September 18, 2022

2022 Region 8 Summer School Begins

By UAW Region 8 Webmaster John Davis

The 2022 Region 8 Summer School kicked off at 5:00 PM on Sunday September 18, 2022. Region 8 Assistant Director Tim Smith welcomed over 300 delegates from across our 21 states. Assistant Director Smith laid out the weeks plans and introduced the evening’s speaker, Region 8’s own Ray Curry, President of the UAW. The following are paraphrased remarks from President Curry’s address.

“In 1998 I had the opportunity to attend Region 8 Summer School in Knoxville,” President Curry stated. “That week was a very educational experience for me, as I began to understand that being a UAW member went beyond contractual matters. This week I hope your summer school experience will inspire you as much as mine did in 1998.”

“These days our union is made up of multiple sectors. In addition to auto, we have heavy trucks, buses, agricultural, technical and office professionals, graduate assistants, gaming and many others. Our membership is diverse across a wide range of industry. As we build our movement across these sectors we have to make sure we are building the knowledge base to serve them.

Three years ago, we had 15 individuals who misused their position and brought shame upon this union. These people are no longer members of this union and their actions have resulted the need to develop new procedures and audits. We have put measures in place to check and double check transactions to make sure the membership is protected at the international and local levels. These new safeguards were able to catch a local union official who had misused a lot of money from their local union.

Each and everyone UAW official at the international, regional and local level need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves are we doing what we do for the right reason? Are we doing it for the membership?

During this week, you the Summer School participants are here for a reason- learn what you can and take it back to your local. Think about the single parents that couldn’t come this week because of their family obligations. There are grandparents raising grandchildren that can’t make it. There are members who have community obligations that prevent them from attending. This week you will be exposed to an excellent educational program covering a multiple of subjects. Those members whose personal obligations prevent them from attending are depending on you to go back and share this information to them. Knowledge is only powerful when it is shared.

Retirees always enjoy summer school and they are not being paid to be here. They are giving up their time to attend because they understand their place in history. Our UAW retirees are one of our greatest resources and take a stand for our values. I am reminded of that great quote by Dr. King that goes “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Are we standing to defend our fellow members, are we standing for what is right? I can tell you our retirees are.

This fall we are conducting historic elections within the UAW. Voting is fundamental to democracy and when you don’t vote you are taking yourself out of the democratic process. At the end of September, you will be receiving an issue of Solidarity magazine in the mail. If you don’t receive a copy, then you need to check your address with your local union. If you don’t get a copy of Solidarity then you won’t be receiving your ballot. The ballots will be mailed October 17 and you should receive yours within a few days. If you don’t then check with your local union. November 18, 2022 is the last day to mail that ballot to insure its arrival to Mail Center by November 28, 2022. We are asking you to do R&R- receive and return your ballot.”

Following President Curry’s address he took questions from the floor.

 

 

 

 

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