Summer 2005


From the Director
We’re stronger when we fight for everybody

As the manufacturing base in our country continues to be eroded, we in the UAW must become even more committed to reaching out to our local communities through our works and deeds so that others may know that our union is an agent of progress and change for everybody.

That’s why Region 8 continues to focus on our area high schools by providing college scholarships to graduating seniors. These scholarships are sponsored by our regional state CAP councils. This is a great opportunity for our union to gauge the effect and density of our message and to educate our communities’ children on the great benefits of organized labor.

You can read for yourselves how we are doing in raising a union awareness among our future leaders by reading their own words on pages 2 and 3 of this newsletter.
Community-based organizing returns us to the roots of our foundation as a social union — our communities. It amazes me that our union contributes so much to our communities, but receives very little, if any, recognition.

We have been an activist union. We are a union that promotes and forces social change and social progress. Walter Reuther, our longest serving president and labor’s greatest activist, marched in the forefront of the civil rights struggle because of his dedication to equality and all our communities.

He was there for Mexican farm workers, for the environment, for world peace, and for full employment, as well. We must raise awareness of labor’s accomplishments, our causes, successes and victories, while we continue to pursue agendas that protect all of our communities’ families.

There is a great deal of work to be done for the betterment of our communities.
These goals will only be accomplished when we decide that each one of us must become active and involved in promoting the well being of our communities as well as the well being of our workplaces.

We must step up in greater numbers to volunteer, seek political office, become more acutely aware of our communities’ needs and become involved to promote change that is fair and decent for all Americans.

Our union grows and becomes stronger as we lead this country in speaking on behalf of all workers and by fighting for the uplifting of all men and women. But lately we have been ostracized by certain media groups that tend to focus on our struggles of the past and declare we are no longer relevant to today’s needs and conditions.

While it is true we fought many brave battles against employers in the past, it was necessary to do so to achieve and promote change for safer workplaces and economic dignity for all of America’s working class.

But even when our fight may have been with one employer, such as General Motors in 1937, our goal has always been the uplifting and betterment of all workers and poor people.

Let us move forward and continue our great works of charity and compassion, the building and strengthening of our communities, and our standing up and fighting for all workers, whether they are union members or not.

When we build a movement of people that is big enough, the media will have to recognize us for our deeds. Our contribution toward helping raise up all Americans has been great in the past. It will be greater now and into the future. As somebody once said, “The best way to help yourself is to help everybody.”

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