The UAW Constitution sets out fundamental principles by which the UAW is governed. In other words, it’s the rules that the local has to follow. My favorite Article in the Constitution is Article 41, section 2. It says,
“It shall be the duty of each member to render aid and assistance to brother or sister members in cases of illness, death or distress, and in every way acquit her/himself as a loyal and devoted member of the International Union.”
I have seen our members following this, even when they likely didn’t know this article existed. Our members are genuinely wonderful people. I want to share a couple of situations that will back my statement up.
One of our members is undergoing chemo treatment because of a cancer diagnosis. She needed a little help with getting her brakes fixed on her car, so she would be safe on her drive to her treatments. It was posted on our plant’s Facebook page that help was needed. One of our union brothers who work in our trim shop, Kevin Bell, was a great help. He is what I would call a mechanical guru, aka car nut, aka car enthusiast. He donated 100% of the labor and several members sent money via cash app to purchase the parts. Kevin also went to her home to pick up the car and returned it.
On another occasion, one of our members, Steve McKellar, had a house fire where they sadly lost everything to the fire. I received a message from a member, Scott Zimmerman, General Assembly, Quality, saying he had a donation for Brother McKellar. Brother Zimmerman had trash bags full of clothes, shoes, and coats in great condition. (If I’m being honest, the shoes took up 1 bag because of the size shoe they both wear.) Brother Zimmerman didn’t hesitate when he realized they wore the same size and I’ll add that he doesn’t even know Brother McKellar personally. Without hesitation, he packed up some bags and brought them to work.
We have a member whose son was ill and, in the hospital, long term. A union member in the Paint shop, Jareb Fosket, called me and wanted to brainstorm different fundraising opportunities for this family that he could pursue. He ended up designing a shirt that incorporated everything the little boy likes, the boy’s name, and a skywalk that had an entrance into the plant with Wynken, Blynken, and Nod in the background. I assumed that the union sister worked with Brother Fosket in the Paint shop because he was so passionate about helping her. To my surprise, Brother Fosket didn’t know the union sister and she doesn’t even work in the same shop. Brother Fosket knew she needed help and didn’t hesitate.
These 3 members stood up, raised their hands, and rendered aid without hesitation. To them, it was the right thing to do, to the receiver, it meant everything in the world! I know there are several more situations like these and I would never have enough room on this page to list all of them.
It's stories like this that fill my heart with joy. It is my greatest honor and pleasure to represent you as your Vice President. It’s because of all of you that this position is so fulfilling and I thank you for that. If there is anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to call. (That includes our AWESOME retirees!) 517-372-7581 extension 132. Enjoy the Holidays and please be safe!
P.S. Totally unrelated, don’t forget to vote in the International Executive Board Run-off elections. You should get your ballot in January. Solidarity Forever!