It’s been great -- Al Vincent, May, 2011
I always wondered what it would be like to write my last article for the Lansing Labor News, and now the time has come.
Lets go back to the late 90’s. The membership knew that there had to be a new direction for this local and they made some tough choices. Some new faces emerged from that election that helped shape this local for years to come. A lady that I look up to for being a very good Shop Chairperson is Renee McMann, who took on the big boys and never blinked an eye. She had more grit than a lot of men I know. Also, Gary Williams for his wisdom and spell checking.
I give credit to my first E-Board that first term for knowing what had to be done and doing it. Mark Daniels, the Vice President; Trustees Scott Dunsford, Billy Faust, and the late Ed Bailey; along with Tim Loveland, Lou Shannon and my long-time Recording Secretary Fritz Burke (who will be stepping down after this election). Last, nobody could I give higher praises to other than the BEST Financial Secretary this local or any other local has had over the years, Nancy Munchbach. They ALL had to make some difficult choices to get this local back on its feet and they did it.
It does not help that the plant population has shrunk over the years and this has put a strain on my other E-Boards who have stepped up to the plate. We can only do with what we have, and they realized that.
Most of all I want to thank the membership over the years for their support both at the ballot box and on projects that the union supported, such as the Make A Wish car shows, Toys for Tots, and the Old Newsboys. Your support for the Veterans Committee projects has been tremendous. And I cannot forget my old co-workers who are now also retirees and their support over the years.
In case you forgot, starting in March, every Wednesday is Solidarity Day. The International Union is asking all members to wear red as a show of support with public sector workers and their fight to save middle-class America.
I know the old saying, “It is easier to say something bad about someone than it is something nice.” Well, I want to thank those who called, or when they saw me complimented me on one of the articles I had just written. I know they are not all home runs, I just tried to make them more on the “common sense” approach.
And I could not forget the crew over at the Lansing Labor News: Harold Fos-ter. who has kept this paper afloat during these hard times; Nancy; and of course UNO #1 Tim Bogar, the man who is the backbone of this paper.
Also Laura Clark who is doing a great job as President the Local 1753 Retirees Chapter.
So what do retired Presidents do now? Catch up on things around the house, travel, and my favorite—dig into my record collection and look for more. The thrill of the hunt! If you have any records around that you don’t play, call me at 517-645-2508. Thanks.
Don’t forget to VOTE May 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Local Union hall and 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. in the plant across from the cafeteria. If run-offs are required, they will be one week later, May 19, same times and places.
The union meeting for May is one week later than usual, Sunday May 22 at 6 p.m.
My food for thought: People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Hold your loved ones close, tell them you love them. If tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today. Thanks and God Bless.
1753 UNION MEETING NOTICE
General membership: May 22, 6:00 p.m. June, July, and August meetings may be canceled.
E-board: May 17, June 21, July 19, and August 23, all meetings at 2:15 p.m.
All meetings are held at the Local 1753 Union Hall. Sometime this summer there will be a special meeting for Local Demands. Watch the boards at work for this notice.
April 2011: That’s not right
“That’s Not Right” is the theme that was chanted repeatedly at the rally in downtown Lansing at the Capitol on March 16. Concerned citizens and many union employees from all ranks and files were on hand for one of the biggest rallies in recent times. UAW President Bob King was one of the many speakers.
When one of the speakers would hit the right tone in their speech, it was just natural for the crowd to respond with “That’s Not Right”. And believe me, there is a lot in Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget for the State of Michigan that is NOT RIGHT.
There were so many signs that people were carrying, but here were a few that caught my eye: Inside this Mitten is a Fist!, Curb the Nerd, and my favorite, “Your mother IS NOT proud of you!”
Of course, the main bill that I and ALL retires should be on the phone to their State Senator and House Representative about is for the State of Michigan to keep their hands off our pension. Personally, I would rather see the state raise our sales tax to 7%, that way ALL the people in Michigan would help pay for these trying times. Even tourists would help when they visit.
It was great to see a couple of retirees that that I had not seen in a while down at the Capitol, Gary Williams and Dan Phinney. There were so many people down there that even Denny Slowinski and I lost our group.
Make sure you read the Election Notice on page 3 in this edition of the Lansing Labor News. This will tell you the dates and times for Nomination and Election dates. Because of the snowstorm back on February 20th, which was our general membership meeting date, there were not enough members present to hold a meeting. This put us up against a wall since the membership has to approve these dates. We had to go ahead with some dates and are glad that these dates were approved at the membership meeting on March 20.
The General Election will be on Thursday, May 12. If a run-off election(s) are necessary they will be a week later, with the same places and times. Because of the possibility of a run-off (less people voting in the plant), the May general membership meeting will be moved back one week to Sunday, May 22 at 6:00 p.m.
In case you did not know, I will not be running for President of this local again. It is time to pass the torch. That’s not to say that my name might not end up someplace else. We will see. The time has come to be fully retired.
REMEMBER, this is your local union. GET OUT AND VOTE on THURSDAY, MAY 12.
Al’s food for thought: One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. Life is too short to wake up with regrets. Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don’t.
Local 1753 Meeting Notices
Executive Board, April 12 at 2:15 p.m. General Membership, April 17 at 6:00 p.m.
Executive Board, May 17 at 2:15 p.m. General Membership, May 22 at 6:00 p.m.
All meetings are subject to change upon membership actions
January 2011: Election cycle starting now
On Sunday, January 16, at 6:00 p.m. Local 1753 held our general membership meeting. This change was brought about because the plant changed the starting time on the afternoon shift to 3:00 p.m. We were hoping this would not work and they would go back to their old time of 4:00 p.m., but they have not. We hope we can run a meeting in a timely fashion and not be rushed.
At this meeting there were nominations for the Election Committee, reading of some proposed by-laws changes and approval of the National demands submitted by the membership.
Since the Lansing Labor News is on a limited basis right now, my guess is the next edition will come out in early April. This will be the issue for all the upcoming local elections. It will most likely be the last one before the local elections in May.
I encourage EVERYONE to run for an office. Some offices take more time than others. If you truly believe in your union, you will run for something. If you are going to run for some office, you CANNOT run for the Election Committee. Or in other words, if you run for the Election Committee you cannot run for a Union office. One or the other. Retirees are eligible to run for ANY office except Committeeperson or Shop Chairperson.
If you are having thoughts about running for some office, but have some questions first, talk to me. If you see me, I will be glad to answer your questions or you can call me at 645-2508. One thing you must do is show your fellow co-workers that you want the job and think you will do a good job at it. Press the flesh. Show up at your Union meetings. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, it worked for me.
My Food for Thought: AMAZING! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes! The most thoroughly wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed. A laugh is a smile that burst.
Local 1753 Meeting Notice
Executive Board meets at 2:15 p.m. on:
February 15 March 15 April 12
General Membership meets at 6:00 p.m. on:
February 20 March 20 April 17
All meetings are subject to change upon membership actions.
December 2010, "Time changes"
There was a motion to change the starting time and day for our Local 1753 union meetings at our October meeting. The motion passed. Starting in January of 2011, our local general membership meetings will be held on the third SUNDAY of the month at 6:00 p.m. The problem was that our meetings were on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. And there lay the problem with a 2:15 starting time. This was a perfect time until management changed the starting time for the afternoon shift to 3:00 p.m. Those working that shift had to leave the meeting after 25 minutes. We were hoping the company would change back to their old time, but that has not happened. We will give this new time a go, and see if this brings a better turnout. Remember, third Sunday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE: Remember to mark your calendar for Thursday, December 9 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. This is the date and time for our annual Local 1753 open house. This is open for active and retired members. There will be food and drinks, but we will not stop you if you want to bring a dish to pass. It is always pleasure to see the ones who made this union a great place to work, retired or active.
YES, retirees, you will get a Christmas bonus this year. The rule of thumb is “if you got one last year, you will get one this year.”
At our January 16 general membership meeting we will be taking nominations for the Election Committee, for the next three years. Six permanent members and three alternates. Election for this committee will take place at the February 20 general membership meeting. These positions are open for both active and retired members. BUT if you are thinking of running for any position in the general election next May, you cannot be on the Election Com-mittee. You must be present at the January meeting to put your name up for nomination or to accept your name put in nomination by another member.
I truly believe General Motors is on the way to bigger and better things. They are leaner and meaner. Just ask any retiree, they will tell you they are glad they retired when they did. I don’t know any that want to go back to work.
Let’s see if GM learned who helped them through their tough times the last couple of years. GM might have the upper hand in the 2011 contract negotiations but the UAW is no dummy.
Al’s Food for Thought: Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are. Women and cats will do as they please, so men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Merry Christmas and a Great 2011.
December General Membership meeting is canceled.
Membership meetings for 2011:
Sunday, January 20 at 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 16 at 6:00 p.m.
EXEC. BOARD Wednesday, December 22 at 2:15 p.m.
January and February — see postings
Al Vincent's September 2010 column "A vote about Local 1618"
You won’t be able to say this edition of the Lansing Labor News is not hot off the press [because of the hot weather]. I can smile and thank God I am not 10 to 20 feet up in air, in one of the aisles, picking parts at the warehouse. I hope you have been able too stay cool.
This coming September 22nd at 2:15 p.m. at the Local 1753 General Membership meeting, we will be asking the membership to approve a motion asked for by the International UAW – to accept Local 1618 as an affiliated membership to our local. NO, they are not amalgamating with us. Local 1618 was the old Plant #2 employees. Now that the last one has officially retired, all that is left is their Retirees unit. Local 1753 will be taking their retiree unit under its umbrella. Their money will be separate from ours. Our Financial Secretary Nancy Munchbach will disperse their funds on their behalf. Their retirees will NOT be able to vote in our general elections. Local 1753 will just be Local 1618’s big brother.
Many warehouse employees came from Local 1618 in the mid 80’s. A few went back, but most of us stayed and retired from Local 1753. Local 1618’s Retiree unit has been using our union hall for their monthly meetings the last few years, and has built a shed in back of our hall for their supplies and fixtures.
There should not be any objection to this motion. It’s just helping the 1618 Local, like we would any other local.
It is hard to put timely information in the Lasing Labor News since the number of issues are down this year. But I want to thank all the retirees who came out to Local 1753’s retiree picnic and the Lansing area UAW picnic.
This year our Halloweenie Roast at the plant will be on Friday, October 29. Watch the boards in October for more.
Important date to remember is Thursday, December 9 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Local 1753 in conjunction with the Retiree Chapter will be having our annual open house at the hall. Stop by and see your former co-workers, past and present. A dish to pass is optional. Refreshments will be served.
Remember, general elections for the local are next year. If you have thought of running for an office, it’s never too soon to start planning. From what I hear, there should be plenty of openings.
Don’t forget to read Laura’s column. Retirees meet on the second Thursday of each month at noon at the union hall for a lunch and short meeting. Retirees still meet the fourth Monday morning at 8 a.m. or later at the Waverly Restaurant just North of Waverly Rd & St. Joe for a social breakfast.
Food For Thought: Only Robinson Crusoe could have everything done by Friday. Forbidden fruit results in many a bad jam. One day you will no longer be the big dog, just the old dog who has to stay on the porch.
Tuesday, September 21
General Membership Meeting
All meetings are at 2:15 p.m. at the hall.
Al Vincent's May 2010 column "Shipping jobs out"
I’m having some photos of a ship called the Emma Maersk uploaded to our website. You won’t believe your eyes! Ships like this are how companies get many of their goods stuff from China.
The crew-size: 13 people on a ship longer than a U.S. aircraft carrier. Its 207-foot beam means it cannot fit through the Panama Canal.
Cruise speed: 31 knots. The goods arrive four days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China-to-California run. So this behemoth is hugely competitive when carrying perishable goods. And some people wonder where our jobs have gone.
Local 1753’s delegate to the upcoming Constitutional Convention in Detroit is Corey Jones, by acclamation.
The ongoing rearrangement in the plant is not going like management would like. There are a lot of hiccups and they will still have to be worked out.
Meetings: Executive Board will meet on May 18 at 2:15 p.m. and the General Membership on May 19 at 2:15 p.m. All general meetings for June, July, and August have been cancelled.
Our retirees’ picnic will be at Hawk Island County Park in Lansing on Monday, June 14, starting at noon. If you have never been there, you should know that Hawk Island is on Cavanaugh Road between Aurelius and Pennsylvania, and is very nice. Please bring a dish to pass and come early before the park gets full. I hear there will also be a dessert contest. Yum!
My food for thought: Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
It’s never too late to have a second childhood, but the second one is up to you and no one else.
We ALL get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads …
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Al Vincent's January, 2010 column, "A Better 2010?"
I sure hope so. In the future we will all talk about the year 2009. Not just the employees but the retirees too. We all took a hit in 2009. The employees on work-rule changes and the retirees losing dental and vision coverage.
Some of you are soooo pessimistic you never see the good of anything. 2009 was not good for General Motors and us, period. The International UAW did not put us in this situation where we all had to give up something. The International UAW did its best to keep GM from going under and most people still had jobs. Remember, I said most. And the checks still came.
Retirees, come on now, how many of you were surprised to see your Christmas bonus in December. I’ll bet most of you thought that was history. The International union does its best to look out for ALL its members.
We may be the forgotten GM UAW local in this area, but one thing I’ve said before and will say any time I get a chance, is that the employees of Lansing SPO give more out of their pockets than any other units around the central Michigan area for those in need, on a per capita basis.
The employees are great for giving of their time and money, but now is the time for ALL local employees at SPO to really get involved with their union. With membership down, now is NOT the time to say, “Oh, let the other guy do it.”
There is going to be plenty of activity within the UAW over next couple of years. Starting this year with the International convention in Detroit and national and local contracts and local elections in 2011. Start by ATTENDING YOUR GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS. This month’s meeting is on January 20 at 2:15.
Retirees, don’t forget you have till February 9 of this year to sign up for the COBRA dental and vision care. After that, you are S.*L. (let’s just say you are out of luck).
My Food for Thought: A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. The American Indian found out what happens when you don’t control immigration. Friendship is the golden thread that ties all hearts together.
Al Vincent's December 2009 article: It is time to really shine!
This is the time of the year when our membership really shines. Vice President Phil Hnatiuk and the Veterans Committee have already had a gate collection for veterans on Veterans Day. We will be having the Old Newsboys paper on Thursday, December 3, followed a week later with Toys For Tots. Our membership has always stepped up for most worthwhile needs and I am sure they will do it again.
Our Local 1753 open house is coming up on Thursday, December 10 between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is always a well-attended event, with the membership and the retirees sharing new and old memories. This year we are asking for ALL attending to bring some non-perishable food to be given to the food bank. IF you want to bring some food to share with those attending we won't stop you, but it is not required. There will be light snacks and liquid refreshments.
Back in October, while I was on vacation, Vice President Phil Hnatiuk was ready to run the general membership meeting. The meeting was cancelled due to a lack of membership attending. I'll have to be honest with you, since I was out of state, I do not know if the day shift was working overtime or not. There is no excuse for the afternoon shift. We start right at 2:15p.m. so the afternoon shift can get to work on time. If you were working at Lansing SPO the first of the year, you got a calendar and all the union meeting were highlighted.
The December general membership is cancelled and replaced on December 10 with the Open House 1:00 - 5:00. See you there!
I want to thank Harold and Tim and the Lansing Labor News board for their efforts to get the paper up and online. Now that we have it, I hope it is well used. I have taken lot of pictures over the years, many before digital. My hope is that with Tim's help at the Labor News we will be able to get the old 35mm pictures up on the LLN photo gallery, both for Local 1753 and Local 1618.
This upcoming holiday in December is still Christmas and will always be. No ifs, ands, or buts about it!
My Food For Thought: No one is in charge of your happiness but you. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
Al Vincent's September 2009 article "We don't ask for much"
I look at working in a union shop as almost like it’s a family. The Union is your blood side of your family and your employers are the in-laws. You have more of a sense of responsibility to your blood side for your family than your in-laws. You do your best to please everyone.
Here at Local 1753 on the union side, we only ask that you support the union in its endeavors, attend union meetings, and give of your time or dollars on special projects. Generally, we only have eight membership meetings a year, which amounts to about 12 hours a year we ask you to give.
Considering everything we do, this comes out to about one hour a month, if you do your fair share. WE DON’T ASK MUCH! I feel this is a fair price for working in a union shop. I could give names of people that go overboard on their efforts for the union and then there are the slackers.
There are always a few that say, “We can do as well without the union.” Yeah, right! No one in their right mind can ignore the fact that history proves that unions have accomplished great things to improve the lot, not only for the worker, but even for the company and this great country of ours.
So the next time you are asked to do something for Local 1753, say “YES,” and consider it family.
Cash for Clunkers
I’m happy to see so many people got out and bought new cars. My only rub was that this program did not zero in on “the cars should be assembled in America.” Also, the program had to many restrictions. I had a friend tell me about his in-laws that went out and bought a KIA. Talk about my blood boiling. That is just is not right!
Here at the plant, as with all GM plants, the company is having the unions reduce the number of local appointments in accordance with the plant population.(National Contract) In our case, all three will now be flexing their hours with their union jobs and working on the floor.
Retirees, don’t forget Local 1753’s retirees luncheon on the second Thursday of each month at noon. Bring a dish to pass. The retiree board will have the main item. Remember, if you used to work at the GM Parts Warehouse but retired from someplace else, you can always transfer your membership back to Local 1753, even in retirement.
My food for thoughts: Don’t let aging get you down, it’s too hard to get back up. Your friend is the person who knows all about you, and still likes you. So be happy! Don’t let anything burst your bubble! Boogie through life!
Local 1753 Nominations and Elections April 2011.pdf