September 19, 2022

2022 Region 8 Summer School Day Two

Day Two of the 2022 UAW Region 8 Summer School kicked off with a welcome by Assistant Director Tim Smith. The Region 8 staff were recognized, along with our Veterans and Retirees. Each Region 8 staff member introduced themselves to the Summer School Delegates. Assistant Director Tim Smith gave the dates for the 2023 Region 8 Conferences. Amy Mugford, system analyst for the IT Department gave a presentation on the importance of keeping membership list updated accurately. “We want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard in the upcoming IEB elections,” Mugford said. “Make sure your address is correct so you get your ballot.”

The morning general session began with CAP presentation by Victor Quiroz, Kevin Huddleston and Mark Dowell. Victor, Kevin and Mark are CAP Representatives for our region. “Some people think they are not involved in politics, but everyone in this country if you pay taxes are involved in politics,” stated Victor Quiroz. “This country established the right to vote- however there were still lots of people who were blocked from voting. In 1920 the 19th Amendment to the constitution was passed that gave women the right to vote. In 1964 the 24th Amendment was passed for the first time ensuring EVERY U.S. citizen the right to vote. Voting is the basic right and responsibility of every citizen and every UAW member. We must vote like our life depends on it- because it does.”

“The UAW Constitution requires that we be politically active to make certain our members voices are heard in the halls of Washington. We lobby for legislation that impact our members and working-class families. This cost money, but federal laws prevent unions from using dues dollars for political action. Because of this we are forced to ask for voluntary donations to fund political action. At one time our enemies out spent us ten to one. These days they are out spending us one hundred to one.”

“One of the biggest spenders on anti-worker legislation is the Chamber of Commerce,” added Kevin Huddleston. “In my hometown there was a seat manufacturer locating there for a major automotive and they were going to start their employees at $19 an hour. When the plant opened the started people at $13 an hour not $19. We discovered the local Chamber of Commerce told that company to not pay people so much, because the other companies in the area paid less. Director Smith had Region 8 to start attending Chamber of Commerce meetings so we would know what they were saying. Currently we are seeing many employers being forced to pay more because of COVID. During COVID a lot of people left the workforce, older people who were eligible to retire. Those single parents working two jobs that paid little were able to move into those positions that paid more. People say “no one wants to work” but the reality is workers are finding better jobs. Unemployment is currently at historic lows so the number of workers that are out there are fewer. We are seeing employers having to offer better wages and benefits to attract workers. The Chamber of Commerce is their to protect business owners, so it is important for us to make sure we are keeping up with what these groups are doing so we make sure workers are being protected.”

“Our enemies are well funded and we have to out work them,” Victor Quiroz added. “In Region 8 we elect 44 Senators and 254 Congressional Representatives. We have many battleground states in our region. We can’t outspend our opponents but we can out work them.”

“We encourage everyone to support V-CAP by making voluntary contributions,” Kevin Huddleston added. “Last year Region 8 members donated 1.7 million dollars to VCAP. This year we are hoping to reach 2 million dollars. If you are donating to VCAP we thank you and ask you to encourage your fellow members to contribute.”

Before the group broke for lunch, Assistant Director Tim Smith and Region 8 Retired Staff member Thomas Savage lead the group in Solidarity Forever.

Following lunch, participants broke out for individual classes. These included Financial officers training, CAP, Retiree Training, UAW 101 and Grievance Handling .





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