A call to union activism

By Tony Renfro

During this past holiday season, it was very much a reality that the dollars we spent were not going as far. People have a knee-jerk reaction to say inflation, and blame whichever political party is on the other side, but let’s not discount corporate greed. This past year saw ridiculous gas prices, increases in utility costs, and ever-increasing food costs.

Big corporations have blamed supply chain issues, shipping costs, manpower shortages and a list of other reasons as to why prices are higher. This may be the case and does contribute to costs, but do not discount the record profits many corporations, especially oil companies are posting.

Exxon posted 20 billion in profits in the third quarter, Chevron 11 billion, and Shell 9.5 billion. These profits were made at the expense of you and me, the common person working to provide a good living for our families. This year we can probably expect more of the same, so we must become even more vigilant.

This is our contract year. So along with the challenge of trying to battle inflation we are going to have to do our best to prepare for any contract disputes that may arise. I know it may seem ridiculous to tell people to save money while trying to pay bills that take more of our income, but that is what needs to happen. If you qualify for profit sharing, I urge you to try your best to save some money for contract time.

We are poised for a fight to get some contractual gains that we haven’t seen for a while, cost of living increases being paramount among those. Wage
increases were one of the most prevalent contract proposals. You may have heard this before, but this contract is crucial. It is crucial to the future here at KCAP and to every member of the UAW.

Wages must be protected from inflation and price gouging. Our buying power must be protected. Our way of life must be protected, for ourselves and the next generation. It is time to get prepared, time to get active, and time to stop complaining and do something to
help this fight.

Activism is not difficult; it is a situation where you can start small. You can tell your story to your friends and neighbors. Tell them where you make your money and where you spend it. We are not on an island; we spend our money at local shops and churches.

We are tied to the communities we live in.
it is time we start rolling up our sleeves and getting involved with the world we live in to make it a better place. It will make a difference in the long run and people will understand our plight when the news comes looking for a story during our contract negotiations, whichever way they go.