UAW members celebrate White Shirt Day
Tue, 12 Feb 2013 00:00:00 GMT —
Singing, â??The union makes us strong," hundreds of local United Auto Workers members donned white shirts to remember the Flint Sit-Down strike that ended on Feb. 11, 1937, when some 700 General Motors employees fought for better working conditions.
On Monday, members declared, there's still strength in unions, despite Governor Snyder's historic, Republican-backed legislation to make Michigan the newest right-to-work state. The new law takes effect in March.
"That's something that I don't agree with and something that needs to be changed,â?? GM Flint Assembly employee Adan Portillo said.
In November, the union was unsuccessful in adding the right to collective bargaining to the state constitution.
UAW International President Bob King said Monday, â??We don't win every battle, but we've made much more recently than we have lost."
Last March, GM announced 235 part-time workers at Flint Assembly would be hired as full-time employees. Angela Curtis was one of them.
"I've actually been temping at the plant since 2006, so just in my personal experience, we've come a very, very long way,â?? she said.
And despite news of the Weld Tool Center in Grand Blanc Township closing and GM ceasing operations at Delphi Flint East, members said, hope remains in the Vehicle City.
And, they said, they hope the city that unionized the auto industry will be resilient in an economy that continues to recover.