Blog

Every year, as I think about the Thanksgiving holiday, I always try to concentrate on the things that we as a union, and our sisters and brothers in solidarity everywhere, have to be thankful for. And, as always, there is much to be thankful for. But what to say about 2020?
Local 163 President Ralph Morris Jr. talks about the importance of certifying November's election results and making sure that every vote is counted.
UAW Vice President Gerald Kariem, who directs the union’s National Ford Department, sees the Biden-Harris ticket as a change for the country to get back to steady, measured and effective leadership. “We need folks with a steady hand, empathy and intelligence to be able to do that job,” Kariem said. “This current health care and economic crisis that has been caused by Covid-19 has shifted us into a new way of living. We need strong leadership that guides us, not confuses us.” For Kariem, both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have the kind of upbringing that relates to the needs of working families. In fact, Kariem noted that both have a long history of being on the correct side of issues that are particularly important to UAW members. “The most important thing UAW members should know is that a Biden-Harris ticket will be sensitive to the needs of working families,” he said. “Joe Biden has been in solidarity with the UAW for decades.” However, Kariem stressed the importance of UAW members participating in the process and voting. “Nothing concerns me more than people who don’t take advantage of their opportunity to vote,” Kariem said, adding that he understands why people would have doubts about the importance of voting given the doubts and confusion sown by those who want to keep people from the polls. “We have to help our members, their families and our friends understand what the candidates stand for and how they will help UAW members, working Americans and their families. That has always been a strong part of the UAW’s mission,” Kariem said. It’s a cliché to say that this is the most important election of our lifetimes, but Kariem says what makes this election important is the constant turmoil the nation has been experiencing in recent years. “I would like to double down on that statement and say this is the most important election in the history of this country,” he said. “We are looking to find a less confusing and less chaotic society, as well as less chaotic political discourse.” With Biden winning the nomination and his selection of Harris as his running mate, Kariem said he sees hope for UAW members and America on the horizon.
The Democratic National Convention’s first day focused on three major issues -- the pandemic, the resulting economic crisis and the racial justice crisis. A diverse lineup of speakers and guests including former First Lady Michele Obama, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, among others -- including many Republicans, front line workers and members of George Floyd’s family -- urged voters of all political persuasions to elect the ticket that will stand up for UAW members and their families while rebuilding America.

This month marks the 55th anniversary of the passage of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), one of the most powerful pieces of civil rights legislation in our history. The passage of the VRA into law was the result of decades of struggle and sacrifice and was truly a shining moment in our history.

Unfortunately, the struggle to ensure that all Americans have the right and opportunity to vote not only continues today, we have actually suffered significant losses on this front over the past decade.

Aug. 16, 2020 Sisters and Brothers: For UAW members this year's election is about how we rise to the challenges of tremendous changes we can expect over the next four years. The notion of living through a pandemic was something that I doubt any of us ever thought we would experience. We took our national health and many of our freedoms for granted.
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.

“Outside the bubble of Washington, D.C. our families continue to struggle with an economy devastated by this pandemic. This impacts UAW members, their families, their communities and their jobs, all of which depend on a resilient economy. This issue needs to be solved.

In the short term, families need a temporary extension of current benefits, including the $600 a week supplemental unemployment until a final bill is resolved.

Today in Boston, Mass., a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT challenging Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new directive on student visas was heard. The UAW immediately filed an amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit, held demonstrations at ICE headquarters and state capitols across the country and stood with the Attorney Generals in Massachusetts. Connecticut, New York, Washington, and California to launch their own challenges. And we succeeded.

Students say the outsourcing issue cuts to the heart of what the institution’s values are. EVENTS SHOW HOW WE CAN ALL HELP EACH OTHER The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of solidarity is “unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.” With the UAW, that is always the case, but three recent situations involving UAW members clearly show what the word is in action.