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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
November 28, 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
Aug 29, 2014

$174 million for local stamping plant
I don’t know where summer went, but it’s time for the kids to go back to school and thoughts of fall activities start.
I want to thank all our members who got out and voted in the primary election. Our CAP-endorsed candidates fared well, but the job is not done until the November election is done! Please go to the Lansing Labor News website,, to make sure you know the endorsed candidates. The screening process takes into account all the concerns working people have.
I also want to thank each and every one of our members over the announcement of GM’s decision to invest $174 million in the Lansing Grand River stamping facility. The following are comments from Erin Davis of GM Lansing Operations Communications:
General Motors will start construction of a $174-million stamping facility that will create or retain about 145
jobs.  The new facility, part of the company’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, will produce stamping components for the Cadillac ATS and Cadillac CTS family of vehicles and a future product.
“Lansing Grand River Assembly is known for the high quality of its work and the flexible manufacturing that has been a trademark since it opened,” said GM North America Manufacturing Manager Christine Sitek. “Today’s announcement demonstrates GM’s commitment to strengthening key plant capabilities related to quality and efficiency.”
The new facility, which comes on line in 2016, will save about $14 million a year in logistics costs tied to material handling. Built in 2001, Lansing Grand River is GM’s second-newest U.S. assembly plant and the manufacturing home of the Cadillac ATS, CTS and the CTS V-series performance versions. Earlier this year, Motor Trend magazine recognized the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan with its Car of the Year award.
“This major investment is a vote of confidence in the hard-working membership of UAW Local 652,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, who directs the union’s General Motors Department. “We’re proud of the role we played in helping rebuild Michigan’s economy through collective bargaining and negotiations for investment and jobs in our UAW-represented plants.”
“I think I can speak for all of the UAW members at General Motors’ Lansing Grand River plant when I say we are thrilled to have this additional investment in the plant and the jobs it will create in the community,” said UAW Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem.
Including this latest announcement, GM has announced Lansing facility investments of more than $530 million since 2009.
• $190 million for the addition of the Cadillac ATS and 600 jobs
• $37 million at Lansing Delta Township Assembly plant for tooling and equipment to enhance the plant’s manufacturing capabilities
• $88 million for the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan
• Announced Lansing Grand River would produce the next-generation Camaro
• $44.5 million and 200 jobs for a new logistics optimization center at LGR
Since 2009, GM has announced nearly $11 billion of investment in U.S. facilities, including $777 million so far this year.
“Once again, our hometown car company is hitting it out of the park with a massive new investment at Lansing Grand River,” said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero. “I’m deeply grateful to General Motors for making the Lansing region a centerpiece of its global manufacturing strategy. Its confidence in our world-class UAW workforce and strong partnership with local government will continue to deliver jobs and prosperity in Lansing for decades to come.”
In Other News
Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem recently visited the Lansing area GM plants of Locals 602 and 652. I would like to thank him for coming to visit our membership.
September 13 Car Show
Put September 13 on your calendar to join us at the American Muscle and Antique Auto Show, which will be held in the Local 652 and Local 724 parking lots. All proceeds will go to the Lansing Labor News. This is free and open to the public.
If you are entering a car, the registration fee is $10 and registration begins at 8:00 a.m. Show time is 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be dash plaques for the first 75 entries, a 50-50 raffle, T-shirt sale, food, DJ and trophies. See you there!

Vice President Randy Freeman
Jun 04, 2014

Veterans notes
I want to share with you these veterans’ notes from our Local 652 Veterans Committee Chair Michael Melfi. Our thanks to Michael for all his hard work and to everyone on our Veterans Committee for their efforts on behalf of veterans.
As we enter into summer, (we hope it will warm our chilled bones of this past winter), Region 1-C Veterans Association has begun their busy schedule, starting with the Region’s Color Guard presenting the Colors at the A. Philip Randolph Annual Luncheon on April 26 at the Kellogg Center at MSU.
At their second quarter meeting at the VFW Home for Children on May 6, the Veterans presented the Home with a check in the amount of $2,500, which was accompanied with a check for $500 from the UAW Local 652 Veterans Committee. 
Normally we would donate bicycles, however the past two years it was decided to contribute to their wish-list which you can review on the Amazon site: go to “Find a Wish List” and type in VFW National Home for Children. Gifts-in-kind are welcome at the National Home. The web site has the most current list of items they can use. And their Santa Shop program is always accepting donations for use at Christmas time. We encourage you to make your generous donation toward one of the many items that the families are in need.
May also is the month for Lansing’s Volunteers of America 11th Annual Homeless Veterans Stand-Down on May 21. Veterans from UAW Locals 425, Jackson; 602, 652, 724, 4911, Lansing; and 659, 598 in Flint; and several other UAW Locals, not only donated their own personal time, (vacation, or leave w/o pay), but those Locals make monetary contributions to help offset the cost of sponsoring that event.

Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Aug 29, 2014

The birth of a movement?

On July 10th the UAW chartered Local 42 in Chattanooga, a members-only union to represent the workers of VW. While not a completely new strategy, the UAW has never before embraced the idea Unlike a traditional union, a members-only union is voluntary and represents only the workers who choose to join. A company has no legal obligation under the National Labor Relations Act to negotiate with a union of this type; however, the UAW and Volkswagen have come to a “consensus” that the company will recognize Local 42 once it has signed up a “meaningful portion” of the workers. With a majority, Volkswagen may choose to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining representative of the entire worksite, effectively bypassing the need for another NLRB election.
Of course, the anti-union forces are already crying foul, commenting that their hard-earned victory in the last election could be thrown out on a technicality. But I find it encouraging that a strategy like this is being attempted. We have been at a disadvantage for too long in the South and this type of effort could be a game changer!
If the UAW can be accepted by enough workers voluntarily, it gives us a greater chance to win all their hearts and minds, to prove the worth of collective bargaining.
Under this course of action employees can take the chance on collective bargaining without the stigma of the old style union, which in the South is reviled by a good portion of the populace. There, a union security clause is seen as a detriment, not an advantage.
As of this writing, more than 670 employees have voluntarily signed up for membership in Local 42. That number is very significant. If those same 670 people had voted yes in the NLRB election it would have constituted a majority and the Volkswagen plant would today be a UAW-represented plant.
While the outcome of the efforts in Chattanooga are not clear, it is a positive step. Will it work? Maybe, maybe not, but the thing to take away from it all is that the effort was made.
We’re not sitting on our hands waiting for the cards to fall. We’re taking the fight to the enemy and ultimately, that’s all we can ask.
If you would like more information, please google “The New Volkswagen Model: Minority Unionism” or visit or

Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Aug 29, 2014

Things do not go better with Koch

As election time comes near, once again I write today to warn against believing the smears and lies put forward by the PAC’s and super-PAC’s supported by the corporations and the rich; especially that two-headed monster of anti-worker evil, the Koch brothers. In the last election cycle, 2012, the Koch brothers spent an estimated $400 million on hardcore right-wing initiatives and candidates. Now they are spending large amounts to get the outcome they want in this year’s elections in Michigan. They support Terry Lynn Land for Senate and Rick Snyder for Governor. Here are a few things you should know about the Koch brothers.
The vast fortune they use to corrupt the political process is largely based on a massive network of oil and gas pipelines, and was largely inherited from their father Fred Koch who made his fortune building pipelines for the Soviet despot Joseph Stalin. Fred Koch was also a supporter of racial segregation and groups like the John Birch society.
Following that lead the brothers have invested millions in more than 85 right-wing organizations. Most prominent of these is Americans for Prosperity, their PAC that invests heavily in the Tea Party candidates and has close ties to, among others, Supreme Court Justices Anton Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who the Koch’s brought in as speakers for a group of industrialists shortly before the infamous Citizens United decision.
Among the things that the Koch brothers vehemently oppose and spend their vast fortune to eradicate are the following: minimum wage laws, labor unions, public education, and Social
Security. In other words, all of the reforms that helped to create a large and vibrant middle class are on the chopping block if these brothers get their way.
You may ask yourself, how did our society evolve to a point where any of this is allowed to happen? And how can we stop it?
Well, this isn’t a new situation. In fact it was just these sorts of abuses by the wealthy industrialists at the turn of the 20th century that the Progressives and President Theodore Roosevelt fought against. During his presidency the robber barons of the oil, steel, and railroad industries were incrementally pushed back from total and limitless control of our institutions.
Unfortunately, within months of Roosevelt leaving office, moneyed interests began the push to regain their hold on government. By the 1920’s they were once again in the driver’s seat. Only the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930’s
and 40’s chiseled away some of this power.
In the decades since, the rich and their corporations have once again gotten astride our institutions and begun to steer them in directions conducive to them and not the average citizen. Why do we have to re-fight this battle again and again? Because the wealthy are relentless and too often the working class are lulled into a sense of powerlessness or apathy; and even more frightening is the ability through the media for the rich to convince the workers of this country that groups like Americans for Prosperity and the Koch brothers are looking out for them.
We must remember that our government is supposed to be for the people and by the people, not a government for the corporation and by the corporation or for the rich, by the rich.
If we allow outside groups funded by the likes of the Koch brothers to influence our elections, a day rapidly approaches where we the working people will have no voice at all. On Election Day, remember to support those who support the workers of this state and not those who support the corporations of this country.

Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Aug 29, 2014

August 2014

Happy Labor Day to all. 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 on
ctober 14. Social night is for Local 652 retirees, spouses, and associate members only – no guests.
Upcoming cancellations to mark on your calendar: The November 4 bingo night is cancelled. The December 23 card night is cancelled.
The Oldsmobile Outdoor Club has supplied us with the following camping dates and locations:
Sept. 12-13-14 Rockys Campground, Albion. And Oct. 10-11-12 Michigan Trap Shooting Association, Mason. For more info, call Wagon Master Jay Courser, 517-323-2331. Camping is not limited to retirees; active workers who are members of the Oldsmobile Outdoor Club are welcome to join in the fun.
October 3 the Lansing Area Retiree Euchre Tournament will be held at Local 602, starting at 9:00 a.m. Arrive by 8:45, to sign in, and get seated. Call 372-7581, ext. 147, leave your name and phone number to sign up for the tournament. There is no cost to play. You do not need a partner to sign up.
October 24 is the annual insurance informational meeting. There will be representatives from the VEBA Trust, various insurance carriers, Delta Dental, and Express Scripts. Meeting starts at 10:00 a.m., at Local 652.
Condolences to all the families who have had a loved one pass. Condolences to Robert & Shirley Abernathy on the loss of their son, Jeffrey Abernathy, Delbert Person on the loss of his mother, Peggy Person (retiree), Steve Grant on the loss of his father, Rolland Grant (retiree), Sue Sanders on the loss of her husband, Art Sanders (retiree), the family of Herbert Farrand (retiree).
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 online at
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.
Email me at

Local 652 Obituaries
Aug 29, 2014

August 2014

David Amato – Retiree
Lawrence “Larry” J. Bauer – Brother of Mike Bauer, Brother-in-Law of Diane Bauer
Helen A. Brown – Spouse of Edgar Brown, Mother of Helen E. Brown
Elizabeth Bishop – Spouse of Raymond Bishop
Victor Comstock – Retiree, Brother-in-Law of Dan Boucher, Robbin Boucher and Dennis Martin, Father-in-Law of Larry Pudvay, Grandfather of David Nickel Jr.
Ronald L. Cole – Retiree, Spouse of Mary Cole
Ofelia Garza Cruz – Mother of Juana Chelf
Ronald J. Cuthbert – Retiree, Father of Richard, Pat and Jack Cuthbert
Edgar G. Dixon – Retiree
Betty Fish - Retiree, Mother of John Fish
David Vernon Grove – Son of Vernon R. Grove, Brother of Jennifer Gilbert, Uncle of Jayson Grove
Robert Harry – Retiree
William “Bill” Henry – Retiree
Frances Hill – Retiree, Spouse of Bryce Hill
Frank Kessler – Retiree
William Kobiska – Father-in-Law of Kim Livermore
Kenneth LaCourse – Retiree
Iris Lapointe – Mother-in-Law of Phil Smith
Billy Ray McDaniel – Retiree
Charles D. McNease – Retiree
Lucille Mueller – Mother-in-Law of Mike Smith and Joseph Schaffer
Lowell J. Muma – Retiree, Father of L.J. Muma
Daniel V. O’Brien – Father of Gerald O’Brien
Dorothy O’Brien – Mother of Gerald O’Brien
Christine Oliver – Mother of Dorothy Morrell
Peggy Jo Person – Retiree
Opal Piggott – Mother-in-Law of Richard Fox
Randall Rairigh – Retiree
James E. Reid – Retiree
Laurine Sebrell – Mother of Gary “Bruno” Sebrell
Gladys Tucker – Mother-in-Law of
Mason Williams
Russell A. Wagonschutz – Father of Roy Wagonschutz
Gary Whiting – Retiree
Alvin Woodhams – Retiree, Brother-in-Law of Mike Wing and Paula Roberts
Basilio R. Ybarra – Retiree
Thank-You’s were received from: the Ella Bancroft Family, the Lawrence Helmker Family, the Lowell Muma

Page Last Updated: Aug 29, 2014 (10:02:00)
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