(02/04/13) - Fighting for the middle class - that's what members of United Auto Workers union, including some from Mid-Michigan, are focusing on at their annual legislative conference in our nation's capitol.
On the opening day of the conference, attendees heard speeches from UAW President Bob King and Wisconsin's new senator, Tammy Baldwin. They also spent the afternoon preparing to lobby in Capitol Hill Tuesday.
Members will tell their congressmen they don't want any cuts to social security, Medicare or Medicaid. They are also pushing that Japan not be included in a trade negotiation called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they'll be fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, because, they say, the UAW is a union of immigrants.
Naturally, Michigan's new right-to-work law is a big topic of discussion. We asked Region 1-C Director Norwood Jewell and Local 651 President Art Reyes about how others here are reacting to it.
"I've talked to people from all over the country that knew about the right-to-work battle we had in Michigan. There are people aware of the strike vote that we had at Local 651 and that it passed. They're offering solidarity, they're offering support, and together we're going to have to fight this and we can win this," Reyes said.
"I think we're going to go forward from this conference and start those discussions in a more in-depth way," Jewell said.
Both Jewell and Reyes say they're eager to get back to Mid-Michigan and share what they learned at this conference with their members. The conference ends on Wednesday.
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