A New Year of Opportunity
My Sisters and Brothers,
I want to begin this first message of 2022 with a deep sentiment of gratitude for our union and for all the hard work, dedication, and fortitude our UAW family showed this past year. We had many challenges to face together, and I watched this membership rise to each one of them and support one another, as we always do.
We started the year hopeful about a vaccine for Covid-19 becoming available and ended with the realization that we can only manage this deadly pandemic, and the knowledge again that we must all work together to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions and steps as new variants of this terrible virus continue to emerge. I would like to say that I am so proud of my brothers and sisters for their work to keep one another safe and extend my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones.
As I look ahead to 2022, I see a year of growth, of opportunity and of a strong future for our union and the working men and women of this nation. We will build on and expand many of the initiatives and wins of 2021. For UAW members and labor, we face the challenge of a vast transition in auto and mobility which will transform our economy. We approach this as an opportunity to grow the middle class, protect and grow our jobs and protect the environment. It can be done. Working closely with the Biden Administration from the new President’s first days in office, the UAW has pushed hard for the protections in the President’s infrastructure agenda, Build Back Better proposals and Buy American initiative. We are fighting for the Stabenow-Kildee Amendment which seeks to ensure that key consumer rebates for EVs are tied to good paying union auto jobs domestically.
We know how important it is to have a strong voice in government and we will be working hard through our CAP Department and CAP members leading up to the midterm elections this fall to elect labor friendly representatives. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at our National CAP conference this May in our nation’s Capitol.
We have several exciting events coming up this year including the Financial Officers Conference in March in New Orleans and our Constitutional Convention right here in Detroit in July. We have much to discuss at these important events, and I am so pleased that we have the opportunity to come together for this good work.
I want to touch on some of the great accomplishments of 2021 as we plan for the opportunities that this new year will bring. UAW members pushed for gains at the bargaining table in many sectors to eliminate pay disparities, protect and grow pensions, hold the line on health care and be an integral part of future growth in our workplaces. We saw our brothers and sisters take to the picket line this past year to fight for what is right – and win. As we always know, when we stick together in Solidarity, we can achieve our goals. For example, a new Stellantis plant in the City of Detroit is online; a rebirth at GM’s Factory Zero is adding jobs; a new F-150 Lightning plant has added jobs and doubled production before it even launched, and we expect to see more good news in the coming months from the Auto, Heavy Truck, Defense and Supplier Sectors.
More than 17,000 graduate researchers won recognition in December, the largest union win of 2021, along with so many other higher education and museum gains. In our Heavy Truck and Agricultural Implement sectors, tough bargaining has led to breakthrough contract gains in industries experiencing high profits. In gaming and our growing office worker sector, the pandemic has demonstrated the need for a voice in bargaining and led to growth opportunities.
These are but a few of the developments we must celebrate, and we will see many more achievements like these in 2022.
More than ever, the UAW succeeds because of our UAW members’ involvement in all aspects of our union, and more than ever, we believe that 2022 will be a year of opportunity, growth, and success.