UAW Solidarity Rally held in Bedford on Sunday at Harp Commons
BEDFORD - SEPTEMBER 25, 2023 - The United Auto Workers held a Solidarity Rally on Sunday afternoon. The rally was attended by several union members, UAW Region 2B Region Director David Green, Uno Blessed, AFL- CIO, Indiana House Senator District 40, Democrat Shelli Yoder, Indiana House Senator District 29, J.D. Ford, Mitchell City Council District 3 Democrat candidate Joey Slone and Bedford City Council District 3 Republican member Brad Bough.
Photo: Many union members talk prior to the Solidarity Rally held at Harp Commons in Bedford, Indiana
" We are here to stand in Solidarity with our UAW siblings and we can make a big difference. We are just not standing to just strike, we are standing for worker rights. We are standing against just a few getting the profits and those who's blood sweat and tears are not," said Shelli Yoder Indiana House Senator District 40.
There are 550 union members at the Bedford GM Powertrain plant and approximately 703 employees in total.
" At the present time our membership is focusing on the national contract negations before turning our attention to the local contract," said Derek Cronin president Local 440 Bedford, Indiana.
The UAW has asked for at least 40 percent pay raises over four years.
32-hour work week with 40 hours of pay
The restoration of pensions
Limits on part-time employees
In GM response to the union demands the company has only offered a few pay raises but did not pass the cost of living wages the workers have asked for.
Photo: UAW Region 2B Director David Greene talks to Shelli Yoder before their speeches on Sunday Afternoon.
" This is about the working class struggles. There was a walkout on 38 more facilities on Friday at GM and Stalantis. But, Ford is passing something across the bargaining table. We are much further ahead with Ford, and that is a good thing," said David Green UAW Region 2B Director.
" Eliminating the tiers have been a big issue for us, and the Cost of Living has been another issue for us. We are not asking for anything out of the ordinary, we are just wanting to regain some of the things we lost 15 years ago going through the big recession,"
" The corporate media keeps beating us up on a 32 hour work week, 40 percent pay increase, just recognize we have to start somewhere," concluded Green.
Mike Prince a eight year skilled trades worker from the GM Powertrain came down to support the Rally.
Photo: Bedford City Council District 3 Republican Brad Bough came out to support the local GM Powertrain workers
" I would like to see the temporary after 90 days get full time employment. I do not think it should take anyone eight years to become a full time employee. The GM employees gave up a lot during the company's bankruptcy. The company agreed when they got back to on their feet they would take care of their employees," said Prince.
There were speeches made to let the UAW members know they support their efforts to get better compensation as the corporations have raked in record profits with General Motors taking in an estimated $29 billion in profits this year.
Photo: Local resident Beth Fergio came to support the local union members on Sunday
Other concerns include employees are being forced to work overtime. Forced overtime takes away from their families who would to spend time with them at sporting events and other activities.
Photo: Mitchell City Council member Joey Slone attended Sunday's UAW Rally
The speeches lasted about 45 minutes and live coverage and interviews can be found on the Lawrence County Zephyr Facebook page.
The public was allowed to attend the event, with those supporting the union's efforts.
The Lawrence County Zephyr will continue to monitor developments.
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