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
Medical and dental benefits
I would like to thank all our members for turning out to vote and for the support you gave to the leadership at the local. The trust you have given to all the officers at Local 652 is important and a privilege serving you to secure all our futures.
Welcome back to all our “snowbirds” who made their way back home. Finally, Old Man Winter is losing his grip on Michigan!
Medical Benefits Trust
We received the following letter from UAW President Bob King concerning reinstating vision and dental coverage starting in 2015. Again the UAW is looking out for our retirees.
Dear Trust Member,
Medical benefits are important to you and your family. The Board and staff of the UAW Retiree Medical Benefit Trust (the “Trust”) is dedicated to designing medical benefits and managing Trust assets in a way that reflects its mission—providing comprehensive health care coverage which improves the health and well—being of members. Each year, the level of benefits is evaluated to keep long-term liabilities aligned with the assets.
We are proud of how we have worked with you to find savings and make the Trust stronger. You’ve helped by switching to generic drugs, using preventive services and maintaining healthy behaviors. Many of you have also used Trust programs, such as diabetes education, Medicare Advantage options, and routine office visit coverage to help even more. All of these programs help avoid the cost of unnecessary care and provide you with better health outcomes.
As a next step, we recognize the importance of quality dental and vision coverage in maintaining your overall health. That’s why the governing Board of the Trust has authorized the Trust staff to provide dental and vision coverage for 2015. This coverage, pending negotiations with insurance carriers, will be comparable to the dental and vision coverage for UAW retired workers prior to the 2009 bankruptcy process.
This is tremendous news for GM and Chrysler retirees and we wanted you to hear it from us before rumors begin. While we know you may have many questions, details of the dental and vision coverage are still under negotiations with various insurance carriers. This new benefit will not be effective until January 1, 2015. Information about these benefits will be mailed in the fall; therefore, no action is required from you at this time. We encourage you to read thoroughly all of the information that you receive from the Trust and our carrier partners.
Bob King, President, International Union, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust Committee
Robert H. Naftaly, Chair, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust Committee
Information will be mailed to you as it becomes available.
Mark Schauer has received the UAW’s endorsement for Governor. It’s very important that we do everything we can to defeat Snyder this fall. He has shown that the hard-working middle class and organized labor are his targets! Snyder’s claims to fame have been to:
* Tax the pensions of our seniors
* Take away six weeks of unemployment compensation for laid-off workers
* Make Michigan a right-to-work state
* Claim to create new jobs, with not one job being created, only UAW-negotiated jobs
Mark Schauer will reverse the attacks on senior pensions and on students by repealing the devastating cuts to our schools. He will strengthen the middle class and give small businesses the tools they need to create jobs.
To help, go to markschauer.com.
Gary Peters was endorsed for U.S. Senate. To learn more, visit petersformichigan.com.
Both statewide candidates deserve our support. Please help support them for a brighter future for all Michigan residents, not just the Snyder few!
|Vice President Randy Freeman
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
Recently there has been a very lively debate taking place at the State Capitol concerning funding for road and other infrastructure repairs in the state of Michigan. A survey by Marketing Resource Group found that 82% of their sample group thinks that the roads and bridges in the state are in poor condition or worse, and 72% favor spending an additional $1.8 billion a year for the next ten years.
The problem is where is the money coming from? While 68% of this same group are willing to pay an extra $10 a month in taxes to maintain and improve our roads and bridges, many others are more reticent.
Since anyone who travels even a little bit in our state realizes our roads need improvement, it would help to start with a bit of information. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 38% of Michigan roads are rated poor or mediocre, and 29% of all bridges in the state are either functionally obsolete or structurally deficient, with their average age being 42 years.
Michigan’s overall infrastructure is given a grade of “D”. This compares with a 32% national average for poor road ratings and an overall grade of “D+” for the entire country. This is a telling statistic, one that indicates not just a state or regional problem but an indication of how far the deterioration has been allowed to go on a national level.
Some of the ideas being proposed are a House bill that would replace the state fuel tax with a 6% wholesale sales tax that in combination with streamlining and squeezing a little more out of vehicle registration fees would raise an additional $450 million annually.
The Senate has announced their own version that would bump the wholesale tax to 7.5%, which, along with the same registration changes, would add $1.3 to $1.4 billion per year. Others oppose the idea of a wholesale tax and would rather increase the existing fuel surcharge (which is currently sixth highest in the nation) and tie it to inflation. They argue that this would ensure that available revenue would keep pace with rising costs.
Another faction believes that users of the infrastructure must be willing to pay the appropriate price for its use. They argue that tolls, mileage taxes, or other use taxes are the best way to secure funds. Their contention is that the people who use the facilities the most should pay the most.
To add a little more to the discussion, an argument can be made that since the infrastructure of the nation was originally financed and built using federal revenue and that a central strategy for the improvements to our infrastructure would be the most efficient, a federal solution would be in order.
An increase of the federal fuel tax has been suggested, because the current 18.6 cents per gallon that has been around since 1993 is stagnant and has not kept pace with rising costs. The only way that federal funding to the states has remained at current levels is through patched together, short-term bills that are funded by general tax revenue transfers. An increase here may be the best solution, allowing oversight and vision from a central source rather than a scattergun approach by each state.
The bottom line to all this is that no matter what solution is found, it will be costing us. Whether we pay more at the pump, the Secretary of State office, or a toll booth, the truth is we will be paying more to drive in Michigan. And we need to. The real truth is that the increase in cost today is an investment in our future. We can’t stand idly by and allow things to fall down around us, too much of that has gone on already. My hope is the politicos can work together to come up with funding strategies that can be a slight pain to all, not a huge burden to a few. It wouldn’t be good to have perfect roads in Michigan but no one with the money to drive on them.
|Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
As some of you may be aware, a coalition of labor and civil rights groups called Raise Michigan is gathering signatures for a ballot proposal to raise the minimum wage in Michigan to $10.10. The conservatives in the state legislature, of course, have a big issue with this. Their response, which on its face looks like a compromise, invalidates the petition that citizens are signing.
The bill introduced by Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville would gradually raise the minimum wage over the next few years until it would top out at $9.20 an hour for most employees. The underhanded part of this bill is that it makes the change in minimum wage by rescinding the current minimum wage law and enacting a new one. This would invalidate the ballot initiative that proposes to amend the current minimum wage law.
While I agree completely with Democratic candidate for Governor Mark Schauer that, as he said, “This is a meaningful raise for one million people in Michigan,” the problem is the way in which the Republican majority put forward this bill only in response to the petition and only to block the possibility of the petition getting on the ballot. Additionally, just because the Senate passed this bill does not by any means guarantee that the Michigan House will.
When our current minimum wage is factored into the ways in which the Republican majority have attacked our most vulnerable citizens through changes in the earned income tax exemption and other bills that make it harder for the poorest citizens to survive, the need for an increase in the minimum wage is crucial.
A full-time worker, even at the proposed $10.10 an hour, would still make only a little over $20,000 a year. Raising a family on that amount of money in today’s world is nearly impossible. Even with both parents working full-time the economics barely work for two people, much less a family.
But Republican Sen. Patrick Colbeck opposes a minimum wage hike because he claims it would have a negative effect on the state’s economy. “Every time you jack up the minimum wage, you decrease the rate of employment,” he said. “This is bad news for the state of Michigan.”
Well, Senator, I ask you, what good to anyone is a job that even worked full-time won’t support my family? Or maybe you think people should have multiple full-time jobs? What Michigan needs is more good paying jobs, not more jobs that pay so little that they make it impossible to support a family. This is where I disconnect with the self-proclaimed “pro-family” conservatives. They decry the loss of “family values” while at the same time supporting an economic plan that ensures that parents must spend more and more time away from their family just to keep them clothed, fed, and housed.
In the end, raising the minimum wage is good for Michigan, because it is good for the working people of Michigan. If a person is willing to work hard to support their family, they should be paid a living wage that enables them to do so.
|Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Hello everyone. Summer is almost here. Whatever plans you have this summer, remember safety first!
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 October 14, 2014. Social night is for Local 652 retirees, spouses, and associate members only—no guests.
There are several cancellations to mark on your calendar. The July 1 bingo night is cancelled. The August 19 potluck/business meeting is cancelled. The November 4 bingo night is cancelled.
The Lansing Area Wide Luncheon will be held August 12, at Royal Scot. This is a catered luncheon, do not bring table service or a dish to pass. Luncheon starts at noon. Royal Scot is located at 4722 W. Grand River, Lansing, MI. This luncheon is replacing the annual picnic.
The Oldsmobile Outdoor Club has supplied us with the following camping dates and locations:
June 13-14-15 White Cloud Campground, White Cloud
July 11-12-13 Leisure Lake Campground, Sumner
Aug. 8-9-10 Lakeside Camp Park, Cedar Springs
Sept. 12-13-14 Rockys Campground, Albion
Oct. 10-11-12 Michigan Trap Shooting Association, Mason
For further information, 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.
Congratulations to the winners of the Lansing Area Euchre Tournament. All winners were from the Local 652 retiree chapter. 1st place: Jerry Degner, 2nd place: Marlene Courser, 3rd place: Ken Kubasczyk, 4th place: (tie) Dennis Duff, Sue Sanders. The playoff between the Flint and Lansing winners was won by Flint. Thank you to everyone that came out to make the day a success.
The chapter will be electing its Election Committee on June 17, at the business meeting. The retiree Executive Board elections are July 15, at the business meeting.
The retirees are having a Mississippi River Boat Cruise, October 11 - 14. Call Marni for details, 517-321-6871.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Local 652 Obituaries
Henry Adler – Retiree
Andrew L. Aikens – Spouse of Jean Aikens, Brother-in-Law of James and John Howlett
Mary Bender – Mother of Greg Bender
Charles Blair – Retiree
Woodia B. Browne – Spouse of Claude Browne
Richard C. Chaffee – Retiree
Jack Cochran – Retiree
Patricia M. Cook – Retired Local Secretary
Kathrine Donley – Daughter of Robert Barrera Jr.
Donald R. Eldred – LGR Employee
Xavier Figueras – Retiree, Son of Louis Figueras, Brother of Marcellus Figueras
William “Bill” Flynn – Retiree, Brother of Jerome Flynn
Paul Foren Sr. – Retiree, Father of Paul Foren Jr.
Vada J. Fosburg – Mother of Jeff Fosburg, Grandmother of Josh Fosburg
Sarah Guerrero – Spouse of Jesus Guerrero, Mother of Crystal Guerrero, Sister-in-Law of Alberto Guerrero, Cousin of Robert Rivera
Dick Jensen – Retiree
Fleta F. Kinney – Mother of Darrell Kinney
Emily Coward Lartigue – Mother of Homer Lartigue, Mother-in-Law of Lessie Lartigue
William Mayer – Retiree
Therese Paruszkiewicz – Mother of Ron Paruszkiewicz
Gerald Piggott – Father of Duane, Alan and Phillip Piggott
Mansil Raymond – Retiree
Cecil Ribar – Retiree, Father of Robert Ribar, Father-in-Law of David Reeves
Jerome Schafer- Retiree, Father of Joseph Schafer
Bruce Seegraves – Father of Steven Seegraves
Lynn Stewart – Mother of Ryan Stewart
Arwilda Wallace – Mother of Dwayne Wallace Sr, Grandmother of Nichole Wallace
Bernard Wolfinger – Retiree, Father of Gregory Wolfinger
Norbert Wrubel – Father of Michael Wrubel
Thank-You’s were received from the following families:
The Patricia Cook Family
The Vada Fosburg Family
Page Last Updated: Jun 04, 2014 (09:50:00)