My Sisters and Brothers,
I know I have said this many times in the past 12 months, but I can’t think of anything that sums up more about what 2020 has shown us and it is this: I am so proud of each and every one of you and of this union for the strength, the courage, the sacrifice and the sheer will to stand together against the unimaginable hardships that 2020 threw at us all. As far as I’m concerned, it is SOLIDARITY at its finest. And it is the heart and soul of this union.
Brothers and Sisters, I must begin by reflecting for a moment on those we have lost this year to this terrible pandemic. I say to those of us who have lost family, friends or community members: I am so sorry for what this pandemic has taken from you, has taken from us all. I have lost dear friends and close colleagues to COVID-19 and watched this nation, and all working men and women struggle and grieve and somehow carry on with heavy hearts.
I also want to recognize the great sacrifices of our frontline workers who go to work every day in health care facilities, nursing care facilities, public safety and other essential jobs to take care of us all. I want to recognize the extraordinary efforts of our members in the first days of this pandemic, members who stepped up to go back into the plants to make the critical life-saving Personal Protective Equipment; those who toiled countless hours making masks, coordinating food banks and so many initiatives to help one another and this nation at a time of great need.
But that is what we do and what we have always done when our friends, families and communities are in need.
However, as we bring this year to a close, I believe that despite all the struggles, despite the sometimes terrible costs, despite all our losses and hardships, we have much to be thankful for. We have each other and we have the power of SOLIDARITY — of pulling together for the benefit of all. And it is that bond that will see us through as we continue to face down this virus. I want to pledge to my UAW family that the International Executive Board and I are continuing to do everything in our power to keep our members safe and to ensure that the companies never forget that it is the hard working women and men of the UAW — and this nation — that keep this economy running. And their health and safety is paramount above all else.
On a personal level, I also wish to add my gratitude for your help and trust in working together for the good of all. Serving as your president is a great honor but also a great responsibility and all that we have achieved this year, we have achieved together. It is the members that are the backbone of this union and you have proved it once again during this year that none of us will ever forget. So, thank you from my heart, brothers and sisters.
I want to wish each of you and all your families and loved ones a healthy, safe and happy holiday. Our celebrations will be different this year but no less heartfelt. I urge us all to please continue to follow national and state protocols to keep one another safe and send this virus packing for good.
Thank you and God Bless.
Rory L. Gamble