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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
September 19, 2018
UAW Local 652

Proudly representing the finest employees at General Motors Lansing Grand River and Lansing Regional Stamping, Ryder-Lansing, AI - Delta, YFAI and LGR-LOC

Local 652 is located at 426 Clare St., Lansing, MI 48917

Phone (517)  372-7581

President Randy Freeman
Jun 27, 2018

May 2018

I would like to take a minute to thank the Rapaport, Pollok, Farrell & Waldron Group for supporting us over the years.

They have been coming to our hall on Wednesdays for more than 40 years. They have helped to service our members by answering questions and giving advice on legal matters. They have supported many different events at this Local and the Region, and they truly are a part of our union family here at Local 652.

With the return of GM Legal Services (whose numbers is 1-800-482-7700) and the drop in membership at this local, the bad news is, starting June 2018 they will now only be coming to the hall on the first (1st) and third (3rd) Wednesdays of the month. 

If you have a problem that needs to be addressed in the meantime you are more than welcome to call and contact them at 517-332-3555. Again they will continue to be here to support us, but now just two Wednesdays a month at the hall.
      Don’t forget to put this year’s UAW Local 652 Family picnic on your calendar. It is being put on by the Recreation Committee July 21, 2018 at Sleepy Hollow State Park from 12p.m. - 3p.m. Bring a dish to pass and food will be served at 1p.m. Some of us will be camping for the weekend so come on out and bring the family. It should be a lot of fun for all.

Vice President Ben Frantz
Jun 27, 2018

May 2018

Observation…. Union membership is not growing in correlation with dividend postings for stockholders or salaries of CEO’s yet it appears that union members and organizations have become complacent. Based upon conversations with both new union members and non-union members the answer is becoming ever more clear; if I don’t feel the pain, why worry, or worse yet, the nothing is going to change mentalities prevail.
In my opinion, the problem is corporate greed and their propaganda machines. Where we as Union members and Union organizations have faltered is failing to keep pace with the corporate propaganda machines in painting a true reality as we live versus what the rich need us to believe. Starting in the late 1800’s through the 1950’s there was clarity as to why joining a union was important. In fact, there were so many reasons to join a union that corporations could not compete with their propaganda. This period of time gave birth to organized Labor in America along with its peak membership and political influence gaining Americans many of the comforts we now take for granted like; weekends, child labor and fair practice laws, labor and safety boards, workers compensation and unemployment protections, to name a few. This is proof that active union membership can positively affect our society. Now that a few generations have past and all of these gains have become so commonplace, Americans aren’t as in tune with the fights our predecessors survived to win these rights. So, why don’t more people want to unite and become a strong working class or become union members in light of all this? The answer is in the propaganda, try this comparison, sit a picture of a cashier or grocery bagger on a table next to a picture of a CEO in a business suit and ask a friend this question, to which of these photos do you most relate? Undoubtedly 90% will relate to the CEO for no other reason than they feel they work too hard to be compared to a Supermarket worker, my friends this is the propaganda winning. This is where we need to realize we indeed are closer to the cashier and bagger in almost all ways of society than we ever will be to the CEO’s. We as American workers need to understand that CEO’s will never know what it is like to make a product or contribute physically to durable goods. They operate in fiction and projection, which provides nothing tangible, yet we want to relate to them for our own self-image. I hear people talk about $15.00 minimum wage and how all Americans don’t deserve that, yet executives and CEO’s garner 400 percent or more than their workers and there is no offense. This is the propaganda hard at work; we have divided and distracted ourselves arguing against our own self-interests to the elation of the rich. Corporations make billions for their CEO’s and shareholders, so why do we argue that we as the working class don’t deserve a living wage or job protections? Why would we fight to keep America’s working class unsafe and in poverty? Propaganda, that’s why.  Now more than ever we need to step up along with our Labor organizations and go on the offensive to remind American workers that we have rights in our work place, which include a living wage. We should also demand politicians who support America not just rich America. As proven from 1920 through the 1950’s strong Union membership drives political change. Let’s start this change together, be a proud Unionist and defend the belief that when we are together we win. Division only drives us down; our children’s future depends on our ability not only to maintain but also to gain on what we have inherited from those courageous enough to fight for what is right and just for all American’s not just the few. Though the reasons for joining aren’t as perilous as in the past, the attack on our livelihood is modern and aggressive which proves that Unions must go heavy on the offensive because now just as before we are still relevant.

Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Jun 27, 2018

May 2018

Recently I was reading an article on the Economic Policy Institute website ( that made a lot of sense.  Titled “How today’s unions help working people” it attempts to explain the importance, strength, and power of labor organizations.  Americans have historically joined together in organizations to solve problems and make changes that improve their lives and communities.  Joining a union allows people to influence a place where they spend a great majority of their lives: their workplace.

Subtitled “Giving workers the power to improve their jobs and unrig the economy” it’s an in-depth look at the who, what, where, why, and how of organized labor in today’s environment and what’s needed to regain the lost ground of the last few decades.  Here is a small taste of the beginning…

The freedom of workers to join together in unions and negotiate with employers (in a process known as collective bargaining) is widely recognized as a fundamental human right across the globe. In the United States, this right is protected by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law and is supported by a majority of Americans.

Over 16 million working women and men in the United States are exercising this right—these 16 million workers are represented by unions. Overall, more than one in nine U.S. workers are represented by unions. This representation makes organized labor one of the largest institutions in America.

By providing data on union coverage, activities, and impacts, this report helps explain how unions fit into the economy today; how they affect workers, communities, occupations and industries, and the country at large; and why collective bargaining is essential for a fair and prosperous economy and a vibrant democracy. It also describes how decades of anti-union campaigns and policies have made it much harder for working people to use their collective voice to sustain their standard of living.”

And a little of the end…

“Unions are a dynamic and ever-evolving institution of the American economy that exist to give working people a voice and leverage over their working conditions and the economic policy decisions that shape these conditions. Collective bargaining is indispensable if we want to achieve shared prosperity.

But it is precisely because they are effective and necessary for shared prosperity that unions are under attack by employers who want to maintain excessive leverage over workers and by policymakers representing the interests of the top 1 percent. These attacks have succeeded in increasing the gap between the number of workers who would like to be represented by a union and the number who are represented by a union. And these threats to the freedom to join together in unions haven’t been met with a policy response sufficient to keep the playing field level between organizing workers and the employers looking to thwart them.

Giving workers a real voice and leverage is essential for democracy. While unions historically have not been able to match corporate political donations dollar for dollar, working people organizing together in unions play an equalizing role because they can motivate members to give their time and effort to political causes. For example, one study found that unions are very effective at getting people to the polls—especially increasing voting among those with only a high school education.

As this report has shown, unions—when strong—have the capacity to tackle some of the biggest problems that plague our economy, from growing economic inequality, wage stagnation, and racial and gender inequities to eroding democracy and barriers to civic participation.

And, unions also help to address current workforce trends that are increasing work insecurity, from the rise of part-time work and unpaid internships to the exploitation of student athletes to increasing numbers of Uber drivers and other “gig economy” workers.  In a recent New York Times op-ed, Kashana Cauley cited some of these trends and called on her millennial peers to lead the next labor movement.  Indeed, there is evidence that young workers are primed to do so: 55 percent of 18- to 29-year-old workers view unions favorably, compared with 46 percent of workers age 30 and older.  And young people of both political parties are more amenable to labor unions than their older peers.  Having entered the workforce during the last recession, these young workers have experienced a labor market with lower wages, diminishing benefits, “non-compete” clauses that make it harder for even entry-level employees to move to better jobs, and other facets of increasing insecurity, Cauley explains.

Certainly, Americans of all ages, occupations, races, and genders have a vested interest in making sure our economy works for everyone. To promote an inclusive economy and a robust democracy, we must work together to rebuild our collective bargaining system.”

Taken from:  By Josh Bivens, Lora Engdahl, Elise Gould, Teresa Kroeger, Celine McNicholas, Lawrence Mishel, Zane Mokhiber, Heidi Shierholz, Marni von Wilpert, Valerie Wilson, and Ben Zipperer

Please take the time to visit the Economic Policy Institute website.  Read this article and, while you’re at it, take a look at the rest of the site.   It’s refreshing to read positive things about workers and their labor groups.  Frankly, I’m a little tired of being blamed for all the economic woes of today when the truth is, our conservative “friends” are more the cause of the inequalities plaguing our country than we could ever be.

Until next time…Solidarity

Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Jun 27, 2018

May 2018

Coming into the mid-term elections the importance of who is elected couldn’t be clearer.  As we saw at the State level, when anti-worker candidates are elected our rights as employees and as Unionists suffer. While the Right-to-Work law passed here in Michigan is the clearest evidence of this, there are many things happening at the Federal level that will also be damaging. The right of the administration to appoint the heads of agencies like the NLRB and cabinet posts such as the Department of Labor is crucial and over time causes great damage to the Labor movement.
With the office of president comes the power to appoint many, many, officials whose actions effect our lives. These political appointees often have tremendous power to change the direction of labor law and its enforcement. As an example, the current administration’s efforts to reverse the direction of federal labor policy continue to accelerate in an alarming fashion.  Labor rights advocates are particularly alarmed by the direction NLBR General Counsel, and Trump appointee, Peter Robb has taken regarding the agency.  Former NLRB Chair, and Stanford University Law Professor William Gould has called Robb “a man in a big hurry” to seize control of the complaint process at the regional level which is the strength of the NLRB.
The regional directors and their staffs typically resolve more than 85 percent of the roughly 20,000 cases filed with the agency each year over disputed labor practices without involving the general counsel, the top enforcement official. The NLRB Regional offices are where Union officials or lawyers can go to have complaints handled in a professional manner. But, Republicans believe that the civil servants who man these offices are biased toward Labor. Under the proposal by Robb the NLRB regional staff would answer to a small group of politically appointed officials higher up in the boards hierarchy that would surely reflect Robb’s personal agenda.  Affectively demoting longtime public servants in favor of political hacks.
Keep in mind that Robb came to his position after a legal career spent representing management, including being a key part of the staff that brought the Reagan administration’s litigation against the air traffic controllers’ union when they struck in 1981. Most labor historians say the government’s hard line in firing the controllers contributed to organized Labor’s struggles in the following decades. The example of the NLRB and Peter Robb serves to illustrate the reasons that we need to work diligently to elect pro-worker and pro-labor candidates this election season.  The people who hold office at both the state and federal levels can change our lives for better or worse and with the Governor’s race and other important elections only months away it is time to energize and mobilize to protect our rights and the rights of those who will follow.

Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Jun 27, 2018

May 2018

Everyone have a safe and happy summer.

The following is our monthly schedule of events:
First Tuesday of the month is Bingo.  Games start at 10:00 a.m.  Participants bring your own snacks.  If the Lansing School District is closed due to inclement weather our Bingo game will be cancelled.

Third Tuesday of the month is our potluck dinner and business meeting.  Bring your own table service and a dish to pass.  Dinner starts at noon.
Fourth Tuesday of the month is cards starting at 10:00 a.m.  Participants bring your own snacks.  If the Lansing School District is closed due to inclement weather our Card game will be cancelled.
Please mark your calendars with the following 3 cancellations and 1 addition:  June 26 cards cancelled.  July 3 bingo cancelled.  August 21 potluck cancelled.  The Lansing Area Retiree Luncheon will be August 14, at Royal Scot.  Luncheon starts at noon.
The Oldsmobile "Homecoming 2018" Car Show will be Saturday, June 16th, from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  The show is located at Auto Owners, 6101 Anacapri Blvd, Lansing, MI.  It is 1/4 mile north of I-496.  Take Creyts Rd north to Anacapri.  Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Hurst/Oldsmobiles.
The spring euchre tournaments were a lot of fun for everyone.
Mark your calendars for the fall tournaments.  Fall Euchre Tournaments will be held in Saginaw, Lansing, and Flint for retirees, spouses, and associate members.  The first tournament will be in Saginaw, on September 14th,  at Local 467, 2104 Farmer St.  The second tournament will be in Lansing, on September 21st, at Local 602, 2510 W Michigan.  The third tournament will be in Flint, on September 28th, at Local 659, 4549 Van Slyke.  All tournaments start at 10:00 a.m.  Arrive early to sign in and get seated so the games can start on time.  You do not need a partner to play.  You are welcome to play at all the tournaments if you like.  If you enjoy euchre come join in.  There is no cost to play.
Region 1D Travel Committee is having a trip to Niagara Falls/Toronto in October.  If you would like to go the week of October 1-5, contact Connie Garner-Dunn (517) 323-2146 or Linda Francis (810) 423-8661 for Lansing buses.  If you would like to go the week of October 8-12, contact Diane Bauer (517) 627-5895 for a Lansing bus.  (Second week bus is full, but you can be placed on a waiting list in case someone cancels - if the second week is the only time you can go.)  Linda Francis can assist you on both weeks if you wish to sign up for a Flint bus.
For any of our members or their families, who are ill or have lost a loved one, know that we are thinking of you and keeping you in our prayers. Condolences to all families who have had a loved one pass.
The Lansing Labor News is now online.  You may access it at
The Food Bank could use our help.  If possible, bring canned goods to donate when you attend retiree events.  No expired food please.
Send your change of address to:  Lansing Labor News, 210 Clare St., Lansing, MI  48917  Please include your current address and the old address when requesting the change.
If you have benefit questions, contact a benefit rep for answers.  517-372-7581  ext. 500
You may contact me at the following email address:

Local 652 Obituaries
Jun 27, 2018

Archived Articles for Local 652
Sep 21, 2017

Reflections on retiring

I want to thank every member at Local 652 who gave me their vote of confidence through the many years of my campaigns to represent you and your families at the negotiating table and in our community. Remember, our voice will be heard if we use it—so don’t give it away. Here are some highlights of my career with this great Local.
I have been a Lansing GM employee and a UAW member since 1978. I joined the company as a 17 year old. I am a third generation GM employee. One of my proudest moments is that my sons are currently fourth generation GM employees. And now there may be hope for a fifth generation with my two grandsons, Phoenix and Duncan.
I have served one term as an alt-district committee, 6 years as district committee, 15 years as Shop committee, 9 years as vice-chairman of the shop committee and the last 3 terms as the President of UAW Local 652.
I was a Delegate to the 29th through 36th Constitutional Conventions, as well as a delegate to the National Bargaining Conventions for 1990, 93, 96, 99, 2003, 07, 11 and 2015.
I have served on local negotiations for 1993, 96, 99,2003,07 and 2015. I have also served as the Alt-Top Negotiator for Sub.2 in the UAW/GM National Contract negotiations for 2015.
Another one of my favorite and proudest moments of my career is seeing the membership meeting my goals of all the plants being fully utilized with three shifts. Along with winning the 2013 North American Car of the Year for the Cadillac ATS and winning the Motor Trend Car of the Year again and again and again—once in 2008 for the CTS, 2014 CTS and 2016 Camaro. Having two of these cars going down the line at the same time is unprecedented.
And as I have always said; “That just shows the work ethic in Lansing and how much pride our membership has taken over the years to build the best quality vehicles in the world.”

Page Last Updated: Jun 27, 2018 (06:29:00)
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