Doing for others
As we embark on a new year with some uncertainty for the direction of our country, we must be ready to face any challenges that may occur. Regardless of your selection of candidates, it is important that we are members of the human race first and foremost and must continue to strive for the common good.
Speaking of the common good, we had some wonderful results from some Local 724 outreach efforts during the holidays. The Local 724 total from the Old Newsboys efforts was over $2,800!! This includes the Local 724 donation, several Unit donations, and the facility collections.
All the Units did fantastic with their collections at the doors, but one worksite needs to be specially recognized. The Delta Dental Unit collected over $700 this year from union and non-union employees. They have consistently achieved fantastic results and we applaud their efforts.
The annual Toys for Tots collection was again a rousing success. With several units taking action to purchase donations, along with those dropped off at the hall, the small meeting room was like the Toy Department at Meijer with all the donations. The IMPCO Unit also conducted a door collection that generated around $200.
We would also like to thank our neighbors at UAW Local 652 for helping us with the delivery of the toys to the warehouse. I was on the mend, as I had carpal tunnel surgery, and was not able to navigate very well.
The Holiday Tree of Warmth was also overwhelmed with donations of hats, mittens, scarves, etc. We have had retirees drop off donations which are handmade and greatly appreciated. We also received a donation to purchase some additional items that was also put to good use. Thanks to Local 724 Financial Secretary and Women’s Committee chair, Debra Abent, who spearheaded this effort and made sure they passed on to the Highfields organization.
With the reduction of the third shift at the GM-LGR facility, the impact at this point is completely unknown. Although several of our Units have a supplier relationship with the LGR and LDT facilities, in many cases they also utilize temporary employees. The collective bargaining agreements spell out the laying off of these employees first before any bargaining unit members. We sincerely hope that this will be short in duration, but we will continue to monitor the situation.
That being said, we still have some collective bargaining agreements that will either expire, or in the case of our two new Units—Faurecia and Kirchhoff Van Rob—still need to negotiate for a first agreement.
2017 also brings the triennial elections at Local 724 for Local officers and Unit officers. The Local 724 Election schedule will be posted in the worksite bulletin boards as well as the Local 724 hall and the Lansing Labor News print edition and website. If you are considering running for either a Unit office or Local office, either speak to your Unit Chair or call the Local.
By the time this edition has reached you, the nation would have honored the teachings and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. King was a man who always strived for the common good for all of society. His words have inspired many for decades. If ever you have an opportunity to visit his memorial in Washington, DC, stop and take in the aura that is there by the monument. People pose for pictures, stop to reflect on his words, say a silent word for peace and are moved by the presence of a great American. My wife and I have had the opportunity to visit there on several occasions with some of our grandchildren. I hope that when they get older they can do the same and reflect as we did.
On that note, here is something Dr. King so eloquently spoke in 1957 to a group in Montgomery, Alabama: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” The world is better place because of him and we must get back to his mantra and do for others.