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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
June 24, 2018
UAW Local 652

Proudly representing the finest employees at General Motors Lansing Grand River and Lansing Regional Stamping, Ryder-Lansing, AI - Delta, YFAI and LGR-LOC

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

Phone (517)  372-7581

President Randy Freeman
Mar 29, 2018

Use Your Voice

At this year’s white shirt day celebration we were shown the movie clips of the 1936-37 Sit-Downers and Women’s brigade. We had the opportunity to see footage of those truly brave men and women who came before us and took on the company. Together they set in motion a labor movement that would change/ create the face of middle class American as we know it today and for generations to come.  It gave us the right to bargain collectively for safer working conditions, health insurance and a living wage, one that puts food on the table, allows us to buy a house, a car, and one that would allow us to support our families and helps send our kids to school. These are just a few of the things that we have gained.  But now these heroes for the middle class have all passed!

 Feb. 9, 2018 was the first year without at least one of them at our white shirt celebration in Flint. We are told that it is our turn to stand on their shoulders and beat the drum for justice for middle class America! When we beat the drum it’s for all middle class America, because an injustice to anyone of us is an injustice to all of us. We do this with boots on the ground, whether it’s walking a picket line or going door to door to support political candidates that support labor and our middle-class way of life. 

I can’t even imagine what it would have been like if instead of the Governor sending in the National Guard to protect the Sit-Downers protesting, he sent the Guard to forcibly remove all Sit-Downers from the property and they would have all lost their jobs. This would be similar to what happened to the Air traffic controllers in the 80’s when they all lost their jobs. There are groups out there that think you make and have too much and are trying to change laws that would limit your ability and right to collective bargaining. These groups don’t want you to have a voice let alone a collective voice!  So don’t ever think that politics don’t affect you, because every day some political group is coming after your way of life. Remember, the bread box is connected to the ballot box!

Vice President Ben Frantz
Mar 29, 2018

Change the World

How many times have we all thought “I want to change the world”? I know that I have thought this many times throughout my life, thinking that changing the world would make it better, at least for me!

What if we were to take another look at it and realize the phrase “change the world” doesn’t necessarily mean a physical external change? What if when we make this statement, we look at how we can change ourselves internally to more positively affect the physical world? I’m not saying we have to go full on President Kennedy with “…, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” rather what can I do that will eliminate negativity and complacency in my immediate world.

Let’s all stop waking up and thinking “what has the world done for me today”? All too often we look at our reality and point out all of the things that are wrong which are getting in the way of our happiness; you can use the excuse of bad roads, poor leaders at school, work and even in Local and National government, there is even a nasty neighbor or co-worker you can blame.  “Changing the world”, does that mean all of these negative detractors to our happiness need to change for us to be happy? No! We are the controllers of our lives not anyone else! Allowing all of these exterior influences to dictate our happiness is not anyone’s fault but our own. What if we flip the script and realize by allowing ourselves to be so adversely effected by these influences we, in turn, have become one of the negative influences in someone else’s “world”.

Now understanding this and correcting this flaw is easier said than done, I challenged myself to make this change some time ago and now can say that I have finally started to get feedback from those around me that it has begun to present itself as a positive correction in my life. Change isn’t easy or quick for any of us but if the reasons are true and we believe that the person we can become on the other side of these efforts is worth the work we can hold to it and accomplish anything.

The challenge I present to you today is this; don’t enter into a situation looking for what you can pull out of it for your benefit, look at what efforts you can put into the situation so many more can benefit. Once you accomplish this you will be proud to know that by your own power and commitment, you “changed the world”.

Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Mar 29, 2018

Members Only?

Here in Michigan we are very familiar with the inherent falseness of “Right to Work”.  We had a lame duck legislature along with a governor that “never had it on my radar” and together they moved a state that was synonymous with labor rights into the proverbial Twilight Zone.  The Supreme Court recently held oral arguments on a case that is expected to be corporate America’s “Right to Work” law for the public sector.   Janus v. AFSCME if adopted will create an open shop for public workers, where from sea to shining sea they will be able to receive the benefits of a union without having to pay dues, in other words freeload.

In open shops, public or private, a union has a legal duty to represent all employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, whether they choose to be members or not and whether they pay dues or not.  This has the understandable effect of division, hard feelings and animosity and there are many in the labor movement that are floating the idea that we should become “Members Only” unions.  To reform labor law so unions would not represent all workers, just dues paying ones, effectively ending the “exclusive representation” clause of most contracts. 

On first blush, it sounds like a good idea but let’s take a look at what happened in Tennessee.  When Republicans took over as the states majority in 2010 their priority was to reform the states collective bargaining law for public school teachers with the stated intent to undermine the largest and most powerful union in the state – the Tennessee Education Association (TEA).  Called the Professional Educators Collaborative Conferencing Act (PECCA), it requires a process called “interest based bargaining” between two teams, one representing teachers and one representing the school board.  They refer to this as “conferencing” and the goal is to produce a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that covers all the teachers in a district whether they belong to a union organization or not.  It also forbids the MOU from including language that makes any one organization the “exclusive agent” (goodbye collective bargaining) of the teachers. 

The process requires the teachers to have a secret ballot to choose who will represent them at “conferencing”.  Seats are earned in proportion to the votes received.  This fragmentation is leading to organizations that bill themselves as alternatives to the established labor unions. These organizations have very different goals and resources and have evolved to challenge the TEA union for these seats. One, the Professional Educators of Tennessee (PET), which has ties to deep pocketed organizations pushing education privatization (read Koch brothers) and anti-union legislation, has risen to the forefront.  They claim to represent teachers while also supporting corporate interests.  In “conferencing” their presence has indicated that the teachers are divided, giving management the impetus to approach issues once thought untouchable with a renewed vigor.  PET often opposes union demands and sides with management, undermining the union at the conferencing table. This does nothing but weaken the membership and the collective bargaining process. 

Buoyed by this success the next step in the conservative playbook is the one that poses the most danger to the UAW.  In another twist on the English language the GOP is quietly pushing “Workers Choice” legislation in many states.  This would eliminate the legal duty of unions to be required to represent non-members AND allow these workers to negotiate their own private contract with the employer.  I can see it now…Republican stalwarts spinning this as a “favor” to unions, taking the dead weight of all those non-union workers off our shoulders.  Almost brings a tear to my eye.  Almost.

So…we need to be very careful.  While the “members only” tactic sounds good at first blush, in reality it has a very dark side.  It divides workers, weakens unions, and plays into the hands of our enemies.  To fight it we HAVE to do what we’ve always done, work day in and day out for our members.  Fight to keep our members and fight to return wayward souls to our family.  Collective bargaining is only strong when we stand together.  We can succeed because we have to.  Unions are still the heart and soul of the middle class and we can’t let our fellow Americans down. 


Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Mar 29, 2018

Voter Fraud

In the cynical world of politics there is no agenda more cynical than the Republicans tilting at the windmill of voter fraud. After losing the popular vote by more than 3 million to Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump appointed the Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Fraud.  As the head of this group Trump appointed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach one of the leading advocates for restrictions on Voter’s rights.  The voter fraud campaign seeks a solution to a non-existent problem.  In person Voter fraud has been shown time and again to be largely mythical.  In fact, cases of illegal voting in Michigan numbered 31 state wide, these cases were scattered throughout Michigan.  These numbers are typical of the nationwide rate.  In other words, statistically irrelevant to the outcome of elections.

Republicans say they're trying to assure voters that the system is secure, even if voter fraud isn't as widespread as Trump and many other Republicans claim. A typical stance is summed up by this quote from New Hampshire Republican State Senator Regina Birdsell, "I don't know if there's a lot of cheating. I just know that because of our loose laws, people feel that way." She has sponsored legislation to tighten residency requirements for voters in her state, where Trump has claimed thousands of Massachusetts voters were bused in to cast illegal ballots. That claim has been widely discredited — including by New Hampshire Republicans — but Birdsell says her constituents still worry people from out of state can game the system.  So, the President of the United States tells a bald-faced lie about illegal voting in New Hampshire, which leads to Birdsell’s constituents allegedly feeling worried about the integrity of the system, and then tries to pass laws to restrict voting in her state. In the current, perception is reality world we seem to live in I guess this makes a twisted sort of sense, tell a lie, get people stirred up, use the lie to advance your agenda.

Similarly, in Iowa last year the Secretary of State Paul Pate pushed for a sweeping measure that would require voters to sent a new card with a bar code to verify their identity.  When asked to justify this change, which opponents argue is much more likely to disenfranchise the underprivileged and disabled, the Secretary stated that he doesn’t think voter fraud is rampant in Iowa, but says all the talk of fraud has people worried. He went on to say, "The public is now taking that perception as a reality.” Hey, here’s an idea, why don’t you stand up as the elected official of your state in charge of elections and state that people have no need to be worried, that fraud is rare and non-determinative in elections in Iowa.  So that they won’t be worried anymore.

The voter fraud narrative is entirely about restricting access to the vote.  It has been shown again and again that stricter requirements and limits on absentee voting have the effect of suppressing the vote amongst the poor, the aged, and the disabled. Clearly, the whole movement is nothing more than an attempt to return to the days when many groups found it nearly impossible to exercise their most basic democratic rights. 

Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Mar 29, 2018

March 2018

Spring is here - Rejoice!

The following is our monthly schedule of events:
First Tuesday of the month is Bingo.  Games start at 10:00 a.m.  Participants bring your own snacks.  
If the Lansing School District is closed due to inclement weather our Bingo game will be cancelled.
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 cards starting at 10:00 a.m.  Participants bring your own snacks. 
If the Lansing School District is closed due to inclement weather our Card game will be cancelled.

     Please mark your calendars with the following cancellations and addition:  June 26 cards cancelled.  July 3 bingo cancelled.  August 21 potluck cancelled.  The Lansing Area Retiree Luncheon will be August 14, at Royal Scot.  Luncheon starts at noon.

     Spring Euchre Tournaments will be held in Saginaw, Lansing, and Flint for retirees, spouses, and associate members.  The first tournament will be in Saginaw, on April 20th, at Local 467, 2104 Farmer St.  The second tournament will be in Lansing, on April 27th, at Local 602, 2510 W Michigan.  The third tournament will be in Flint, on May 4th, at Local 599, 812 Leith St.  All tournaments start at 10:00 a.m.  Arrive early to sign in and get seated so the games can start on time.  You do not need a partner to play.  You are welcome to play at all the tournaments if you like.  If you enjoy euchre come join in.  There is no cost to play.

          Region 1D Travel Committee is having a trip to Niagara Falls/Toronto in October.  If you would like to go the week of October 1-5, contact Connie Garner-Dunn (517) 323-2146 or Linda Francis (810) 423-8661 for Lansing buses.  If you would like to go the week of October 8-12, contact Diane Bauer (517) 627-5895 for a Lansing bus.  Linda Francis can assist you on both weeks if you wish to sign up for a Flint bus.

     For any of our members or their families, who are ill or have lost a loved one, know that we are thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers.
   Condolences to all families who have had a loved one pass. 

   The Lansing Labor News is now online.  You may access it 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
   You may contact me at the following email address:

Local 652 Obituaries
Mar 29, 2018

Local 652 Obituaries

Deacon Edward G. Bodiford – Father of Deanna Bodiford
Goldie Bouts – Mother of Jim and Gary Bouts
Peggy Byington – Spouse of Philip Byington
Mary A. Crosby – Retiree
Anneast Flowers – Mother of James Flowers
Charlene Foster – Spouse of James Foster
Leon Hundt – Retiree
William “Bill” Marciano – Father-in-Law of Randy Talbot, Grandfather of Tony Talbot, Kelly Talbot and Tonya Schmidt
Alvin Rabideau – Father of Bill Rabideau
Delmar C. Rose – Retiree
Arlene Snoeyink – Mother of Dave Snoeyink
Bishop Alfred Singleton – Grandfather of Troy Robertson
Dawn Marie Talbot – Spouse of Randy Talbot, Mother of Tony Talbot, Kelly Talbot and Tonya Schmidt
Vay Tran – Father of Henry Tran
Maria Velez – Spouse of William Velez
Ron Workman - Retiree

Thank-You’s were received from the following families:

The Delmar Rose Family

The Fred Smith Family

Archived Articles for Local 652
Sep 21, 2017

Reflections on retiring

I want to thank every member at Local 652 who gave me their vote of confidence through the many years of my campaigns to represent you and your families at the negotiating table and in our community. Remember, our voice will be heard if we use it—so don’t give it away. Here are some highlights of my career with this great Local.
I have been a Lansing GM employee and a UAW member since 1978. I joined the company as a 17 year old. I am a third generation GM employee. One of my proudest moments is that my sons are currently fourth generation GM employees. And now there may be hope for a fifth generation with my two grandsons, Phoenix and Duncan.
I have served one term as an alt-district committee, 6 years as district committee, 15 years as Shop committee, 9 years as vice-chairman of the shop committee and the last 3 terms as the President of UAW Local 652.
I was a Delegate to the 29th through 36th Constitutional Conventions, as well as a delegate to the National Bargaining Conventions for 1990, 93, 96, 99, 2003, 07, 11 and 2015.
I have served on local negotiations for 1993, 96, 99,2003,07 and 2015. I have also served as the Alt-Top Negotiator for Sub.2 in the UAW/GM National Contract negotiations for 2015.
Another one of my favorite and proudest moments of my career is seeing the membership meeting my goals of all the plants being fully utilized with three shifts. Along with winning the 2013 North American Car of the Year for the Cadillac ATS and winning the Motor Trend Car of the Year again and again and again—once in 2008 for the CTS, 2014 CTS and 2016 Camaro. Having two of these cars going down the line at the same time is unprecedented.
And as I have always said; “That just shows the work ethic in Lansing and how much pride our membership has taken over the years to build the best quality vehicles in the world.”

Page Last Updated: Mar 29, 2018 (11:06:00)
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