Senator Basham’s statement is as follows:
Mr. President, I would like to thank this body for passing Senate Resolution No. 152 honoring a great labor leader. I would like to read the memorial resolution:
“A memorial resolution honoring former UAW President Douglas Fraser for his enduring contributions to protecting the rights of American workers and their families.
Whereas, Doug Fraser was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1916 and moved to Detroit, Michigan, when he was six years old; and
Whereas, Doug went to work at the Chrysler DeSoto automobile plant and soon joined the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union and was elected president of UAW Local 227 in 1944; and
Whereas, He worked with Walter Reuther, Richard Frankensteen, J.J. Kennedy, Bob Kanter, and members of the union’s women auxiliary when they attempted to pass out leaflets to workers at Ford’s Dearborn factory complex in 1937, during the Battle of the Overpass when Ford security guards attacked them; and
Whereas, Doug Fraser’s astute negotiating and leadership skills led Walter Reuther to appoint him as his administrative assistant in 1950; and
Whereas, Doug served as co-director of UAW Region 1A and in 1962 became director of the union’s Chrysler Department; and
Whereas, He served as vice president in 1970 and was elected president of the United Automobile Workers Union from 1977 to 1983; and
Whereas, Doug helped to engineer the historic federal loan guarantees and the subsequent financial turnaround of Chrysler Corporation in 1979, saving the automaker from bankruptcy; and
Whereas, Mr. Fraser began a second career as a distinguished university professor of labor studies at Wayne State University and lecturer at Harvard University and Notre Dame; and
Whereas, In November 1997, as a fitting tribute to the man who always focused his career and energies on improving the economic and social well-being of working Americans, the College of Urban, Labor and Metropolitan Affairs at Wayne State University created the Douglas A. Fraser Center for Workplace Issues, housed at the Walter P. Reuther Library; and
Whereas, Doug Fraser, considered labor’s statesman, passed away on February 23, 2008, at the age of 91 at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That we recognize Doug Fraser for his staunch support of the rights of American workers and their families and enthusiastic commitment to the United Automobile Workers Union; and be it further
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to the family of Douglas Fraser as a token of our highest esteem.”
A moment of silence was observed in memory of former UAW President Douglas Fraser.