Statement from UAW Region 9A Director Beverley Brakeman 3/18/2020

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action, outreach, activism, compassion, cohesion and care.

UAW Region 9A is engaging on every front to protect our members and families as we:

  • Urge employers to listen to their employees and maintain best workplace health and safety practices up to and including closing and paying workers;
  • Engage electronically to keep members informed and supported; 
  • Speak out loudly and clearly at all levels of government about the need for increased and expanded safety net services and programs for our most vulnerable residents;
  • Call on and hold government accountable to lean into and activate all available resources, expertise and best practices in the care of all communities and people;
  • Call for national policies like paid sick leave, universal healthcare, improved public health contingency plans, and meaningful economic assistance for workers and their families, small businesses and others who will be harmed from the economic fall out of this virus.  

As UAW Region 9A’s elected leader, it is my goal that during this pandemic we sustain our programs and services for members, do everything we can to support our surrounding communities, and come out collectively stronger and more connected – but that won’t be easy and it will take time, energy and focus.

For the immediate time being, we must take each day as it comes, tackle each problem as it arises, and prepare for long term disruption while taking care of ourselves, our families and our members.

To that end, I want all UAW Region 9A Local leaders to know that our door is open, our phones are on 24 hours a day, emails and texts are welcome, and our we stand ready and able to assist and support.   

Because we know many of our members may end up out of work – hopefully temporarily – below are links to unemployment insurance sites in all of our states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Connecticut Unemployment Insurance

Maine Unemployment Insurance

Massachusetts Unemployment Insurance

New York Unemployment Insurance

Rhode Island Unemployment Insurance

Vermont Unemployment Insurance

New Hampshire Unemployment Insurance

Puerto Rico Unemployment Insurance

Managing our anxiety is important and understanding that all expertise and all information is not equal and that emotional and panic contagion are real.  I found this article very helpful:

University of Buffalo SUNY

While we are all living article by article, podcast by podcast, statistic by statistic and in the interest of choosing reputable and informed news and information sources, I have found the below sites and articles to be helpful.

Centers for Disease Control

World Health Organization

Dr. Sanjay Gupta – Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction

Harvard School of Public Health

And finally, as labor movement leaders and builders, together we can face the crisis before us with strength, courage, and integrity using the privilege afforded us as union members to fight for those in our lives and communities who are more vulnerable.

En solidaridad,