.

Monica Halas, lawyer

Their successful efforts have led to raising awareness about the states recently enacted moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, drafting legislation to help immigrant workers receive state stimulus money, developing and implementing assisting hundreds of non-English speaking workers apply for unemployment benefits, and representing clients denied unemployment or not receiving stimulus payments.

According to Region 9A Director Beverley Brakeman, “UAW’s legal services attorneys and staff are experts in their field. They know the law, but as importantly they know their way around the system. They are quick, resourceful creative and flexible in solving problems. And they don’t discriminate — they help — and they do it in good times and in bad, and they always make a difference.”

Halas, a longtime UAW member and retiree is an expert in unemployment law. Without hesitation she rejoined GBLS staff on a full-time basis to help during this time. With the others they quickly put together town hall “Know Your Rights” meetings to help residents, allies and UAW members faced with sudden unemployment. Their work has been replicated by other legal services programs in other states.

“Any region who needs this type of support should reach out to me or NOLSW President Pamela Smith,” continued Brakeman. This is an incredible team effort,” said Halas. “We have an amazing and talented group of advocates at GBLS. Everyone is working super hard to help people who might not otherwise receive assistance or be able to navigate systems that would help them.”

Andrea Brown and Kevin McQuaide, Food Pantry Volunteers, South East Ohio Food Bank, New Lexington, Ohio
Local 1549

UAW member Andrea Brown wanted to volunteer at a local food bank, but her regular work schedule at the Amanda Manufacturing plant got in the way.

Now on layoff, she has the time and is on the front lines as a food pantry volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was sitting at home and saw a post on Facebook about the South East Ohio Food Bank,” says Brown, Local 1549’s financial secretary. “It said there was a need for volunteers because the only volunteer was an 87-year-old man.”

Brown started at the food bank in New Lexington, Ohio, on April 3 and works there every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. She drives about 30 minutes to the job and makes sure boxes of food are ready for those who depend on the food pantry.

“I’m not worried about myself,” Brown says. “I know there are people out there who are in need and I want to be there to help them.” When she told Local 1549 President Kevin McQuaide what she was going to do, he joined her on April 10. Now the two of them work with a handful of others, including 87-year-old retired UAW Local 1686 member Paul Miller, of New Lexington. I’m very fortunate because of the union, but there are people who don’t have that safety net,” says McQuaide, president of the 146-member local representing workers at the Logan, Ohio, parts supplier.

“I know that there are risks,” McQuaide says. “But in this case, it is well worth the risk to help others in this time with so much going on and lives on the line.”

Denise Butsch, Registered Nurse, Ford Louisville Assembly Plant, UAW Local 862, Region 8

When Ford Motor Company’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky stopped production in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, UAW Local 862 member and registered nurse Denise Butsch remained on duty.

As one of the local’s six nurses, she answered calls and talked with members who had questions about the virus and resources, or anxiety surrounding the pandemic.

“It was busy, even if there were only a few people in the plant,” Butsch says. “People were calling and asking questions about symptoms and whether they should reach out to their doctor.”

On May 18, when the plant reopened and first-shift workers, representing about half of the 3,700 members at the plant returned, Butsch became a direct resource for members concerned about COVID-19.

“The phones are constantly ringing,” she says. “We let members know that the plant had been cleaned and sanitized and that social distancing is in place, but a lot of people are still concerned,” she says.

“Our members are now dealing with the emotional aspects of how this affects the world around them.”

And, while she works with members, Butsch has her own concerns.

“I have an 86-year-old father that I look in on,” Butsch says. “He is very independent, but I go to see him to check on him and I don’t want to take anything to him.” Even with all the concerns and negatives of COVID-19, “We are all learning to take care of one another and stay safe,” she adds.

The dangers of COVID-19 mean that UAW Local 2320 member Daniela Juarez, who works with the Migrant Farmworker Project in Wisconsin, doesn’t meet with her clients in person. She spends a lot of time talking with them on the phone.

In person or not, her assistance is vital as many of her Spanish-speaking clients are challenged by lack of access to public areas where they depend on technology to help them get information, file forms or apply for unemployment insurance benefits, says Juarez, who assists migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout Wisconsin.

The Farmworker Project helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers with issues related to wages, unemployment, housing and protections under state and federal migrant protection laws.

Juarez is one of three attorneys on the team. Korey Lundin staffs a COVID intake line for clients facing eviction and COVID-related housing issues. Carlos Bailey helped draft an amicus brief in the Wisconsin Legislature in support of the state’s “Safer at Home” orders.

Many of the clients who need her help are challenged by language, literacy and technology barriers. Some of them use computers in libraries in other public places. “And a lot of those places were closed because of COVID-19,” Juarez says.

“This is very difficult for many of my clients because these systems they need to get information, file forms or apply for benefits that require reliable technology,” she adds.

“If a client has problems reading a document, they have to send me a picture of it and if they don’t have reliable technology to do that, then they have to read it to me.

Sometimes that can be very difficult and very frustrating.”

Without Juarez to help, she says, a client might turn to a family member or friend. “And any mistake can have very serious consequences. There is a lot weighing on people getting it right. That is why a program like this means so much to people, especially at a time like this.

*****

There are thousands of other UAW members across the country doing what they can every day to fight this deadly virus.

“We are grateful to have such selfless members who honor our union’s tradition of helping out in the community, particularly during times of national crisis,” said UAW President Rory L. Gamble. “Their courage and tenacity will greatly help the overall effort to beat COVID-19 and get our country back to where we need to be.

“In the meantime, stay safe, stay home as much as possible, and follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Our union will continue to do everything in its power to make sure our members have safe working conditions so that they can return home from their job in the same condition as when they reported for work.”

“I would like to recognize and commend everyone who plays an integral part as essential workers across the UAW, with a special emphasis on my brothers and sisters who perform cleanup duties. We have always known our value and worth with the jobs we perform, from the roof tops and tanks to the tunnels below, to keep our plants running smoothly.

“I would like to thank three people at Louisville Assembly Plant who stayed the course voluntarily, from the moment the plant went down to present They could have taken layoff or said they didn’t feel safe and Leadec could have procured temps on a one-for-one basis. They volunteered to stay, cleaning areas of the main plant, taking calls, and sanitizing behind our brothers and sisters in the plant, putting them above their own wellbeing. We salute Ronald Clayton, Astin Gray and Kimmy Huang-Walsh.

Every person has a part to play, regardless of company or department. They definitely should have received hazard pay! To be thrust into a new role of sanitizing touch points, entryways, etc., and being the frontline defense for an unforeseen, unknown pandemic was definitely something we never expected to happen.”

 

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Reminder on Ethics Hotline https://uaw.org/reminder-ethics-hotline/ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 19:24:32 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29134 Sisters and Brothers, As we approach the three-month mark since launching the UAW Ethics Hotline, I want to take this opportunity to reiterate that our Ethics Hotline is a valuable, confidential resource for anyone within the UAW who wishes to report a concern related to financial malfeasance or ethical misconduct by UAW International officials or

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Sisters and Brothers,

As we approach the three-month mark since launching the UAW Ethics Hotline, I want to take this opportunity to reiterate that our Ethics Hotline is a valuable, confidential resource for anyone within the UAW who wishes to report a concern related to financial malfeasance or ethical misconduct by UAW International officials or employees, including suspected violations of the UAW Constitution or the Ethical Practices Code.

The UAW Ethics Hotline is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days-a-year via the following toll-free phone number: (866) 830-0006 or through the web at https://www.lighthouse-services.com/uaw.

We remind UAW members and employees that the Hotline is not intended to address issues solely related to (1) handling of a Union member’s grievance, or (2) Local Union elections, both of which are covered under Article 33 of the UAW Constitution. Further, the Hotline is intended for allegations of misconduct by International Officials; it is not intended to address issues related to Local Union Officials’ or Local members’ misconduct, financial or otherwise. There are existing channels for addressing such matters, including under the UAW Constitution and with the President’s Office or Secretary-Treasurer’s Office.

The reports that come in through the UAW Ethics Hotline are screened and investigated by Exiger LLC, a highly experienced, third-party compliance and ethics investigative firm that serves as the Union’s Ethics Ombudsman. Wilma Liebman, the UAW’s external Ethics Officer, assesses the reports and investigations of unethical conduct referred to her by the Ethics Ombudsman, may initiate additional investigation whenever she deems it appropriate, determines any necessary next steps once the investigation is complete, including holding hearings at her discretion, and ultimately issues a Report and Recommendation whenever she finds an ethical violation has occurred. Ms. Liebman previously served as the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, having been appointed by both Democratic and Republican Presidents.

I want you to know that we launched the Ethics Hotline as planned, during the height of the COVID-19 lockdown, undeterred by any challenges this presented, because we understand the importance of the Hotline. We are committed to spreading the word about the UAW Ethics Hotline, highlighting its availability, and we encourage our sisters and brothers to voice any concerns they may have about ethical or financial misconduct by UAW International officials. Now that much of our membership has returned to the workplace, in the coming months we will continue to ensure that the Hotline is well-publicized, and widely advertised in our workplaces and union halls throughout the country.

To learn more about the UAW Ethics Hotline, please visit www.uaw.org and click on the Ethics link, which provides an overview of the hotline and FAQs.

In Solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble

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BlackPress USA – OP-ED: 8 minutes and 46 seconds https://uaw.org/blackpress-usa-op-ed-8-minutes-46-seconds/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 15:03:57 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29107 May we never witness this again By Ray Curry, Secretary-Treasurer, UAW Over the past weeks across the nation, united demonstrations have made the message clear: People have had enough of the ongoing struggle for equality and equity, of the battle against systemic injustice, and the fear of being a person of color in America. The

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May we never witness this again

By Ray Curry, Secretary-Treasurer, UAW

Over the past weeks across the nation, united demonstrations have made the message clear: People have had enough of the ongoing struggle for equality and equity, of the battle against systemic injustice, and the fear of being a person of color in America.

The catalyst for the latest demonstrations was the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis, Minn. Floyd’s death, those horrific eight minutes and 46 seconds as this American was begging for his life on an American street, was one of the most violent events witnessed through global media outlets.

Read more on www.blackpressusa.com >>>

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The Spring 2020 Edition of Solidarity Magazine is now online! https://uaw.org/solidarity_magazine/spring-2020/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 14:40:06 +0000 https://uaw.org/?post_type=solidarity_magazine&p=28959  

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The Spring 2020 edition of Solidarity magazine is now online!

The latest edition of Solidarity magazine salutes our own heroes who are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in a variety of ways, from courageously going back to the plants to make PPE and ventilators to volunteering in the community and much more.

Despite the pandemic, UAW locals are finding innovative ways to continue their efforts. Local 1407 in Tennessee managed to win and ratify a contract despite a tough fight with management, a deadly tornado, and a pandemic which required it to get creative to hold the ratification meeting.

The UAW mourns the loss of three outstanding leaders: Retired Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks, the first African American to hold the position, retired Vice President Cal Rapson and Elizabeth “Mama Liz” Jackson, the union’s first African American administrative assistant.

The issue also introduces Wilma B. Liebman as the UAW’s first Ethics Officer. Liebman will hold hearings at her discretion, and issue reports and recommendations of her findings and recommended corrective action to the appropriate UAW officials whenever warranted.

A win at Nissan: Parts workers at the Nissan parts distribution facility in Somorset, New Jersey, did not buy Nissan’s promises to improve working conditions and voted for UAW representation. They received a huge helping hand from Local 2210 members who work at a nearby Ford Customer Service Division.

Also inside: A daughter’s reflection on Walter and May Reuther, 50 years after their tragic deaths in a plane crash in Northern Michigan.

And much more …

 

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Detroit News – Opinion: Unions support workers during crisis https://uaw.org/detroit-news-opinion-unions-support-workers-crisis/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 14:07:35 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29105 The COVID-19 pandemic has sent our world into a public health and economic tailspin. As of May, the national unemployment rate was at 13.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Michigan, it is a staggering 21.2% — worse than the Great Recession. The Washington Post reports that more than 100,000 businesses have closed permanently.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has sent our world into a public health and economic tailspin.

As of May, the national unemployment rate was at 13.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Michigan, it is a staggering 21.2% — worse than the Great Recession. The Washington Post reports that more than 100,000 businesses have closed permanently.

But more important, lives are at stake.

Read more on www.detroitnews.com >>>

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Walk to Freedom https://uaw.org/walk-to-freedom/ Tue, 23 Jun 2020 16:41:58 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29064 On June 23, 1963, over 125,000 people marched down Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan in the ‘Walk to Freedom.’ The march was the largest civil rights demonstration at the time highlighting the injustices African Americans faced across the country.

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On June 23, 1963, over 125,000 people marched down Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan in the ‘Walk to Freedom.’ The march was the largest civil rights demonstration at the time highlighting the injustices African Americans faced across the country.

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Front Line Heroes | Ronald Clayton, Astin Gray and Tianyuan “Kimmy” Huang-Walsh https://uaw.org/front-line-heroes-ronald-clayton-astin-gray-tianyuan-kimmy-huang-walsh/ Mon, 22 Jun 2020 14:00:05 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28900 “I would like to recognize and commend everyone who plays an integral part as essential workers across the UAW, with a special emphasis on my brothers and sisters who perform cleanup duties. We have always known our value and worth with the jobs we perform, from the roof tops and tanks to the tunnels below,

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“I would like to recognize and commend everyone who plays an integral part as essential workers across the UAW, with a special emphasis on my brothers and sisters who perform cleanup duties. We have always known our value and worth with the jobs we perform, from the roof tops and tanks to the tunnels below, to keep our plants running smoothly.

“I would like to thank three people at Louisville Assembly Plant who stayed the course voluntarily, from the moment the plant went down to present. They could have taken layoff or said they didn’t feel safe and Leadec could have procured temps on a one-for-one basis. They volunteered to stay, cleaning areas of the main plant, taking calls, and sanitizing behind our brothers and sisters in the plant, putting them above their own well-being. We salute Ronald Clayton, Astin Gray and Kimmy Huang-Walsh.

Every person has a part to play, regardless of company or department. They definitely should have received hazard pay! To be thrust into a new role of sanitizing touch points, entryways, etc., and being the frontline defense for an unforeseen, unknown pandemic was definitely something we never expected to happen.” – Nicolaus Dean, chair at Leadec Industrial Services unit of Local 862 at Louisville Assembly Plant.

 

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We Won’t Be Silent! https://uaw.org/we-wont-be-silent/ Sat, 20 Jun 2020 12:00:06 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29056 The post We Won’t Be Silent! appeared first on UAW.

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FREEP: Juneteenth feels different this year for autoworker https://uaw.org/freep-juneteenth-feels-different-year-autoworker/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 17:59:52 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29049 For Gerald Kariem, Juneteenth feels even more special in Detroit. So many successful Black Americans today are descendants of the millions of men and women who left the south for work in the north starting back in 1916 to build Ford cars. “That caused us to be able to have a place in society,” said Kariem, who started on the

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Vice President Gerald Kariem

For Gerald Kariem, Juneteenth feels even more special in Detroit.

So many successful Black Americans today are descendants of the millions of men and women who left the south for work in the north starting back in 1916 to build Ford cars.

“That caused us to be able to have a place in society,” said Kariem, who started on the assembly line at age 20 and is the son of a foundry worker. “It wasn’t just a job for financial reasons but it was a job that gave you a sense of being somebody.”

Read more on www.freep.com >>>

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8:46 https://uaw.org/846-2/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 12:43:26 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29039 The post 8:46 appeared first on UAW.

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UAW President Rory L. Gamble Juneteenth Memorial https://uaw.org/uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-juneteenth-memorial/ Fri, 19 Jun 2020 12:00:06 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29028 Today, we take time to honor the memory of our lost brother, George Floyd. We will sit still, we will put down our tools and silence our phones for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. A full eight minutes and 46 seconds — the agonizing amount of time that Mr. Floyd lay on the pavement begging

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Today, we take time to honor the memory of our lost brother, George Floyd. We will sit still, we will put down our tools and silence our phones for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. A full eight minutes and 46 seconds — the agonizing amount of time that Mr. Floyd lay on the pavement begging for his life.

In the days since his horrific death, this country has seen demonstrations from coast to coast and demands from all of its citizens — black, brown and white — to finally take systemic racism in this country head on and MAKE IT STOP.

So, we honor George Floyd and so many others today. And we stand strong together for a better, more hopeful tomorrow.

In Solidarity.

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Juneteenth Memorial https://uaw.org/uaw-action-racism-june-19-2020/ Tue, 16 Jun 2020 15:47:41 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29009 Dear Sisters and Brothers, As trade unionists and as Americans, we were outraged and heartsick at the horror of George Floyd’s death on May 25. It was yet another tragedy in a long and sorrowful history of the divisiveness of racism in this nation. Since that day in communities from coast to coast, we have

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As trade unionists and as Americans, we were outraged and heartsick at the horror of George Floyd’s death on May 25. It was yet another tragedy in a long and sorrowful history of the divisiveness of racism in this nation. Since that day in communities from coast to coast, we have seen Americans from all walks of life, black, brown and white, stand together to demand change. To demand – finally – that we address the systemic racial divide that has plagued our nation since its inception.

On Friday, June 19, at 8:46 a.m. in each time zone, UAW members and allies across the globe will pause for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the agonizing amount of time that George Floyd lay on an American street begging for his life. We do this in support of the millions who are demanding an end to racism and hate and calling for real reforms.

Join us on June 19 at 8:46 am as we stop work for 8 minutes 46 seconds to reflect on the horrific event of May 25 and support the call for change.

We know that our members work in different circumstances and industries. Please do not stop work unless authorized. The UAW leadership is working across the country to facilitate peaceful and orderly stand downs. Some must care for patients or engage with customers. Please do not abandon patients or customers. Please figure out a way to engage in the protest in the way that works for you.

In solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble

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U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory L. Gamble Set Meeting for Negotiations Over Reform of the UAW https://uaw.org/u-s-attorney-matthew-schneider-uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-set-meeting-negotiations-reform-uaw/ Mon, 15 Jun 2020 15:26:06 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=29002 U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory L. Gamble jointly announce that they will be meeting on June 30, 2020 in Detroit in order to begin negotiations to further the cause of reform in the United Auto Workers Union. Both men seek to work together to restore the trust and confidence of the UAW’s

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U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider and UAW President Rory L. Gamble jointly announce that they will be meeting on June 30, 2020 in Detroit in order to begin negotiations to further the cause of reform in the United Auto Workers Union. Both men seek to work together to restore the trust and confidence of the UAW’s membership in the Union’s ability to represent them and their interests. This meeting is the first step in a joint effort by U.S. Attorney Schneider and President Gamble to put into place mechanisms and protections to eliminate corruption and to ensure that it does not return.

U.S. Attorney Schneider commended President Gamble’s efforts towards reform and his willingness to take further efforts to combat corruption.

“I look forward to working with President Gamble to achieve what I hope will be a joint effort to resolve some of the serious issues that the UAW has faced over the past several years,” said United States Attorney Matthew Schneider. “The UAW’s membership deserves our concerted push to bring about significant and important reforms.”

“Today’s joint announcement of our upcoming meeting is another step toward building on the many reforms we have already enacted. I look forward to discussing with U.S. Attorney Schneider the many reforms we have already put in place and furthering our efforts on other ongoing reforms for the UAW and our members. I firmly believe we both have the same goal. As I have said from day one as President, my intent is to hand over to my successor a stronger, more effective and cleaner Union that UAW members will be proud of for generations to come, and I very much look forward to meeting with Mr. Schneider,” stated UAW President Rory Gamble.

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COVID-19 Update 6/8/2020 https://uaw.org/covid-19-update-6-8-2020/ Mon, 08 Jun 2020 20:00:06 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28961 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

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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.

In solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble

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The stuff of Dreams — MLK goes right on marching https://uaw.org/stuff-dreams-mlk-goes-right-marching/ Sat, 06 Jun 2020 18:00:12 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28912 The citizens of this country are in the midst of a battle that we have been fighting for a very long time. A battle of racial inequality, systemic abuse, and injustice. It is time to win this battle once and for all. Across the nation over the past weeks, protesters are saying they have had

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The citizens of this country are in the midst of a battle that we have been fighting for a very long time. A battle of racial inequality, systemic abuse, and injustice.

It is time to win this battle once and for all.

Across the nation over the past weeks, protesters are saying they have had enough. They are weary of the ongoing struggle for equality and equity, of the battle against systemic injustice, and the fear of being a person of color in America. The horrific, needless death of George Floyd on May 25 at the hands of four police officers in Minneapolis is tragically all too familiar.  And we are seeing our nation cry out in pain. It is the pain of generations of inequality and the pain of a nation divided.

It is shocking that in 2020, mothers in African American and minority communities still have to worry about the safety of their sons and daughters when simply going off to the store, going out for a jog and or being stopped at a traffic light.

This must end.

Read more at Black Press USA >>>

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Flood Support Letter to Local Unions from UAW President Rory L. Gamble https://uaw.org/flood-support-letter-local-unions-uaw-president-rory-l-gamble/ Sat, 06 Jun 2020 17:59:38 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28914 Dear Sisters and Brothers, On May 19, two dams in mid-Michigan failed, leading to massive floods that devastated families in that area. Over 11,000 people were evacuated, and thousands of homes were destroyed. There is always a difficult road to rebuilding after this kind of tragedy, but it is even more challenging to do so

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On May 19, two dams in mid-Michigan failed, leading to massive floods that devastated families in that area. Over 11,000 people were evacuated, and thousands of homes were destroyed. There is always a difficult road to rebuilding after this kind of tragedy, but it is even more challenging to do so in the age of COVID-19.

The two United Way chapters in Michigan covering Gladwin and Midland Counties have asked for help from UAW members. They are looking for donations to distribute to the victims of the flooding.

Below is a list of immediate needs. Please note that the United Way’s Labor Participation Committee is also looking for a semi-truck and driver to help transport goods. UAW Local Union 898 (Ford) has graciously provided a truck to assist with pick up at one location, but there are two additional locations that need pickups (Livonia and Warren). Please give as you can and continue to remain safe.

IMMEDIATE NEEDS

    • Cleaning Supply Items and Kits
      • Examples: buckets, bleach, sponges, gloves, surface wipes, etc.
    • Restoration kits
      • Examples: brooms, shovels, buckets, large trash cans, large trash bags, gloves, etc.
    • Personal Hygiene Items and Kits
      • Examples: shampoo, soap, towels, disposable razors, tampons, diapers, sanitary pads, deodorant, toothbrush/paste, etc.
    • Household items
      • Examples: dish soap, laundry detergent, fabric sheets, towels, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.
    • Nonperishable foods
      • Examples: snacks, cereal, canned good, rice, boxed meals, etc.
    • Personal Protection Equipment
      • Examples: face masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc.
    • Gift Cards (in denominations under $50)
        • Grocery gift cards (examples: Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, Family Fare, etc.)
        • Gas only gift cards
        • Retail stores (Kohl’s, Target, Amazon, etc.)
        • Restaurant gift cards

BIG ITEMS—NOT AS IMMEDIATE, FUTURE NEED

  • Washing machines, dryers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Hot Water Heaters
  • HVAC
  • Building materials
  • Box Fans
DONATIONS CAN BE DELIVERED TO:

Locals that want to donate to the relief efforts of the flood victims should coordinate with Beth Prince of the Midland County United Way at (989) 400-5001. This is for all donations, perishable or non-perishable food items and all non-food items too.

Locals that want to donate money can use this link:

https://www.unitedway.org/local/united-states/michigan/united-way-of-midland-county

The drop off location is:

Tri-City Airport
Hanger #7
8382 Garfield Rd.
Freeland, MI 48623

Thank you.

In solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble
President
International Union, UAW

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Statement of UAW President Rory L. Gamble on George Floyd Death https://uaw.org/statement-uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-george-floyd-death/ Sat, 06 Jun 2020 17:45:05 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28890 I want to send a message to the family of George Floyd. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through in these hours after your son’s tragic and needless death. As a father and grandfather, I want to personally extend my most heartfelt sympathy to your family. Sadly, he is one of many

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I want to send a message to the family of George Floyd. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through in these hours after your son’s tragic and needless death. As a father and grandfather, I want to personally extend my most heartfelt sympathy to your family.

Sadly, he is one of many African Americans who have been the victim of racial profiling and brutality in this country. We have all seen the headlines. I say this with great sorrow and not to vilify our brave men and women in blue. We represent many police officers and they are truly untold heroes who go to work every day to keep all of us safe. They have bravely been on the front lines of this pandemic, as they are always on the front lines when our nation is in need. But in this case, things went terribly wrong, and we must look at this issue as a nation. No matter how painful, we cannot not turn away.

Now I’m going to speak very plainly here. I am an African American man also from an urban center and you may think that this is why I am speaking out. But I am speaking as an American, as a union tradesman, and I am speaking to us all.

These are unprecedented times for us all. What we need now is not hard heartedness. Not division. Not looking at our differences but looking at who we are and what we value as Americans. And we are ALL Americans. We are this nation and our differences should be our strength, not our weakness. Not our tragedies.

This pandemic, terrible as it is, has in my opinion, shown us that we are in this together and we must rely on one another if we are going to navigate in this worldwide crisis. This is a scary time, and fear and prejudice are our enemies. We must not allow these human failings to prevail. When I look at the terrible, tragic circumstances of Mr. Floyd’s last minutes, begging for his life, I know that we as a nation failed this young man. This must not be our course as Americans. This must not be our story. And this cannot be the future of our nation.

George Floyd’s death is an American tragedy in a time of extreme pain and uncertainty. The color of our skin cannot — and must not — divide us. If this young man’s untimely and terrible death teaches us anything, I hope it is that we need to all see each other as Americans. Each and every one of us — Americans.

And as Americans, I think we need to serve warning that we are watching out for the safety of our fellow Americans and will do what is necessary to keep each other safe. And we will hold those accountable, regardless of who they are, if they put any of us in peril.

We have a word for it at the UAW: SOLIDARITY.

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WWJ: UAW President Calls Out Americans In Wake of George Floyd’s Death https://uaw.org/wwj-uaw-president-calls-americans-wake-george-floyds-death/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 16:52:11 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28893 UAW President Rory Gamble is calling on Americans to come together in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and the disturbances that followed.  WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert spoke with Gamble. Read more on wwjnewsradio.com >>>

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UAW President Rory Gamble is calling on Americans to come together in the wake of the death of George Floyd, and the disturbances that followed.  WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert spoke with Gamble.

Read more on wwjnewsradio.com >>>

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UAW President Rory L. Gamble Statement on the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act https://uaw.org/uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-statement-health-economic-recovery-omnibus-emergency-solutions-heroes-act/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 15:29:05 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28895 DETROIT – The International Union, UAW announced today support for the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act and urged the Senate to approve this important piece of economic recovery legislation as soon as possible. The HEROES Act takes important steps for the nation as communities battle the public health and economic crisis

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DETROIT – The International Union, UAW announced today support for the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act and urged the Senate to approve this important piece of economic recovery legislation as soon as possible.

The HEROES Act takes important steps for the nation as communities battle the public health and economic crisis stemming from the tragic COVID-19 pandemic.

“Working people need Congress to once again put partisan politics aside and take strong and immediate action to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus and severe economic downturn. Our nation needs decisive measures to create a pathway for a speedy, equitable and sustained economic recovery,” said Rory L. Gamble, President of the UAW.

“We applaud Congress in passing four previous bipartisan bills in response to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the job is far from complete as fatalities mount and layoffs skyrocket,” Gamble said.

If enacted, the HEROES Act would strengthen workplace protections by forcing OSHA to do their job, helps states, localities, and territories with nearly $1 trillion in aid, and protect workers by extending Unemployment Insurance, ensuring full COBRA benefits.

These measures would mitigate the harm inflicted on workers, the economy and our communities and lay the groundwork for us to rebound from this crisis. It would address the need for income support with unemployment insurance, direct financial support, and subsidies for housing and food. It mandates a more robust, coordinated national response in fighting the virus. The HEROES Act would also require greater use of the Defense Production Act to ensure we have the supplies we need to stop the spread of this pandemic. States would no longer be forced to bid against each other and the federal government to acquire emergency supplies.

We urge the Senate to pass this important legislation that would put our country back to work and protect workers, families, and communities.

Also, the HEROES Act would protect and reward workers by issuing much needed Occupations Safety and Health Organization (OSHA) standards for safe workplaces and begin to justly compensate workers for exposing themselves to the risk of the workplace by mandating premium pay for many front-line workers.  It would also reform our bankruptcy laws.

Restarting the economy is an immense challenge and the federal government’s actions and leadership will be pivotal to a successful outcome. While this needed legislation addresses many of the outstanding needs of Americans, the HEROES Act is designed to stop the bleeding and provide a lifeline.

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Union Plus Mortgage Benefits Union Members During Tough Times Like Layoff https://uaw.org/union-plus-mortgage-benefits-union-members-tough-times-like-layoff/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 13:58:28 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28886 The Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program is a solid resource for union members during difficult times, especially during a layoff. The program, administered through the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Plan, provides interest-free loans and grants to help make mortgage payments for members who are disabled, unemployed, locked out or on strike, or on layoff. Members who qualify for

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The Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program is a solid resource for union members during difficult times, especially during a layoff.

The program, administered through the AFL-CIO Mutual Benefit Plan, provides interest-free loans and grants to help make mortgage payments for members who are disabled, unemployed, locked out or on strike, or on layoff. Members who qualify for the Mortgage Assistance loan benefit also receive a one-time grant of $1,000.

To be eligible:

  • You must have a Union Plus mortgage for at least one year.
  • You or your eligible cosigner are out of work due to a union-approved strike, lockout, involuntary unemployment, or disability.
  • Your income or the eligible cosigner’s income is reduced by an amount equal to at least 50% of the monthly mortgage payment.
  • The income loss occurred within one year of application.

Documentation verifying union membership, out-of-work status and related income loss is required at the time of application for benefits.

Visit https://www.unionplusmortgage.com/index.html to learn more about the Union Plus Mortgage Program, how it helps union members and how to apply for its benefits.

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Heroes on the Front Lines: Michelle Crumbie https://uaw.org/heroes-front-lines-michelle-crumbie/ Sat, 30 May 2020 18:20:37 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28921 UAW Local 862 member and registered nurse Michelle Crumbie has worked in a hospital as an X-ray technician, and as a nurse in the hospital, the local health department and as a veteran’s benefits representative. None of those prepared her for COVID-19. As a nurse in an auto plant, it is a different world than

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UAW Local 862 member and registered nurse Michelle Crumbie has worked in a hospital as an X-ray technician, and as a nurse in the hospital, the local health department and as a veteran’s benefits representative.

None of those prepared her for COVID-19. As a nurse in an auto plant, it is a different world than she is used to.

Now, when she is at work at the Ford Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, she wears a mask and sometimes a welder’s shield over her eyeglasses if she is dealing with an ill worker. If needed, she has a medical gown at her disposal.

“We are dealing with something that can lead to death very quickly and that is scary. Because of the uncertainty of this virus, a lot of time is spent talking to workers and giving directions and reassurance of the protections that are in place because they are scared,” she says.

“They are concerned that it is too soon to be back to work and some are concerned because they have underlying health issues that might put them or their families at greater risk,” Crumbie says.

“As a medical professional, I have worked and seen a lot,” she says, “But this is the job I choose and I will continue to perform my job as long as possible.”

 

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Labor Voices – Opinion: Pandemic tells painful story of inequality https://uaw.org/labor-voices-opinion-pandemic-tells-painful-story-inequality/ Wed, 27 May 2020 15:59:05 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28876 This global pandemic is a worldwide tragedy on so many levels for so many people, and the full impact is still an unknown. But what is not unknown is one undeniable, shameful story of inequality, of lost opportunity, of wasted minds and hearts, and of unnecessary pain and suffering. We need only to look at

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This global pandemic is a worldwide tragedy on so many levels for so many people, and the full impact is still an unknown. But what is not unknown is one undeniable, shameful story of inequality, of lost opportunity, of wasted minds and hearts, and of unnecessary pain and suffering.

We need only to look at the statistics: COVID-19, while devastating families across the nation with illness and deaths, is hitting communities of color especially hard. The reasons for this have been in front of us for years. Coronavirus has emphasized a lack of equal access to work, health care and a safe environment.

Read more on www.detroitnews.com >>>

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Heroes on the Front Line: Daniela Juarez https://uaw.org/heroes-front-line-daniela-juarez/ Tue, 26 May 2020 12:30:18 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28859 The dangers of COVID-19 mean that UAW Local 2320 member Daniela Juarez, who works with the Migrant Farmworker Project in Wisconsin, doesn’t meet with her clients in person. She spends a lot of time talking with them on the phone. In person or not, her assistance is vital as many of her Spanish-speaking clients are

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The dangers of COVID-19 mean that UAW Local 2320 member Daniela Juarez, who works with the Migrant Farmworker Project in Wisconsin, doesn’t meet with her clients in person. She spends a lot of time talking with them on the phone.

In person or not, her assistance is vital as many of her Spanish-speaking clients are challenged by lack of access to public areas where they depend on technology to help them get information, file forms or apply for unemployment insurance benefits, says Juarez, who assists migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout Wisconsin.

The Farmworker Project helps migrant and seasonal farmworkers with issues related to wages, unemployment, housing and protections under state and federal migrant protection laws.

Juarez is one of three attorneys on the team. Korey Lundin staffs a COVID intake line for clients facing eviction and COVID-related housing issues. Carlos Bailey helped draft an amicus brief in the Wisconsin Legislature in support of the state’s “Safer at Home” orders.

Many of the clients who need her help are challenged by language, literacy and technology barriers. Some of them use computers in libraries in other public places. “And a lot of those places were closed because of COVID-19,” Juarez says.

“This is very difficult for many of my clients because these systems they need to get information, file forms or apply for benefits that require reliable technology,” she adds.. “If a client has problems reading a document, they have to send me a picture of it and if they don’t have reliable technology to do that, then they have to read it to me. Sometimes that can be very difficult and very frustrating.”

Without Juarez to help, she says, a client might turn to a family member or friend. “And any mistake can have very serious consequences. There is a lot weighing on people getting it right. That is why a program like this means so much to people, especially at a time like this.”

 

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Message from UAW President Rory L. Gamble on Memorial Day https://uaw.org/message-uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-memorial-day/ Mon, 25 May 2020 06:00:16 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28867 This Memorial Day, let us all take time to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is because of these brave men and women that we enjoy the freedoms we have today and we must never forget their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families. Wishing my UAW family

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This Memorial Day, let us all take time to remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It is because of these brave men and women that we enjoy the freedoms we have today and we must never forget their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families. Wishing my UAW family — and all Americans — a safe and pleasant holiday.

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UAW President Rory L. Gamble talks with WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert https://uaw.org/uaw-president-rory-l-gamble-talks-wwjs-jeff-gilbert/ Sun, 24 May 2020 14:36:31 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28863 WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert speaks one-o​n-one with UAW President Rory Gamble about the reopening of the auto industry.

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WWJ AutoBeat Reporter Jeff Gilbert speaks one-o​n-one with UAW President Rory Gamble about the reopening of the auto industry.

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Heroes on the Front Lines: Denise Butsch https://uaw.org/heroes-front-lines-denise-butsch/ Sat, 23 May 2020 18:28:59 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28871 When Ford Motor Company’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, stopped production in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, UAW Local 862 member and registered nurse Denise Butsch remained on duty. As one of the local’s six nurses, she answered calls and talked with members who had questions about the virus and resources, or anxiety

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When Ford Motor Company’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, stopped production in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, UAW Local 862 member and registered nurse Denise Butsch remained on duty.

As one of the local’s six nurses, she answered calls and talked with members who had questions about the virus and resources, or anxiety surrounding the pandemic.

“It was busy, even if there were only a few people in the plant,” Butsch says. “People were calling and asking questions about symptoms and whether they should reach out to their doctor.”

On May 18, when the plant re-opened and first-shift workers, representing about half of the 3,700 members at the plant returned, Butsch became a direct resource for members concerned about
COVID-19.

“The phones are constantly ringing,” she says. “We let members know that the plant and been cleaned and sanitized and that social distancing is in place, but a lot of people are still concerned,” she says. “Our members are now dealing with the emotional aspects of how this affects the world around them.”

And, while she works with members, Butsch has her own concerns.

“I have an 86-year-old father that I look in on,” Butsch says. “He is very independent, but I go to see him to check on him and I don’t want to take anything to him.”

Even with all the concerns and negatives of COVID-19, “We are all learning to take care of one another and stay safe,” she adds.

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UAW Statement on the visit of President Donald J. Trump to Ford Rawsonville plant https://uaw.org/uaw-statement-visit-president-donald-j-trump-ford-rawsonville-plant/ Thu, 21 May 2020 22:22:24 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28856 The UAW welcomed President Donald J. Trump to the Ford Rawsonville manufacturing plant today to see the hard work of our many heroes on the line who have volunteered to make PPE equipment. Despite some in the President’s entourage not following health and safety protocols in the plant today, we want to make it clear

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The UAW welcomed President Donald J. Trump to the Ford Rawsonville manufacturing plant today to see the hard work of our many heroes on the line who have volunteered to make PPE equipment.

Despite some in the President’s entourage not following health and safety protocols in the plant today, we want to make it clear that the CDC guidelines have not changed and it is vitally important that our members continue to follow the protocols that have been put in place to safeguard them, their families and their communities.

This deadly virus has already taken the lives of 25 of our UAW Big 3 members and 38 UAW members overall and thousands of Americans. These protocols are literally a matter of life and death, and that is why the UAW has been working tirelessly with the companies to ensure that everything that can be done to keep our members and our communities safe.

We also would like to note that the President indicated that he was tested this morning, and make sure he is aware that we have called for access to full testing for our members and the need for an economical instant test that can be administered daily to further protect our
members — and all Americans.

We are so proud of our members, who as always, have stepped up to help when our nation is in need.  Our UAW brothers and sisters were among the first to step up to work 10 and 12-hour shifts to make this life-saving equipment. During his visit, President Trump had the opportunity to see the health and safety protocols UAW members have helped put into place to protect them, their families and their communities from this pandemic.

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Visiting UAW Flat Rock Heroes https://uaw.org/visiting-uaw-flat-rock-heroes/ Tue, 19 May 2020 23:00:13 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28820 VICE PRESIDENT GERALD KARIEM VISITS FORD FACILITY WHERE UAW FORD MEMBERS VOLUNTEER TO MAKE VENTILATORS   In a span of 40 days, UAW Ford Members at the Flat Rock facility working with 3M Corporation, retooled and learned to create crucial ventilators for first responders and hospital staff. Ventilators are protective cooling devices that shield medical

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VICE PRESIDENT GERALD KARIEM VISITS FORD FACILITY WHERE UAW FORD MEMBERS VOLUNTEER TO MAKE VENTILATORS

 

In a span of 40 days, UAW Ford Members at the Flat Rock facility working with 3M Corporation, retooled and learned to create crucial ventilators for first responders and hospital staff.

Ventilators are protective cooling devices that shield medical personnel and first responders from the COVID-19 virus.

Utilizing existing cooling devices from Lincoln and Ford seat coolers, as well as common parts and 3M’s design expertise, UAW Ford members have put their skills to work along with Ford plant leaders to make thousands of ventilators each day.

UAW Vice President Gerald Kariem toured the facility and met with UAW Ford members as they assembled these critical devices.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our UAW members,” said Kariem. “This is what the wheel represents. These members could have stayed home and in some cases made more money, but they stepped up to the challenge that we all face in this pandemic. It is the same spirit the UAW had in World War II and throughout our history. It’s a phenomenal thing and we are all proud of these UAW members.”

 

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Heroes on the Front Line: Monica Halas https://uaw.org/heroes-front-line-monica-halas/ Wed, 13 May 2020 13:00:07 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28801 UAW Local 2320 National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW) represents more than 4,500 members across the country.  They are UAW’s only national amalgamated local union.  Its members provide free legal services to low income residents needing assistance with housing, domestic violence, safety net services, health care and more. Members from Greater Boston Legal Services

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UAW Local 2320 National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW) represents more than 4,500 members across the country.  They are UAW’s only national amalgamated local union.  Its members provide free legal services to low income residents needing assistance with housing, domestic violence, safety net services, health care and more.

Members from Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) unit jumped into action immediately when COVID 19 started impacting Boston’s low-income communities. Using the power of individual representation, hands on training and support, systemic advocacy and legislation to support their clients and immigrant worker centers, the Employment Unit at GBLS has never been busier.

Its members Audrey Richardson, Hannah Tanabe, Elizabeth Whiteway, Luz Arevalo, Joey Michalakes, Brian Flynn and Monica Halas. They are working around the clock to protect Boston’s most vulnerable residents and families.

Their successful efforts have led to raising awareness about the states recently enacted moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, drafting legislation to help immigrant workers receive state stimulus money,, developing and implementing assisting hundreds of non-English speaking workers apply for unemployment benefits,  and representing clients denied unemployment or not receiving stimulus payments.

According to Regional Director, Beverley Brakeman, “UAW’s legal services attorneys and staff are experts in their field.  They know the law, but as importantly they know their way around the system.  They are quick, resourceful creative and flexible in solving problems.   And they don’t discriminate – they help – and they do it in good times and in bad – and they always make a difference.”

Halas, a longtime UAW member and retiree is an expert in unemployment law.  Without hesitation she rejoined GBLS staff on a full-time basis to help during this time.   With the others they quickly put together town hall “Know Your Rights” meetings to help residents, allies and UAW members faced with sudden unemployment.   Their work has been replicated by other legal services programs in other states.

“Any region who needs this type of support should reach out to me or NOLSW President Pamela Smith,” continued Brakeman.

This is an incredible team effort,” said Halas. “We have an amazing and talented group of advocates at GBLS.  Everyone is working super hard to help people who might not otherwise receive assistance or be able to navigate systems that would help them.”

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Testing for COVID-19 https://uaw.org/testing-covid-19/ Mon, 11 May 2020 23:42:35 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28807 Sisters and Brothers, I want to address some of the comments and questions I’ve been hearing over the past few days concerning testing for the COVID-19 virus. Last week, UAW International staff members in Michigan received COVID-19 testing. I have heard some pretty strong comments from members concerning our staff having access to the testing.

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Sisters and Brothers,

I want to address some of the comments and questions I’ve been hearing over the past few days concerning testing for the COVID-19 virus. Last week, UAW International staff members in Michigan received COVID-19 testing.

I have heard some pretty strong comments from members concerning our staff having access to the testing. I want to address this quickly and directly. The UAW, just like the companies, is an employer. And just like the companies, we are responsible for our employees’ health and safety while they are in the workplace. The International staff has had two confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the nature of their jobs requires that they travel to multiple member locations and worksites. Staff received both the nasal swab and serological tests.

We must lead by example in this unprecedented situation. We have made it crystal clear to the companies that the health and safety of our members must be the top priority as we plan for the restart of our economy. In terms of testing, I have said to all of our employers that we expect a commitment from them for full testing as soon as it is possible. Until then, we expect as much testing as is possible to be conducted.

Ask yourself, can we demand testing and adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) standards from companies if we don’t comply ourselves?

I know emotions are running high right now and there is a lot of misinformation in the media and on social channels about this virus and about testing. However, we must remain steadfast and consistent in our position and our actions as an organization; and I can promise you that along with the entire International Executive Board, I am doing everything in my power to protect our entire UAW family.

Thank you.

In solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble

 

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In tribute: Walter Reuther’s Impact Endures and Teaches https://uaw.org/tribute-walter-reuthers-impact-endures-teaches/ Sat, 09 May 2020 13:00:41 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28773 Walter P. Reuther is an icon and an American hero of the working class. For those of us at the UAW, there are almost no words powerful enough to describe what he means to this union and our members. And for me, as the current president of the UAW, I am so humbled and inspired

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Walter P. Reuther is an icon and an American hero of the working class. For those of us at the UAW, there are almost no words powerful enough to describe what he means to this union and our members. And for me, as the current president of the UAW, I am so humbled and inspired by his vision, his life’s work, his tireless fight for human and civil rights and simply put, the example he set as an extraordinary human being. 

Today, we mark the 50th anniversary of the plane crash that tragically took the lives of UAW President Walter Reuther and his wife, May. We had planned a commemorative tribute event in Detroit to mark this momentous occasion, but due to the  COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to postpone that celebration. But this crisis will not dim the light that we are committed to shine on Walter and May’s lives, their work and their memory. 

In fact, perhaps it makes it burn all the brighter. In this terrible pandemic, our members
are still being safeguarded and protected by the founding principles that Walter negotiated and won for working men and women. And I know if he were with us today, he’d be on the front lines of this crisis, demanding that the workers of this nation — and the world — be considered and be safe in any workplace or community.  Personally, I take great strength in that. 

Walter’s legacy endures in the strides made in collective bargaining, workplace safety, worker education and enhancement, healthcare, retirement and life balance benefits that changed the face and experience of employment. The impact of Walter Reuther’s passionate efforts on behalf of the American worker is immeasurable.

A vision for us all

Seeing the labor movement as an instrument for advancing social justice and human rights, Reuther stands among the great leaders in our country’s history. Individuals who made this a society more equal for all. Reuther, who was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, is considered a founding father of the great American middle class. 

And with good reason. 

In 1927, Reuther  joined Detroit’s booming automobile industry by landing a job at Ford Motor Company, eventually becoming a die leader. While there, he got an up close and personal view of how auto workers were being mistreated in plants. He experienced firsthand being a worker with no voice in his working conditions and was later fired because of his campaign work for a Socialist Party presidential candidate. By 1935, he contributed to the rise of the UAW by forming Westside Local 174 and becoming its first president. This was just the beginning of his lifelong commitment to helping all of our brothers and sisters succeed at work and in the community. 

His efforts over the next few years to establish a strong union presence did not come easy. From hitchhiking to South Bend, Indiana, to attend his first UAW convention, to participating in the famous 44-day Flint Sit-Down strike against General Motors, to being the catalyst for the infamous “Battle of the Overpass” — when members of Ford’s private police organization attacked and beat him and other UAW organizers — he simply would not be defeated.  Beaten, maybe, but never defeated — or even deterred.

Because of his work, the UAW won major victories with the Flint Sit-Down strike against General Motors and other strikes that led to national recognition of the UAW by the Big 3 automakers. 

It was a turning point for the UAW and workers everywhere. 

By 1942, Reuther was elected the union’s first vice president and in 1946, the fourth UAW president. Under his leadership, historic benefits for workers through collective bargaining included enhanced job security, vacations, benefits, pensions and supplemental unemployment benefits (SUB).  And it is those rights that today are still protecting our members. Reuther could have never anticipated what we’re facing in today’s world of the COVID-19 virus, but his work is still protecting us. 

His vision and labor elevated working people from line workers with no voice to Americans who mattered — and who insisted that they be heard. He transformed auto industry jobs into an occupation that supplied a living wage and optimism for the future

And the future that Walter envisioned, was one where all were treated equally. In that, he was a tireless fighter for social and human rights and a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement.

Shattering barriers

One of the UAW’s fondest traditions, in my region in southwest Detroit (1A), is the annual bowling tournament. In today’s world, it is hard to understand just what it meant for blacks and whites to come together for a friendly bowling match. But in 1948, when Reuther began this tradition, he bravely challenged the racism of the day, the American Bowling Congress’ discriminatory policy and the fact that the Detroit Bowling Proprietors’ Association banned African-Americans from city bowling alleys. Reuther simply stood up and said ‘NO.’ A tradition was born and a racial barrier shattered.

In the 1960s, Reuther expanded his work for human rights by joining with government leaders and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the passage of civil rights legislation. His reach was extraordinary, helping to develop the War on Poverty initiative; marches with social justice and civil rights activists across the country; overseeing the UAW’s financing of the 1963 freedom marches; and speaking before millions at the 1963 Washington, D.C., “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” 

He was also an early ally of Cesar Chavez and migrant farm workers in their struggle to humanize agricultural work. He never wavered in his commitment to human and civil rights, despite opposition that included (in the words of this daughter, Elisabeth Reuther Dickmeyer), “numerous beatings and being shot through our kitchen window and almost killed.”

Reuther’s compassion extended not only to the people on this earth, but to the earth itself. He played a critical role in funding and organizing the first Earth Day, which was held on April 22, 1970, just days before his tragic and untimely death. 

Today, there is still much to do, but Walter Reuther’s legacy lives on. In his name, we will continue to fight for the rights of all workers to have a voice at the table with management, for the safeguards and rights of working families, and for social and economic justice.

We at the UAW are proud to carry on his work. The world was forever changed by Walter Reuther, and we salute his memory with heartfelt gratitude. Our days in this pandemic of 2020 are difficult, but so were Reuther’s days, as he battled racism, the companies and an economy that saw workers as nothing but cogs in a wheel. 

If we have learned anything from his legacy, it is this: We will prevail because we have right on our side.  I am proud, along with the International Executive Board and our entire membership, to honor Walter and May, tireless fighters for working Americans. 

In Solidarity,

Rory. L. Gamble
UAW President 

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A Tireless Fighter for Labor: May Reuther https://uaw.org/tireless-fighter-labor-may-reuther/ Fri, 08 May 2020 21:31:18 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28783 When you think of the modern labor union movement, Walter Reuther first comes to mind. But dedicatedly working alongside him in the trenches was his wife of 34 years, May (Wolf) Reuther. Throughout it all, May served as Walter’s sounding board and personal adviser. Early in their lives, while Walter was focused on labor and

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When you think of the modern labor union movement, Walter Reuther first comes to mind. But dedicatedly working alongside him in the trenches was his wife of 34 years, May (Wolf) Reuther. Throughout it all, May served as Walter’s sounding board and personal adviser. Early in their lives, while Walter was focused on labor and auto workers, May was canvassing on behalf of educators via the American Federation of Teachers.

A teacher herself when she met Walter in Detroit in 1936, the couple married soon after. Right before the wedding in March of 1936, Walter was fired from his job for supporting the UAW as a member. As Walter dedicated himself to organizing autoworkers full time, May became an integral part of establishing a strong UAW. Her salary as a teacher-supported rent and other expenses for the Union offices, and she was credited with “holding Local 174 together.”

Her long hours fighting for a cause she believed paid off and eventually changed the course of her career focus. Just days after Walter was beaten at the Battle of the Overpass, May made the decision to leave her teaching job and focus on the labor movement.

May also was very active in the community, serving on parent teacher associations, scholarship committees, mental health societies and cultural commissions. She was a fighter for civil rights, marching alongside Walter in the Selma, Alabama freedom march and was heavily involved in conservation and the environment.

May’s contributions were celebrated in 1973 at a rededication ceremony of the nature center at Baldwin Elementary School in Oakland Township,where May and Walter’s two daughters once attended school.

May and Walter Reuther died in a plane crash on May 9, 1970 while on their way to the education center constructed by the UAW near Black Lake in northern Michigan (It was May’s idea to make the Black Lake facility a family education center).

On a personal note:

  • May could play piano by ear

  • She once hosted First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in the Reuther Paint Creek home

  • May and Walter met on a streetcar in Detroit

We salute May’s tireless contribution to the UAW, the labor movement and the community.

 
 
 

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COVID-19 Update 5/8/2020 https://uaw.org/covid-19-update-5-8-2020/ Fri, 08 May 2020 20:57:57 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28785 My Brothers and Sisters, I want to start this message today by recognizing our front line workers, our members who have volunteered to step up and make life-saving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and those who have gone back to help ready the plants for a return to work. And, although, we all knew this day

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My Brothers and Sisters,

I want to start this message today by recognizing our front line workers, our members who have volunteered to step up and make life-saving Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and those who have gone back to help ready the plants for a return to work.

And, although, we all knew this day would come, I know there is a great deal of concern as we begin the necessary process of re-starting our economy. And while it is the companies that have the sole contractual right to determine the opening of plants, we have the contractual right to protect our members, and we will do so at all costs.

We have made it clear in our talks that we are asking for as much testing as possible at the current time. As I’m sure you all know, the situation on testing is very fluid and we are asking for a commitment for full testing as soon as it is available. We have also made it clear to the companies that self-reporting of symptoms and/or exposure to the virus is extremely important. The final point is strict adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be on health and safety protocols to protect our members.

In sad news today, we have lost two union brothers from LU 719, Progress Rail LaGrange, Illinois due to COVID-19. Our support goes out to their families and friends.

As always, I urge you again to stay safe, continue to support one another and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV.

For more updates and individual questions that you may have about your worksite, visit https://uaw.org/coronavirus/.
We are all in this together.

In solidarity,

Rory L. Gamble

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Remembering Walter Reuther https://uaw.org/remembering-walter-reuther-2/ Thu, 07 May 2020 22:54:42 +0000 https://uaw.org/?p=28757 Upon Walter Reuther’s untimely death in 1970, tributes poured in from around the country. Elected officials, newspapers, and working Americans sent their heartfelt condolences at the loss of one of America’s great labor leaders. We’ve compiled some of the eulogies below as a reminder of the impact Reuther had, and continues to have, on the

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Upon Walter Reuther’s untimely death in 1970, tributes poured in from around the country. Elected officials, newspapers, and working Americans sent their heartfelt condolences at the loss of one of America’s great labor leaders. We’ve compiled some of the eulogies below as a reminder of the impact Reuther had, and continues to have, on the lives of so many Americans.

 

“You didn’t have to carry a UAW card to be one of Walter Reuther’s constituents.  You were part of Reuther’s constituency if you were poor, powerless, a consumer, an outdoorsman, if you were old, if you were sick, if you were weak…” – Senator Philip Hart at the Reuthers’ memorial service

 

“Walter Reuther was to black people the most widely known and respected white labor leader in the nation.  He was there when the storm clouds were thick.  We remember him in Montgomery.  He was in Birmingham.  He marched with us in Selma, and Jackson, Mississippi and Washington…Only yesterday there he was once more in Charleston, South Carolina, the leader of a million and a half workers giving personal support to a strike of only 400 black women…He was a big man, so of course he had enemies and detractors.  He had the courage to be with the minority when it was right.  He was a simple man in his personal life, a rare quality in these flamboyant times…but if his ways were simple, his ideas were grand.  He aroused the imagination of millions…” – Coretta Scott King at the Reuthers’ memorial service

 

“The death of Walter Reuther is an even more substantial loss for the nation than for the labor movement…The void of his death will be greater still in the realms of idealism and social inventiveness.” – The New York Times

 

“The death of Walter Reuther has silenced one of the most compassionate and creative voices of our time.” – The Des Moines Register

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