Celebrating the life of "Pretty Willie"
and his 62 years of dedicated service (pg. 21)
President's Report ... pg. 2
Vice President's Report ... pg. 3
Finacial Secretary Report ...pg. 4
Committee Reports ... pg. 6 - 13
Apprenticeship Updates ... pg. 14-15
Local 163 Presents.... pg. 19
In Memoriam ... pg. 20
Black History Month ... pg. 22-24
Politically Speaking .... pg. 25-27
Labor Daze ... pg. 28
Table of Contents:
Greetings Brothers & Sisters,
As we begin 2021, the COVID pandemic continues to impact our daily lives. We were offered a glimmer of hope when the FDA authorized the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. The vaccine was first made available to Michigan Health Care workers in December and was recently rolled out to school staff, frontline responders, and citizens 65 and older. According to Michigan’s vaccination timeline, the vaccine will not be made available to us until May. I look forward to the vaccine supply meeting that timeline, or even sooner.
Last November, our UAW International President Rory Gamble directed all Locals to suspend all Union meetings and events until April 15, 2021, due to the surging cases of COVID across the country. Since this directive, our Executive Board has been conducting monthly meetings via zoom. We are scheduling our first live streamed General Membership Communication for Sunday, January 31st, at 11 am. You can view the live stream by going to our website www.uawlocal163.org, on that day and time. You will be able to hear officer reports and committee reports. A full schedule of all virtual meetings for this quarter can be found on the events calendar on our website. We will continue to use this format until we are permitted to hold meetings in person.
Our International Union reached a consent order with the United States Justice Department in December to resolve the Justice Departments findings of fraud and corruption within the UAW. This settlement provides for an independent monitor to investigate possible fraud and corruption within the union. The monitor’s oversight would be for six years with a possible early termination if the monitor were to find that their services are complete and the UAW no longer needed them. One of the biggest items of the settlement was the agreement to allow the membership the decide as to whether to change our International Union’s election method of the International Executive Board, which includes our International President, International Vice Presidents, International Secretary-Treasurer, and Regional Directors from a delegate election method to a direct election model. A referendum vote will take place within 6 months of the monitors appointment and will determine whether our International Officers will be directly elected by a “one member – one vote” process starting in the 2022 election cycle.
The Local recently produced two videos that explain details of the usage of the Mobile Texting and VCAP programs. These videos have been added to our New Member Orientation presentation. Over the course of the year, we will produce more videos highlighting our Standing Committees and the work they conduct. After these videos are completed, they will be put on our website in the video category.
The architectural drawings for our proposed pavilion and storage area are finished. The plan at this point is to have a contractor erect the structure and we complete the electrical ourselves. This new construction will give us much needed storage and a pavilion for the membership to use. It will be located behind our back parking lot on the South Side. In closing, I would like to welcome all the new members that have come into our Local either by transferring from another GM plant or hired into one of our plants. Our Local 163 Education Committee has just started having discussions with former UAW President Bob King for Union Educational offerings for this year. When the educational plans are formalized, the Educational content, date and times will be communicated. I encourage every member to take part in the class offerings and learn from a great labor leader.
Local 163 President, Ralph Morris Jr.
(Drawing of the proposed Shed/Pavilion for UAW LOCAL 163)
Happy New year Brothers and Sisters. I am excited and thankful that we have a new President that will be friendlier to the labor movement and our causes. Thanks to the hard work of the UAW V-Cap volunteers that worked tirelessly to help with the Presidential election, as well as the runoff election for the Georgia Senators. It was a great honor to be asked to help with the runoff election of the Georgia Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
The team of UAW V-Cap Representatives that worked on the Senate runoff campaign were initially asked to travel to Georgia to help for the month of December. Due to safety regulations, because of COVID-19, we phone banked at our homes instead. We called thousands of retired and current UAW members to ask for their support in the runoff election. We did encounter some not so friendly people who were threatening and rude to us, which we were unfortunately expecting considering the current political climate. Most of our calls were pleasant, challenging and entertaining. You can’t beat the southern hospitality of the people of Georgia. I enjoyed the heartfelt “Merry Christmas to you and your family” as well as “have a blessed New Year”. Those calls made up for the racist people who would yell slurs before they would hang up. It definitely was emotional for all that were involved but it was definitely rewarding to see the new Senators win.
Now that we have a pro labor President, Senate and Congress we must continue to stay vigilant for more laws that are pro-Labor such as the PRO-Act. This Act would repeal Right to Work, make it easier to organize workers as well as allow so called “gig workers/ independent subcontractors” the right to join Unions. That will help them gain access to benefits that are denied now because of the misclassification. Please call your Congresspersons and Senators to let them know your stance on this very important piece of legislation. Please heed the words of Walter Reuther, that are more true now than ever before, about the importance of being involved in politics:
“There’s a direct relationship between the ballot box and the bread box, and what the union fights for and wins at the bargaining table can be taken away in the legislative halls.”
— Walter Reuther
Yours in Solidarity,
Vice President / Education Chairman
UAW Local 163
For up to date news and information regarding all things UAW LOCAL 163, join our Text Blast program and get updates sent right to your phone! Text "99795" to "LU163" to join today!
John "J.T." Taylor
UAW LOCAL 163
Hello Union Brothers and Sisters,
My name is John "J.T." Taylor and I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself and to thank everyone that voted in the recent Local 163 election. I’m honored to be elected as one of your three Trustees representing UAW Local 163. I am a 3rd generation GM employee with 20 years of seniority. I started in 2000 at Saginaw Delphi Chassis and now I am with Romulus Powertrain. I decided to run for Trustee last year because I was ready to get involved in our Union and be a voice for my co-workers. Although I am new to this position, I have always been confident in my abilities to learn new tasks, and I feel that I can do serve you well as your Trustee. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linda Trapp, my fellow Trustee along with Terrance Jones our Shop Chairman and Ralph Morris our Local President for helping me transition into this position.
What are the responsibilities of a Trustee? As a Trustee and member of our executive board, I get to vote on numerous items that are brought before the board including the budget for certain projects, like the construction of our new pavilion. We also listen to certain grievances brought to us by members. Other responsibilities include conducting an audit of Union finances and property every six months. This week in our first audit of the year, we performed an account reconciliation that confirmed all accounts in our general ledger were accurate and complete. We looked at every check that was written to make sure they were in order and had all the necessary signatures. During this audit, I learned just how important a Trustee’s work is for the financial future of our Union. Thank you for a moment of your time.
Greetings Romulus Family!
Let me start by sending prayers out for a safe, prosperous New Year, filled with happiness and good health to all my Local 163 family. I'd like to welcome the Appendix A transfers and new Skilled Trades members to the Romulus family. With the recent ratification of the of the Local Agreement, the Shop Committee now will switch its focus to ensure that the demands won are met in a timely manner. Unfortunately, in today's enviornment of COVID-19 restrictions, we still are not able to have unit meetings as normal. We have scheduled informational unit broadcast on the 3rd Thursday of every other month starting in February, until we can get back to our normal in-person meetings. Finally, I would like to congratulate our 60 newly-converted seniority Brothers and Sisters, thanks for all your hard work through these last few years. You have definitely been an important part of not only the GM workforce, but our UAW Local 163 family!
GM Romulus Temporary Workers singing their paperwork to become Full-time employees. (Photos by: Terence Jones)
Greetings Brothers and Sisters, On December 30th there was a tragic fatal accident at the Marion Stamping plant that took the life of a fellow 3rd party contractor. As a contractor myself, this shook me to the core. We all expect to walk out of work the same way we walked in at the end of our shift. This has brought safety to the forefront. Our Take 2 for safety program is imperative in our everyday work to make sure that we and our fellow coworkers do just that. Every action we take is important, whether it’s wearing the proper PPE or doing SFEMA (Safety Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). There are risks in all the jobs that are performed in our facility. We must not let our guard down. If you see an unsafe action report it and remeber to "Take 2 for Safety."
"The success of our Newsletter is driven by the articles we are provided. We have been very fortunate to receive such great content. Bringing back our Newsletter was a top priority for me."
- Ralph Morris Jr. - President of UAW LOCAL 163
Happy New Year Brothers and Sisters, I hope all is well with you and everyone is being safe during this continued pandemic. News to report: The Oakwood Group has extended our attendance bonus through the end of January, and we're hoping that they continue in the upcoming months. The Paint Department is taking on new jobs. New products are being made, and painted, for Tesla, and our big hitter: The F Series pickup truck for Ford Motor Company. That program took off real fast! Your UAW Reps. have weekly meetings with management, so, if any of our members have any suggestions or improvement ideas please bring it to our attention. We will address these, including any safety concerns, in a timely manner. I hope everyone stays safe and thank you for giving us the chance to serve as your Union Reps. Fighting for what's right is our #1 priority. In Solidarity we are local 163!
From The Desk of Ralph Morris Jr:
Greetings Sisters and Brothers of UAW Local 163,
I would like to wish you all a safe and happy 2021. We are planning for a good year here at Romulus Engine. We are going to have nine of our Electrical Apprentices graduating to become Journeymen Electricians in 2021, and our goals are to make sure they have all the training and tools needed to succeed. Our Apprentices are still in need of some very important training to meet the State of Michigan Licensing requirements and it is the goal of this Shop Committee to work with Management toward satisfying those requirements.
I would like to welcome our newly hired Machine Repairmen and Pipefitters to General Motors (Romulus Engine). We are glad to welcome them, as they are much needed to enhance our Skilled Trades workforce. As for those who’ll be transferring to other facilities, I would like to thank you for your time here at Romulus Engine and wish you well.
To those of you who will be retiring this year, thank you for your service and I’m looking forward to assisting you in any way possible.
I would like to extend a special thanks to all of those who have been instrumental in bringing me up to speed and helping me to succeed as a Union Representative.
Until the next time, thank you for allowing me to serve
District 4 Committeeman
Alternate Alternate Committeeman
What’s up Brothers and Sisters! I would like to start off by saying congratulations to all of the new hires! You’ve now graduated from temp bumps and bruises, to low seniority aches and pains! Make sure to ask the older members questions, and find out how everything works. I know how it feels, but just remember that we’ve all been there. Soon it will be a thing of the past, once you grow into the population and have acquired some seniority. Second off, let’s tip our hats off to our very own Local 163 Romulus Bargaining Unit, for negotiating and securing us a speedy local agreement, and also the membership for the ratification! There are lots of things that happen that the people on the floor don’t see. I’ve witnessed first hand the maximum effort and dedication that were put into making this possible. There are some facilities that have been negotiating their Local contracts for 10 plus years! Now is the time to move forward, and let’s focus on making our home a better place, with the goal of making it a little bit better than we left it the day before. We are all the Union, and it is all of our responsibility to hold others, as well as ourselves, accountable, so we can all grow together! We will survive, and continue to build inside our plant, as well as survive and persevere through these difficult times with this pandemic at hand!
If there hasn’t ever been a time before, I’d say now is the time for Union, and the past years have been a true test of our solidarity. Let’s look out for the Brothers and Sisters around us. They may need us more than we know. Thankyou. Staystrong. Bless your families!
Brothers and Sisters of Local 163.
For those who don’t know me let me introduce myself, my name is Dale Dupuis and I am the District 8 committee person for all of third shift. I started my journey in May of 1995, as a temporary employee for about a year and a half, at Flint Truck and Bus. I was then given an opportunity for full time employment at American Axle in September of 1996. In 2005, I was given a Locally-appointed job to be a Manufacturing Systems Representative, the same position as a GMS coordinator here at GM. In 2006, I was offered the Alternate Health and Safety position on 3rd shift. I held this position until we went out on strike in February of 2008. After the strike, I was offered the full-time Safety position, but declined, because I accepted a job offer at D-Ham. In 2016, I was offered another Locally-appointed position to be a Safety trainer, but declined because it was on 2nd shift. In 2017, I came here to Romulus. I have always been very active in my Union, whether it be attending Union meetings, marching in Labor Day parades, taking Union classes at the Region, attending classes at the CHR, being active in the community or taking classes at Black Lake.
I would like to talk about February 11th, “White Shirt Day”. On December 30th, 1936, factory workers in Flint, Michigan decided to stand up for themselves and sit down in Solidarity to fight for workers rights. The autoworkers stopped working and took control of Fisher Body plant 1. It contained one of just two sets of body dies that GM used to stamp out almost every one of its cars for 1937. By seizing control of Plant 1 the autoworkers could almost shut GM down completely. GM argued that the strikers were trespassing and got a court order demanding their evacuation, but the workers stayed in the plant. The workers wrapped themselves in coats and blankets when GM turned off the heat in the buildings. On January 11th police tried to cut off the striker’s food supply, resulting in the riot known as the “Battle of the Running Bulls”. Sixteen auto workers and eleven policemen were injured, the workers then took over the adjacent building Fisher body plant 2. On February 1st workers won control of Chevrolet number 4 engine factory. GM’s output went from 50,000 cars in December to just 125 in February. Michigan governor Frank Murphy refused to use force to break the strike, although sit-ins were illegal, he believed that authorizing the National Guard to break the strike would be an enormous mistake. He declared the state authorities would not take sides and were only there to protect the public peace. President Roosevelt urged GM to recognize the UAW so that the plants could reopen. On February 11th the automaker signed an agreement to recognize the UAW as a collective bargaining agency for the employees of the Corporation.
This is why I organize the shirts for White Shirt Day every year. For those Men and Women that stood up by sitting down for a better life. We as employees now benefit from their sacrifices that they endured.
3rd Shift Committeeman
(Flint Sit-Down Strikers "Feeling the Bern")
Retired Chapter Chairperson
Women's Committee Chairperson
HOORAY!!! Welcome to finally having a bright shining New Year and future years when at last we have gotten rid of MONSTER TRUMP and his agenda to become DICTATOR of the UNITED STATES OF RUSSIA. The message from Trump and his 74 million supporters that the election was stolen would be laughable, but Trump and most Republicans say its gospel, and the 74 million eat it up like a message from God.
Weeks after the election, Trump ordered his cult to go wild in Washington DC on January 6th. We all saw Trump order his cult, "If you don't fight like hell you won't have a country any more." As we all have seen, these Trump terrorists did their best to follow Trump's order to the fullest. And now we have all 50 States facing very critical situations from the Nationwide Trump Terrorist Cult.
Let's go back to 2016 when Hillary Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump. Did Democrats go on any kind of rampage? A resounding NO! Joe Biden got over 6 million more votes than Trump, and unlike 2016 the Electoral College did the right thing declaring Joe Biden the winner, something they should have done for Hillary Clinton. The electoral college should have been eliminated a long time ago. Incredibly, 197 Republican House members still voted that Joe Biden did not win the election, even after over 60 lawsuits fighting the results were thrown out of court as totally without merit.
Turning the page... Hopefully, if the Vaccines knock out the Virus we may be able to have our meetings again sooner than later, keep your fingers crossed!
Stay Safe Be Well.
Well there’s no doubt history was made this January in America. We have not only our first female Vice President, but Kamala Harris is also our first African-American and Asian-American Vice President. I hope that we can point this out to our daughters, nieces and other young women in our lives, beyond our political differences, that women can accomplish whatever we put our hearts into. It's important that a variety of different people have a seat at every table that has big decisions being made, especially when those dicisions affect everyone within our communities!
The women’s committee will be selling a green KISS ME IM UNION T-shirt for St. Patrick’s Day. Sales will start in mid-February.
We are in the process of organizing a Women’s CCW class in the spring. Gun sales to first time buyers are at an all time high right now so we are looking into the best ways to make this safe for everyone.
The money raised from our "United We Bargain" hoodies will be donated to Samaratis House and GirlsTown.
Have a Happy New Year and stay safe!
Greetings Brothers and Sisters of Local 163,
Happy New Year!!! My hope is that you all had a safe and enjoyable holiday season. We should approach 2021 with fresh eyes, a renewed optimism, maintain mindfulness, and be intentional with your goals. One goal I would like to challenge everyone to join me in achieving is integrating more self-care into your daily activities.
Many of you have so many responsibilities in life that you forget to honor your personal needs. This is especially true for those who have small children and/or elderly parents to care for, along with additional responsibilities such as educational goals or an additional income source. I understand it is not always easy to prioritize your own needs when there are so many other things on your to-do lists to check off, however, self-care is an important aspect of stress management.
Engaging in self-care is not selfish! Here is a new perspective. Imagine you’re on an airplane and the flight attendants are doing their safety spiel before takeoff. You’re informed that if the cabin de-pressurizes, oxygen masks will automatically descend, and you’re directed to put your own mask on before helping others. If you’re a parent of young children who are on board with you, your initial response will be to tend to your child first, right?! WRONG! What if you pass out trying to help them? Now who’s going to assist you?! Approach daily self-care the same way. Individuals who neglect to honor their own needs on a regular basis are in danger of low self-esteem, poor physical and mental health, and tend to develop feelings of resentment towards the individuals whose needs they continue to put first.
If you need additional tips or referrals regarding stress management, feel free to reach out to me at (734) 595-5360. Reach out EARLY and reach out OFTEN!! Prevention is KEY!!!
Be Well & Take Care
Happy New Year Brothers & Sisters of Local 163,
Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday break with family and friends, as well as possible, in what seems a relentless COVID-19 pandemic. I’m sure it was very strange for all of us, definitely not the normal holiday get-together we are used to for sure!
Now that the holidays are behind us, with all the stress that comes with them, we move into what seems like the longest time of the year, the dead of Winter. Days are short and nights are longer, along with cold snowy dreary weather. A perfect storm for seasonal Depression, which seems to be the typical ailment this time of the year. So, if you find yourself feeling less enthusiastic about your daily routine, or just feeling down, know you're probably not alone with this malady. Reach out to your physician and have a chat with him/her, about how you are feeling. Also, when the opportunity arises and the sun is shining, get out and take advantage of the time, by taking a walk in the sunshine as much as possible. Increasing your Vitamin D supplement will help during these long dreary winter days.
I would like to take this opportunity to let every one know that our Recovery meeting here at DDC “ Last Resort” on Zoom meeting has a new ID#: 81349916031 Passcode: 565984 meeting times 9am-10am Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
In closing. I would like you all to know that your EAP Rep. is here to assist when things are feeling a little overwhelming, or when you are looking for the right professional for the situation you may be dealing with at the present time. Remember, your visit is strictly confidential between you and your EAP Rep.
Tamia L Buckley
Work/Family EAP Representative
GM Romulus GPS
The 9th Infantry Division at Romulus
On this Veterans Day, we are acknowledging three tradesmen who served with the 9th Infantry Division. They served at different times with the 9th Infantry Division, but they share the bond of being part of “OLD RELIABLE”. These are their stories of when they had served.
Paul Daru is an Electrician who joined the U.S Army of March of 1969. His Basic training was at Fort Knox, KY. He was then assigned to Fort Sam in Houston, TX, with his Combat Medical training. He served with the 9th Infantry Division during Vietnam. He reached the rank of Specialist 5, before he was honorably discharged from service in 1970.
James Toor is a Toolmaker who joined the U.S Army in 1975. His Basic training was at Fort Knox, KY. In September of 1975 he was then assigned to Fort Lewis, WA and served with the 9th Infantry Division. He reached the rank of Specialist 5 and had formal training in Demolitions, Mountain Climbing, Reconnaissance, Jungle Warfare in Panama, and Desert training in Yakima, WA, James’ last duty station, before he was honorably discharged from service was Germany in December of 1977
Roy Brewington is a Toolmaker who joined the U.S Army in January of 1986. His Basic training and AIT was at Fort Benning, GA. After basic training he was assigned to Fort Lewis, WA and the 9th Infantry Division. While there his unit converted from a Motorized unit to a Mechanized unit. His unit was then sent to Sinai, Egypt on a Multination peace keeping mission. After returning he was honorably discharged from service in 1989 at the rank of Specialist. These Three Veterans were brought together by Honorable Military Service, fighting for our nation, all in the same unit, the 9th Infantry Division. Now they are serving together at UAW Local 163, still standing and still fighting for some of the same things that brought them together the first time...in War, Freedom, Justice and Equality.
(From left to right: Paul Daru, James Toor and Roy Brewington)
Scriptures to ponder, meditate, repeat, to build your faith
...for the joy of the Lord is your strength:
Nehemiah 8:10 KJV
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might.
Ephesians 6:10 AMP
Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,
Ephesians 3:20 AMP
You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
Psalms 91:15-16 KJV
And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you... For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(UAW Chaplain Constance Bobbitt performing a Eulogy ).
(UAW Chaplain Tony Braggs performing a Eulogy.)
DDC Apprenticeship Chairman
January 2021 Apprenticeship Department Newsletter
Greetings Brothers and Sisters,
Hope this newsletter finds you and your family happy and healthy.
We have successfully completed our 2021 Apprenticeship Test (Jan 9). A total of 93 candidates participated in the test (66 DDC/27 Axle). I hope to have the results by Jan 25. Results will be hand delivered. Good Luck to All!
If you did not take the test this time around, we will offer the test in the very near future. Typically the test is offered every 18-24 months, but given this is a contract year, we may offer the test sooner due to the projected retirements from our Skilled Trades workforce.
I would highly suggest looking into classes for next semester to prepare for the next test. Do not wait until a few weeks before the test to consider a class. A well prepared candidate normally does much better on the test than a candidate that rushes through an online class.
As a reminder, employees that participated in any of the past Apprenticeship Tests (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018 and/or 2021) are required to attend a college level class to participate in any future Apprenticeship test opportunities. Tuition Assistance is available to active employees with 180 days seniority. Employees with less than one-year seniority as of the last day worked prior to layoff are eligible for a one-time benefit of up to $3000 of tuition assistance. Tuition Assistance is available through http://daimler.scholarsapply.org/. If you use tuition assistance, you are required to submit a final grade to Scholarship America within 30 days of completing the class.
Side Note: Due to the recent update with Scholarship America, many members have had problems receiving Tuition Assistance payments in a timely manner. Please start your application as soon as possible after registering for a class. Login to your Scholarship account to see the status of your application. If you are still having problems, send inquiries to email@example.com
Please contact the Apprenticeship Department if you have any questions.
Doug Szydlowski or Dan Palm: Office: 1-313-592-7229, Cell: 1-313-492-1515
There has been a movement in the United States, for many years, that asks people to do a “day of service”, in tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, over the holiday weekend that honors his memory each January. The UAW Civil Rights Department spearheaded efforts to incorporate this “day of service” into a way to honor the many businesses that supported our UAW Local 163 Brothers and Sisters from the GM-Powertrain Romulus plant, and other nearby GM plants represented by the UAW, during the 40-day Strike against General Motors in September and October of 2019. Standout businesses like the Ecorse Market, and Stack’s Liquor and Deli in Belleville, were tremendous in their efforts to sustain our UAW members during the long, and often grueling hours on the picket line, with all sorts of food stuffs and many, many cases of water. Many of our members took advantage of the holiday weekend, returning this generosity by patronizing these outstanding businesses, fulfilling their #dayofservice. For a comprehensive list of area businesses that gave so generously during this perilous time for our UAW Brothers and Sisters, please stop and see me in the Civil Rights Office every Wednesday.
Civil Rights Chairman
Greeting Romulus Brothers and Sisters,
Hope all is well with everyone and that everyone is staying healthy during these challenging times. I would like to take this opportunity to update everyone on the status of UAW-GM Apprenticeship Program. In the 2019 National Agreement, the UAW and GM agreed to adopt a different approach towards the apprentice selection process, following a similar program that Ford had adopted. The two parties agreed to develop the STARC Program. This program is designed to give everyone the opportunity to have his/her name added to the selection list. The goal of this program is not to eliminate qualified individuals like we saw with the old program and their third-party testing. This program is designed to allow committed candidates to complete online courses offered by a selected online provider. Upon acquiring certification of completion in these courses’ candidates will be added to the selection list based on seniority. It is important to note that the selection list is only updated once per calendar year. If you are interested in having your name added to the following year’s list, you will need to complete the program by the end of the current year. Beginning in 2021, all apprentice selections will be made based on this new STARC program and the list of names that it generates from those who have successfully completed the program.
Here at Romulus, your Local Apprentice Committee is asking all of you to take-a-look at this program. It may not be for everyone, but it may provide to those that are interested a great opportunity to move their careers in a different direction. As always, I appreciate your time. If you have any questions regarding this program or any apprenticeship questions. Feel free to contact me: (734) 716-3045 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Teamster Members of Local 20 who work at Coca Cola in Toledo, just ratified their contract! The company came up with more money for healthcare expenses. Thank you to everyone who participated in Solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters! From making coffee for them each day, to buying them lunch and dinner, to standing with them on the strike line, to not drinking Coca Cola products during the strike...it all made a difference! Toledo is a great Union Town! If you mess with one of us you get all of us! Thank you to other Locals, from far and wide, who supported this effort. From firewood provided by UAW Local 163, to monetary donations for food by Locals 12,14, and others, every contribution counted!
(From left to right): Chris Wright, Daniel Rider and Tony Totty
UAW LOCAL 163
Supporting Teamsters Local 20
Miller Cohen & Associates
You should know the laws that protect your personal health insurance and your job following a work-related injury prior to being injured. The Workers’ Disability Compensation Act (WDCA) does include medical treatment albeit exclusively for the work-related injury. The WDCA does not require an employer to continue your personal health insurance. In fact, the only law that immediately protects the continuation of your personal health insurance following a work-related injury is the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but only for 12 weeks. Therefore, if you are out of work due to a work-related injury for 12 weeks or less, your employer cannot discontinue your personal health insurance unless you have not met the requirements to qualify for the FMLA. In order to qualify for FMLA, you must have worked 1,250 hours during the 12 months prior to the first day of your absencedue to yourwork-related injury. If you are out of work for longer than 12 weeks or are not covered by the FMLA, your employer can discontinue your personal health insurance.Although theWDCA does not require your employer to accommodate you if you are on restrictions following your work-related injury,you can request an accommodation pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).However, the ADA requires that you have a substantial impairment. A substantial impairment is defined by the ADA as one that “significantly limits or restricts a major life activity”.Under the ADA, your employer is required to provide an accommodation unless it imposes an “undue hardship”. If you are terminated following a work-related injury due to attendance, length of time of your leave, or if your employer cannot accommodate you, your personal health insurance will discontinue; however, you may be entitled to continue your personal health insurance by paying the entire premium pursuant to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). COBRA will allow you to pay for your own personal health insurance for 18 months but can be extended under certain circumstances. Please contact our office if you would like additional information on the laws that protect your personal health insurance and your job following a work-related injury.
1.) STACKS - WILEY
2.) CAPTAIN NEMOS
3.) JET'S PIZZA - JIMMY
4.) PIZZA HUT
5.) EDWARD JOHNSON
6.) KEITH MILLER
7.) LOCAL 173
8.) NICKS PARTY STORE AND GAS STATION
9.) LOCAL 600
10.) VIRGINIA WILLIAMS - ROMULUS CITY COUNCIL MEMBER
11.) LOCAL 900
14.) LOCAL 3000
16.) LOCAL 174
17.) PETE JOSEPH LOCAL 245
18.) RANDY HOLLEY - FORD
19.) TYLETA LOCAL 173
20.) DUNKIN DONUTS
21.) TIM HORTONS
22.) PANERA BREAD
23.) AUBREE'S PIZZERIA
24.) LE CAKERY BAKE SHOP ( COMMITTEMAN RALPH POMPA)
25.) FORD EMPLOYEES -WOOD FOR BURN PITS
26.) DUANE WALKER - LU. 900 RAIN PONCHO'S
27.) THE RED APPLE PIZZA
28.) POLICE ROMULUS - VERY SUPPORTIVE TO LINE AND HELPFUL
29.) LITTLE CEASARS PIZZA
30.) EVENT CENTER OWNER FOR US OF PARKING LOT
31.) GABIE LU 163 DDC - COFFEE AND MANY OTHER ITEMS
32.) CAPTAIN NEMO'S
33.) DYNASTY DOG'S RESTAURANT
34.) D.K. FROM FORD - WATER
35.) ASSAD I. TEFFE ( CHIEF OFFICE OF WAYNE COUNTY)
36.) BRICK LAYERS UNION - CAMEE AND SUPPORTED PICKET LINE AND WATER
37.) SUPPORT FROM ROB JONES, CHUCK BROWNING, DEBBIE DINGELL, RASHIDA TALEB
38.) MOTORCITY SWEET TREATS
39.) WAYNE COUNTY SHERIFF
A historic 40-day strike was waged by the UAW, including members from UAW Northwest Local 163 at the GM-Powertrain plant in Romulus, MI, against the unconscionable demands made by General Motors. During this lengthy strike, the longest waged by the UAW against one of Detroit’s “Big 3” automakers in over 50 years, the Local 163 members were buoyed by tremendous donations from fellow Union members, and especially local area businesses. Included below are the businesses and individuals who donated much-needed assistance, while our members “held that line”. Please make it a priority to patronize the local business that were instrumental in allowing us to hold the line for one day longer!
HOLD THAT LINE!
UAW LOCAL 163 THANKS BUSINESSES THAT SUPPORTED THE 2019 STRIKE
We are a year into the pandemic and our collective efforts to keep the gears turning and the country moving, this video highlights our resiliency in the face of adversity.
Unions play an important role in securing good wages and benefits, as well as safe working conditions for American workers. What workers can accomplish through their Unions is tied directly to government action. VCAP helps guarantee Union member’s voices are heard in Washington.
DETROIT "RESILIENT" VIDEO
Feeling out of the loop? Are you the last to know about what’s happening in the local? Tired of not knowing what’s going on? Well, have we got a video for you!
UAW LOCAL 163 VCAP PROGRAM VIDEO
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UAW LOCAL 163
TEXT BLAST INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO
DDC RETIREE ANTHONY MANSON - 6/5/20
GM-POWERTRAIN RETIREE GENEVA SIMMONS - 8/2/20
GM-POWERTRAIN RETIREE JAMES ECKERT - 8/15/20
GM-POWERTRAIN RETIREE THOMAS MACZKOWSKI - 8/18/20
DDC RETIREE JERRY PARKER, JR. - 9/1/20
GM-POWERTRAIN RETIREE KEITH RICHARDS - 10/18/20
DDC RETIREE ABRAM MILES - 11/3/20
DDC RETIREE MARK SANFORD - 11/13/20
DDC EMPLOYEE KEITH VEITH, brother of DDC employee Lisa Householder; son of DDC retiree Fred Veith - 11/18/20
MRS. GAIL ROMEJ, wife of DDC retiree Joseph Romej; mother of DDC employee Joseph Romej - 11/18/20
DDC RETIREE CLYDE RAINS - 11/22/20
DDC RETIREE TIMOTHY BOOSEY - 11/29/20
DDC RETIREE DAVID KUJAT - 12/1/20
DDC SURVIVING SPOUSE CATHERINE PATTEE - 12/1/20
DDC RETIREE DONALD MILLER, former UAW Worker’s Comp. Rep.; father of DDC employee Jay Miller - 12/6/20
DDC RETIREE WILLIAM “PRETTY WILLIE” CARTER, father of DDC employee Dione Carter-Williams (see obituary on pg. 21) - 12/18/20
DDC RETIREE GERALD DOODY, father of DDC employee Michael Doody - 12/18/20
DDC RETIREE ALEXANDER LAWSON - 12/22/20
DDC RETIREE THOMAS PRESNELL - 12/25/20
MRS. PATRICIA ROBBINS, wife of DDC retiree Robert Robbins; step-mother of DDC employee Tanya Robbins; step-grandmother of DDC employee Kristen Robbins 1/6/21
DDC SURVIVING SPOUSE JUDITH ZURCHER - 1/8/21
DDC EMPLOYEE MARK WALLACE, husband of DDC employee Melissa Wallace - 1/14/21
MRS. JUDY MURPHY, wife of DDC retiree Charles Murphy - 1/14/21
MR. ALLEN YOUNG, father of DDC employee Allen Young - 11/24/20
MR. JAMES KENNARD, father of DDC employee James Kennard - 1/16/21
MRS. BARBARA CAYLOR-BLACK, mother of DDC employees Timothy and Jody Caylor - 1/19/21
Remembering “Pretty” Willie…
“Nothing But A Party!”
When William Samuel Carter, better known to generations of Detroit Diesel employees as “Pretty Willie”, left the US Navy after service during the Korean War, he made his way from his family’s home in Alabama to Detroit, in search of gainful employment. Little did he know that the next six decades (and then some!) of his working life, he would punch the clock (or whatever method the company had for tracking time in 1952!) at Detroit Diesel Corporation, before retiring in 2013, with nearly 62 years of service.
Unfortunately, “Pretty Willie” passed away, peacefully, at the age of 93, on December 18th, 2020. Willie is survived by his 7 daughters, including Sister Dione Carter-Williams, the UAW Attendance/FMLA Coordinator at Detroit Diesel Corp., 2 sons, 9 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jearlean, his sons Glenn and William, Jr., his grandson, Wayne Roden, and his great-granddaughter Skylar Long.
It fairly boggles the mind to imagine working 62 years at all, let alone at one job! At Willie’s retirement party in the plant, in 2013, he stated that he had only been late to work once in all his years, and that it had been so long ago, he couldn’t remember the reason for his tardiness! Generations of Detroit Diesel employees will fondly remember being greeted by Willie each day, with his famous catch phrase “Nothing But a Party!” No matter what sort of day you were having, an encounter with “Pretty Willie” and hearing his famous greeting, would leave even the grumpiest of co-workers with a smile on their face!
While trying to grasp the enormity of working 62 years for one employer, further consider the amazing technological and societal changes that Willie encountered in his lifetime of employment, from being one of the first African-Americans ever employed by Detroit Diesel in 1952, to being introduced to the entire nation by President Barack Obama, during his historic visit to Detroit Diesel in 2012. Of “Pretty Willie”, President Obama cited his dedicated career of service by stating, “Willie believes in hard work, and is committed to his family, his community, and his country.”
From workers picking apples off of the trees that grew in the orchard where the Outer Drive parking lot now stands, to a fully integrated plant churning out over 300 new Detroit Diesel engines a day before Willie retired, he experienced many ebbs-and-flows of the diesel engine manufacturing business. Detroit Diesel went from an intregal member of General Motors’ operations, to massive layoffs and subsequent sale to Penske Corporation, and finally to Daimler-Trucks North America in 2000. From a high of 6,000 hourly employees, on three shifts, during the Vietnam War, to a low of 300 during the massive layoffs in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, “Pretty Willie” was one of the few constants. His effervescent personality, and his professional work ethic helped his Brothers and Sisters through some dark days at Detroit Diesel, to the thriving manufacturing plant he passed on to the next generation upon his retirement.
A man of great faith, who imparted that faith to his large family, it would be apparent to anyone that had ever witnessed Brother Carter’s world-class garden that he certainly had favored status from his Creator! Even during times when all the lawns in the neighborhood were brown from lack of rain, Willie somehow managed to have a vibrant and fragrant garden, much to the delight of the many generations of rabbits, squirrels, birds, and other critters that shared the bounty that came from Willie’s efforts! It is often said, when a person of great repute has shuffled off this mortal coil, that they will long be remembered for their impact on the people they encountered throughout their lives, and this has never been truer than the impact of William “Pretty Willie” Carter. As President Obama so eloquently stated, Willie’s impact on “his family, his community and his country”, and on his extended family at Detroit Diesel Corporation, and UAW Local 163 for over 60 years, will long survive all of those currently employed there. Suffice to say, there will never be another “Pretty Willie” at Detroit Diesel, but Willie’s “party” will go on, in his honor, for generations to come!
William Carter, "Pretty Willie" with his wife Jearlean and daughter Dione Carter-Williams with President Obama in 2013.
November 2, 1920: The first election after World War I and the first election to be held after the 19th Amendment was ratified. The 19th Amendment prohibited states and the federal government from denying the right to vote based on sex. Ocoee, Florida was the home of a thriving black community where blacks were just as successful and, in some cases, more successful than whites. The Republican Party at the time was trying to rally and encourage blacks to vote. John Cheney and W.R. O’Neal, both white men actively explained and held seminars about voting rights. Both men received threats from the KKK, warning them to stop educating blacks about voting rights. July Perry and Mose Norman, both prosperous Black landowners, led the voter registration efforts in Orange County, paying poll taxes (a voter suppression tactic) for those who could not afford it. Days before the election, the KKK issued a warning that not one Negro would be allowed to vote. Despite the warning Mose Norman attempted to vote and was turned away. He then contacted Judge Cheney, who told him that it was illegal to turn away a voter that had paid their poll taxes. Mose Norman then returned with his shot gun in another attempt to vote, then got into a scuffle and was still unable to vote. An angry mob of white men (KKK), upset at his attempt to vote, decided he needed to be punished. By this time, Mose Norman fled the city.
The 100-man mob showed up at July Perry’s house looking for Mose Norman, demanding he come out and then attempting to break down the door. In self-defense, July Perry fired gunshots from inside the home, killing 2 and injuring several others. The mob then opened fire on July Perry’s home. He fled, hiding in a cane patch where he was later found and taken to the hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds, only to be taken by the white mob on the way to jail. They lynched him for simply for trying to vote, with a sign that said this is what happens to NEGROS that try to vote. They then burned down homes of every black person in the city, killing 60 to 100 blacks. This led to blacks being forced to leave their land, homes, and crops, leaving no chance for their children to inherit the land. Jealously of the Negro's success fueled this violent attack, and no one was ever held accountable for the Ocoee massacre. This is just one story in America's shameful past, that should motivate everyone to participate in the political process. There is a history of voter suppression in American politics and one of the tools we use to fight against it is our vote!
As an African American woman, it’s been a wild ride these last four years trying to navigate through a world fueled with prejudice, systemic racism, and pure hate by the leaders of our “free world”. From the unjustified slayings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, to the storming of the Capitol by extremists, the United States hasn’t seemed so united lately. The democracy that we hold so dear has been attacked and challenged by those who really don’t want to make America great again, or even at all for that matter. For me and my ancestors, it’s an old song that has been played and put on repeat for decades. I say the time for real change has been past due for so long. But Brothers and Sisters, I feel that the change that I so desperately desire is on the horizon. I desire to see something that I can feel. On inauguration day, tears of hope streamed down my face because I finally saw that "something." I quote President Joseph Biden, “Together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity not division. Of light, not darkness.” I saw and I felt a glimpse of that hope, unity, and light in our Vice President, Kamala Harris.
"You may be the first, but make sure you’re not the last." - Shyamala Gopalan
Kamala Devi Harris was born on October 20, 1964, in Oakland, California. She is the eldest of two children born to Shyamala Gopalan, a cancer researcher from India, and Donald Harris, an economist from Jamaica. Her parents, being passionate civil rights advocates, began taking young Kamala along to protests in her stroller. At the tender age of 13, her and her younger sister Maya, led a successful demonstration in front of their apartment building in protest of a policy that banned children from playing on the lawn. There is a saying that the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree. This demonstration provides a great testament to that ideology. After high school, Kamala attended Howard University, one of the most prestigious, historically Black colleges, located in Washington, D.C., majoring in political science and economics. While attending Howard, she interned as a mailroom clerk for California Senator Alan Cranston; chaired the economics society; led the debate team; and she also joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. After graduating from Howard in 1986, she returned to California to attend law school at the University of California, Hastings College of Law. While at UC Hastings, she served as president of the Black Law Students Association. She graduated with a Juris Doctor in 1989 and was admitted to the California Bar in June 1990. She is also an accomplished author of 3 books. These are just a few of her honorable mentions. And now the greatest accolade of them all, the highest ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the first African/Asian American Vice President of the United States.
Needless to say, she's an accomplished human being. A woman who has broken more than a few racial and gender barriers on her journey to “Becoming”, as a multi-racial woman that has influenced thousands of people across the globe to be unapologetically authentic. One of the highest concrete ceilings that we as black and brown women have been told is impossible to penetrate, has been broken through. During a speech at Spelman College, Madame Vice President Harris tells the students, in regards to breaking barriers, “ When you break things, it hurts. And sometimes you get cut and it can be painful. So, I say this to you not to scare you, I say this to prepare you. Because you can do it….but it will not be without great effort and often with great opposition, but it can be done.” On January 20, 2021, she became the example of what could be the outcome of great effort, along with great opposition. She showed the world exactly what a daughter of immigrants, not born of this country, but brought to this country with hopes and aspirations for their children, could inevitably achieve. She is my ancestor's wildest dream. She is the hope of all women and little girls around the world that no matter their race, social status or economic background, nothing is impossible. Concrete CAN be broken.
The promised land that Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of, is coming into view. I don’t know about you, but I’m glad to be here to see a small part of it. Although the journey may be long, this is only the beginning to the road of healing and recovery from the hurts and heartaches of our blemished past. There’s so much more work to be done and we must be active participants in our efforts to make America great. It’s imperative that we all play our part in order to solidify a bright and promising future. If we stay vigilant in our quest for a better tomorrow, we shall leave a poweful legacy for our children, one that they can see, and one that they can feel.
“There will be a resistance to your ambition, there will be people who say to you,’You are out of your lane.’ They are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be.”
- Madame Vice President Kamala Harris
"Concrete Ceilings Can Be Broken"
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO OVERCOME TRUMP’S DIVISIVE ATTACKS ON AMERICAN LABOR?
With the historic election of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the 46th President of the United States, and Vice-President Kamala Harris as the first woman, first African-American, and first person of Asian descent elected to that high office, on November 3rd, 2020, a hopeful nation braced itself that the incomprehensible administration of President Donald Trump would be soon relegated to the dust bin of history. Obviously, and unfortunately, that hope proved to be wholly unrealistic, as Trump and his sycophants unspooled lawsuits in several “battleground” states that had voted for Trump in the 2016 Presidential election, but had gone for President Biden in 2020, such as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia, citing unproven and meritless allegations of voter fraud. Along with these ridiculous, and immediately dismissed lawsuits, Trump often took to his favorite megaphone for disseminating his conspiracy theory-laden beliefs, his Twitter account. With a reach of almost 9 million followers on Twitter, Trump disgorged his election fraud theories at an extraordinary rate, to the penultimate tweets regarding a “wild” event to occur on January 6th in Washington, DC, urging his MAGA minions to gather there to object to the normally ceremonial verification of the Electoral College vote in Congress on that day, presided over by Vice-President Mike Pence.
As a horrified nation watched President Trump, his son, Donald, Jr., and his personal attorney, Rudolph Guiliani, among several others, spew unfounded and incendiary rhetoric at the large crowd of militant MAGA supporters, the crowd drew more angry and violent as President Trump urged them to march on the Capitol to disrupt the certification of the election, and exert, as Guiliani stated “trial by combat” to overturn the results. To belabor the horror of what ensued, in an attempt to understand the motivation of people calling themselves “patriots”, while engaged in violent insurrection against the United States, would be futile, at best. The end result of this insurrection was 5 deaths, including 2 DC Capitol policemen, and the impeachment of President Trump for inciting insurrection against our government.
With the inglorious end to the Trump Administration, it is prudent to examine the many attacks his unprecedented term has foisted upon the Labor Movement, many of which would be gigantic scandals in a “normal” administration, but have drifted into so much background noise in relation to the numerous other current scandals. It is an amazement that this dissection of the Trump Administration has carried on to this point, with no discussion of the most virulent attack on people throughout the World, the Covid-19 coronavirus that has killed over 400,000 Americans to date. While many other countries, such as Canada, Great Britain, Japan, Germany and France continued to stimulate their staggering economies during Covid-19 shutdowns by making direct stimulus payments to businesses and affected workers, the United States stopped all stimulus payments, to states attempting to provide adequate testing and personal protection equipment for their inhabitants, or to individuals negatively affected by business closures, after the initial CARES Act stimulus expired in late December of 2020, even as the coronavirus raged at levels previously unseen during this worldwide health crisis. Amazingly, throughout the raging Covid-19 crisis, President Trump, sycophantic Republicans in Congress, and far-right judges appointed by Trump, continued their attempts to dismantle the widely-praised Affordable Care Act, known familiarly as “Obamacare”, without ever proposing a cogent replacement plan. It is maddeningly incongruous to attempt to remove over 20 million people from their health care plan while our country is in the grips of a virus that currently is killing 2 Americans EVERY minute, but there are still a multitude of lawsuits pending in Federal courts seeking to do just that!
Even before the Covid-19 crisis overwhelmed the political narrative, the Trump Administration had proffered numerous attacks on the working class they purported to value. Their massive tax cut, directed mainly toward the millionaire/billionaire class, encapsulated in the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, has emboldened corporations to greatly increase the off-shoring of their profits that has directly resulted in the closing of over 1,800 factories between 2016 and 2018, and the loss of 740,000 manufacturing jobs, just since February of 2020. The TCJA has also accelerated the use of tax havens for the super-rich, obviously unavailable to the working class, resulting in over $100 Billion annually in corporate income shielded from U.S. taxes.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was created in 1935, to help administer the pro-worker Wagner Act, which ultimately was a large factor is pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Under the Trump Administration, the NLRB went totally against it original charter, to the point of refusing to seat members of the Democratic Party that might have added a dissenting voice to their suddenly anti-worker screed. Perhaps the most abhorrent of their policies was to propose a “fluctuating workweek method” for calculating overtime pay, whereas workers would now receive HALF of their regular hourly wage for overtime hours worked, and allow employers greater leeway to force workers to work longer overtime hours, in direct violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, championed by the NLRB decades before.
Suffice to say, these onslaughts on American Workers would be outrageous in and of themselves, even before considering that the Trump Administration has decimated the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) nationally, doing the least safety inspections in their long history, putting workers at considerable risk to their health and livelihood, especially in dangerous professions like factory work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the incidents of workplace deaths have risen exponentially, especially among African-American and Hispanic-American workers, to their highest levels since 1999.
The Union Times resumed publication at UAW Local 163 in the Winter of 2016, just in time to witness nearly 40% of unionized households vote against their basic economic best interests to vote for the most anti-worker President in American History. “Politically Speaking” has been outspoken in its criticism of nearly every aspect of the Trump Presidency, and strives to inform our membership of the progress of the nascent Biden Administration in overturning the most appalling of the previous administrations attacks on the Labor Movement. As iconic MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow is want to say during on-going breaking news events, “Watch this space” for the springing of eternal hope that the next 4 years will bring back normalcy to our country, and positive changes for the Labor Movement in America.
"Even before the COVID-19 crisis overwhelmed the political narrative, the Trump Administration had proffered numerous attacks on the working class they proported to value."
Let America Organize Again
There was an unrest in the country that had been festering for the better part of a century. An unrest that stemmed from the extreme inequality that too many faced in their everyday lives. An inequality so extreme it isn’t surprising that many resorted to occupying buildings, getting into scuffles with the police, and facing down the National Guard in their fight to share in the spoils of the American Dream.
It was the second-to-last day of 1936 when the workers at GM’s Fisher Body Plant in Flint, Michigan, decided that the mistreatment their employer had subjected them to had become too much to bear. To show GM that their aggressive disregard for employees would no longer stand, the workers in Flint decided to sit down.
The Workers in Flint occupied the Fisher Body Plant until February 11th of 1937, withstanding attacks by the police and avoiding a confrontation with the National Guard. These brave workers fought as hard as they could for what they believed in. Their efforts, as well as other efforts made by brave workers all across America, lead to the longest era of progress the Labor Movement in this country had ever seen. Laws like the Wagner Act were written to help aid future workers in their efforts to organize their workplaces and join the Unions of their choice.
Almost as soon as the ink on the Wagner Act dried, the efforts to weaken the momentum of the movement by big corporations and their enablers in Congress began. It took them nearly 70 years to undo what workers in this country had gained so long ago, but the ever-rising tide of inequality washing over our nation is proof of the success of their immoral efforts.
With the new Congress coming into session, with a Senate that will actually bring Labor bills to a vote, and a new Labor-friendly President, we have the opportunity to right the tide for every American worker. This opportunity comes in the form of the PRO Act, which stands for Protect the Right to Organize.
The PRO Act would make it easier for workers to join and form Unions by evening the playing field with employers. This is achieved by protecting workers from retaliation from their employers during organizing efforts, preventing employer interference during Union elections, weakening right to work laws, forcing companies to reach a first contract offer after successful organizing drives, and other provisions that aim to strengthen labor rights at work.
If the PRO Act is signed into law, not only would it benefit every American worker, it would also cement this generation of workers contribution to the Labor Movement as one of the most significant pushes for labor rights in history. Perhaps one of the most extraordinary aspects about this generations efforts, if successful, would be the fact that we gained the support to accomplish our goals through organizing, educating, marching, rallying, voting and striking, without the need to occupy buildings, or getting punched in the face on an overpass.
"“UAW members ultimately want a voice. And Joe Biden is committed to giving UAW members that voice at the table.”
By: Andrew Lewis