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Lansing Labor News
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December 08, 2022
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Region 1D Director Steve Dawes Archive
Sep 08, 2021

April 2022

Greetings Brothers and Sisters. I hope that this edition of The Labor News finds you and your family well. As I look back to just a short time ago, over Easter, with the green grass and budding flowers and trees, it is funny to realize that the 40-degree nights now seem so cold. While just a couple of months ago, it would have felt like a heat wave, but I surely welcome the change.  

Your CAP Council is in the process of screening political candidates who are requesting the endorsement of the UAW. This is a very detailed process, as your council will take into consideration these candidates’ past voting records, past support of working men and women in our area, and answer questions during a set interview with our screening committee.

At the conclusion of our process, the CAP Council will give recommendations on who they believe to be the best candidate to support and advance the policies and legislation that protects, not only our union, but all hard-working families. Thank you to the CAP Council for their donated time and commitment to this great process.

A few dates to remember for our Region in the coming months:

Retired Workers Conference at Black Lake: May 31-June 3

Please contact your Retiree Chapter Chair for more information.

UAW Constitutional Convention in Detroit, MI: July 24-27

Your Local will be scheduling delegate elections soon.

Region 1D Summer School at Black Lake Education Center: August 22-26

Please see your Local leadership for more details.

We have a very important election coming this fall, that will directly impact the future of our union. That is the election of our International Executive Board. This election has historically been held at the Constitutional Convention, by the elected delegates. This year, it will be voted on by mail-in ballot from all members in good standing per our UAW Constitution.

For you to receive a ballot and vote, your address must be current with your local union, or the local union where you hold your retiree membership.

I cannot express how important this is. We pride our union on our members’ voice. During elections, your vote is your voice!

If you have changed your address, moved, retired, changed your work location, or need to update your address with your local union, please get that updated. The President and Financial Secretary of each local are authorized to make changes in LUIS (Local Union Information System). This is the system where addresses are updated to send mailings for the election.

Your address may not be current if you didn’t receive an issue of the Region 1D Viewpoint (for Retirees) or the Region 1D Insider (for Active) last fall, or if you did not receive your ballot for the referendum vote in the fall. Any of these could indicate that your address is incorrect in LUIS.

Please take the time to check this important information and ask your fellow coworkers, family, and friends to do the same at their Local.

Thank you and in solidarity

March 2022

Greetings Region 1D Brothers and Sisters.
I hope these times find you and your families well, and remember, warm sunshine is just around the corner!
A lot is happening around and in Lansing with great news of the General Motor’s investment. The total investment of $7 billion in Michigan is the largest single investment announcement ever made by GM. Wow! Thank you to all the hard and dedicated work of our Local Union Leadership and Membership. You have shown all the reasons why to invest in our communities. The investment includes $2.6 billion for a new battery factory in Lansing, giving us a foot hold into a new technology era, and over $500 million into the two Lansing Assembly Plants that not only protects and secures UAW jobs, but also provides and secures work at all our supporting facilities, our Independent Parts Plants (IPS) and our great support of Technical, Office, and Professional Facilities (TOP). And it doesn’t stop there. The job security goes on to support our neighborhood stores, restaurants, gas stations, and infrastructure. The list goes on and on. Congratulations, Lansing.
This doesn’t happen without the support and belief in our membership from our local government. Governor Whitmer was the driver in securing the investment. She continues to show her commitment to working families across our state. For example, she has proposed to repeal the tax on all Retiree income. This tax was forced upon us. Never has Michigan had a tax on Retiree income, all Retiree income, not just pensions. This is a tax that that you, and those of us not yet retired, will pay month after month. This tax was forced on us by the former Governor (I don’t even like speaking his name), and the Republican controlled Michigan legislation. By the way, this tax affects everyone, Democrats, Trade Unionists, Independents, and all others. Republicans, you are paying this tax, too.
I have been attending Governor Whitmer’s Roundtable meetings with Retirees, and it is so sad to hear the affect it has had on our Michigan residents who have already given so much to their communities. Now keep in mind, this tax didn’t go into the Michigan economy, but into the pockets of Big Business tycoons. It did not help our economy one bit.
Here’s a thought, let’s support the tax repeal. I believe the extra monies that will be put into our Retiree’s hands will make it back into our economy, and it will be a win-win for all of Michigan.
Let’s keep track of those who support the repeal and those who want to keep taxing you. When it’s election time, let’s remember who is who at the voting booth.
Thank you to all who participated in White Shirt Day, February 11, 2022. The 85th Anniversary was the largest ever with Local Unions and worksites within the region taking pride in celebrating our heritage.
Once again, we did a virtual celebration that started at 8 a.m. with Face Book posts of pictures, stories, and videos. At 11 a.m. we had the live stream which was followed with more videos, tributes, and stories until approximately 6 p.m.
If you were unable to tune in, or were unaware of the online celebration, you can go back and watch all or parts of it at our Region 1D Face Book page
Between shares, shares of shares, and shares of shares of shares, our White Shirt Day online celebration has had over 50,000 views, likes, and shares. Please feel free to share our history with friends and families.
Thank you to all who sent in videos, pictures, and shared family stories. Also, a special thank you to your Region 1D team Scott Zuckschwerdt, Assistant Director; Dovey Richter, Secretary; Shane Dawes, Education Representative; and Tina Sarazin, CAP Representative, who put this all together, along with the help of our Communication Department from Detroit.
In closing, I want to share with you some very disturbing information about a situation I am investigating. There are dealerships that are charging our members, family, and friends thousands of dollars over the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for new vehicles. That’s right. Some of them are charging as much as $20,000 more than the sticker price. I’ve also discovered, this is NOT illegal. WOW! Also, some dealerships are not accepting discount programs.
Well, well, maybe it’s time we show them what solidarity looks like.
If you know of any dealerships that are doing this to us, the customer, please let me know. I will put together a naughty and nice list for the future, so when they are sitting on a 90-, 120-day supply of vehicles, we will show them the same support they are showing all of us right now.
Be safe my friends.
Never regret a day in your life. Good days give happiness. Bad days give experience. The worst days give lessons, and the best days give memories.
In solidarity,

December 2021
Greetings Brother and Sisters of Region 1D.
As 2021 nears the end, I want to wish each and every one of you a safe and joyous holiday season.
We have been through yet another challenging year with all the COVID, variant, and social issues that have affected each and everyone of us in some way, shape, or form. But, maybe, now is the time, not just because of the holidays, but the time to reflect and attempt to put aside those negative and bad experiences and remember all the good. We can recall the things we are thankful for, the laughter, the smiles, the friendships, and the knowledge that these will bring better times for all.
Just a few weeks ago, we all honored our Veterans on November 11. My thoughts were what a great time of the year to not only honor the brave men and women who have unconditionally protected our country, but to also give them a special thank you for protecting our freedom.
We may not know them all, but we sure do owe them all.
In our Region, in Eaton Rapids, near Lansing, setting on 472 acres, is the VFW National Children’s home. It is a 42 single family home complex with a community center, gym, child care facility, guest lodge, chapel, and administrative buildings. The National Home has evolved to meet the changing needs of America’s military and Veteran families.
The home offers that “hometown” community support with case managers who help residents set and accomplish major life goals as they transition from the military life to civilian life. These services and the housing is at no cost to the families as the homes are solely supported from private donors and organizations.
In 2006, the Steven Yokich Home was built. It was the first duplex and first ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant house built on the complex and was sponsored by the UAW Veterans Affairs Department. Since then, the home’s total maintenance and utilities are covered by the members, friends, and participants of the Region 1D Annual Golf Tournament at Black Lake.
So, when the complex needed a new truck to plow and maintain the 2 ½ miles of roads, they turned to the UAW and Region 1D for help. As always, the membership kicked into gear. UAW Local Union 598 leadership and membership took the lead and proudly built a plow truck for purchase by the Home. The local included it in their November dedication and recognition of the “Veteran of the Month,” along with honoring all 2021 recipients at the plant. I say, that’s quite a send off from our membership to the Children’s National Home.
Thank you to all our Veterans and to Local 598’s membership and leadership, and all the other locals that support the building of the best truck in the world.

September 2021

Greetings Brothers and Sister of Region 1D.
I hope this writing finds you well. 2021, so far, has been as challenging as 2020 with the majority of meetings and UAW conferences cancelled or suspended. Many businesses and companies are reinstating mask mandates as the Delta variant is now in 50 Michigan counties.
I am not one to lecture anyone about vaccinations, but Michigan has had over 21,000 deaths and 1.03 million cases of COVID-19, and these numbers are climbing. Sadly, most cases could have been prevented according to medical experts. I am hoping this is behind us soon, so we can get back to a new normal.
We’re looking forward to a normal where we can get back to training, education, and some good ole fellowship. Our Region represents 73 of the 83 counties in Michigan with 88 Local Unions and 218 contracts. We have approximately 50,000 active members and 95,000 retired members. All our members have ideas, input, stories, and experiences, that when shared, have proven to make our locals and union stronger, as well as, building solidarity.
Gatherings, such as union meeting, training classes, educational conferences, etc. are the catalyst that help make this happen, and yet, there are third party groups, such as the Freedom Foundation, that are sending our Brothers and Sisters propaganda in an attempt to dismantle our union.
They are spending thousands and thousands of dollars mailing literature full of lies and misleading or misconstrued information. If you receive any of these mailings, ask yourself, why would a third party, a group that has nothing to do with the UAW and other labor organizations, a group that has no represented workers, be trying to influence us. Why? What is their purpose?
Is it to take away your voice at the bargaining table? To take away your ability to negotiate fair wages, benefits, safety procedures, and rules? Is their purpose to silence your voice with big business, so they can dictate your life? What is their motive?
The answer is: all the above and more. They know the UAW and other labor organizations are the builders of the middle class, the voice of the working class, and supporters of social justice for all.
All these threaten corporations when they no longer have the only say.
I will leave you with this, remember how and why the union was formed and built. Remember the ones who took a stand against corporate greed, asking only for a fair share of the profits they produced. Then I ask you, what would your worksite owner, boss, and share holders give/force on you if you were without your union?
Stay safe.
In solidarity.

June 2020

Thank you to all the Region 1D Delegates and friends who attended the Special Convention on February 13, to elect me as your Region 1D Director. It is absolutely an honor to have your support and confidence, and please know I do not take it for granted. I promise to continue to make our region the proud and successful region it has always been.
With the approval of President Gamble, I have selected Scott Zuckschwerdt to be my and your Assistant Director. Scott has a long history of bargaining and great people skills. He comes with a strong trade unionist background and is an excellent addition to our leadership team.
This issue of the Labor News contains the endorsements of the CAP Council. Please remember these endorsements do not come easily. Your CAP Council has a screening process that digs into candidate conduct like voting records as they pertain to working people; labor issues; and supporting legislation that will support and protect working men and women. This process takes hours of work and research, so please don’t take their recommendations lightly. Thank you to the CAP Councils for their time and commitment during this process.
Many of our locals have had their Local Union Elections this year. My personal congratulations go out to all those who were elected. Now the real work starts. Your membership has put their trust and confidence in you, and your ability, to perform your respective position. It is truly an honor to represent your membership. I have always thought that being part of an Installation Ceremony (Article 39 of our Constitution) is an honor. The words installed upon you are your proud union duties and you make a true commitment when you say, “I do.” Good luck to all.
While we are all attempting to make sense of and dealing with the COVID pandemic, please continue to be safe and follow the CDC guidelines, both at work and away from work.
In closing, I would like to send a special congratulations to newly elected Local 652 Vice President Lena Wyeth. Lena is the first female to be elected to an officer position in the history of the local. I have known Lena many years, and she is a true trade unionist and community activist. Congratulations Lena and Local 652.
In solidarity, Steve.

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