Summer School 2024 Recap

From June 20th to June 23rd, more than 400 UAW members and workers on organizing drives came together at the UAW Region 6 office in Pico Rivera, CA for our second Summer School as a re-formed Region 6. Through classes, workshops, strategy sessions, big picture presentations, and more, workers practiced new skills and made connections. Across workplaces, industries, and geographies, UAW members are more ready than ever to meet this moment and build a powerful movement by and for working people. Keep reading for a recap of topics covered at Summer School, and how you can plug in to ongoing work.

400 UAW region 6 members wearing red shirts and holding up raised fists in a large meeting hall

Watch the Summer School Recap Video

Region 6 History:
Since re-forming in 2022, UAW members across the Western States have been reigniting the fighting history of UAW Region 6. At Summer School, Brandon Macias (Local 509), Joel Benefield (Local 230), Justin Jarvis (Local 492), and Garrett Shishido Strain (Local 4811/Region 6 Staff) led a workshop on Region 6 History, highlighting the rich history of Region 6 members building progressive political action, community organizing, and more since the region’s original formation in the 1930s.

7 people sitting in a circle talking, with other small groups talking in the background

Organizing the Unorganized: In today's Region 6, workers are re-animating a similar participatory, fighting approach to building – and winning – a real say for working people. As we discussed on Day 3 of Summer School, just in 2024 so far, more than 13,000 new workers have joined Region 6. This wave of new organizing is only growing across the region, and across sectors, in a testament to the incredible energy and commitment of the moment, and the effectiveness of worker-led strategies that are focused on building widespread, representative worker leadership networks. 

A group of about 10 UAW members practicing marching on the boss

Building Skills & Connections: In classes and workshops, members built practical skills to put to use in bargaining strong contracts, building active membership networks, running effective union meetings, building strong communications and transparency, getting strike ready, and much more. In committee meetings and strategy sessions, workers set strategic priorities, made action plans, and discussed ways to increase connections between Region 6 industries. And throughout the conference, members came together in formal and informal ways -- learning from each other's experiences, building solidarity, and forging connections to carry into the future.

A group of about 8 people sitting in a workshop and listening as one participant speaks

Justice for Palestine: And of course, Region 6 members are building power towards a better world for all workers, going beyond our individual workplaces. In a panel discussion, members of Palestinian Youth Movement shared about the ongoing struggle for justice for Palestine, the historic stance UAW has taken in solidarity with working people globally, the role today’s labor movement can play in helping to bring about justice for Palestinian people (including through talking to coworkers 1-1, building structure, and taking mass strategic action), and the historic importance of the Local 4811 ULP Stand Up Strike.

Four people seated at a table for a panel on justice for Palestine

Whether you attended Summer School or not, you can play a role in moving this work forward in 2024 and beyond. Plug in by joining an upcoming Region 6 committee meeting (open to all Region 6 members!):

  1. Region 6 Gender Justice & Civil Human Rights Committee meeting: July 8th at 6pm via Zoom
  2. Region 6 Climate Justice Committee meeting: July 30th from 6-7pm via Zoom
  3. Region 6 Education & Communications Committee meeting: July 19th from 12-1pm via Zoom. All Locals & Organizing Campaigns in Region 6 are strongly encouraged to send members to participate in the ECC on an ongoing basis! Join the next meeting to help plan future conferences, trainings, and member communications. 
  4. Region 6 Political Action (CAP/PAC) meeting: July 20th at 10am via Zoom.  
  5. NEW! Orientation Workgroup: July 12th at 12pm via Zoom. Email [email protected] for more info. 
  6. Political Action Conference: August 17-18 in Pico Rivera, CA. As the 2024 elections quickly approach, many critical issues for workers are at stake. At this conference, members will discuss and strategize for the road ahead: building political power to win strong contracts, organize new workers, fight for systems that work for workers, and advance global social justice. More info here

Justin Jarvis, Joel Benefield, and Brandon Macias

Close-up of one UAW member speaking to others at a table

Four people sitting outside talking during a workshop