Dec 182020
 
 December 18, 2020
UAW 4121

Resolution on Equity & Anti-Discrimination in UAW 4121

At last week’s membership meeting, members approved this resolution on equity and anti-discrimination in union work, committing to continuing to advance principles of equity and social justice in our internal union work and spaces. Among other things, this includes committing to building a culture of harm prevention, as well as clear and accessible structures of support for any member who experiences discrimination or harassment while engaging in union work. The resolution includes a timeline of action steps aimed at advancing this work, including the establishment of a Solidarity Team made up of 3-5 members for an initial 1-year term.

The Solidarity Team will receive training in and be responsible for:

  • Supporting any member who experiences issues with discrimination or harassment while doing union work;
  • Proactively developing work that supports harm prevention within the union;
  • Developing accountability practices for repairing harm when it does occur;
  • Developing structures for transparently tracking and resolving issues, while also supporting the privacy of members as needed.

All UAW 4121 members in good standing are eligible to become part of the Solidarity Team. Interested members should fill out this short form by January 6 at 5pm. If more than five members express interest, an election will be held in January. For more information, check out this page on the website.

Jobs using data & analytic skills to build worker power
Are you interested in full or part-time paid data work building the labor movement? Fellow organizers are looking for applicants for data and analytic work! An ability to do research, pay attention to detail, and parse complex information can provide valuable support to workers fighting for better jobs and lives. Experience with databases and/or spreadsheets is also important. If you are interested, please click here. Also, if you know someone who may be interested, please pass this on.

ASE Bargaining Survey Recap & Next Steps

Our Academic Student Employee Bargaining Survey reached overall majority last Friday with 51.5% of ASEs participating! In just three weeks, more than 80 organizers from 50 departments directly contacted colleagues in over 161 hours of phone/textbanking to turn out more than 2700 fellow members. These numbers will help us create a clear, representative mandate for members’ collective priorities in our upcoming contract negotiations and indicate that we’re very effectively building strong communication, accountability, and investment in each other across departments.

As we move closer to bargaining in Winter Quarter, the next step will be for bargaining survey results to be analyzed, which will help establish the initial bargaining demands. In January, be on the lookout for organizing trainings and area meetings to discuss draft demands before they are finalized for membership ratification. As with the bargaining survey, it will be critical for at least a majority of all ASEs to sign on to ratify the demands in order to establish a strong position going into bargaining, and it will take as many of us as possible connecting with our colleagues.

If you’d like more information about how you can get involved with any of this work, please email uaw4121@uaw4121.org to be connected with an organizer!

Support for One Member, One Vote in Upcoming UAW Referendum 

Last year, we joined UAW members across the country in condemning corruption found among a number of elected leaders and staff within the broader UAW. These corrupt acts are a direct affront to our values and legacy as a union. We were encouraged that the UAW International Executive Board acted to immediately remove corrupt individuals from the union, and implemented a number of additional reforms to increase transparency in union processes.

Particularly in the current moment, which demands a fighting labor movement, we support even further measures to build accountable and democratic practices in our union. As one measure to continue this work, the UAW 4121 Joint Council encourages members to vote in favor of One Member, One Vote on an upcoming UAW-wide referendum. This will give all members the opportunity to vote in elections for top UAW leaders and on constitutional changes.

However, we also recognize that One Member, One Vote is not sufficient on its own to ensure greater democracy and transparency in our union. The continuing work to build a fighting, democratic union necessarily requires a comprehensive approach that’s rooted in deep organizing and structural practices that enhance member-driven decision-making. This includes more closely mirroring practices we’ve long abided by as a Local (transparent and member-driven budgeting and approvals; prioritizing of majority-based actions and decisions; organizing based in principles of care; and common-good campaigns). It also includes work we have already been conducting in coordination with west coast UAW locals in a range of industrial sectors to establish smaller regions within the UAW. Local 4121 was once part of the 17-state Region 5, the massive size of which enabled corruption to go undetected by members. Smaller regions would enable much stronger membership decision-making and oversight.

In addition, building a more democratic, fighting union demands concerted investments in organizing new workers and better organizing our existing bargaining units. Our greatest source of power as a labor movement is worker power. As a Local, we’ve consistently invested resources that support new units of workers organizing to join the union, in addition to building strong engagement and democratic practices as a membership. As a UAW, we must make organizing millions of unorganized workers a clear priority, and dedicate significant resources to that work.

Kshama Solidarity Campaign: Sign on in Support!

Please take 30 seconds to join hundreds of Seattle union members, including over 100 members from our union, and sign on right now in support of the Kshama Solidarity Campaign! The right wing and big business are trying to remove Councilmember Kshama Sawant from office because of her track record of standing with movements like Black Lives Matter and the victories she’s helped win like the Amazon Tax. As the petition states, Kshama has walked countless picket lines, stood with workers organizing into unions, and even gone to jail to defend the rights of workers.

It’s critical to get strong participation from UAW 4121 members on the petition to show that the labor movement has her back. Sign and share the petition in your networks and on your social media to help build the campaign: tinyurl.com/labor4kshama.

Help with Georgia Senate Runoff Elections 

As our Election Response Workgroup continues developing opportunities for taking political action following last month’s election, one way for every member to help build towards a progressive national political program is by getting involved in the Georgia Senate runoff races. Working people desperately need relief and support as we face yet another spike in COVID cases, but so far proposals to help everyday people are stalled in the Senate. Join UAW members from across our region to turn out voters in Georgia and help flip the Senate! Sign up here for information and opportunities to get involved.

In Solidarity,
Douglas Avella-Castro
Leandro Casiraghi
Amanda Clouser
Max Friedfeld
Kaelie Giffel
Vern Harner
Dan Hart
Colleen Hoffman
Amzi Jeffs
Levin Kim
Kyle Kubler
Kristin McCowan
Erin Morgan
Emily Myers
Anzela Niraula
Jacob O’Connor
Elena Pandres
Nayon Park
Marissa Parker
David Parsons
Shua Sanchez
Paige Sechrest
Solmaz Shakerifard
Sam Sumpter
Samantha Thompson
Judy Twedt
Momona Yamagami