Local Chairperson Nathan Hatton, center, gives a thumb’s up with Local 278 Legislative Representative Tom Dillon to his right in the photo as they support United Auto Workers Local 900 members in Detroit on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Members of SMART-TD Local 278 (Jackson, Mich.) and General Committee GO 687 hit the picket line in Detroit, heart of the auto industry on Sept. 20. Our members were on the line supporting the proud men and women of United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 900 outside of Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, better known as MAP.

The SMART Transportation Division is proud to see our members publicly joining the fight in this historic movement known as the UAW “Stand Up” strike.

TD members showed up on the strike’s first day, then again four days later on Day 5 to deliver bottled water and to show support, Local 278 Legislative Representative Tom Dillon said.

“A common conversation I had with most UAW workers both days was that this fight wasn’t just for them It was for all of us… all of us working middle class people trying to live a great life. A life that our parents enjoyed through the fruits of their labor,” he said.

“Yet here we are today, and the folks that build these cars and trucks can’t even afford to buy one, let alone our children. It’s invigorating to be out there supporting this fight to say the least and I’m hoping to get out there again with our union brothers and sisters  to show more support.” 

Thank you to all our members throughout the country that are doing the same.

Please get in touch with SMART News at TD-DL-News@smart-union.org and let us know what your local is doing to help their cause!

SMART-TD members out to support the UAW strike include, front, Local 278 Legislative Representative Tom Dillon, and from back left, Local 278 President Dave Firlik, Local 278 LCA687E Secretary Jason Tackett, Local 278 member Nick Huberts and GO 687 Vice General Chairperson James Reid. The “Wingman” at right was unidentified.

SMART Transportation Division Local 278 member Kyle Jones and his wife Samantha received devastating news Jan. 14, when their seven-year-old son Ayden was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APML). This is an extremely rare cancer for someone as young as Ayden.
The cancer was found after Ayden had been taken to urgent care with symptoms of the flu. The urgent care thought he had pneumonia and suggested that Ayden be taken to a children’s hospital in South Bend, Ind., where he was diagnosed with APML.
In order to get the best care possible, Ayden went to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis where he started chemotherapy and was placed on a high risk treatment path for APML due to the high number of leukemia and white blood cells found in his system. The path, at its shortest – if everything goes to plan, will include 9 to 12 months of intensive chemotherapy and bone marrow testing.
The early stages of recovery are the most dangerous for Ayden. The cancer cells in his bone marrow have stopped the production of blood clotting agents and the cancer cells in his blood are sending signals to clot throughout his body. Because of this, Ayden is at a high-risk for strokes and does not have any way to stop bleeding. If Ayden can make it out of this window of risk for clotting and bleeding, APML has a 100 percent cure rate. Thus far, Ayden has been responding well to the treatments.
“As a father who has had to deal with both a serious medical issue with one of my children, and as a cancer survivor myself, I understand the mental, physical and financial battle that has been put in front of this family,” said Jerry Gibson, SMART TD’s Michigan state legislative director.
“I was fortunate enough to have so many friends, family and strangers step up and assist with donations and prayers. Knowing you have the support of others allows the family to focus on the important task at hand – getting their loved one healthy and home. Please consider donating to this cause so that Kyle and Samantha can get Ayden back home.”
As you can imagine, this type of care and the need for his parents to be at Ayden’s side pose a significant financial burden, but the generosity of others can help alleviate it. Please do what you can to help Ayden and his family in their time of need.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Jones family with the financial burden caused by Ayden’s illness. Click here to donate to the GoFundMe account.
Tshirts in support of Ayden (approved by Ayden himself) are also being sold and all proceeds go directly to the Jones family. Sizes range from YXS – 3XL and cost $25. Click here to buy a tshirt.
Click here for a printable flyer.