Sunday afternoon United Auto Workers [UAW] Local 2250 in Wentzville, Missouri held a rally in support of their stand up strike against the General Motors plant. While pickets manned the plant gates approximately 500 workers and their supporters attended the rally.
….Thank you so much. Let’s do it again because it’s just so fun. Two-Two, Five-Oh. Two-Two, Five-Oh. Two-Two, Five-Oh. Thank you all so, so much. My name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez….Thank you all so, so much for welcoming me. Are you all fired up?….Are you ready to go?….Thank you again for having me. I’d like to give a special thanks to your Local 2250 President Katie Deathridge…the first woman president here in forty years….And your UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Cambell….Thank you so, so much. And your congresswoman Cori Bush….Thank you so, so much for the invitation here. It is an honor to be here. It is a true, true honor to be here. And I want to say that personally and also as an elected official. Because being invited to a picket line is not an honor to be taken lightly. It is, that extended hand comes from a sense of mutual relationship, and trust, and most importantly, of action….Action…and, and for all of those reasons I just want you to know how deeply and personally I, I take this honor. So, thank you.
We’re all here today because our economy is in a special kind of crisis. Our whole economy is in a special kind of crisis. Now, if you ask a Washington insider or a Wall Street analyst they will tell you, I don’t know what you’re talking about. They’ll say, look at GDP, look at the growth rate. They’ll say, look at job numbers. How are we in a crisis? And that’s an easy thing to say for someone who primarily experiences this economy on paper. [“yeah.”] Who aren’t choosing between child care and work, or medicine and rent. It’s easy to say that when you’re not making those decisions….Because those of us who do have to make those decisions feel the economy in the calluses of our hands and the aches in our joints at the end of a long day….When we don’t have any time left, proper time to spend with our children or loved ones. That’s where we feel the economy. And that is where this crisis is going on today. What the figures in Washington and Wall Street don’t reflect that in a time of record profit CEOs of the big three are giving themselves forty percent raises [“Boo!”]…and [inaudible] billions of dollars to manipulate stock, stock prices of off your back breaking labor [Yeah.”].
The reality is we are living in an absolute economic crisis of inequality [“That’s right.”]. One, where prices are skyrocketing, not because workers are making an insane amount more, but because, but because CEO excess is at insane levels that we’ve never seen before. [“Right.”] And they are squeezing the working class of this country to the brink to pay for it. Their yachts are paved with our low wages and our cut benefits. And we have to say, no more…. We need to say, enough is enough. UAW, you are all showing all the working people of this nation that the only way to change the tie is an economy that is built for the one percent is only if working people of all backgrounds and differences come together and act. And act. And that is what the stand up strike is all about…The way we win this is that is to know that solidarity is the strategy. Solidarity is the strategy. And I wanted to reflect on that. Because the one percent in this country does everything within an inch of their life to break the grip and make us turn on each other. [“Right.”] That is what they do. The finance a media to divide us by race and geography and class and culture. They make us argue over whether people of different identities deserve rights. We need to unite and stand up for our values….and stop this nonsense and demand the economic dignity that we all deserve. Solidarity is the strategy. Us sticking together breaks up their approach. They don’t know what to do when people are unified.
So, when they say that prices have to go up to accommodate treating workers right, we say that it’s their greed and excess that have to end [Yeah.”]….When they claim that they have to lay people off we need to remind people that the average worker in this country has to work for four hundred years to make what these folks pay themselves in one. And when the big three don’t want to take the value of their workers seriously then they have given, then they have given workers no other option but to force them to them, to value their labor with a stand up strike [“Right.”]. Management leaves no other choice.
We have seen what happens when people don’t stand up for themselves. When we don’t get the solidarity and support in Washington and among media and from coast to coast. We’ve seen what happens. In 2008 after these same executives gambled people’s homes and millions of Americans went into foreclosure, they had the audacity to turn around and blame the same workers getting kicked out of their homes. That is an outrage. And we have to say, the math ain’t mathing there. It doesn’t make any sense….[inaudible]….And in 2008 these members saw their pay and their benefits cut, all for a myth. A myth and an IOU, for them to say, one day, when we are better, we’ll make it right. Well [knock, knock], time to cash the check…..Two-Two, Five-Oh. Two-Two, Five-Oh.
And I’ll end with this, we started this, this whole gathering today by pledging allegiance to that flag right there. By pledging allegiance to that flag right there. And that flag means something. It means something. This is the flag of the United States of America, who’s red stands for valor. Valor of the Americans, all the Americans, including the labor activists who died and spilled blood so that we could have a weekend and health care….The white, the white stands for purity. Of our intent and commitment to one another as Americans. The purity of our unity. The purity of love for our fellow man. That blue stands for justice….it stands for dedication and justice. But this flag doesn’t mean those things just because someone said that. This flag means those things because we dedicate and live up to it with our actions. That’s what makes that flag mean something. We do not pledge allegiance to greed. We do not pledge allegiance to Wall Street. We do not pledge allegiance to corporate profits. We pledge allegiance to the United States of America, to our fellow man, to the betterment of all people. and that’s why we are here today.
Democrats show up:
Missouri Democratic Party Vice-Chair Yvonne Reeves Chong.
Sunday afternoon United Auto Workers [UAW] Local 2250 in Wentzville, Missouri held a rally in support of their stand up strike against the General Motors plant. While pickets manned the plant gates approximately 500 workers and their supporters attended the rally. UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Campbell addressed the crowd.
….Brothers and sisters, it’s our time. And it’s about time. Members of the UAW have always been champions of social and economic justice. Our fight for civil rights and human rights isn’t just a cause, it’s an investment in our collective future….
…The dividends that that investment is paying off right now. Of that struggle, that fight for equality. That fight for equality is a fight against corporate greed….The fight against corporate greed is a never ending battle, never ending battle between the haves and the have nots.
Mother Jones said all nations have failed when too much wealth is collected in the hands of a few. Well, that’s happening right here, right now. We cannot let it continue. We can not back down…..The rich, the powerful in this country and in this world have always tried to divide us on, on lines of race, gender, age, now seniority.
We’re fighting. We’re fighting to end tiers. Equal work should result in equal pay….We’re fighting for COLA, cost of living adjustment. When they drive the prices up our wages should keep up….This one’s tough. We’re fighting for job security. This one’s tough because I came out of the Belvedere assembly plant. The idled Belvedere assembly plant. I helped load up the cars that took half of my family to Michigan. I don’t see my grandkids nearly as often as I want to because of these greedy corporations. [“Yeah.”]
Everything else that we win at the bargaining table isn’t worth anything, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on, if we don’t have job security….And we’re fighting for the ability to retire with dignity after decades of breaking our backs for these corporations and their record profits we should have a few good years left in us that we can, we can retire with dignity….
Over the last four years, just four years, inflation is up twenty percent the cost of a vehicle, a new vehicle, is up thirty-four percent. Corporate greed is the problem. [“Yeah.”] When wages have increased in that time only six percent, a full fourteen percentage points behind inflation, say it with me, corporate greed is the problem. When CEO pay is forty percent higher, North American profits are up sixty-five percent, but we’ve lost purchasing power to inflation, inflation that they caused, corporate greed is the problem.
It’s time for justice and not for just us. It’s time, it’s time for all, all American workers to stand up. The UAW is calling for all American workers to stand up. Stand with us. For equal pay, no more tiers, for COLA to protect from inflation, for job security, and a dignified retirement….These should be rights in this country. These should be rights, not privileges for a select few. In the richest nation in the history of the world these should be rights, brothers and sisters.
Sunday afternoon United Auto Workers [UAW] Local 2250 in Wentzville, Missouri held a rally in support of their stand up strike against the General Motors plant. While pickets manned the plant gates approximately 500 workers and their supporters attended the rally. U.S. Representative Cori Bush (D), who represents the district, spoke at the rally.
“There is Power”
…We all remember the federal government bailout of the auto industry going to 2008, financial crisis. And we know during that time companies went through all of this restructuring. And workers, you were the ones that sacrificed, you were the ones that had your wages cut, you were the ones that didn’t get the pay you deserved, you were the ones that lost time with your families.
You sacrificed because you care about the industry, because you care about our country, because you care about our communities and all of the families. And so after fifteen years and record profits it’s well past time you got what you owed [“Amen.”]….
….So as the big three, as they’re seeing these record profits, workers you must see record contracts because your struggle and your sacrifice represent the struggle and the sacrifice of so many others around this country right now. You are an inspiration to them right now….
…And let me lastly say this. Your demands are not radical. [“No.” “Nope.”] They’re reasonable. [“Yeah.”] And you shouldn’t have to strike for ’em. [“Amen.”] Higher wages, paid time off, medical benefits for retirees, and pensions are not radical demands. Those are benefits that every single worker deserves. [“Amen.”] Record profits, I’ll say it again, should equal record contracts. And that’s the simple concept to me. So local Twenty-Two Fifty, know that your congresswoman loves you. And that love looks like a fight. It looks like standing up for you, showing up for you, and using my voice for you. And bringing my friend here to fight along side you… Two-two, Five-Oh. Two-two, Five-Oh. Two-two, Five-Oh.
Yesterday afternoon United Auto Workers [UAW] Local 2250 in Wentzville, Missouri held a rally in support of their stand up strike against the General Motors plant. While pickets manned the plant gates approximately 500 workers and their supporters attended the rally. Local 2250 President Katie Deatherage spoke at the beginning of the rally.
UAW Local 2250 President Katie Deatherage.
….We here at Wentzville were called upon by the international UAW to go, to stand up in this historic strike. This is the first time in the UAW, in history, has struck all three of the big three at once.
We are at strike against General Motors here at [UAW Local] Twenty-two Fifty. We are standing up for a fair contract. We’re standing up to end tiers. We’re standing up for job security. And we’re standing up against corporate greed.
We’re working hard down here to gain back the concessions that we gave up to pull the company out of bankruptcy. To pull them out of losing their business, back in 2007, eight, and nine, recession time. We’re just asking for what they told us, what they promised us.
I want to give a shout out to my local. You at Twenty-two Fifty [….] I want to thank you all for everything that you’ve done leading us into this strike. You are amazing. Thank you for conducting yourselves, always, with dignity and class. Thank you for putting in the countless hours to help us run a successful, efficient, and meaningful strike. I’m very proud of this local and I’m honored to be your president.
I’d like to say thank you to all of those that have and are supporting us in this fight from walking the picket line with us, to the multitude of donations, from the shout outs on social media, to the [inaudible] as you drive by our picket line.
It is all greatly appreciated. We appreciate each and every one of you. With our commitment to contribute to this local community that we work in, as well as the surrounding communities, we assure you that your generosity will be paid forward.
This afternoon United Auto Workers [UAW] Local 2250 in Wentzville, Missouri held a rally in support of their stand up strike against the General Motors plant. While pickets manned the plant gates approximately 500 workers and their supporters attended the rally.
UAW Local 2250 President Katie Deatherage.
“Fighting for the American Dream”
Representative Cori Bush (D),
UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Campbell.
Friends from all over the country show up to support working people.