By: Linda Lee
My allegiance to Ford and the UAW-Ford is no secret, and here’s why…
My UAW-Ford membership is rooted deeply in my past and truly taught me important life lessons, mainly about the importance of teamwork and always striving for excellence.
I was only 18 years old when I landed my dream job, following in the footsteps of both my mother and father who both worked at what was once known as the Michigan Truck Plant, now known as Michigan Assembly Plant on Michigan Ave. in Wayne.
Returning to my ‘Ford home‘ today for our live broadcast of the Rob & Linda Show today from 3-7pm with the opportunity to hang out with the current UAW-Ford workers who are building the highest quality vehicles on the planet is both an honor and a blessing. This has conjured up so many great memories of my days on that assembly line, starting as an 18-year-old ‘kid‘ fresh out of high school. And this has become for me, a ‘trip down memory lane!’
Everybody starts their personal journey in life ‘somewhere’ and for me, it was becoming a PROUD member of UAW-Ford Local 900, which is right across the street from the plant, and still feels like ‘home‘ to me too! My wedding reception was even held in the Local 900 UAW Hall, which was offered as a UAW benefit back then for just a minimal ‘cleanup fee,‘ how awesome is that!!!
We all learn important life lessons as we grow up, especially when we first become employed, join the workforce and find our place in life. My ‘real life as an adult’ began at age 18 when I first stated working on the assembly line building F-150 pickup trucks and also the Ford Bronco’s which were basically the first of what we now call ‘SUV’s.’ Becoming a UAW-Ford member especially, taught me many things that have served me well in very important aspects of my life.
Most importantly, being a card-carrying UAW-Ford member taught me the importance of ‘TEAM-work.’ I learned quickly, that it takes every single person who works on the assembly line to take GREAT pride in doing their job as assigned, in order to build the high-quality vehicles that Ford is known for. When I worked at MTP, the company motto was posted on every wall throughout the plant:
“FORD: Where QUALITY is JOB ONE”
That really stuck with me not only at work, but in all areas of my life. While I initially planned to work ‘30 years and out,‘ which thanks AGAIN to the UAW-Ford, meant at that time, full retirement benefits after 30 years of service, regardless of you age when you hit that goal, a workplace injury changed my plans.
After nearly 10 years working on the assembly line at MTP I developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome and was unable to continue my work on the assembly line. But Ford and the UAW did not abandon me, in fact they supported me every step of the way through a Workman’s Comp program which allowed me to go to broadcasting school and become retrained in another field where I could continue to work and support my family as a single mother with a small child. I will be eternally GRATEFUL and thankful to Ford and the UAW-Ford for the ongoing benefits which allowed me to take a different and unexpected path in life which led me to the amazing career I now have as a DJ on my FAVORITE radio station in my hometown, where I have now enjoyed over 20 years of rewarding and fruitful employment.
If it were not for the UAW-Ford, which stands for United Auto Workers, I would not be who or where I am today. I always say ‘united we stand, divided we fall‘ and the UAW taught me that. I know that there is NO ‘I’ in TEAM, they taught me that too. It takes everyone working harmoniously together to achieve GREAT things and they taught me that too. I learned that carefully planned ‘assembly line production‘ is the best and most efficient way of getting things done in the fastest and most efficient way possible, leaving little room for error. I still do many things that way to this day, like silly things like writing Christmas cards is a production style order, and I can get this annual task done in very little time thanks to that lesson learned so early in my young adult life.
To say that being a UAW-Ford member changed my life is a huge understatement. Too many great and positive ways to even mention.
So I will suffice it to say that as my way of showing my never-ending gratitude, I will continue my allegiance to Ford Motor Company and the UAW-Ford by remaining LOYAL. I am and will be LOYAL to the Ford brand as I have my entire life by purchasing ONLY Ford vehicles, which I can attest are ‘Built Ford Tough’ and the best that my hard-earned money can buy!
These are the 3 Ford vehicles sitting in my driveway right now, a 2002 Ford F-150 (260,000 miles STILL going STRONG!) my 2011 Ford Mustang convertible (my ‘Baby’) and my 2014 Ford Edge! The 2004 Hurricane RV also has a Ford chassis, powered by the Ford Triton V10 engine!! ALL Fords, all built to LAST!
My personal and heartfelt THANKS to ALL the hard-working and conscientious Ford UAW brothers & sisters who continue to build the BEST VEHICLES in the world!