May 20, 2012

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.

Although we have been a one-shift operation since the summer of 2010, the plant is on excessive overtime. Members in our Body Shop are working 12-hour shifts. (We do not have second-tier members at this time.)

Like most Ford plants, the hottest concern on the shop floor is the status of our EQUALITY of SACRIFICE GRIEVANCE; it is in the hands of an arbitrator.

Because of how long the case is taking many members feel betrayed by our International leadership. It seems like the case is being stretched out on purpose. It’s one deadline after another, with little information available.

Another issue is the Local Agreement, Union members voted down a proposed agreement last November by 250 votes. Our plant leadership say they are in “NO HURRY’” to end discussions with management.

In mid-February a group of hard-working members circulated a Ford-wide petition to demand that Bob King and Jimmy Settles go to Ford and re-open the UAW-Ford National Agreement, restoring all of concessions Ford workers gave up in 2009. With just over 1500 AAI members, we have collected 790 signatures.

In March, I started a Local 3000 chapter of the Autoworkers Caravan on Facebook. (!/AutoworkersCaravanUawLocal3000Chapter) I try to keep everyone informed on the concerns of UAW members everywhere.

I hope everyone enjoys our efforts to put out an Autoworker Caravan Newsletter. This is a great way to get our message out and keep everyone informed of the events inside the plants and the political issues facing all workers.

Jeff Brown
Local 3000

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