|Archived Articles for Todd Collins|
Greetings to All
With the winter weather firmly taking hold we can all dream of warmer days. When warmer days do arrive let us not forget that by the time those months hit that the decision by General Motors to shutter factories in the US and move work to Mexico will already be affecting our fellow UAW Brothers and Sisters. The effects of the GM decision will have far reaching implications beyond just GM jobs. It will affect the UAW members, and their families, at our Supplier plants and the communities around those plants. When the UAW and the American people stepped up to help General Motors out in 2009 we never expected to be paid back like this. The American public and the UAW have started a campaign to let GM know that we invested in them and now they need to invest in US! Please join this movement to let GM know that what they are doing to their workers and their families is not ok. On the Local front we are still navigating the process to have our sewer system repaired. Some of our Units have announced layoffs related to the recent GM decisions. Please keep these members in your thoughts and prayers that this is only a temporary situation. The Local will have elections for a Trustee position and a Guide position happening soon (please see the election notice). There are still some Standing Committee positions open at the Local. If any member is interested in getting more involved please attend the next General Membership meeting which are the second Tuesday of the month at 5:00 pm.
Tis the Season
With the Christmas and Holiday Season is in full swing I wanted to take to take the opportunity to wish all of our Members at UAW Local 724 and their Families a Happy Christmas and New Year’s. I also would like to thank all of our members who came out to vote in the November Mid-Term elections. A record number of voters exercised their right to vote and that is very encouraging considering the current political landscape in our country. On a very positive note 85% plus of the Lansing Area CAP Council endorsed candidates were elected. A big thankyou goes out to our CAP Board for all of the screening efforts that went into the endorsement process. With the recent announcement of the GM Grand River Plant going to one shift in January and the announcement that Gm will be closing plants, and layoffs will be taking, place it’s important to remember how this will impact UAW Members and their Families. In 2008-2009 the American public, and UAW Members, helped save the Auto industry. Since that time the industry has realized record profits. All the while still exploiting the workers who gave the company those same record profits. Our payback, as American Citizens and UAW workers, from the Big Three has been to build plants outside of the US, take the Corporate Tax Break and layoffs. On a more positive note on Behalf of the entire Executive Board of UAW local 724 and all of our Members I would like to wish everyone and their families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season.
"May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility." - Mary Anne Radmacher
I hope that all of our Members have had a safe and enjoyable Summer. On the Local front, the Local held our annual Golf Outing in August at Centennial Acres Golf Course in Sunfield. The event was another huge success with the help of our sponsors and volunteers. We look forward to next year making it even more fun and enjoyable for our members and their families. Both the Local and Unit Standing Committee Chairs attended recent conferences. I would like to thank all of you who volunteer for these committees. From the Veterans Committee to the Civil and Humans Rights Committee to the Union Label Committee, all are a vital part of our Local and our Union. If any member would like more information on any of our Standing Committees please contact the Local or your Chairperson for more information. As we see the season change please remember what time of year we are heading into. Election season is upon us. With the current political environment in our state it is even more important that the people in our state and our members exercise their right to VOTE. To our members that say that your vote does not count I say this. If you sit home and do not vote then those who attack our very way of life win! Those who seek to destroy the Middle Class way of life and the very Union that we all belong to cannot be allowed to take office. We cannot protect our way of life and those that we care about if we sit on our hands and do nothing. As the elections for our State draw near it has never been more important than to stand up and let your voice be heard. VOTE!!. I ask one last thing of our Membership. Take those phones and computers that we all have and look up the word SOLIDARITY. Then see how you can apply that to your life. To me it means looking out for my Brothers and Sisters. Having one voice. Our Union was founded on this principal and getting back to those principals has to be priority.
“Just because you do not take an interest in politics, Doesn’t mean that politics won’t take an interest in you” -Pericles-
As you are reading this article it seems as if Spring may finally be here. With the rise in temperatures please remember to be aware of the effects of heat stress and heat exhaustion. For those of our members not in a temperature controlled environment remember to drink plenty of fluids and watch out for your fellow brother or sister.
On the Local front the elections are over for the 37th Constitutional Convention Delegates. Congratulations to the following on winning the Delegate positions. Bridgewater- Delegates Kirk Nordberg and Adam Mosher. Alternate Delegates Dawn Parish and Lisa Dunton. Dakkota- Delegate Terri Niblock. Woodbridge- Delegate Chris Donelson. Local Delegates- Todd Collins and Debra Abent Alternate Delegate- Jeremy Hester. The upcoming 37th Constitutional Convention will be June 10-14, 2018 in Detroit.
The Local Golf Outing will be August 4, 2018 at Centennial Acres in Sunfield. Fliers and signup sheets are available at the Local for those interested.
Our Local Standing Committees are starting to develop and are having monthly and/or quarterly meetings. If you are interested please call the Local and we will put you in contact with the appropriate Standing Committee Chair.
With the Summer months upon us the Local Executive Board hopes that all of our Members have a Safe, Happy and enjoyable time!
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
By the time that you are reading this the Holidays and New Year will have come and gone. I hope that you all enjoyed the time with Family and friends. This Year is going to be a busy year politically. Not only will we elect a new Governor this year but our State Senators and House of Representatives will be up for election. 2 State Senators and 14 House of Representatives in all will run for their respective positions. As much as some of our members do not like politics because of how divisive they can be, we have to remind ourselves of the power of our votes. Our votes can elect, or not elect if we stay silent, those who will stand up for working class people in this country. I encourage all of our members not only to register to vote but to vote for those who have you and your family’s best interest at heart. Those who have a record of standing up for middle class working families in this country. I recently attended the National CAP Conference in Washington. The Local CAP delegates spent time lobbying on Capitol Hill to let our representatives hear our voice. Please be aware of the Legislation that may be coming up around what some in our Government may call “Entitlements”. We can’t be silent if they come after our Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare. We all pay into these programs and we cannot allow these crucial benefits to be taken away. At the Local we have received the Call Letter for the upcoming 37th Constitutional Convention Please refer to the nominations and elections notice for the Convention. As of the time of this article we will have celebrated the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Here are a few of his words that have just as much meaning today as the day he spoke them.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
December 2017: Big shoes to fill
As I thought as to what to write for my first article as President of UAW Local 724, I immediately thought of our Past President Dean Poggiali. The words dedication, commitment and passion for the union all exemplify the work that he has done (and still continues to do) for our local and the community.