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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.
  • Production at Ford’s U.S., Canadian and Mexican manufacturing facilities will be halted after Thursday evening’s shifts through March 30 to thoroughly clean and sanitize the company’s plants
  • UAW and Ford leaders will work together on how to best structure plant restart plans – along with health and safety procedures aimed at helping keep the workforce safe
  • Ford is taking additional production-related actions as the American government restricts travel and personal contact, affecting vehicle sales and component

As you know, the UAW has strongly requested that the Big 3 automakers cease production for the next two weeks to safeguard our members, the workforce that makes their products and our communities.

“Our thoughts are with our member and their family, coworkers and friends at GM’s Warren Technical Center, who rightfully are worried about their loved one’s health and their exposure to Coronavirus. It is important that our members are quarantined in accordance with U.S. Government Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. The UAW is working with GM to inform any members who should be in quarantine.

DETROIT – The United Auto Workers (UAW), General Motors Co., Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced today they are forming a COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.

UAW President Rory Gamble, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett and Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, and FCA CEO Michael Manley will lead the task force.
They will be supported by:

Brothers and Sisters: As the United States is faced with the concern of the new Coronavirus known as COVID-19, I feel it is important to speak to this topic with all our UAW membership. I want to be very clear that we do not take this matter lightly. In detailing some important actions that our UAW is taking relative to the virus; I want to assure our brothers and sisters that we continue discussions daily to ensure the necessary steps are being taken to maintain a state of preparedness.

“Our thoughts and support are with our UAW member and their family, friends and community in Kokomo, Indiana. The UAW has been actively monitoring and reacting to issues related to the spread of COVID-19. We are working with FCA on this first discovery of the virus at one of their facilities as well as on the precautions and measures necessary to protect our UAW FCA members and everyone who works in our facilities.

Id like to begin this blog with a couple of comments about an issue that I feel very passionate about. In my more than 40 years with the UAW, I have had the benefit of very good health care coverage. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for so many Americans across this nation.
On Thursday, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown released a letter calling on Oberlin College to do the right thing and maintain 108 UAW member jobs. The college has announced plans to outsource the dining and custodial jobs in a cost-saving measure. In February, over 800 members of the Oberlin community protested the plan and called on college administrators to make quality, good-paying jobs a priority.