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The day COVID-19 shutdown the Warren (Michigan) Technical Center is the day Travis Fick jumped wholeheartedly into the fight against the virus. “It was a Friday. I believe March 20. I had been paying attention, so I knew there was a shortage of personal protection equipment, so I started a Facebook group to see what we could do,” says the Local 160 member. Immediately, he posted information about the need to get protection gear to medical professionals. He called businesses like dentist offices that had closed because they were not essential, but might have N95 masks, gloves, medical gowns and caps, or anything that could be used on the front lines.

Tune in 2 p.m. (EDT) Friday, April 10, for a free webinar that offers expert information for those still working outside the home during the coronavirus pandemic.

My Brothers and Sisters, I’d like to talk a little today about the loss of my good friend and former UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks. Ruben passed on Monday, another casualty in this terrible pandemic. He was truly a gentleman and a tireless fighter for working men and women, for our members and for what is right and just. He served this union tirelessly for decades, starting at the GM Fisher Body Plant 2 in Flint, Michigan. He quickly rose through the UAW ranks, serving as committee person, executive board member and director of Region 1C. I will be forever grateful for his leadership and his friendship. And in thinking about my dear union brother and his contributions, I take strength in the fact that Ruben was one of so many dedicated individuals who have served this union.
Sisters and Brothers, A short message today to recognize the courageous men and women stepping up to help all of us during these difficult days. As you all know, we have many members on the front lines of this crisis, who report to work every day and put their lives at risk to keep our communities safe and functioning. And we have members who are stepping up and volunteering to help save lives in so many ways.

“As our Nation struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic, volunteer UAW-GM members are doing a tremendous service for our country by volunteering to come to work to make ventilators in Kokomo.

Brothers and Sisters, I want to start this message by, again, thanking my UAW family for your strength and your support of your communities and families as we all work through this terrible crisis together. I’m very sad to report that we had one more UAW member fall to the virus yesterday, from Ford Michigan Assembly in Wayne, Michigan. I want to extend our sincere sympathies to family and friends.
My sisters and brothers, I want to start today by thanking my UAW family for supporting one another during this crisis. I have been so impressed to see how our members are pulling together and supporting one another as we navigate this unprecedented situation.
Wilma Liebman Hired as Chief Ethics Officer - Ethics Advisory Committee Announced - DETROIT – UAW President Rory L. Gamble and the International Executive Board (IEB) announced the appointment today of Wilma Liebman as the Union’s first-ever external Ethics Officer. Liebman is a distinguished public servant and expert in labor policy who served as the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board under President Barack Obama from 2009-2011, having previously been appointed as a member of the NLRB by both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush beginning in 1997. Additionally, the UAW has launched a new confidential Ethics Hotline for union members to report ethical or financial violations.

“Today’s decision by Ford is the right decision for our members, their families and our nation. Under Vice President Gerald Kariem, the UAW Ford Department continues to work closely with our local unions and Ford to make sure that when we return to production all members are safe, and our communities are protected from this spreading pandemic.”

Sisters and Brothers, We have been notified today that two more members of our UAW family have fallen to the virus. One member worked at Ford Motor Company Dearborn Stamping and a skilled trades brother who worked at the Ford Data Center in Dearborn, Michigan. Our prayers and support go out to their families and communities.
My Brothers and Sisters, As always, I want to recognize and thank all of the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis and extend my sincere sympathies to any one of us who is sick, or struggling with family or financial issues or loss in these difficult, dark days. In my message today, I want to report that we got some good news on several fronts.