At the UAW Constitutional Convention, June, 2014 – A TOOL FOR ELIMINATING TWO-TIER


At the UAW Constitutional Convention, June, 2014 – 

A TOOL FOR ELIMINATING TWO-TIER

  
First and second tier workers at the Big 3 and beyond have been put in a box which they can climb out of.  UAW Skilled Trades workers were in that box years ago, and they climbed out of it, sort of. 

The problem:  skilled trades in the auto plants were always in the minority – even more so in assembly plants, less so in machining or stamping operations – but always in the minority.  Come contract time and a tentative settlement, the membership then has to vote.  That settlement features agreements that apply to everybody, and then there are specialized agreements that pertain to just skilled trades – like tool allowances and the like.  Say the skilled trades vote no because the tool allowance is too small, but the majority of the facility is satisfied with all the general features of the agreement and votes yes.  Skilled trades under these rules don’t have a chance. 

"SEPARATE RATIFICATION"
Somewhere along the way (which is another story) the Constitution was amended to change the way contracts were ratified.  The Constitution was amended to include the right of “separate ratification.”  In the example above where the members approve a contract overall, but trades rejects, the right of separate ratification kicks in.  Management is informed that the contract ratification is incomplete.  The UAW bargainers get to work, compile a list of the items in the skilled trades portion of the agreement that were the cause for the skilled trades “no” vote, and return to the negotiating table to see about correcting those rejected, specifically skilled trades agreements.   Once corrected, depending on who you talk to, there’s another ratification vote, or it’s considered “ratified” outright.  If the skilled trades portion of the agreement is ratified, then the whole agreement is considered ratified.  [This is not the way it went down during the ratification vote on the 2011 UAW-Chrysler National Agreement, which is a shameful story that will be the subject of a future blogpost]. 

UAW CONSTITUTION REFLECT CURRENT REALITY?
The Constitution actually protects the right of separate ratification not only for the Skilled Trades minority, but for Office Workers, Engineers and Technicians as well.  See Article 19: http://uaw.org/page/uaw-constitution-contracts-and-negotiations-0   The theory is the same: specialized agreements involving sub-groups.  When the UAW and various companies including the Detroit 3 negotiated new terms and special agreements for a sub-group of workers who are considered second tier, they created new candidates for the right of separate ratification.  While these tiered agreements have been around for a decade or more, the UAW International Executive Board hasn’t sought to update the Constitution to incorporate this new reality. 
 
So it’s going to have to be up to local union leadership and/or rank and file workers to work to change the way contracts are ratified.  It happened for skilled trades, now it must happen for separate groups that used to make up the one group: “production.”   UAW members will have to (1) run for Convention Delegate, and (2) submit their resolutions to a vote at their local membership meeting – by mid-April, when the resolutions are due downtown. 

HASTENING THE END OF 2-TIER
There are some who've reacted to the proposal by saying they don’t want to put anything in the Constitution that would make 2nd tier a permanent feature of factory life (at least until all the “traditional” workers retired).  Yet, what better way to give 2nd tier workers the power to hold the negotiators accountable to them, than by separate ratification?  This way the second (or minority tier) won’t have a “2nd tier” contract imposed on them, and the tier 1 workers won’t be in the box of approving an agreement they like while involuntarily imposing an inferior agreement on their 2nd tier brothers and sisters (or sons and daughters).  Inserting it into the Constitution – a formidable but worthwhile task at the upcoming convention – will hasten the day when the UAW can rid itself of “two tiers.”  Passing a resolution like the one featured here – which has already been a subject of conversation and debate among autoworkers in and out of the Autoworker Caravan – may be the best way to prepare for contract negotiations in 2015.  




Frank Hammer
March 7, 2014

Amendment: Article 19 Section 3 & 4
Strengthen and Expand the Right of Separate Ratification

· Whereas, the UAW membership exercises its democratic will by voting by secret ballot on the ratification of tentative collective bargaining agreements,

· Whereas, Article 19, Section 3 of the UAW Constitution protects groups for which distinct bargaining agreements are negotiated which apply only to those specific groups, such as skilled trades or office workers, by establishing for those groups the Right of Separate Ratification,

· Whereas, the Right of Separate Ratification has been an important tool historically to increase the union’s leverage at the bargaining table,

· Whereas, the Right to Separate Ratification was violated and thereby severely weakened during the 2011 national Chrysler contract ratification when the International Executive Board (IEB) over-ruled the “no” vote by the Chrysler skilled trades membership and declared the contract, “ratified” over their objections,

· Whereas, the UAW in recent years has negotiated to create new groups such as “entry level” or “2nd tier” workers with distinct bargaining agreements pertaining only to those groups,

 Whereas, the UAW’s efforts to eradicate two-tier and multi-tier pay and benefits in favor of equal pay for equal work will be strengthened by instituting the Right of Separate Ratification for lower tier workers,  

Be It Resolved that, Article 19, Section 3 of the UAW Constitution be strengthened and expanded by amending it as follows:

Upon application to and approval of the International Executive Board, a ratification procedure shall be adopted wherein apprenticeble skilled trades and related workers, office workers, production groups identified as “entry level,” “traditional,” or “tier 1,” tier 2,” etc., and any other similar production subgroup where applicable, engineers, and technicians would vote separately on contractual matters common to all and, in the same vote on separate ballots, vote on  those matters which relate exclusively to their group. 

Be It Resolved That, Article 19, Section 4 of the UAW Constitution be amended to read as follows:

National agreements and supplements thereof shall be ratified by the Local Unions involved.  In the event a majority in a group(s) as described in Article 19 Section 3 vote to reject tentative contractual provisions pertaining specifically to their group(s), a special meeting(s) of the members of the group(s) will be held to identify those specific provisions and to inform the bargaining representatives of the reason(s) for their rejection. 

Negotiated changes to those identified provisions will be put to a secret ballot vote by the group(s) affected.  If the members of the group vote to ratify, the tentative collective bargaining agreement of which those provisions are a part, if otherwise supported by the membership, shall be considered ratified. 

Finally, be it resolved,

That the Local Union transmit this resolution to all UAW Locals and Retiree Chapters in our Region and Sub-council urging its adoption.


March 7, 2014

Auto Workers Demand An Economic ‘People’s Recovery’

Auto Workers Demand An Economic ‘People’s Recovery’ Outside Detroit Auto Show
    Photos and text by James Fassinger for MintPress News

    Detroit–As automakers prepared to trumpet record profits and reveal new car models at the 25th annual North American International Auto Show at the Cobo Center in Detroit, dozens of union members, supporters and concerned citizens turned up to demonstrate for a ‘People’s Recovery’ outside the venue on Jan.12.
    Union members and supporters protest outside the North American International Auto Show.
    Union members and supporters protest outside the North American International Auto Show.
    Organized by Autoworker Caravan and joined by other groups such as Moratorium Now, National Action Network and Jobs for Justice, they chose the day before Press Preview Week opens in hopes of capturing the attention of more than 5,000 journalists from around the world who are expected to cover the event.
    Members of Moratorium Now turned out in support of public and private workers and to demand the banks forgive Detroit's loan debt.
    Members of Moratorium Now turned out in support of public and private workers and to demand the banks forgive Detroit’s loan debt.
    “We see this as a golden opportunity to get past the Detroit corporate media censorship and tell our side of the story: that the 1 percent are making out like bandits while autoworkers are living with concessionary contracts and city workers are getting thrown under the bus,” organizers said.
    Protesters march outside Cobo Center where the 2014 North American International Auto Show is being held.
    Protesters march outside Cobo Center where the 2014 North American International Auto Show is being held.
    Autoworker Caravan was founded in 2008 to give voice to rank and file auto workers after the financial crisis and bankruptcy of General Motors and Chrysler. Now in its fifth year protesting outside the NAIAS, organizers assert that Detroit, currently in bankruptcy, is at the forefront of a nationwide assault against workers and their unions in both the public and private sector. They demand an end to multi-tier workplaces and the “alternative work schedules” automakers have instituted, as well as the overturning of Michigan’s controversial Right to Work legislation and a moratorium on cuts to retiree pensions and benefits.
    Renla Session, UAW local 600 assembly worker walks the picket line outside Cobo Center during the protest. "We are out here for all workers," she says.
    Renla Session, UAW local 600 assembly worker walks the picket line outside Cobo Center during the protest. “We are out here for all workers,” she says.
    “Massive job losses and home foreclosures have left the city starved for revenues. Instead of creating an emergency jobs program and declaring a moratorium on home foreclosures, Governor Snyder and Wall Street are exploiting Detroit’s crisis for their own gains,” the group writes in an announcement for the action. “Using an Emergency Dictator, they forced Detroit into bankruptcy so they can – without interference – break union contracts, threaten city retirees’ negotiated pensions and benefits, reward the banks for fraudulent loans and sell off city assets to predatory corporations.”
    Megan Minton (center) UAW local 12 member, started working at the Toledo, Ohio Chrysler Jeep assembly plant in August 2013. She came out to show her support for her fellow UAW workers and speak out against the two-tier system. Hired in at the lowest tier last August, she just started receiving her healthcare benefits this month.
    Megan Minton (center) UAW local 12 member, started working at the Toledo, Ohio Chrysler Jeep assembly plant in August 2013. She came out to show her support for her fellow UAW workers and speak out against the two-tier system. Hired in at the lowest tier last August, she just started receiving her healthcare benefits this month.
    Marching with her sign ‘Stop Outsourcing,’ Megan Minton, UAW local 12 member, said she came to support her union brothers and sisters. Minton works the line at the Toledo Chrysler Jeep Assembly Plant, about an hour south of Detroit. In August 2013, she was hired in at the lowest tier at the facility but only started receiving her health care benefits this month, with no dental or vision plan yet in place.
    Don and Stacey Kemp of Flint, yell and chant during the rally. Don, a UAW local 598 member and autoworker at the Flint Truck and Bus facility has been with GM for 29 years. He and Stacey came out to protest against what they see as the social injustice happening with the implementation of the 2 and 3-tear wage system his company has introduced.
    Don and Stacey Kemp of Flint, yell and chant during the rally. Don, a UAW local 598 member and autoworker at the Flint Truck and Bus facility has been with GM for 29 years. He and Stacey came out to protest against what they see as the social injustice happening with the implementation of the 2 and 3-tear wage system his company has introduced.
    Minton says she doesn’t mind her fellow workers in the upper tier earning more money, because they have been working there longer, but with the new system, she will never be able to reach their hourly pay scale no matter how long she works at the plant.
    Melvin Thompson, former president of UAW local 140, and Warren Truck Assembly Plant worker of 19 years, rallies the crowd at the demonstration.
    Melvin Thompson, former president of UAW local 140, and Warren Truck Assembly Plant worker of 19 years, rallies the crowd at the demonstration.
    Melvin Thompson, former president of UAW local 140, has worked at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant for 19 years. Also an Autoworker Caravan member, he sees the two-tier system instituted in manufacturing today as a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy used by the automakers to create inequality in the workplace.
    With the GM Renaissance Center the background, dozens demonstrate for an economic 'People's Recovery', against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and against unfair labor practices like the multi-tier wage systems now in place within the manufacturing industry.
    With the GM Renaissance Center the background, dozens demonstrate for an economic ‘People’s Recovery’, against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and against unfair labor practices like the multi-tier wage systems now in place within the manufacturing industry.
    “How can we be union brothers if you are right next to me making two-thirds of what I’m making and we’re doing the same job? Then, when new contracts come up, you’ll have a section to vote on and I’ll have a section to vote on, and they’ll try to divide and conquer us by giving one something and taking something away from the others. So, we have to eliminate this two-tier system and get back to true solidarity.
    Mark Farris worked for Ford for 30 years. He turned out to voice his opposition to what is happening in society and with workers. He says, "The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer."
    Mark Farris worked for Ford for 30 years. He turned out to voice his opposition to what is happening in society and with workers. He says, “The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer.”
    “The recovery is clearly happening because we are selling vehicles, not because we are paying people less. You could pay all of us $40 an hour more than we’re making right now and they’d still make a killin’. [But] nobody’s going to do the math and print that in the paper,” Thompson said.
    Dozens turned up to demonstrate for a ‘People’s Recovery’ outside Cobo Center in Detroit, ahead of Press Preview Week at the North American International Auto Show.
    Dozens turned up to demonstrate for a ‘People’s Recovery’ outside Cobo Center in Detroit, ahead of Press Preview Week at the North American International Auto Show.
    The organizers believe that the Big Three work in tandem with the fossil fuel industry and ignore climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels, maintaining that Detroit could be a leader in public transit and renewable energy components.
    Frank Hammer, retired UAW Local 909 President and Autoworker Caravan co-founder says that automakers could help workers and the current economy by converting old, unused production facilities for green manufacturing to produce rail cars for public transportation, as well as products like solar panels and wind turbines.
    Frank Hammer, retired UAW Local 909 President and Autoworker Caravan co-founder says that automakers could help workers and the current economy by converting old, unused production facilities for green manufacturing to produce rail cars for public transportation, as well as products like solar panels and wind turbines.
    Frank Hammer, retired UAW Local 909 president and Autoworker Caravan co-founder, says that automakers could help workers and the current economy by converting old, unused production facilities for green manufacturing to produce rail cars for public transportation, as well as products like solar panels and wind turbines. In doing so, automakers would not only provide thousands of manufacturing jobs, but help fight global climate change and cut carbon emissions.
    Autoworker Caravan supporters pose and chant after the rally for a German camera crew in town to cover the NAIAS.
    Autoworker Caravan supporters pose and chant after the rally for a German camera crew in town to cover the NAIAS.

    JANUARY 12TH: DEMONSTRATE FOR A PEOPLE'S RECOVERY!

    Dear Autoworker Caravan supporters,

    We are holding our fifth annual demonstration this Sunday, January 12th in front of COBO Center in downtown Detroit, site of the 2014 North American International Auto Show, and we would like YOU to join us!  

    We choose the day before "media week" because reporters are here from around the world, and don't start reporting on the auto show until Monday, 1/13.  Many are looking for a story about the auto industry and Detroit, and in past years have come out to interview us on our picket line.  This year that's especially true what with the take-over of Detroit and the city entering into bankruptcy, the sale of the remaining government shares in GM, FIAT taking over 100% ownership of Chrysler, etc.

    We see this as a golden opportunity to get past the Detroit corporate media censorship and tell our side of the story:  that the 1% are making out like bandits while autoworkers are living with concessionary contracts and city workers are getting thrown under the bus.  This is a time to make NOISE!  The world is watching to see what autoworkers, and the working class and people of Detroit and all of Michigan are doing in response to the assaults on our livelihoods and democratic rights.  This is the time to develop our own agenda that will help bring us together to fight as part of one common cause.

    We are gathering from 1-2:30 pm in front of COBO.  We will then walk to the nearby Anchor Bar to warm up,socialize, and strategize. The bar is located at 450 W Fort St, Detroit, MI 48226.  

    The good news is that weather forecasters are predicting a balmy high of 38 degrees.  

    Parking: You can park on the rooftop of Cobo Center, the underground garage, or at the Anchor bar on Fort St.  There may be some curbside parking since it's a Sunday.

    Attached you'll find a jpg version of the Autoworker Caravan leaflet.  We hope you'll read it for all the issues we are hoping to address, get some copies made so that you can share them with family and friends, post them at work or put up on your facebook.

    You can find out more on facebook at 


    Looking forward to coming together and making noise that they cannot ignore!




    January 7, 2014

    Welcome to the Autoworker Caravan blog

    by Frank Hammer

    October 23, 2013 Update:  Concerned that VW workers were reading this letter to the skilled trades workers, the pro-company so-called "team members" decided to pull their link to the Autoworker Caravan blog.  Maybe they'll follow that up with a change to the name of  their website: "No to INFORMED Auto Workers!"   FH  

    Letter to Volkswagen Skilled Trades workers

    If you were browsing on the website: NO TO UNINFORMED AUTO WORKERS and clicked a link that brought you to this page on the Autoworker Caravan blog, welcome!

    The blog that the “Concerned VW Team Members” intended for you to see appears below.  Being a union member, I was just a wee bit surprised that folks opposing unions, and the UAW in particular would be so eager to urge skilled workers at Volkswagen to read my stuff.  You have to admit, it’s pretty unusual when folks with an anti-union agenda post an article by a writer who is firmly pro-union.   

    32-year career in auto

    I retired in 2007 after working for 32 years at GM as a member of the UAW.  I worked production for six years, mostly sweating on an assembly line.  I then entered a skilled trades apprenticeship, and became a Journeyman Pipefitter.  I was also active in my union, and was elected and re-elected by my co-workers to represent them as Bargaining Chair (and also President).  On behalf of 3,500 workers (including 800 master mechanics and maintenance employees) I led two successful contract negotiations with General Motors.  Believe me, I’ve seen the best and worst of General Motors, and of the UAW, and I have not been shy to express my views.

    Autoworkers are under the gun - everywhere

    We have more in common than you first might think.  We are faced with the same pressures and therefore the same problems.  The VW team members' site spells it out right on their website:  

    If you do not like the conditions under which you were hired, and it wasn't a secret (remember that entire day you worked for free at the Park Palace?) how difficult it would be, then go somewhere else! This is America. Last time we looked, 50,000 other people have turned in applications to do YOUR job, to have YOUR healthy wages, YOUR 4-day work week and YOUR very, very good benefits. 


    All autoworkers – whether union member or not – are hearing the same thing.  Everyday UAW members at the Detroit 3 plants are being told, “be glad you have your job.”  We all know that there’s so much unemployment out there, the companies can find someone who will be only too glad to take your job.   That’s something we all have in common.  And what we are discovering is that these companies have us playing musical chairs with our jobs- afraid that when the music stops, one of us is going to be SOL. 

    When the UAW and the “Big 3” were still thriving back in the 60s and 70s, they set – through negotiation and confrontation - the standards that the non-union companies would have to follow as they came on the scene in the 80s.  And follow the lead of the unionized North they did, with one simple goal: to keep the workers in the non-union shops from having a reason to want to join a union.  The had to set the wages and benefits somewhere close to what our union had won, (sometimes as a result of a strike). 

    Our gains = your gains = our gains

    Back when I was in my factory, all the (non-union) supervisors cheered when GM and the UAW concluded their negotiations and got a new contract because the supervisors gained when we gained.  GM had to give them raises, too (and they got away without paying for the services rendered by the union).  That’s pretty much the way I see it when it comes to the non-union workers in the South and us up here in the North.  Our gains were also your gains.  We pay for them and, well, you haven’t.

    Wall St banksters used the scandalous financial crisis of their own making in 2008 to take GM and Chrysler through a so-called “structured bankruptcy” in 2009.  They used it to take a lot of our hard fought gains away.  In fact, the government – at the prodding of Southern senators Corker and Shelby – forced the UAW-represented plants to copy the non-union plants in pay and benefits.  Or else.  The wages of senior workers were frozen, that of new hires cut 33 to 50%.  Autoworkers lost their protection against inflation (COLA), their time-and-a-half overtime pay after working a full shift, new hires won’t receive pensions, and much more. 

    When we lose, you lose

    So now the non-union auto companies don’t have to raise their standards; GM’s and Chrysler’s bankruptcy restructuring took care of that.  Just to prove my point, Honda – the non-union auto company in Ohio – announced one month ago that it is eliminating pensions for new hires and “reducing benefits for the people already with the company.”   The article goes on to say that Honda follows Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Nissan in moving away from pensions for new employees.  Sure enough, the long term Honda blue collar employee who was interviewed by a reporter for the Columbus Dispatch spoke about management’s takeaways on condition of anonymity.  Otherwise you know what would happen.  http://bit.ly/16jv9EP 

    When union members lose, non-union workers lose as well.  And when non-union workers get set back, so will those of us in the union.  The only winners are the CEOs who are enriching themselves and their companies’ wealthy investors.   Corporate-funded outfits like the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation don’t care about you or me.  They want to sow divisions among us all, while we are confronted by companies that are saying, “our way, or the highway.”  The “Concerned VW Team Members” gloat about this on their website and say “this is what America is all about.” I think these comments show their true colors as lapdogs for management.  I was amazed that they would be happy to remind VW “team” members about having had to work for free (!)  How many days do you think that CEOs work for free?

    Yes to informed auto workers!

    If the “No to Uninformed Auto Workers” was really about informing autoworkers, the site would feature a document called, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”  You can access the document by clicking http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
    The U.S. helped write, and then signed this document back in 1948, right after the defeat of fascism and the end of WW2.  Article 23 establishes several workers' rights, including the right of every worker to form a union: “Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of [their] interests.”  Protecting our interests requires workers banding together to have a voice; alone we work at the mercy of management.  The only way we can work together on behalf of our interests is by being organized in union locals at all the auto plants, and being part of a larger union, the UAW, so that we can have some collective clout.  

    Otherwise, it’s “Our way, or the highway.” 


    Democracy is a never-ending battle


    If you read the 2012 blog below you will see that I am concerned about how that clout gets exercised   One of the best features of a good union is its practice of internal democracy.  The stronger it is, the more attractive the union is to workers.  Being able to vote to accept or reject a contract is part of that.  Being able to vote on who will represent you or, better yet, deciding you’ll run for election yourself, is part of that.  

    That's why my article talks about voting practices regarding the acceptance or rejection of a contract. The article points out inconsistencies, where it's been done right, and where not.  Even as a retiree, I continue to strive to protect member democracy as do other UAW members who are part of the Autoworker Caravan.  If and when you become members of the UAW, you will need to form a tight core of worker organizers and insist on your democratic rights which are protected by Federal Law and the UAW Constitution.   Write to us at autoworkercaravan@gmail.com for assistance.  

     If you vote to join the union, UAW members and retirees will welcome you with open arms, as I am sure will all the unionized VW workers around the world. 


    Thank you,
    Frank Hammer
    Detroit

    Disclaimer: The Autoworker Caravan blog and the Autoworker Caravan network have no affiliation with the “Concerned VW Team Members,” or their website, “No to Uninformed Auto Workers,” and do not endorse their anti-union agenda.   


    October 21, 2013

    Autoworker Caravan Demonstration at the Detroit Autoshow


    by Dianne Feeley

     


    Autoworker Caravan held two demonstrations outside of the 2013 North American Auto Show. The opening of the annual auto show attracts national and international press as well as media from the Detroit area. We have demonstrated for several years as the press comes into town in order to tell the story of how workers are faring under the supposedly revitalized industry. This year we focused on how working conditions continue to deteriorate as the difference in wages and benefits between workers creates disunity among workers and extra profits for the 1%. Stiff absentee policies and the expansions of alternative work schedules create an ever more repressive work environment.
    March 13, 2013

    Solidarity Fundraiser for Injured Columbian Autoworkers

     
    "Salsa Night" Solidarity Fundraiser

    for  JORGE PARRA* & GM auto workers and their families fighting for justice in Colombia 

    * President, Assoc. of Injured Workers & Ex-Workers of GM Colmotores

     

    Chrysler Chief, Marchionne, Labeled a “Union Buster” in Italy

    by George Windau


    While “CBS 60 Minutes” suggests that Sergio Merchionne of FIAT was some kind of genius for saving Chrysler in the USA, in Italy workers consider Marchonne a “union buster.” I say this based upon an interview with Adriano Alessandria, a member of the Federation of Italian Metal and Office Workers (FIOM). I conducted the interview with the help of Stella Pavnosetti, in interpreter, on May 20, 2012 while I was at an autoworkers conference in Munich, Germany.
    January 6, 2013

    The 3-2-120 monster

    Martha Grevatt describes Chrysler's 3-2-120 process what it means operationally from the perspective of a given worker.

     

    by Martha Grevatt

    The 3-2-120 is one of three “Flexible Operating Patterns”(FOPs) in the Chrysler contract. Ford and GM contracts have their own non-traditional work patterns with their own names, but they are fairly similar. The 3-2-120 FOP means three crews, two shifts, 120 hours. It is a scheme to lower the cost of a 120 hour work week. Under a traditional two-shift schedule, to get 120 hours of labor would require each of the two shifts to work 60 hours per week in some combination of hours. It could be six 10-hour days, five 12-hour days, five 11-hour days and five hours on Saturday, or whatever. However the company works it, under the current language (and law) requiring time and ½ after 40 hours in a workweek, the last 20 hours on each shift would be time and ½. 
    October 27, 2012

    Free Legal Clinic for People Facing Foreclosure - UAW Local 160

    If you need help keeping your house or know someone else facing possible foreclosure, here's a group that can help.

    UAW Local 160's Civil and Human Rights Committee in partnership with other UAW locals, Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice and Moratorium Now! are offering a free legal clinic and a group discussion about how to fight foreclosures.


    Where: UAW Local 160 at 28504 Lorna, Warren, MI 48092. (near E. 12 Mile and Van Dyke Roads). http://goo.gl/maps/Gkaeh
    When: Saturday October 6, 2012.
    Time: Informative speakers from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and a free legal clinic from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm or later.
    October 4, 2012

    Ex-GM Colombia Workers Lift Hunger Strike

    Dear Friends,

    Thank you to all the people who have supported our struggle and who have shown it to us through your actions of help and solidarity. We respectfully wish to inform you that we have made the decision to lift our hunger strike as a show of our commitment to a definitive solution to our demands, and to demonstrate our will to talk and our hope for a prompt, just and final mediation.

    September 24, 2012

    Chrysler Trades Appeal Update

    by Martha Grevatt & Frank Hammer


    Adding Insult to Injury


    The UAW International Executive Board has stalled for over ten months without replying to an international appeal filed last November by Chrysler skilled trades members. The appellants-George Windau (Local 12), Alex Wassell and Martha Grevatt (both Local 869), and over 300 co-signers - charged that the IEB violated their seperate ratification rights defined in the UAW Constitution. These rights guarantee that ratification by production (the majority), doesn't impose bad skilled trades agreements on skilled trades (the minority). The majority of Chrysler tadespeople voted down the national agreement in October, but less than 24 hours after the final ballot was cast the IEB declared the entire contract ratitified.


    September 11, 2012

    An Open Letter to President Bob King

    Brother King,


    We, the undersigned UAW members and retirees, are writing to urge you to lend the immediate and full support of our union on behalf of fired GM autoworkers currently engaged in a hunger strike at the site of the U.S. embassy in Bogota, Colombia.
    August 13, 2012

    No "equality" -we make the sacrifice!

    by Scott Houldieson



    Did You Really Expect It Back Without A Fight?


    When you give away the farm do you think the one you gave it to will just hand it back? Sorry, but that’s not the way corporate greed works.

    July 29, 2012

    When the time comes, let’s not forget this.

    by Gary Walkowicz


    It’s outrageous that the arbitrator could rule against us in the Equity of Sacrifice grievance.

    In the February, 2009 contract modifications, the highlights talked about Equity of Sacrifice and referred to sacrifices by all Ford stakeholders “including executives, directors, management and salaried personnel”.

    July 24, 2012

    Greetings from UAW Local 3000

    by Jeff “Spike” Brown


    I work at AUTOALLIANCE PLANT (AAI) in Flat Rock, Michigan. AAI opened in 1987 as the Mazda plant. We are a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Mazda. This will be coming to an end this August as Mazda will move production of the Mazda 6 back to Japan. Once they have, the plant will be renamed Flat Rock Assembly and re-tooled to make the Ford Fusion along with the Ford Mustang, which we have been producing since 2004.

    May 20, 2012

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