Brothers and Sisters I hope that you all are healthy and safe during these difficult times. I would like to thank the membership for giving me the honor of serving as Local 602 President. I would also like to thank Steve Delaney and Bill Reed for their years of service to our membership and making themselves available as a resource for any questions or issues that have come up.
As fall approaches we come upon another election cycle. Please take the time to review our UAW endorsed candidates and make sure to exercise your right to vote. Locally our Lansing area UAW CAP Council takes the time to screen dozens of candidates, both Democrats and Republicans, and makes endorsements based on the issues that support our members interests. Sometimes these choices are difficult and sometimes the choice is obvious. Often local elections have greater impact on our daily lives than those at the top of the ticket. This year more of us will vote absentee so please use this as an opportunity to sit down with your family and fill out your ballots together; I can’t tell you how many times I have been called asking “who should I support for County Commissioner?” or “I don’t know any of these names for City Council! Who should I vote for?” Whether it’s a spouse or voting age children having the endorsements from your UAW CAP Council may come in handy this year so please feel free to share with family, friends and neighbors. If you have friends and/or family that are in different parts of the state or country guide them to uawendorsements.org and they can see endorsements from the UAW across the entire country.
In the coming months, we will all be subjected to an onslaught of political marketing by the candidates in an attempt to secure our votes. As a contrast, I leave you the words and actions of the two candidates:
Joe Biden – “We bet on the American worker and we won!”…”and I would do it again!” speaking on the Bridge loans that helped save the Auto industry.
Donald Trump - “He said U.S. automakers could shift production away from Michigan to communities where autoworkers would make less. “You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to want their jobs back even if it is less,” Trump said. “We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico.”
He said that after Michigan “loses a couple of plants — all of sudden you’ll make good deals in your own area.” (Detroit News Aug. 12, 2015)
The difference between these two candidates couldn’t be clearer for working families! Please support those that support us this November, Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
This year we mourn the lives of 2 of Labors greatest allies. Congressman John Lewis and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In one of her recent dissenting opinions Justice Ginsburg gave a bit of a labor law lesson to the Conservative majority that had once again sided against working families and in favor of Corporations - “employees must have the capacity to act collectively in order to match their employers’ clout in setting terms and conditions of employment” – explaining that the law may not have the power to equalize bargaining power between workers and their bosses, but, by enabling those workers to join together, it could give them a fighting chance.
With the nomination process for a replacement for Justice Ginsburg already being rushed into place we must be more vigilant than ever to protect organized labor.
Congressman John Lewis was a personal hero to me. I had the opportunity to spend time with him and hear him speak. In his office in Washington D.C. he showed a small group of union activists pictures of “Bloody Sunday” during the March from Selma to Montgomery. He showed us the picture of a Sherriff fracturing his skull with a baton as the marchers were beaten and tear gassed. During a speech of his he said “the right to vote was not given. It was fought for and too many people died for us to ignore our responsibility. “Some of us have blood in the fight!” he shouted. Congressman John Lewis went jail over and over again, was beaten and hospitalized over and over again so that we could all have the right to vote. Please don’t let his effort be in vain.