SMART Army members from Local 278 (Jackson, Mich.) and Local 1438 (Lincoln Park, Mich.) delivered two cords of firewood to our United Auto Workers (UAW) brothers and sisters in UAW Local 1248 in front of the Mopar Parts Distribution Center in Romulus, Mich. SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson purchased the wood for the UAW strike lines last week while Locals 278 and 1438 took it from there and got it where it needed to go.  

SMART Army members from TD Locals 278 and Local 1438 unload two cords of wood donated by SMART-TD President Ferguson. UAW Local 1248 Strike Captain John Baker, in red shirt close to trailer, said they were in dire need of the wood donation given how quickly the temperatures were dropping.

The union’s donation was well-timed for the men and women on the Stellantis picket line. When SMART-TD’s Nick Greficz spoke to UAW 1248 Strike Captain John Baker, he told Brother Greficz they were in dire need of fuel for their fires. He told Greficz how quickly the temperatures has been dropping with each passing day in late October and that colder weather was taking its toll on morale on the line. 

President Ferguson got the idea to donate firewood to the effort while walking the line in Toledo, Ohio, at a Stellantis plant that produces Jeep Gladiators. The UAW reps in Toledo told them that keeping the burn barrels stocked was a challenge.  

So with cold weather on the horizon, Ferguson committed resources to fulfill a need in solidarity with the UAW prior to the union’s announcement that tentative agreements had been reached with the nation’s Big Three automakers. 

SMART-TD Local 1438 and Local 278 members walk with UAW Local 1248 members in front of Mopar Parts Distribution Center in Romulus, Mich.
SMART-TD Local 1438 and Local 278 members walk with UAW Local 1248 members in front of Mopar Parts Distribution Center in Romulus, Mich.
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 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.

Brothers and sisters —

The SMART Transportation Division stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at the United Auto Workers (UAW). As railroaders, we are acutely aware of how it feels to be in their situation. It does not take much of an effort to remember when we were in the same boat last December. As railroad workers we fall under the Railway Labor Act. Our brothers and sisters in the UAW are in a far different situation working under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

That being said, we as SMART-TD members are not legally permitted to participate in a strike or work action conducted by any other nationally recognized labor organization. HOWEVER, SMART-TD’s office wants all our crews to be fully aware of their rights in the event of a national work stoppage by the UAW currently scheduled to occur at 00:01 Friday, September 15th.

Section 92 of Article 21-B in the SMART constitution states very clearly that, “When a strike of any other nationally recognized labor organization is in effect and danger to the safety of our members exists in or about the area affected by the strike, and/or if there exists any substantial present or potential threat of danger to the members en route to or from their work, and/or to the members’ families, it is the policy of SMART to support its members in declining to enter the territory directly affected.”

As of the morning of September 14th, SMART-TD’s understanding of the situation on the ground is that the UAW is planning to operate a system of targeted rolling strike actions. If you are scheduled to service a customer and you have any questions about the situation, please contact your union representative.


Jeremy Ferguson
President, Transportation Division