Why Our Union Matters

Here you will find short videos and stories as told by members about the difference their union has made in their lives.  Each video and story can be shared on Facebook or downloaded.


This story is POWERFUL. UAW Local 503 members wanted to honor all veterans at work. It took many years, but the result took their breath away.

(Region 1D, Local 503)


When Lino became a UAW member, he made it his mission to get involved. “If you don’t, you’re letting someone else choose for you.”

Lino Medina Mendez (Region 9A, Local 2320)


Nancy was the daughter of a strong UAW man. Growing up union, she thought she knew what being in a union meant. But after her father died, she realized being union just isn’t a label that you wear, it’s how you live your life. For Nancy, being union means helping others.

Nancy Betz (Region 9, Local 1799)


Jessep has only been a member for a short time, but he already feels the union difference. It’s not just wages and benefits.

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It’s also that he knows he is part of something bigger. “I know that if I was to ever hit those rough times, it’d be my union brothers and sisters that would be the first to knock on the door and help me out. And I’ve never felt that before.”


Jessep Magoon (Region 1D, Local 652)


Did you ever know someone who did an act of kindness that changed your life? Watch this video and you will meet two.

Amber Johnson (Region 2B, Local 977)


Joseph Johnson’s 4-foot by 5-foot canvas is more than just a painting that won a prize in an art show.

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His art is an extension of his belief that we can be a positive change in the world. Joseph walks the walk when it comes to showing the world that there are positive things happening in the African-American community, in Detroit and in the UAW.


Joseph Johnson (Region 2B, Local 977)


“One of the things that the UAW has done for me was give me back my dignity as a human being. I’m not across the table from the boss begging for an income.”

Jason Peek (Region 1D, Local 602)


Being in a union can change your life. For Jimmy, it meant his son was well treated and comforted as he fought cancer.

Jimmy Mack (Region 5, Local 276)


Our union is only as strong as its members. When members step up to be leaders, amazing things can happen.

Clint McGill (Region 5, Local 282)


Alexis didn’t know what she didn’t know until one day, she saw her coworkers proudly wearing their UAW colors. That’s all it took for Alexis to ask questions and get involved. It’s the little things that create big moments in someone’s life. What small thing will you do? ‪

Alexis Pattin (Region 2B, Local 12)


That same pride Wence saw in his UAW father’s eyes, he wants his son to see in his eyes.

Wence Valentin III (Region 9, Local 774)


This UAW retiree fought for our country and continues to fight for veterans every day.

Fredrick Sona Jr. (Region 9, Local 595)


Union people help each other when we least expect it, but maybe when we need it the most.

Omar Abdullah (Region 1A, Local 3000) ‪


Mark is active in his local because of what he learned from his father years ago. “He had that notion that it was important to instill the power of your vote.”

Mark Hernandez (Region 2B, Local 1803) ‪


Years after Kevin got a what’s-what talk from his UAW father, he sees what being in a union is all about.

Kevin Logan (Region 4, Local 1268) ‪


As a child, Everett thought his mother belonged to an “onion” and worked with the Keebler elves. Years later, he went to his first union meeting, and that’s when it all clicked.

Everett Henderson Sr. (Region 1D, Local 724) ‪


Growing up, David didn’t get to spend much time with his dad because he had to work two jobs to hold the family together. Today is different for David, his father and his son.

David Winkler (Region 5, Local 249) ‪


By now most people have heard about the Flint Water Crisis. It’s still going on. Kimberly is a UAW member who has to live it every day. Listen to what a day in her life is like. She also shares what the Flint community needs beyond water. Baby wipes? Who knew?

Kimberly Jones (Region 1D, Local 659)


Dave’s father taught him a lesson over 60 years ago, and he’s still paying it back today.

Dave Cleveland (Region 5, Local 160)



Kyle ran for office to clean house after last year’s dues increase. But then something happened.

Kyle Young (Region 4, Local 2488)



UAW Chaplaincy: Building from the Inside with Faith and Solidarity.

Willie Anderson (Regions 1 and 5)


The Legal Aid Society attorneys in New York City are proud UAW members. When one of their clients died and made national headlines, the lawyers took to the streets to demand change.

Deborah Wright (Region 9A, Local 2325)


LaNiece Cole found strong mentors in her local who taught her what being union means. “They made me feel like I belonged somewhere. And a lot of times I believe that’s just what we need. To feel like we belong that we matter.”

LaNiece Cole (Region 1, Local 869)


At a young age, Samantha learned the hard way about having no rights at work. She’s now determined that her daughter grow up in a different world.

Samantha Drake (Region 1D, Local 2093)


Neal is old school, but he knows the future of our union is the next generation. Helping to pass the torch is an important part of his leadership and communications plan of his local.

Neal Lazarus (Region 8, Local 788)


He had been at Chrysler for only one year when negotiations started. When he heard one veteran worker after another speak out for the new hires, Dan knew union was family and he had to get involved.

Daniel Carrico (Region 2B, Local 685)


Garrett’s moving words will make you proud to know he is a union brother.

Garrett Waters (Region 5, Local 249)


She’s a UAW activist, attorney for the homeless, and one fateful dinner conversation made it all come full circle.

Beth Hofmeister (Region 9A, 2325)


Her dying father’s last words were, “You have the UAW.” Then her life changed.

Ronda Parks (Region 9, Local 2300)


A co-worker was always passing out literature. He would take the flier sometimes, but most days he wasn’t interested. Then one day, they talked and that led going to a union meeting…

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Then it all fell into place. He realized that HE is the union.
Gaylane Norwood (Region 4, Local 551)


Marilyn remembers it like yesterday… the relief of knowing when someone has your back!

Marilyn Coulter (Region 1D, Local 602)


Amazing kid instantly understands what a union is about and brings pride to being a thorn in the side! ‬

Alexander Currie (Region 1, Local 1700)


Two sisters, hundreds of miles apart, are driven by the same passion for their union. Watch until the end for a big surprise. ‪

Monica Williams (Region 8, Local 2164)


“At least one-third of the day, if not more, is spent [at work]. And in some cases we spend more time at work than with our families.” That’s why Gerald fights to make his union stronger.

Gerald Jackson (Region 1A, Local 892)


There’s something special about union people. We look out for one another. Dana shares her story about how her union stepped in and helped her in a very difficult time.

Dana Richardson (Region 1D, Local 652)


Seeing Piston workers on strike changed Shavon forever.

Shavon Mays (Region 2B, Local 12)


Every time he walks on his family’s land, Chris is reminded what being union is all about.

Chris Brown (Region 8, Local 42)


Stacey had a heart to heart with her father about organizing. He was salary; she was production. But their conclusions were the same.‪

Stacey Hinson (Region 8, Local 5285)


She had just started her job, knew nothing about unions when she suddenly ended up in a hospital. What happened next is something she will never forget.

Winter Williams (Region 1, Local 1264)


She’s an only child, but LeNiece learns she has many brothers and sisters in her union who support her during a family crisis.

LeNiece Coffey (Region 5, Local 5)


Kim from Local 862 faced harassment from management when she started her new job. Her UAW brothers and sisters weren’t going to stand for that. Hear more from Kim.

Kim Ashby (Region 8, Local 862)


Antoinette hilariously (and honestly) recounts how she learned to buy what we build. 

Antoinette Jones (Region 2B, Local 685)


She and her husband step off a plane in a new city to be greeted by UAW brothers and sisters who helped them get back on their feet.

Nancy Adler (Region 5, Local 129)


Precious learned on day 1 the union difference.

Precious McCoy (Region 1, Local 140)


A simple break at a McDonald’s in Mississippi taught Edwin a big lesson about wages and opportunity.

Edwin Gary (Region 9, Local 686)


When Cherrie moved from New York to Florida, one of the biggest changes wasn’t the weather. She found it confusing when she was asked if she wanted to join the union…

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but Florida is a RTW state. She signed up right away because being union is in her blood, and she knows there’s strength in numbers.

Cherrie Bowen (Region 8, Local 788)


Erin was a self-employed carpenter with no safety net. Now Erin is a proud UAW member dedicated to lifting others up.

Erin Ervin (Region 9A, Local 2322)


Sister Cynthia remembers the moment where she understood what a union is all about. A co-worker pointed out that complaining is not the same as participating. She got mad, but then she saw he was right. And she’s been on a roll ever since.

Cynthia Averhart (Region 1A, Local 735)


Jerry turned his life around since he hit rock bottom. And who does he credit?

Jerry Jacobs (Region 5, Local 230)


Lisa admits she was a naysayer until she found out for herself what it takes to make a union strong. Today she says there’s a place, and role, for every member in the UAW.

Lisa Ramirez (Region 1D, Local 599)


See how his UAW changed this Marine’s life.

Chris Ciesinski (Region 9, Local 1097)

She’s southern, and she’s union proud.

LaTonya Hamilton (Region 8, Local 1956)

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