Wow, Labor Day has passed and the summer of 2019 is in the books. There were many activities for members, retirees as well as the community to be involved in. Starting in June, Civil and Human Rights chairperson, Deasha Johnson with her committee put on a wonderful Diversity program. Some of my favorite quotes from the program were as follows:
“Let us not be blind to our differences. But let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future and we are all mortal.”- John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
“We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we understand that all threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”- Maya Angelou.
Since coming to Local 602 in 2006, I now think of diversity as inclusiveness. I remember the first union meeting I came to. When I saw the E-board come out of their meeting, I wondered who were these people of all races and genders that are in these leadership roles. I learned that the UAW Constitution states that local unions shall have the following standing committees. Constitution and Bylaws (Gary Howard), Civil and Human Rights (Deasha Johnson), Union Label (Rick Reed), Education (Jason Peek), Conservation and Recreation (Paulina Rodriguez), Community Services (Demohn Stanley), Citizenship and Legislature (Julie Hartshorn), Veterans (Bernadine Ross), Retirees (Marta Bobillo) and Women’s committee (Bobbie Ledesma). These are the chairpersons of Local 602’s standing committees who have stepped up and taken these leadership roles. They have volunteered their time outside of their full-time jobs and have done the hard work of making Local 602 stand out not only for the membership, but for the good of the community. The International has set it up this way to be an example and promote the good of unionism. I have always been impressed with the spirit of volunteerism and the inclusiveness here at Local 602. Any member who wants to be involved can join any of our standing committees. That’s why we are diverse and that’s what makes us strong.
“Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth.”- Jesse Jackson.
During the summer months our recreation committee always goes into high gear. In July, Paulina Rodriguez and her crew moved the annual 602 golf outing to Centennial Acres. August was the month of our yearly picnic and car show at Eagle Park.
Most recently, on less than a weeks’ notice, Brian Stead and the election committee put together a Strike Authorization Vote. Local 602 did its part to promote solidarity for the IUAW with a 98% approval rate. This does not necessarily mean we are going to strike, but it is a show of support from the rank and file. If GM does not bargain in good faith, we support the international bargaining team and give them this tool to show management that we mean business in these negotiations. We have a seasoned veteran in Daryl Smith, who chairs our Strike Committee, if a work stoppage is called for.
You can see it takes many active members to be involved in the make up of a strong local union. Here is an example of some, who along with their committee members, show that we are truly blessed at Local 602.