Rudy Reyes

Professional Title: 
LLEAD State Board of Directors, Member; Past President, Lansing for Cesar E. Chavez Committee; American Red Cross Chair of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region Board of Directors, Member; Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansin

Rudolfo “Rudy” Reyes retired after 37.5 years as a General Motors line worker. He served as a Community Chair for the UAW. Reyes serves on the Cristo Rey Community Center Board of Directors as a member, is a member and Chair of the American Red Cross Great Lakes Region Blood Services and a member of the Civil Rights for Immigrants Task Force of Action of Greater Lansing and is a Grand Knight of the San Juan Diego Council of the Knights of Columbus #15417, Cristo Rey Parish, Lansing. Reyes has been involved in numerous social issues through his career.


Reyes discusses his career as a GM worker and union representative in this oral history interview.

∇ Auto workers in Lansing Michigan. Reyes talks about being hired, quitting, and being hired again in April 1969 and his father's resistance to Rudy working at Fisher. He describes a variety of jobs, work on the second shift, his union activity, union community service and his passion for helping people, achieving elected office in Local 602, and the strike in 1970.

∇ Street naming: The fight for Cesar E. Chavez Avenue renaming streets can be an emotional change for some communities; not renaming them to include the history of others in the community is also problematic. Reyes discusses the history of the Chavez street naming efforts in Lansing and shares techniques for communities to utilize.

∇ The Grapes of Grand River, by Lawrence Cosentino. City Pulse, September 28, 2017 talks about the efforts to secure the renaming of Cesar E. Chavez Avenue and his family’s history in Lansing auto plants.