UAW Summer School Underway
by Gene Lantz
On June 11, 2017, UAW Regional Director Gary Jones and Assistant Director Vance Pearson greeted about 160 UAW activists, mostly retirees, for the first week of Summer School in Norman, Oklahoma.
Director Jones told the assembly that our region has done well. We raised over $2.1 million, more than any other region, for UAW V-CAP, our union political arm. ‘I don’t see how you did it,” Jones praised the participants!
Our voting strength has continued to improve. Nobody can blame the UAW for putting Donald Trump in office. Polling showed that about 40% of the stewards in the AFL-CIO overall American labor movement voted for Trump, but “I will tell you that our retirees did one heck of a job voting for Democrats,” Jones said. The union usually runs about 32% Republican, Jones said, but “We did better this year at 30%.” We actually had fewer members voting Republican in 2016 than in previous elections.
One has to draw the conclusion that UAW training and information programs are producing better informed voters.
Director Jones faces the facts squarely when it comes to union problems. He said that our union had 1.5 million active members when he became active, but is down to “around 400,000” now. Because of finances, some of the retiree drop-in centers in isolated areas are facing reviews.
UAW 848 paid for no one to attend Summer School this year. Retiree Chairman Gene Lantz was sent by the North Texas UAW Area Council.