Blog

Open Letter in Regard to GM: I am not a spokesman for anyone other than myself and the words in this opinion piece are mine and they pertain specifically and solely to me. Since retiring on July 1, 2010, I have avoided speaking to the media. I read with disgust and dismay some newspaper articles pertaining to me yesterday. I do not blame the reporters. They were covering a story based on statements taken from General Motors’ Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment against Fiat Chrysler and others, dated August 3, 2020. I do, however, place the blame squarely on GM for their malicious and utterly baseless attack against me and a supposed “unnamed” member of my family.

The International Union, UAW and Region 2B Director Richard Rankin have reached a resolution that includes the UAW International Union withdrawing with prejudice the Article 30 charges and Di

“Outside the bubble of Washington, D.C. our families continue to struggle with an economy devastated by this pandemic.

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. The event, Workplace Safety in a Pandemic: Slowing the Spread of Coronavirus and Communicable Diseases, is sponsored by Cornell University ILR Worker Institute. Register now at https://bit.ly/2JR2MFb.

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.
My Sisters and Brothers, I’m pleased to bring you some more stories today of the good works of our UAW family during this terrible crisis. I’ve shared stories in the past weeks of our brave members on the front lines of this pandemic, but we have many members helping out in so many different ways across the nation. I’d like to share a different type of story today.
On March 13, Penni Cox was laid off from her job at the General Motors plant in Kokomo, Indiana. “Business wasn’t good, and the company was downsizing. We prayed for more work. We were willing to build anything. We just wanted to work,” says Cox. “And now, here we are building ventilators.” Cox, a mother and grandmother, is a third-generation autoworker and member of UAW Local 292, and is proud and excited to contribute to the COVID-19 fight.

The UAW International Executive Board is deeply saddened by the passing today of beloved former UAW Secretary-Treasurer Ruben Burks.

“It is never easy losing a member of the UAW family, and it is especially hard when it is someone like my union brother Ruben Burks, who gave so much to members and the union that he loved,” said UAW President Rory L. Gamble. “He was a gentleman, and a fighter for what is right and just. I am forever thankful for his leadership and his friendship.”

My Brothers and Sisters, Just a short message on this Monday afternoon as we move into another week of this worldwide crisis. Today, I’d like to start with the news of an amazing milestone. I’ve spoken before of our brave UAW men and women who are working tirelessly at the Ford Plymouth, Michigan plant producing much needed face shields to protect those on the front lines of this pandemic. In just 13 days, since this effort began, our UAW members have produced 1 million face shields. This vital Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been shipped to numerous health care facilities in several states, one of the hardest hit being New York.

“We could not be prouder of the UAW members that have volunteered to make such a difference at this critical time in our history. These UAW Ford Members have sacrificed beyond themselves for all of us.”

UAW Local 245 member Robert Nader gets antsy sitting still. Instead of going stir-crazy, he signed up for a job that would keep him busy and hopefully save lives. He is making face shields to help fight the spread of the devastating COVID-19 virus. “It’s not just me. It’s a lot of different people in here coming together to help,” said Nader. “The medical community really needs these masks and other personal protection equipment right now.”