By the time you receive this edition of the Lansing Labor News, we’ll be in the midst of the holiday season. Between the crisp fall colors, breaking bread with family or friends, and the whimsy of a snowy Christmas, the holiday season is a spectacle many look forward to all year long. It’s to you, along with all the members of UAW Local 652 and the readers of the Lansing Labor News, that I wish Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
With the year drawing to a close, we have much to be proud of here at Local 652. As the situation with the ever-present Covid-19 evolved, we were able to start doing those things that we had previously taken for granted. Things like working without the annoyance of a mask or just seeing a person smile. Potlucks with our fellow members at many of the worksites became the norm once again. With parts restraints and staffing issues looming over our heads, we put in the work to meet the high demand for our products. These vehicles are the bread and butter of all our units at the local. We ramped back up engagement with members and the community through events put on by our standing committees. The Election Committee successfully conducted local elections with the guidance of the UAW Constitution and state and federal law. Finally, we are happy to see our Local 652 retirees meeting at the hall for luncheons, bingo, and fraternizing.
Along with this positive news, we have a few things to watch as we move toward the new year. LGR has great-selling Cadillac products with enhancements on the way, but the local members and leaders must keep reminding management that Lansing is the place for new products. The GM Unit members are submitting contract demands as the UAW-GM labor agreement expires on September 15th. Bargaining in 2019 was tough, and 2023 may be more challenging, but we have the membership and the know-how to get through. The parts and staffing issues are projected to continue, but hopefully, improvement will come later in 2023. Local members and leaders must continue to educate themselves on unionism and work to improve communication. Last but certainly not least, we need to work on setting aside conspiracy theories and mistrust as we navigate this new system of elections in our International Union. With only 15% of the membership voting on the referendum decision and only 11% voting for the IEB elections, I am keeping my fingers crossed that we are only experiencing growing pains. I do not have the magic solution, but I believe we can improve where we are currently. The positive futures of our members and the working class depend on it.