June 24, 2024
Day Two Of the 2024 UAW Region 8 Summer School
by Region 8 Webmaster John Davis

The first full day of the 2024 UAW Region 8 Summer School kicked off with a full morning of activities.

The morning was kicked off with a welcome from UAW Region 8 Assistant Director George Palmer. AD Palmer led the crowd in the “I Got Your Back” chant.


The entire Region 8 Staff then introduced themselves and discussed the classes delegates will be taking this week. These include bargaining, grievance handling, UAW 101, financial officers training, retirees, young workers, teenagers and more.

AD Palmer returned to the stage to introduce Director Smith, who then came forward and introduced International UAW President Shawn Fain.

International Union President Shawn Fain came forward and made a presentation to the conference. He expressed that Region 8 was like a home for him since his grandparents came from Kentucky and Tennessee.

“I am proud to be here in Region 8 with you today,” President Fain stated. “Over the past year we have made strides and learned from things. The Big Three contract was a pilot for a plan that became the stand up strike. We have used what we learned from that experience and have grown the process as we expanded into other industries. We I became President, the ground work was being laid for the Big Three Bargaining. The stand-up strike strategy received a lot of media coverage as our members made the difference. Unions from around the world has contacted us and want to use the model of the stand-up strike as they bargain for their members. My fellow members I tell you, this is a global fight because these are multi-national companies and the fight is global.

Here in Region 8, we had a number of locals that were instrumental to the success of the Stand Up Strike. There has been a lot of success here in Region 8, with the recent win for workers at the Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This was the culmination of a lot of years of work. The talking heads said you can’t win in the south, but we did and we will continue to win in the south.

There are two words we want to remove from our vocabulary and those are can’t and fear. We will not fear these big companies and we will meet them head on. Organized labor has to lead the fight for the working class. This is a beginning; we have a lot more to do and we don’t stop with one win. We have to keep our foot to the throttle and move forward.

Corporations tried to say our contracts would result in higher prices. That is bullshit, the four years prior to this contract they raised prices up to 35%. People talk about inflation; we aren’t seeing inflation we are seen corporate price gouging.

We have been telling politicians, we are dealing with facts. Facts say they need to listen to our members and the issues that working families face. I don’t like bullies and I don’t like being bullied. The only way to deal with them is punch them in the mouth. When you take on the billionaire class, they are not going to take it laying down. They are fighting back and we have to keep fighting. Don’t let the other side bully you into being afraid, we are going to keep fighting.”

( link to President Fain’s entire speech)

After lunch all participants reported to their classroom for afternoon workshops.










All information contained with the Region 8 Web Site is copyrighted© by UAW Region 8.
It cannot be reused or printed without written consent from UAW Region 8.