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Going Into Classrooms With Our Story
By Ann Skelton
THE UNITED AUTOMOBILE, AREOSPACE AND AGRICULTURAL IMPLEMENT WORKERS OF AMERICA, U.A.W.
We are a union that works to build a better future by raising the standard of living of its members by improving their working conditions and by protecting workers against injustice on the job and in their community. Our union believes that the future can be what the people want to make it. We have joined together in the UAW to make our lives and the lives of our families more secure by using our union's democratic processes to win higher wages, greater protection, better living conditions, and retirement security.

Who we are
With our wives (or husbands), children, parents and other dependents there are approximately four million of us. Hundreds of thousands of us are women. Thousands of us are minority groups. We are not sure of these statistics because we don't ask and we don't care except to remedy an injustice resulting from the fact of unequal opportunity for any one of us. We are of every decent you can think of. We are French speaking in Quebec and Spanish speaking unionist swell our ranks by the tens of thousands.

How we work
We are people, all kinds of people- but because we are UAW we are in one important respect not like any other people. We in the UAW are believers- believers in justice; believers in the capacity of men and women to remake their world according to their moral convictions; believers who call meetings, who go to conferences, who write and distribute leaflets, appear before legislatures and congress, send letters, e-mails and make phone call to politicians, wear buttons, make demands on companies, on the community, on society.
We have made civil and human rights our vital concern; we join with all our heart in the war against poverty; we work with our union brothers and sister throughout the world to fight injustices practiced by the global corporations.

What we seek
When we bargain with the giant corporations, we seek more than wage increases or improvements in working conditions. We seek human dignity, compassion for our old and our ill, and justice for all.

Unions set their social and economic goals in the early days of the 19th century. The first of which was a conviction that the promise of American democracy should be fulfilled in terms of equality of opportunity and the uprooting of class privileges. The deepest conviction of the early unionist was that America, in its professions of democracy, was beholden to provide all its citizens an equal opportunity for education. This dream is yet to be fulfilled, but we must continue the fight-in the community, in the legislative halls-in picket lines -wherever the fight for justice and freedom will take us.

 

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