Hello 1753 Union Family,
Thank you to everyone who participated in our local election of 1st Shift Committee, Trustee, C.A.P. Chair and Recreation Chair, voters, and election committee.
The new election of 1st Shift Alternate Committee and Recording Secretary is coming, with nominations Feb. 23 and 28 and voting Mar. 7. Please look for a posting in this paper and in the Plant. The run-off election for the International Executive Board Positions is also coming to an end. Please vote and mail your ballot by Feb. 18.
Who you vote for is very important. This is a negotiation year. You should save money from your profit share and monthly from now on because a strike in the near future is very likely. Our national contract ends Sept. 15, 2023, so please be prepared. The best way to do that is to start thinking ahead NOW.
We gave up so much in 2008 and need to gain it back. The tier system heavily contributes to members not being in solidarity and other concessions that were given up like job security and retiree health care contribute to the division. This is the time/year to gain it back! We have seen year after year that GM has made billions in North America alone and that their gains far outweigh ours. We have a Labor-friendly U.S. President and Senate and Michigan politicians that support the UAW in high state-wide offices. Support is very important in negotiations. This is another reason it is important to vote. Voting in Union elections, local elections, state elections and national elections makes your voice heard and very important in the count of who is in office. Educate yourself on the candidates and vote Labor-friendly, Union-strong.
Labor leader A. Philip Randolph is a name we should all know. Starting in 1925, he led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters to become a recognized Union by the Pullman Car Company (their employer), the American Federation of Labor and the U.S. government. After this 12-year-struggle, he continued to fight against racism in the workplace throughout the heydey of the Civil Rights and Labor movements.
Randolph was also instrumental in the work of the Southern Farmers’ Tenant Union, which represented agricultural laborers and sharecroppers under the leadership of Harry L. Mitchell. In order to demand justice, better working and living conditions and fair profit shares, the farmers staged public demonstrations and protests throughout the 1930s. Their collective struggle resulted in the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act, which provided programs to assist migrant workers and low-interest loans to farm tenants, laborers and sharecroppers. This allowed more African-Americans to gain control of their own lives, rise out of poverty, own their own farms and live more liberated lives.
It is important to educate yourself on the Labor icons who paved the way for our current Labor victories – not just during Black History month, but all year long. One way to do this is to read, learn and reflect on the information that has been hidden from us by our schools, religious institutions, government agencies and popular culture. I recommend subscribing to a daily email blast like “Anti-Racism Daily”. They are currently doing a special blog called, “28 days of Black History.” You can sign up at the-ard.com
Another way to get a quick hit of useful information on a regular basis is by checking out the Civil Rights column on the standing committee board outside of the cafeteria. In February, I have been sharing daily snippets from “28 Days of Black History.”
Lastly, our first Game Night at the Union Hall in January was a success! There was a lot of laughter, a good amount of friendly competition and even some surprises as we learned who had skills we never knew about! We are planning for the next one in March or April and hope you all will come again. Keep an eye on the Union standing committe board for details on the date and time.
Remember, active members are the most educated members.