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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
February 17, 2019
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
Dec 19, 2018

December 2018


I would like to thank everyone that took time on Election Day this year to go out and vote! Along with Gretchen Whitmer winning the Governor’s race and Alissa SlotKin’s win to help take back control of the US Congress, 85.2% of our local endorsed candidates won their elections. Candidates that our Capital Area Cap Council along with the Lansing Labor Council questioned and interview, making sure that they support labor and are looking out for our best interests before we endorse them.
Don’t forget the Oldsmobile Outdoor Club Winter Fest this year, held at Grayling Ramada Inn February 15th 2019– 17th2019. There will be lots of fun for the whole family. And also there is the winter picnic on February 19th 2019 at the VFW Hall in Bradenton FL., look for more details on these events in this paper.  
I would like to wish everyone a safe and Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy your families and friends during your time away from work.

Vice President Ben Frantz
Dec 19, 2018

December 2018

Remember Family

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are poised to celebrate a wonderful Christmas season. It is a great time of year to catch up with family and reconnect with loved ones and even yourself. As you are reading this, it is doubtful that the news of General Motors North American downsizing has escaped your periphery. As this news continues to flow, I hope it drives a serious notion home. Family is the most important thing in our lives; not our careers, positions or even aspirations.
Corporations have a need to run more and more efficiently with greater profits regardless of their product line or purpose. This need has no basis upon classic consumer request nor what the market deems necessary but merely because Wall Street and their stockholders tell them, they must in order to stay in their good graces. Corporations have lost their way when it comes to “the customer is always right”. Now, “the customer will get what we can provide the leanest and at the lowest cost so our shareholders don’t dump our stock”. It doesn’t have the same ring to it, that’s for sure.
This is why family must be our top priority. Becoming a “dad” is the greatest job that I have ever been able to attain. I love the challenges my career has presented me thus far and I even get excited about what the future holds in the next decade plus of my working career but then that will end and I will enjoy, god willing, a relaxing retirement enjoying what will never end, being “dad”.  That is why during this season of thanks and family, I ask you to take stock and remember why we all work. The old adage “I work to live, not live to work” needs to strike a chord with us all and get us back to what matters, which is family. I work with passion and driven direction alongside the greatest team anyone could ask for and we all work hard towards making our community better and improving the working class but after our time has come and gone other great leaders will take up that mantle, I will still be dad!
My sons, Carter, Matthew and Drew will always be my greatest accomplishment. That being said, I did not become their “dad” alone! My greatest blessing in life has undoubtedly been my wife Kristin; she made the life I am blessed to live possible. You didn’t think I could talk about being “dad” this whole time without giving credit to the one person who made it all possible, did you? Kristin has been my rock, my best friend and the boot in my behind when I needed to step up. The motley crew that I have just introduced you all to is my family. The reason for this season and all seasons for that matter, for whatever our working future brings our way, our families will always be there until the end.
Corporations and careers have difficulties just as our families do at times. Just remember the twists and turns that Corporations put us through is for their bottom line without any regard for our time or us. The twists and turns we go through for our families will always benefit the ones we love and that is the only bottom line. So, during this season of thanks and praise, from my family to yours, I pray you have a Merry Christmas and a very happy and safe Holiday Season.

Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Dec 19, 2018

Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Dec 19, 2018

December 2018

The Problem with Shareholders.

A couple of weeks ago General Motors announced the closing or idling of 5 plants including 4 in the United States, this came just a few months after General Motors announced that it would build the new Blazer at a plant in Mexico.  In an interview Michigan State University economics professor Charles Ballard stated, “investors seemed to look at the moves as good ones.”  This is just further evidence of the way in which Wall Street has embraced the idea that companies exist solely to serve their shareholders. Under this way of thinking, managers of companies should focus their attention on driving short-term value for those who own stock, and should pay almost no regard to other stakeholders, such as employees, customers, or members of the community. This way of thinking is especially appalling coming from a company who just a few years ago needed the support of the American taxpayers just to survive. Now upwards of 14,000 of these taxpayers will be out of their jobs, and communities will be devastated by indirect job losses within the communities as a result of these facilities closing.  While at the same time the company will further invest in facilities outside our borders.  And the stockholders, apparently, loved it.
In the summer of 2017, the Harvard Business Review published an article arguing that the idea that profits are all that should matter has only been around for a few decades. They trace it to writings by the free-market economist Milton Friedman, where Friedman outlined what he called the “Friedman business doctrine,” which holds that ideas of corporate social responsibility, which had become popular in the business world, were undermining the American way of life.  That’s right, the doctrine stated that showing concern to the community, your employees, or anyone but Wall Street was undermining America.  It seems strange to me because, aren’t communities and working people what makes up America?  Part of the issue is that stock owners have no public accountability for what the company does, and no responsibility, to place the company’s interests above their own. In the past most stock was owned by individuals who were looking for long term dividends and on-going value from their investments. But now institutional investors and hedge funds are looking for short term profits and a quick jump in stock prices. So, the fact that, as Professor Ballard pointed out, “investors seemed to look at the moves as good ones,” is not exactly an accurate predictor of whether the moves were good ones or not.
The problem comes down to the difference between wealth, which is defined as an abundance of valuable material possessions, and prosperity which is the condition of being successful or thriving, especially economic well-being. What stockholders want is wealth, personal wealth, which does virtually nothing for the country or society. Somewhere along the line is seems that we as a culture have lost sight of the importance of plain old prosperity, where families can prosper, maybe not be rich, but prosper and find their way through the world with enough money to raise their kids and have a good life. With GM’s actions a lot more families in places like Warren, Hamtramck, Lordstown, and Baltimore have had the prospect of prosperity ripped away. But hey, at least Wall Street liked it.

Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Dec 19, 2018

December 2018

652 Retirees
     Happy Holidays to all.

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.
     The January 1st bingo is cancelled.
     White Shirt Day is February 11, 2019, in Flint, at Local 659.

     Spring Euchre Tournaments will be held in Wyoming, Saginaw, Lansing, and Flint for retirees, spouses, and associate members.  The first tournament will be in Wyoming, on April 12, 2019, at Local 167.  The second tournament is in Saginaw, on April 19, 2019, at Local 467.   The third tournament will be in Lansing, on April 26, 2019, at Local 602.  The fourth tournament will be in Flint, on May 3, 2019, at Local 659.  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 Mystic, Foxwoods, & The Newport Mansions in May 2019.  The trip is scheduled for the week of May 4 - 10.  Contact Diane Bauer (517) 627-5895 or Connie Garner-Dunn (517) 323-2146 for a Lansing bus.  Final payment is due by February 20, 2019.  Reserve your seat now.  A Branson trip is in the works for December 2019 for their Christmas show.  More information will be available soon.

      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
Dec 19, 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: Dec 19, 2018 (06:34:00)
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