UAW members who had already arrived in D.C. determined to make the most of the opportunity
Earlier this week, UAW President Dennis Williams announced that the 2016 UAW CAP Conference in Washington, D.C., would be canceled due to safety concerns after Winter Storm Jonas covered much of the East Coast in near-record levels of snow, shutting down roads, airports and public transportation. However, UAW members who had already arrived in our nation’s capital were determined to make the most of the opportunity.
With over a foot of snow on the ground, transportation was limited during the early part of the week, but that didn’t stop members from gathering in the lobby, or over a meal or cup of coffee, to talk shop about policy, lobbying and how best to get the message out to members at the worksite.
UAW retirees in attendance met at a breakfast Sunday morning to talk about the important issues facing retired workers, how to get everyone on the same message, and what each retiree can do to help turn out the vote in 2016.
Sunday evening, UAW President Dennis Williams spoke to members about the importance of coming together as union members behind the issues that unite us.
“The glue that keeps us together as union brothers and sisters is collective bargaining, a worker’s right to organize, and a worker’s right to withhold their labor to advance their standard of living,” said Williams.
On Tuesday morning, members from Region 2B gathered for a breakfast attended by Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). Donnelly thanked UAW members for all they do in the community and recounted the UAW’s support for him in his campaign for Senate, remarking on members’ huge turnout at one of his debate events.
“I told them that you’ve had my back, and I’ll have yours. Every time,” said Donnelly.
Even though the federal government was closed on Tuesday, some members of Congress were in town and anxious to meet with UAW members to hear their concerns on issues like the WAGE Act, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and other matters on the minds of UAW members. Delegates were just as eager to speak with their representatives.
“We’re not making it. Our kids aren’t making it. And I don’t know where our future generations are going to go,” said Amy Houston from Local 2209 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, “That’s why we’re here. We go talk to our members of Congress, tell them how we feel, and hopefully they listen.”
Overall, the 2016 UAW CAP Conference was another example of how dedicated UAW members are to taking advantage of every opportunity, no matter the obstacles, to use the political process to make a real difference in their communities and in the lives of working men and women.