Dealing with changes at Delta plant
The Corporation announced they will be laying off our third shift starting in May of this year. I hope everyone recognizes the commitment and contribution of those impacted by this announcement, our temporary and low-seniority members. They have played a significant role in the success of General Motors. This announcement has a dramatic effect on, and places stress and hardship on, many in our UAW Local 602 family. My hope is that we can bring these folks back to work, but in the meantime we all need to do whatever we can to help them during this time.
I have been working with our benefits representatives; worker’s comp and unemployment representative, Harold Brown; EAP representative, Martha Adams; and production zone, Heather Woods, to produce a booklet providing important information and resources to those facing a layoff due to the recent announcement of a reduction in shift.
To keep you up to date as much as possible, UAW Local 602 provides many resources for information, including our website, www.local602.org; the Line Talk Newsletter, which goes out to the plant floor twice each month; as well as social media and print media.
While all of these are great ways to stay informed, the best way is to attend your monthly membership meetings. Our meetings are held the second Sunday of the month (unless the second Sunday falls on a holiday) at 6:00 pm. Let’s all come together as a membership and be available and willing to help, in any way possible, our sisters and brothers affected by this layoff.
As with any changeover in product, we may see some ups and downs as we work to maintain stability and meet market demand for quality and sales projections. From the meetings I’ve had with the national parties in Detroit, I have every indication to believe our future at LDT is looking bright. I believe we have submitted a solid business case for full utilization of our facility and we will continue discussion over adding a third product to our plant.
Recently, I had the opportunity to represent the membership of UAW Local 602 at the International Auto Show in Detroit for the unveiling of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. As I spoke on camera to the various media outlets, I wanted to be sure they conveyed to the public who the true heroes were concerning the recognition our vehicles receive: the UAW Local 602 women and men who sacrifice their time and commitment every day on the assembly line. They truly are the experts when it comes to assuring a world class quality vehicle is provided to our customers.
I was very excited to announce the new Traverse will be built at the Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant (LDT) by our UAW Local 602 members. During the auto show in New York we will unveil the second vehicle to be built at our facility, the 2018 Buick Enclave. The new designs of the two show off some of the best technology and safety features of any GM product on the market.
As someone who is involved in many of the Lansing area community outreach programs, I would like to encourage you take advantage of volunteer opportunities within your community. Volunteerism is important to the good and welfare not only for our local outreach services, but more importantly to those who depend on these programs in order to sustain their family’s health and well-being.
The second Saturday in May is the largest one-day food drive in the nation and this is just one of the many ways you can help out in your community. On May 13 the National Association of Letter Carriers (NLAC) will be holding their annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. As they deliver your mail, you get to do your part by filling their mailbag with non-perishable food items. You can also volunteer your time at your local Post Office to help sort food gathered from the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Visit either of the following sites for more information on how to participate: www.nalc.org or www.usps.com.
In the Lansing area, the Mystic Lake YMCA Camp will be looking for volunteers to help with their “Work or Shirk” clean up April 28–30 and again October 20–22. The Mystic Lake YMCA Camp offers high quality camping programs for children and teens. Their programs focus on helping campers develop the skills necessary to have great success in life by helping children gain confidence, make great friends and by teaching lifelong skills to further their maturity.
On Wednesday, May 24, we will be having our Volunteers of America (VOA) Homeless Veterans Stand Down at Lansing’s Adado Riverfront Park. It’s a shame when we hear the words “homeless” and “veterans” in the same sentence and the only way to change that is to do our part in making sure goods and services are provided for those in need.
If you haven’t done so, I welcome you to spend a little time volunteering for any one of these events. Our Local’s Standing Committees are the best when it comes to coordinating and providing assistance and education to our membership and to the public. They are instrumental in keeping these and other programs in the limelight and are always willing to welcome you with open arms, should you decide to help.
With all of the outreach our Local Union is involved in, there are endless opportunities to lend a helping hand. Volunteering is a great way to stay mentally and physically healthy. Not only will you build self-confidence, make new friends and have a positive effect on the day-to-day lives of your fellow volunteers, you’ll also experience purpose and satisfaction as you change the day-to-day lives of those in need. Volunteering can also work as a great gateway to future career opportunities and teach you valuable job skills.
All in all, make 2017 YOUR year. It’s an awesome feeling to look back and know you’ve made a difference.