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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.

Photo by Jessie Jesson, UAW Local 686

About 500 UAW CAP Conference men and women gathered on Wednesday for a breakfast meeting that celebrated women and reminded everyone why this is a pivotal time. 2018 UAW Community Action Program (CAP) Conference on Wednesday.

UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, the mother of two 14-year-old twins, explained that with the turmoil on Capitol Hill, we must not allow crisis to diminish hope.

“Our democracy, the rule of law and institutions that we depend on are under attack. Your vigilance and passion are the most important tools we have to fight back — every single one of you here today,” said U.S. Congresswoman Norma J. Torres, who represents California's 35th Congressional District, speaking before CAP Conference delegates Monday morning.

Reconnecting with voters, rebuilding the infrastructure to elect labor friendly candidates, and concentrating on state and local offices are just some of the ways to fight back against the corporate control of our government, according to panelists at the 2018 UAW Community Action Program (CAP) Conference.

When Republicans took complete control of the government in 2016, most union members understood that workers would take a hit, but we underestimated just how bad it would be, the UAW’s chief lobbyist told political activists Monday.

From attacks on health care, workers’ rights and immigrants to inaction on NAFTA, a lot of awful things are happening in Washington right now, Josh Nassar, the UAW’s legislative director, told delegates at the 2018 UAW Community Action Program (CAP) Conference.

“Today’s General Motors profit sharing, established under the 2015 contract negotiations, recognizes that UAW GM members’ hard work is an essential part of General Motors sales and profits. UAW members at GM negotiated a well-deserved share in the profits of their hard work and sacrifice.”

“I grew up knowing that if you went to an auto plant you would instantly be in the middle class, because the UAW fought for workers to earn wages that would help them support their families, send their children to college and make a difference in their communities,” Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence told CAP delegates.

In an impassioned speech, Lawrence recalled past decades when organized labor paved the way for laws and programs that helped to create economic and social justice for America’s families.

If things are going to change for the better in this country, organized labor must have a seat at the table, Congressman Mark Pocan told UAW CAP delegates Monday. That means that UAW members are essential to what can turn things around on issues such as fair trade, immigration and workers’ rights.

The burden for change falls on organized labor – the people who have fought, marched and put pressure on elected officials for laws and programs that have kept workers safe on their jobs, kept their communities strong and ensured that there was democracy in the workplace.

It’s been two years since members of Local 42 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted to join our union, but with a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) now dominated by anti-union members, they continue to be denied their rights, UAW President Dennis Williams told union political activists Sunday.