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September 22, 2023
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Local 4911 Financial Secretary Charlene Watson
Updated On: Apr 13, 2023

April 2023

Happy Springtime 2023!

The UAW is an American labor union that represents workers in the United Stated, Puerto Rico and Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s and grew rapidly from 1936 to the 1950s. The union played a major role in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party under the leadership of Walter Reuther (president of the UAW 1946-1970).

I am sure all you card carrying brothers and sisters know this story by heart! With the recent history breaking legislation, now is the time to share our story with the new brothers and sisters that are soon to join the family.

Right-to-Work in Michigan first went into law in 2013.

Michigan repealed Right-to-Work in 2023.

The union private sector should soon begin to see the effects of the repealed Right-to-Work. A lot of the changes you are going to see in your specific work site will depend upon how your company’s specific individual private sector contract language has been negotiated and possibly any other stipulations needed to begin/complete the damage to unions that Right-to-Work caused.

No more “free riders” for union negotiated contracts (union representation without paying the dues).

The repeal of Right-to-Work does not affect the public sector, and for the short answer, because State law cannot supersede the Supreme Court ruling.

So, long story short… WE DID IT!  Kudos to all who are helping make and keeping the Union strong!

I would encourage everyone to go on a fact-finding mission and boost your base knowledge on the history of the UAW, then share your wisdom and educate those who may need it…. As my mother once said to me at an early age “they can take away your money, your house, your car, but they can never take away your education”. Ok. I’ll admit, It did take me a while to figure out who “they” were!

When I did some internet research of the popularity of Unions in America, I found some very interesting information!

Americans enjoy the highest approval rate since about 1965! Historically, support for labor unions was its highest in the 1950!

Union workers make significantly more money than nonunion workers.

Union contracts usually have better health care and pensions.

Unions provide a voice and support to the worker, in the workplace.

Unions provide its workers with psychological security as well as the financial security!

Union workers have Weingarten Rights. These rights guarantee an employee the right to Union representation in many circumstances, these rights were established by the Supreme Court in 1975 and must be claimed by the employee. There is no obligation to inform an employee that they are entitled to Union representation.

 I would encourage all union brothers and sisters to learn about unions and their history and more importantly, share it with anyone who will listen.

Enjoy your families in 2023 and always stay safe!

Charlene Watson

More Information:
Local 4911 Financial Secretary Rose Slone Archive
Lansing Labor News
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