What TD members can do to support the UAW strike

September 16, 2023

Brothers and sisters —

As the strike action of our brothers and sisters at the UAW moves forward, I wanted to reach out to all SMART-TD members and reiterate our support for the UAW and the goals they are working to achieve.

On Thursday, I reached out to our rail members to let you know that you have a right to refuse to service any facility that is under a picket if you feel your safety is at risk. This right is written into our SMART constitution.

All signs from the UAW are that their strike has the potential to go on for quite some time. Right now, the media and public are focusing on their struggle. This is good news for the labor movement, however, as the strike continues, this attention and support might get watered down.

SMART-TD’s rail members are prohibited by the Railway Labor Act to participate in a sympathy strike, which means we cannot stop coming to work for our employers. What we can do, in addition to not crossing the picket lines to service industries if our safety is in jeopardy, is that we can support the efforts of UAW when we aren’t on duty.

It is my hope that as a union, we will do everything we can to show our solidarity with UAW in their time of need. Like all unions, their strike fund is not robust enough to pay their members the salaries they need to live off of indefinitely. If you are interested in helping, please do what you can to support their cause.

Please get out and walk the line with our UAW brothers and sisters. If you can bring food to show your support that is always appreciated. I would love to see SMART-TD members showing up in SMART gear and lending a hand to this worthy cause.

We are prohibited from not working our jobs at the railroad in support of their strike, but we can show up on our own time and do as much as we can to be of service to their movement. Please join me in the effort to find a UAW demonstration, put on your SMART T-shirt, pick up some pizzas and let them know that we stand with them.

UAW workers are in this fight for the long haul. Any reinforcement our union can provide them will go a long way toward their fight and the labor movement throughout this country.

In solidarity, 

Jeremy R. Ferguson

President, Transportation Division