Reinstate UAW member Travis Watkins at once - Protect workers from COVID-19!

Reinstate UAW member Travis Watkins at once - Protect workers from COVID-19!

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Frank Hammer
Frank Hammer signed this petition

Travis Watkins was unjustly fired at the GM-Components Holdings LLC plant in Grand Rapids Michigan on March 18 for informing his fellow workers on a private facebook page that management was escorting workers out of the plant because they were suspected of being infected with COVID-19. 

Travis, a skilled trades worker employed by GM subcontractor, Caravan Facilities Management, was doing his union job as the elected Bargaining Chairman of the Caravan workforce who are members of UAW 167.  Travis took his responsibilities to his membership seriously, not only alerting his fellow workers but calling out management for refusing to provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and coronavirus related training to secure the workers’ health and safety on the job. 

Caravan management accused Travis of “conduct designed to harm or sabotage the image or reputation of the company [and] employees…Through your messaging you incited panic, made false statements surrounding ‘suspected COVID-19” cases, and slandered both GM and Caravan…” The company refused him his rights to union representation and refused to disclose information pertinent to his discharge.   

Travis is a founding member of UAWD (United All Workers for Democracy) which is seeking to reform the union in the wake of over a dozen officials in the top leadership being charged and found guilty of gross corruption charges.  This might explain why the Local 167 leadership, UAW Region 1D and the UAW Executive Board has been silent over Caravan’s unjustified – and dangerous - firing of Brother Watkins. 

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic which is resulting in the job-related deaths of a rising number of autoworkers, we demand the Travis Watkins be reinstated immediately and be made whole.  We must defend workers’ rights to protect their health and safety on the job!

To support Travis and his family: