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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
 
 
February 01, 2015
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
Jan 29, 2015

Busy start to new year
I hope everyone’s holiday was a joyous time for you and your family!
The new year starts with a very busy schedule, starting with GM Subcouncil 5 (skilled trades) and GM Subcouncils 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The Oldsmobile Outdoor Club’s Winterfest will take place February 13-15 in Grayling. That is also free fishing weekend. Please see more information on page 5. If you have questions, please call Mike Bokovoy at 517-420-5335. The Olds Outdoor Club does a wonderful job to make sure everyone has a great time.
March 24 and 25 will see the UAW Collective Bargaining Convention held in Detroit.
Local 652’s Recreation and Conservation Committee will hold a Cabin Fever Game Night at the local on February 21, for adults only. It will include a euchre tournament and other games from 1:00 p.m. to ?
In his article on page 1, Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem talks about our region being more involved with our community. I am very proud of the efforts in the Lansing area that our local unions have been involved in. These include breast cancer walks, Toys for Tots, Old Newsboys’ paper, Walk for Warmth, the school backpack program, Greater Lansing Food Bank, United Way, American Red Cross, and the many boards and service organizations our members serve on to make our community a better place to work and live in.
Concerning the child ID pack that was mentioned in our Director’s article: the UAW has joined the American Football Coaches Association to offer free ID kits. A gift of safety from our UAW family to yours, each kit contains two inkless fingerprint cards, two DNA collection swabs, and one activator card. All this information is stored and kept with you, so you can give it to authorities if ever needed.
At this year’s Winterfest in Grayling we will be passing these kits out. We will also have the kits at the Local 652 union hall, 426 Clare Street in Lansing. We have already had a request for 500 kits from Clinton Area Fire & Rescue/St. Johns Fire Department.
Thanks to everyone who called or sent a card to congratulate Pam and me on our first grandchild!


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
Jan 29, 2015

On Day One …
I recently came across an interesting article by Los Angeles Times reporter Michael Hiltzik titled “On Day One, the new Congress launches an attack on Social Security” and what it contained sent chills up and down my spine. The story describes a rule change in Congress that will seriously undermine efforts to keep Social Security solvent.
The rule hampers an otherwise routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program, reallocations that have taken place in both directions at least 11 times since 1968.
Without the transfer the disability program is expected to run dry next year; but with the reallocated income the programs will be solvent until at least 2033, allowing politicians plenty of time to work out a long-term solution.
The rule enacted by the House Republican caucus will prohibit the reallocation unless it’s accompanied by “benefit cuts or tax increases that improve the solvency of the combined trust funds.”
This effectively makes reallocation an impossibility since across the board benefit cuts aren’t politically acceptable and politicians that support tax increases aren’t electable.
The Republican caucus claims the rule is necessary to “protect the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund from diversion of its funds to finance a broken Disability Insurance system.”
The problem is disability isn’t broken, it’s been meddled with. Funding shifts in 1983 and 1994 have hurt disability’s funding and if the rates had stayed at pre-1983 levels the fund would be flush today.
A lot of factors play into Social Security’s problems today: the aging of the American population, the entry of more women into the workforce, and the increase of the full retirement age above 65. But the system has been successful for decades with just minor tweaking.
The solutions are simple to describe but extremely difficult to implement. One simple solution would be to increase the payroll tax from its current rate of 12.4% to 15.28%. Since the payroll tax is split between employer and employee, it would be an increase of only 1.44% to each. Done, problem solved for the next 75 years! Like I said, simple!
The problem? No one likes a tax increase! Other ideas are benefit changes (read reductions), combating fraud, or increasing the full retirement age even further, perhaps 70 or more.
Would you be willing to contribute 1.44% more to Social Security if this meant that everyone would get what’s coming to them for the next 75 years? Would you be willing to accept some of these other changes? It’s time to start thinking about what IS acceptable. Something needs to be done and the Congressional rule change assures that the discussion will happen, whether we like it or not. Until next time…


Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Jan 29, 2015

Wage Stagnation Nation
Clearly, this is a bad time to be a working person. The economic recovery has largely skipped those of us who make an hourly wage. The Snyder administration and their cohorts in Washington have done all they can do to make sure that businesses have come back in the last few years. They have shown great empathy for corporations, partnerships, and business of all kinds. Their empathy for the plight of the working people of this country and state has been sorely missing.
For years, even as the economy recovered and the stock market soared, most American workers saw little evidence of better times in their paychecks. However, in November of 2014 overall wages increased 0.4, with the gain for lower-paid workers in production jobs increasing 0.2 percent. In a not shocking at all development, Representative Kevin P. Brady, a Texas Republican who is chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, has called on the Federal Reserve to move quickly and raise interest rates to stave off inflation.
That’s right, a 0.2 wage increase has thrown the conservative ranks into a panic. Keep in mind that 0.2 percent for a worker making $25,000 a year equals $50 a year; but hey, on the bright side, if you are fortunate enough to make $50,000 a year that skyrockets to $100. God forbid. Those greedy workers might actual buy their kids new shoes, or coats, or school supplies with all that loose cash. The continued war on the working class by the conservatives brings two questions to mind.
First, how long will some workers believe that these pro-business politicians have the best interest of any worker in mind? Clearly, the wage stagnation, loss of pensions, benefits, MIOSHA, workers compensation changes, and higher taxes for workers and lower taxes for business hasn’t convinced them they have no friends in the right wing, so I fear nothing will. Though I continue to try to convince them.
The second question that runs through my mind is what these conservatives and their corporate fat-cat buddies are scared of; do they think a prosperous middle class would see through their hate mongering and their economic shell games? They might be right, it was a prosperous middle class that led to the social justice movements of the 1960’s as well as the legislation that makes sure our air and water are clean and our drugs and food are safe. But, they should remember that it was a put-upon and desperate working class that led to the sit-down strikes of the 1930’s, the gaining of legal rights for unions under the new deal, and other Depression-era legislation that led to the creation of the middle class in the 1950’s.
I struggle, and have for a long time, to understand what makes people worry more about a business’s health and prosperity than the prosperity of actual human beings. Having been to law school, I fully understand the need for the legal fiction that grants corporations legal rights on some scale, though taking it to the extremes found under the Citizen’s United ruling seems absurd. But, that said, companies who are unwilling to budge on worker wages in a time when they are making record profits are shameful, and in my mind immoral. And, for members of our government to put business first over people is wrong and unforgiveable.
I fear a time when unions are no longer around to fight the economic, political, and social battles that we as individuals cannot.


Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Jan 29, 2015

January 2015
A belated Happy New Year to everyone. 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.
By membership action, we are making changes to our Bingo and Card times and refreshments. Effective in March 2015, Bingo will be held the first Tuesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. Participants will bring their own snacks. Cards will be the fourth Tuesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. Participants will bring their own snacks.
Our next social night will be April 14. Social night is for Local 652 retirees, spouses, and associate members only—no guests.
The Lansing Area Euchre Tournament is April 17, at Local 602, starting at 9:00 a.m. You do not need a partner to play. Please call 517-372-7581, ext. 147, and leave your name and number to sign up.
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, Jim Halfmann, 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 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
Jan 29, 2015

January 2015

Kenneth Aldrich – Retiree, Father of Kris Aldrich, Father-in-Law of Steve Wright, Grandfather of Jessica Patterson
Lucile H. Alford – Retiree, Mother of Bonnie Rowe, Mother-in-Law of Newt Rowe
Melvin Alspaugh – Retiree, Brother of Jack Alspaugh
Maria “Lupe” Bowen – Mother of Larry Bowen, Mother-in-Law of Susan Bowen
Max Butler – Father of Kim Workman, Father-in-Law of James Workman
Howard C. Cole Jr. – Retiree
Robert “Bob” Lambka – Retiree
Paul Laningham – Retiree
Gary Martin – Retiree
William J. McQueen – Retiree, Father of Doug and Dennis McQueen
Richard Mikesell – Retiree
Rose Ochoa – Retiree, Spouse of Frank Ochoa
Donna Polhamus – Spouse of Gary Polhamus
Fred Rach – Retiree, Uncle of Paul Rach
Genita M. Ripley – Mother-in-Law of Gary McDiarmid
Dorothy Rutledge – Spouse of Kenneth Rutledge
Cynthia L. Sawdon – Daughter of Kenneth Spiegel
Eva Lynne Shumaker – Mother of Lori Gentz
Donald J. Spencer – Retiree
Phil Spitzley – Retiree, Father of Bruce Spitzley
Milan “Roger” Thurston – Father of Rick and Roger Thurston, Brother of Leo Thurston
Gerald Van Neste – Father of Brian Van Neste
Ray Winn – Retiree, Father-in-Law of Jim Briggs
Thank-You’s were received from the following families:
The Karen Adams Family
The Maria “Lupe” Bowen Family




Page Last Updated: Jan 29, 2015 (10:30:00)
 
 
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