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In The Age Of COVID-19, The Labor Movement ‘Finds New Ways To Fight Back’

Published Monday, June 1, 2020
In The Age Of COVID-19, The Labor Movement ‘Finds New Ways To Fight Back’

(COOKEVILLE, TENNESSEE) - Even during the best of times, going on Strike can be difficult - even more so after your local area is hit by tornados and the COVId-19 outbreak.  But despite all the obstacles, in April, members of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 1407 stood united and fought for a fair contract at Cummins Filtration in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Measures were taken to protect the UAW Membership as they performed their Strike Duty each week.  The number of Members on the picket line were limited, Strike Duty Shift Hours were reduced, social distancing, and gloves, hand sanitizer and other measures were implemented to keep everyone safe.

The problem of not being able to hold a ratification meeting and vote, an innovative idea was developed for a three-area drive through process.

First the ratification packet handout, then a question area, and finally a drive through voting area.

If there were any questions, Members raised their hand outside of their car window and a Bargaining Committee Member went to answer.

In a statement on their website, UAW said: “With the support they received from Region 8 and the International UAW, this Membership was able to stand together and let the company know they would not just lie down and take whatever the company wanted.”

Valter Sanches, IndustriALL Secretary General, congratulates UAW Local 1407 and says that during the pandemic, Unions are finding innovative ways to fight for their Members and safeguard their rights.

Many Unions in Brazil have negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreements that set out alternative solutions protecting Workers' lives and rights.

Most of them have been negotiated through virtual assemblies, allowing Members to debate and vote on proposals remotely, guaranteeing participation, democracy and social isolation.

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