For immediate release: Jan. 4, 2013

UAW-GM and community leaders join Congressman Bennie Thompson in donating service van to help veterans at Jackson, Miss., veteran’s hospital

(JACKSON) – UAW Local 2402 at General Motors in Brandon, Miss., will join with Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, Dr. Isiac Jackson and other leaders at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical Center January 7 to present the hospital’s veterans with a full-size Chevrolet Express van to transport veterans to medical appointments and other activities. The van is specially adapted to accommodate veterans using wheelchairs or who have other mobility issues.

“We owe veterans a debt for their courageous service to this nation,” said Joe Ashton, UAW vice president and director, General Motors Department. “The men and women of the UAW, many of whom are veterans themselves, are grateful to those who have worn this nation’s uniform,” he said.

The van donation is part of a joint UAW-GM program, one of many cooperative efforts by management and the union. The company and the UAW agreed that giving back to veterans was a top priority of the labor/management community service agenda.

UAW Local 2402 has been representing Mississippi workers since 1999. “The UAW and GM have many joint programs which serve to benefit both the workforce and the community. We believe that when workers are given a real voice in their working lives, we do better as a community,” said Local 2402 President Tracy Daniels.

“Helping out is a longstanding commitment of the UAW,” said Gary Casteel, director of UAW Region 8. “Our role is to bring value to both the company and the community. GM recognizes the union’s important role in helping keep a focus on not only the company’s success but also the needs of the workers and our communities.”

“Unlike many companies in Mississippi, GM does not pay us less than it does workers in the North,” said Local 2402 member Garry Davis. “GM does good in both the community and with its workers.”

“Because we are active in the community and in the company representing workers, we have 98 percent membership in the UAW,” added Local 2402 chairman Kirk Bex.

The vans were built by GM’s Wentzville (Mo.) Assembly Plant and UAW Local 2250 near St. Louis. The donation to the Jackson VA hospital is one of five van donations to VA facilities around the country from UAW-GM, General Motors and Chevrolet.

Here are more details of the press conference:

What: Congressman Bennie Thompson, Dr. Isiac Jackson and UAW Region 8 will donate a full-size, handicap-accessible Chevrolet Express van to the G.V. Sonny Montgomery Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.

When: Monday, January 7, at 2 p.m. CST

Where: G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center, 1500 E. Woodrow Wilson Dr.,
Jackson, Miss.

Who: Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Dr. Isiac Jackson, chair, Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFFAN), UAW Local 2402 President Tracy Daniels, General Motors, Brandon, Miss., Dan Fairbanks, Doug Tiderington, UAW-GM Department

For more information, call Doug Tiderington, UAW-GM Department, at (313) 324-5248.

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