It has been a busy year so allow me to briefly share with you what our region and active and retired members have been doing and where we are headed. Every year Region 1D develops an activities calendar with activities to engage our active and retired members. I’m so proud of the progress we have made this year. And, you have helped make this happen!

In January, we kicked the year off with the bowling tournament in Lansing, Michigan, which was well attended by retirees and active members, with the Region sending 10 teams to the International finals in Detroit.

In February, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the historic Flint sit-down strike with a standing-room only crowd at Local Union Hall 599. Those in attendance included UAW President Dennis Williams and Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel as well as President Emeritus Owen Bieber and other officers and International Executive Board members. We also had our V-Cap drawing, with a union sister winning a 2016 Camaro.

Other great activities this year have included two successful retirees’ conferences at Black Lake in April and May, the conferences were highlighted with great speakers with a variety of topics. We honored our great  veterans and included a Worker’s Memorial Salute, acknowledging workers whose lives were lost in a workplace accident. I was inspired to see half of those who attended were first-timers at Black Lake.

Throughout the year, the union  has provided several educational opportunities for our members with a variety of classes on grievance handling, financial officers training, election training and local benefits representatives training.

In May, our Region 1D Leadership Conference in Traverse City for elected leaders drew about 275 delegates. The Regional Leadership Council has continued to provide opportunities for leaders to network and learn to strategize with each other, so they can be more effective in their local union.

Our local leaders are aware that the struggle continues, regardless if it’s in private or public-sector areas.

Our objectives and goals are clear, build unity and strength through education and engagement at the local union level.

The remainder of year we’ve scheduled summer and fall school sessions at Black Lake. These educational classes will be designed to energize and engage all of us as we continue to get involved in our union and community.

It is my firm belief that we all have a role in maintaining the principles of our great union. It starts with deciding to get involved, and I encourage everyone to do just that. Join a local standing committee, attend events at your local and in the region. It is the UAW way. If we want justice and equality in our society, we must remain steadfast. It is our clear mission as union members and members of the labor movement. We are the last line of defense. Period.

In solidarity,

Gerald Kariem


UAW Region 1D News • Gerald Kariem, director • Steve Dawes assistant director • Regional office: 3300 Leonard, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 • Phone (810) 767-0910 • FAX (810) 767-5807 •