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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
 
 
December 22, 2014
UAW Local 652

UAW Local 652 represents workers at Android Industries, the General Motors Cadillac Plant, JCIM, and Ryder.

Local 652 is located at 426 Clare St., Lansing, MI 48917

Phone (517)  372-7581



President Mike Green
Dec 09, 2014

How the elections could have gone our way

I want to thank everyone who helped on campaigns for our endorsed candidates, whether with phone banks, door to door, or lit drops. We had good turnouts for all the work it takes to elect our endorsed candidates. Despite our efforts, turnout of voters was 41.6%, which was less than the 2010 non-presidential year, when it was 42.9%, as reported in the UAW Dateline report.
How close were the races? Just 7,399 votes in nine State House districts kept Democrats from winning a majority:
House District    GOP victory margin
23        1,306
39        1,442
56        874
61        1,870
62        547
71        310
91        58
99        671
101        321
Total    7,339
Our work to stop the attacks on working people will continue for years to come.
The lame duck agenda in November and December includes:
• A transportation funding package to deal with our roads in Michigan
• The Electoral College
• Prevailing wage
• Public employees’ collective bargaining rights
I would like to thank our Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem for his help in our election.
Region 1D Subcouncil 2 Election
I was elected alternate top negotiator at the Subcouncil 2 meeting. I look forward to serving on the 2015 negotiating team for the car side at the UAW-GM national negotiations.
We had a lot of discussions on what we will need to do at the 2015 negotiations. UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada spoke about the many issues we will be facing. Estrada will lead the talks on the GM side. She brings a wealth of knowledge from the IPS and Organizing Departments, and she understands the issues facing us on the GM side.
Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem announced that Steve Dawes will be the Assistant Director for Region 1D. Our congratulations to Steve.
My wife Pam and I became proud grandparents on November 3—a baby boy named Phenix Michael Green. Congratulations to the parents, Rollin and Allison, on our first grandchild!
As we approach the holidays, may you and your family have a safe and enjoyable time.
And remember to buy American and buy union!


Vice President Randy Freeman
Dec 09, 2014

Members show real generosity
It never fails to amaze me the amount of generosity our members show this time of year. Local 652 members started this season with the Breast Cancer Making Strides Walk raising over $5,000. It was great to see our our Regional 1-D Director Gerald Kariem at the rally at the Capitol before the Walk.
Next we moved on to the Toys for Tots and again this year raised over $6,000. This was even in light of the amount of down weeks we had this year.
We were at the gates on December 4 collecting for the Old Newsboys, trying to put shoes on young kids’ feet.
Winterfest February 13-15
The Oldsmobile Outdoor Club will be having its yearly Winterfest (Olds on the Ice) at Grayling February 13-15. It’s a great time for family and friends. It’s a free fishing weekend with the DNR. Look for more info at the club’s website, oldsmobileoutdoorclub.com. If you have questions, feel free to call Mike Bokovoy at 517-420-5335. So make your reservation at the Ramada Inn, Grayling and we hope to see you up there!
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!


Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Dec 09, 2014

A little bit of the Grinch …
In the last edition I wrote about the development of a members-only union movement at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This type of union is voluntary and only represents the workers who choose to join. Volkswagen recently announced that organizations that represent at least 15% of the active workers in the plant will be allowed to meet and present ideas and proposals to local plant management. Volkswagen has not put a restriction on the number of organizations this would be limited to, so there could be six or more groups meeting on the employees’ behalf.
This in itself is a little unusual but what is really mind-blowing is that one of the groups touting representation is the very group that fought against the formation of a union in the first place. So we have the strange case of the anti-union union, the group that successfully fought against collective bargaining has formed the American Council of Employees to compete with the UAW for members. It is a quasi-union group that believes that workers should come together to negotiate with their bosses.
One of the group’s organizers, Sean Moss, is quoted as saying, “It’s really to the benefit of everyone that everyone have a say, the opportunity to step up and speak for themselves…” So we have the same people that fought against the organizing campaign which would have assured worker involvement and collective bargaining making statements that support the ideas of worker involvement and collective bargaining! Please, someone wake me up from this nightmare!
I am hoping that the workers at Volkswagen are sharp enough to realize that they have been bamboozled by their political representatives. After all the innuendos, threats and outright lies even the co-workers who were against organizing were really not, they were just doing what they were told to do. It appears almost everyone in the plant supports unions, they just have to tell all the others to mind their own business!
A little bit of coal …
Did you know that wages in construction, production, transportation, installation, maintenance and repair in Michigan have dropped so low (or, depending on your view, not risen) that 59% of the nation has higher average wages? Based on a study done in 2012 by the Michigan Department of Management and Budget looking at 202 different occupations, Michigan’s wages were equal or higher in only 83 of those occupations. The occupations were primarily in the industrial areas, historically the jobs that pushed Michigan near the top of the average U.S. wage scales. I can’t specifically pin this on our state’s preponderance of Republican representation but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t help. Remember this in 2016. Get out to vote!
And a little bit of Santa …
It’s that time of year again, time to spend with friends and family. My sincere wish for all of you is a safe and happy Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year! Happy Holidays! 
Just a reminder, the Local 652 Skilled Trades Christmas meeting is Thursday, December 11 at the hall, 426 Clare Street, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Food and beverages provided. A $3.00 donation is requested. Hope we see you there!


Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Dec 09, 2014

On the horizon
First off I would like to wish all the Lansing Labor News’ readers happy holidays and a joyous and prosperous new year. Unfortunately, the chances of working folk having a prosperous new year was lessened considerably by the recent election results, both in Michigan and across this nation. We are poised to lose rights and privileges as working people that our predecessors in the Labor Movement fought and in some cases died for. Programs that will be swept away by the ever more conservative and anti-worker Republicans are too numerous to list. But, a few will affect our members immediately and profoundly.
First, on a state level the Republican legislature and Governor have already stripped most bargaining rights from public employees, putting the power over State employees in the hands of bureaucrats and political appointees. The cry from the far right is always about limiting government, which they accomplish by outsourcing good jobs to private entities, like Aramark. (Do I even need to go into the litany of criminal and immoral behavior that company has engaged in since the Republicans privatized the food service in our prisons?) True, these outsourced jobs don’t go away, they just go to low-paid poorly vetted employees who end up working with our children in schools, driving their buses, preparing their school lunches, and a host of other interactions. 
Another State law protection that the Republicans have virtually done away with is the Workers Compensation system. A system that was set up so that employees had a no-fault benefit for work-related injuries and which protected employers from liability for negligence in the workplace. The Republicans have changed the system so that it is harder and harder for workers to receive any lost wage benefits, but, not surprisingly, have not made it easier for employees to seek legal action for injuries due to negligence by their employers. In the time before Workers Compensation statutes the law of the land was that if you were hurt at work by any known hazard you were considered to have assumed the risk of your job. If you worked in a factory and a machine malfunctioned and injured you, well, everyone knows machines malfunction so you assumed the risk of working with that hazard. If you cut yourself horribly on sharp sheet metal, well, everyone knows sheet metal can be sharp.
Thankfully, on the Federal level we still have President Obama and the power of veto to protect us from the far right, pro-corporation forces at work within our government.  If not, laws like the National Labor Relations Act—which is what requires companies to recognize Unions and forces them to bargain in good faith with them—might well be stripped away by an ever more conservative Republican party which is beholden to their rich corporate over-lords like Dick DeVos and the Koch brothers. Right-to-Work is bad enough, but imagine a world where unions had no legal standing at all, a world where every strike would be illegal and workers had no bargaining power at all. Those of you who either lived through, heard stories of, or have been educated about what life was like in industry before the Unions no doubt cringe as I do when contemplating the destruction the far right may do if they gain control of both the Congress and the Presidency.
Within Michigan our legislature has stripped away the protection of MIOSHA; what if we were to have OSHA stripped away as well? Workers could end up toiling in workplaces akin to those in Upton Sinclair’s famous book The Jungle. 
The litany of protections on the verge of being stripped away from workers is long. Yet many, many, people with the most to lose once again stayed home on Election Day. This cannot happen again, either in two years, four years, or ever. It is imperative we begin to fill our legislatures, our governor’s mansions, and the White House with men and women of progressive beliefs who will fight for and protect the middle class and the workers of this country and this state. To do this, people—working people in particular—cannot stay home on Election Day. The rich, the corporations, the dark money super PAC’s will have their voices heard on our airways, but we the workers can trump all that by making our voices heard in the voting booth.


Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Dec 09, 2014

December 2014
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends.
The following is our monthly schedule of events:
First Tuesday of the month is Bingo. The games start at 5:00 p.m.
Third Tuesday of the month is our potluck dinner and business meeting. Bring your own table service and a dish to pass. Dinner starts at noon.
Fourth Tuesday of the month is card night starting at 5:00 p.m. Card night is for Locals 652 and 602.
Our bingo night, potluck/business meeting, and social night is for Local 652 retirees, spouses, and associate members only.
Our next social night will be January 13, 2015. Social night is for Local 652 retirees, spouses, and associate members only –  no guests.
Upcoming cancellation to mark on your calendar. The December 23 card night is canceled.
The October 24th VEBA Trust meeting was well attended. If you still have questions regarding your medical or dental benefits, please contact a benefit rep.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to seeing our snowbirds in the spring.
Condolences to all the families who have had a loved one pass. 
The following members and associates are in our thoughts and prayers: Robert Abernathy, Jewell Carrier, Joyce and Herb Fernholz, Dave Hodges, Don & Helen Hogan, Dorothy Hoisington, Roger & Alice Miller, Leonard Schneider, Bob & Lee Vergason, Mason Williams, Willa Wright, and any others we may have missed.
The Lansing Labor News is now online. You may access it at www.lansinglabornews.org
The Food Bank could use our help. If possible, bring canned goods to donate when you attend retiree events. No expired food please.
Send your change of address to: Lansing Labor News, 210 Clare St., Lansing, MI 48917. Please include your current address and the old address when requesting the change.
If you have benefit questions, contact a benefit rep for answers. 517-372-7581 ext. 500.
You may contact me at the following email address: retiree652@hotmail.com


Local 652 Obituaries
Dec 09, 2014

December 2014

Jeffrey Abernathy – Son of Robert Abernathy
Karen Sue Adams – Spouse of Don Adams
Molly Babb – Mother of John Babb, Mother-in-Law of Fred Mazur
David R. Barrus – Father of Gary, Tom and Doug Barrus
Jean Elizabeth Carleton – Spouse of Douglas J. Carleton
Rita A. Centeno – Mother-in-Law of Roberto Renteria
Delpha Cone – Grandmother of Tim Henderson
Lester Gibson Jr. – Retiree, Uncle of Gary Gibson
Roland Grant – Retiree, Father of Stephen Grant
Shelby E. Hall – Retiree
Charles Halsey – Retiree, Spouse of Carole Halsey
Orville Hazen – Father of Shirley Schouw
Jack M. Hough – Father of Terry Hough
Kerry Hummel – Son of Marvin Hummel, Uncle of Justin Harr
Eva Kenyon – Retiree
Irene McElwe – Mother of Rod Snyder
Robert “Bob” McGowan – Retiree
Russell W. McManus – Retiree
William McVay – Retiree
Michael Menzer – Retiree
Bertha C. Miller – Retiree, Sister of Mildred Ebron
Donald F. Nelson – Father of Tim Nelson
Zelma J. Pelfrey – Spouse of Paul Pelfrey
Gary R. Raglin – Retiree
Robert L. Richardson Jr. – Retiree
Arthur Sanders – Retiree
Timothy Schmidtchen – Retiree, Brother of Jeffrey and Ernest Schmidtchen
William “Bill” Sherman – Retiree
Michael R. Smith – Retiree
James Sorrels – Retiree, Brother of Ray Sorrels
Milo Henry Sutherland – Father of James R., John and Leon Sutherland
Dorothy Szejn – Mother of Beverly Wicklander, Grandmother of William Farrar
Thank-You’s were received from:
The Molly Babb Family, the Charles Halsey Family, the Irene McElwe Family, the Alvin Woodhams Family




Page Last Updated: Dec 09, 2014 (08:53:00)
 
 
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