Hello Union Family,
On Sunday, March 26, 2023, the election for all positions of the UAW Executive Board concluded. We congratulate the newly elected International Executive Board of the United Auto Workers on their historic election victory. This is a momentous occasion for the UAW and its members, as it marks the first time that members have directly voted in a Union election in the organization's history.
The newly elected officials will be leading UAW for a four-year term, and we are confident that they will bring about positive changes that will benefit both members and non-members alike. We wish them all the best during their tenure and look forward to seeing what they can achieve as strong Union leaders over this period. The UAW is a powerful Union dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of its members. This Union has been at the forefront of fighting for better wages, working conditions, and job security for its members. Therefore, it is essential for all workers to be actively involved in their Union in order to take advantage of the collective bargaining power.
At the end of March, Arniece Stephenson and I attended the Special Bargaining Convention in Detroit. UAW representatives from all sectors and from across the country, including Canada and Puerto Rico, attended this Convention to ensure that the members' voices were heard when the UAW sits at the bargaining table. We read resolutions and voted as a united team on what to include in negotiations.
Speaking of elections, the Local 1753 is holding their triennial elections for all positions, including President, Bargaining Committee and Unit Chairs. Please take some time to look at the election posting in this newsletter.
I encourage all members with at least one year seniority in good standing in the Union to consider running for a local position. When running for office, it is important to be knowledgeable, have a plan, and realize that it will be time-consuming. Additionally, it is important to run for the right reasons and to understand that not all of the work will be done on paid time.
By prioritizing the collective needs of your Union, rather than personal interests and goals, you contribute to a better, more effective Union. Furthermore, one must understand that while running for office can be rewarding, it also carries with it a serious responsibility to serve the people who elect you. By being an active participant in our Union, workers can ensure that their voices are heard and their rights are respected.
A great display of using elected office to serve working people is happening right now in our State House and Senate. After the 2022 elections, Michigan Democrats had a clear mission: fulfill their campaign promises. Under the leadership of Governor Whitmer and with support from Sarah Anthony, Angela Witwer, Sam Singh and many other Democrats, state legislators have been successful in repealing Right to Work, passing a prevailing wage bill, and repealing the pension income tax.
The Right to Work law, which had been in place since 2013, allowed workers to opt-out of paying Union dues even if they worked at a Union shop that had collective bargaining agreements. With these collective bargaining agreements, members get more time off, better health care, higher wages and safer working conditions, to name a few benefits! Unions use members' dues to ensure they can pay workers and cover their healthcare during a strike, host educational events, and perform many other functions necessary for Union business.
The new prevailing wage law establishes the hourly rate of pay and benefits that must be paid to workers on state-funded projects. It is determined by the US Department of Labor and is based on Union-level wages and benefits. The prevailing wage helps ensure that taxpayers get a fair return on their investment in public works projects, while also protecting workers from exploitation by employers.
The repeal of the pension income tax will help retirees keep more of their hard-earned money and put it to use in other areas such as healthcare, education, and retirement investments.
These accomplishments are a testament to the power of Labor-friendly representatives and senators working for the benefit of all Michiganders.
Finally, I would like to recognize the upcoming heritage months and ways to educate ourselves on the cultures, contributions and struggles of our fellow members. April is National Arab American Heritage Month; May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Month and Military Appreciation Month; June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month, Caribbean American Heritage Month, Juneteenth (6/19) and Immigrant Heritage Month. The newest addition to our heritage calendar in the U.S., Arab American Heritage month was first recognized by President Joe Biden in 2022. See more about this proclamation at whitehouse.gov. To find out more about the history and importance of each of these groups in our culture, go to www.diversitycentral.com/calendar/heritagemonthguide.php
We all come from different backgrounds and experiences and as long as we all are working together to make better living for all, our UAW union will continue to grow stronger. Stand together now!