Report From 2004 Region 8 Women's Department Conference

The annual UAW Region 8 Women’s Conference was held at Treasure Island, Florida February 24-26, 2004. Local 2195 delegates included Cindy Willis, Barbara Parker and Tammy Roberts. Delegates from all 12 states in our region were represented at the conference.

Region 8 Director Gary Casteel welcomed the delegates to Florida and touched on some of the topics that would be discussed during our workshops. Political action and voting in this year’s national elections was stressed to all members. The keynote speaker was International Union Secretary-Treasurer and Director of the Women’s Department Elizabeth Bunn. She spoke on issues facing our union and conducted a question and answer session with the delegates.

All delegates attended a workshop on a new program sponsored by the International Union called “Woman – to – Woman.” This program involves members of local union women’s committees seeking volunteers to help get the vote out on November 02, 2004. Talking and listening to member issues and providing facts on our economy and job loss were stressed. The program is designed for all women in the plants to be contacted one on one and encouraged to vote. This workshop was conducted by International Representatives from the Women’s Department Audrey Terrell and Patricia Scribner.
The second day of the conference featured an address by National CAP Director Dick Long. He gave a very stirring speech on the shape of our nation’s economy and loss of jobs due to NAFTA. Since 1994 there have been 3 million jobs lost in the United States due to NAFTA. He discussed the way our government is voting on important issues in the middle of the night without watch groups present. Another growing problem we face is health care. There are 44 million people in our country without health insurance.
After Director Long’s speech the delegates were divided up into two groups. These groups discussed Women in the Global Economy and Women, Politics and Power. All delegates attended both workshops.

There was a call for two delegates who had never attended a Women’s Department Conference before to make a report out. Laura Brown of Local 3399, South Charleston, West Virginia and Oleath Carter of Local 239, Baltimore, Maryland made the report. They did a great job reporting back to the conference on what they had gained.

In Solidarity,
Tammy Roberts
Women’s Committee Chairperson
Local 2195

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