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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
October 17, 2017
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
Oct 02, 2017

Costco is coming to town

After two years of hard work, Costco has finally come to town and will be opening its doors on October 27. It is located at 5800 Park Lake Road in East Lansing. We need to support those companies that support labor and Costco is a labor-friendly company. A company that takes care of their people with good pay and benefits, unlike some of those others guys, like Walmart, that don’t.
Walmart is antiunion and spends millions of dollars every year on attacking unions and their members everywhere. They pay substandard wages and hire a bunch of part-time people so they don’t have to give them benefits. So get out and welcome Costco to our community.
Election endorsements
We have elections coming up on November 7 for our local government offices and we have endorsed the following candidates:
Mayor – Andy Schor
City Clerk – Chris Swope
City Council:
Second Ward – Tina Houghton
Fourth Ward – Brian Jackson
At Large – Kathie Dunbar
Please get out and support and vote for the candidates that support us.
We have the Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk coming up October 14 at the Lansing Capitol, starting at 9 a.m. I hope to see you all there.
October 21 at Local 652 is the UAW Region 1D Veterans Committee “Chili Cook Off.” It runs from 1-4 p.m.
Also on that day, in the parking lot, the Local 652 Recreation Committee will be holding their annual Halloween Trunk or Treat for all the kids. It will start at 2 p.m. and run until 4 p.m. So dress the kids up and bring them out. It should be a lot of fun for all.

Vice President Ben Frantz
Sep 21, 2017

This is who I am

Hello brothers and sisters, my name is Ben Frantz and I am the new Vice President of Local 652. I’ve chosen to use this first article to provide a brief history of myself so we can be better acquainted. I was raised mainly on the governmental aid and by a few great people and community families who understood my position in life.
Though, as a child I couldn’t comprehend how poor we were, I now use those memories often to provide myself a grounded perspective and to keep myself working hard in all aspects of life. As an adult, I realize that I can teach my three boys that determination and never quitting just because life can be difficult is not the Frantz way nor is it the way of the UAW.
Getting started in the UAW
Hiring into GM in July of 2002, I was fortunate to meet some people who have done great things inside the Local. South Plant (building 32) is where Ted Krumm and I first met; he is now the Chairman of the GM Unit of 652.
Shortly after hiring in, I was moved to the Lansing Grand River plant where Mike Green and I met. Through these encounters and support and encouragement from these individuals and many more, I started my path of representing Lansing Grand River as an alternate District Committeeman on the night
A year after being elected the District 2A alternate, I ran for the District Committee spot which I retained through three more elections over a five-year span. Many individuals were placed in my path who gave me knowledge on both what to do as well as what to avoid as a representative of the people.
The three years leading up to my election this past June as the Vice President, I represented the GM Unit of Local 652 as a Shop Committeeman representing multiple Divisions. The progression from representing a small group of members on a single shift as a District Committeeperson to the multi-shift and multi-location responsibility of Shop Committee was one that I will always appreciate.
Learning experiences
It was a period filled with learning experiences of long-term goal achievements, patience and issue resolution. As a Shop Committee bargainer, going through local negotiations was an invaluable experience that will pay dividends in this new role of VP.
As I reflect upon this life journey, the similarities are striking and speak to the very essence of the type of person, husband, father and representative I strive to be.
As a child being blessed with uncles who were willing to replace an absent father figure, going out of their way to push me to excel at all things life. Community families taking me in and showing me the true meaning of family and taking care of one another.
When I entered General Motors, meeting the great leaders that I’ve met and having them show support and sharing knowledge while challenging me to be the best at representing the membership all correlate so well.
These worlds are so different, yet so similar, and as I have been blessed to receive the trust of this membership to represent their interests as their Vice President, I say only this: I don’t take that support lightly. I will never stop pushing those who will come after me to be the greatest they can be, all the while keeping the best interest of the membership at the forefront of all they do—because that’s my commitment to you and that’s who I am.

Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Oct 02, 2017

A tribute to our Yanfeng members

Hello all! I’d like to use my space this month to thank a group of Union Brothers and Sisters for their hard work, loyalty, and unionism. This group, now known as Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, previously Johnson Controls and before that, Plastech, have been a part of Local 652 since 2008. Near the beginning of 2017 the members of Yanfeng received the news that their plant was being closed in spite of being the top plant in many of the company’s metrics.
It was totally unexpected, and when the Local was notified of the closing the UAW attempted to intervene. Local 652 former President Mike Green, International Servicing Rep Jeff Beegle, and Yanfeng Bargaining Chairman Mike Pattison went to great lengths to find work to keep the plant operating.
In concert with the plant’s management team, work was identified and a list was given to corporate management. Their answer? Yes, they would gladly take all the work we could find, but it would NOT be done at the Lansing plant. Instead it would be distributed to other Yanfeng plants that were remaining open. This is a bitter reminder that this industry is a callous business and as such, it’s driven by money and profit.
What I can’t understand is a decision that seems to be illogical. The Lansing site was tops in the corporation. They were #1 in profit margin, quality, throughput, scrap reduction, everything—and still they are closing it. Seems unusual until you notice that Yanfeng had previously (July 2016) closed their #2 plant located in Whitby, Ontario.
I guess this should be a warning to the other plants in the corporation. Don’t be a top-level plant or you will be closed! That’s a hell of a corporate strategy, isn’t it?
The real shame in this is the Brothers and Sisters in the plant who are some of the best union people you could hope to be around. They have stood together from their first Agreement through their most recent.
They have acted professionally throughout this difficult time, continuing to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, continuing to produce quality parts right to the end. I’m proud that UAW Local 652 has the privilege of representing this group.
From Plastech to JCIM to YFAI you’ve been an example for all of us. I thank you for your service, your patience, and most of all your membership in this Union and I wish you all the best.
–Your friend in Solidarity, Bob Smith

Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Oct 02, 2017

The tyranny of the corporation
In her new book, Private Government, University of Michigan professor Elizabeth Anderson reports that audits by the Department of Labor have found “sweatshop-like conditions” in ninety-three per cent of the garment factories in Southern California. She also writes about how in the poultry industry employees are denied relief breaks and are required to wear adult diapers. In the food service industry ninety percent of employees report that they have been sexually harassed, and nation-wide millions of employees are subject to drug screening without cause.
How is this possible, you ask? The answer is that almost all employees in this country are at will and are seen as accepting these conditions as consenting adults who are free to seek other employment. So basically, because employees can quit at any time, management is free to treat them however they want.
This treatment includes terminating at will employees for any reason that is not discriminatory. Your boss doesn’t like your Bernie Sanders bumper sticker? You are fired. Put something on Facebook they don’t like? You are fired. So long as you are not terminated based on your race, gender, or religion there are virtually no restrictions on employers’ power to terminate.
Most American workers just live with this. Fortunately, those of us who are blessed to have Unions and collective bargaining have means to combat the power of the company. But, only a small percentage of private sector employees still work under that protection.
The most striking thing about this, to me, is that the one proven method of combating these sorts of conditions, Unions, are shunned and derided by the people they could help the most. This is especially true of the right-wing base of the Republican Party.
Oddly, these same groups will rail against government intervention and interference in their lives and decry their “freedoms” being taken away. Yet, they place themselves under the hegemony of a private company and allow the corporation to subject them to restrictions that would be unconstitutional if imposed by the government.
Wake up, people! This country has too long listened to the praises of unfettered capitalism and the corporations. The very freedoms the American Revolution sought to gain, the escape from tyranny, the right to representation within our government, and the freedom to pursue life as we saw fit are now ceded to the corporations with the acquiescence of a vast number of Americans.
We, the members of the UAW, have protections and freedoms hard won by those who came before us; but these freedoms still lie out of reach for most of our fellow citizens. It is time now, more than ever, to proselytize on the issues of the Labor Movement to those we live with, eat with, worship with, and work with. If people continue to march forward with eyes closed, what the founding fathers fought and died to wrest from the King will continue to be ceded to the Corporation.

Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Oct 02, 2017

Setember 2017

Summer is about over. Fall is right around the corner. Enjoy the colors of the season.
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.
Upcoming event cancellations – please mark your calendars accordingly:
November 28th: Cards cancelled
December 26th: Cards cancelled
The annual VEBA Trust Informational Meeting will be Thursday, October 19 at Local 652, starting at 10:00 a.m.
The Region 1D Retiree Travel Committee has an upcoming Pigeon Forge trip April 9-14, 2018. For additional information on Lansing buses call Diane Bauer at 517-627-5895 or Connie Garner-Dunn at 517-323-2146. People wanting Flint buses, call Linda Francis at 810-423-8661.
There is also a Niagara Falls/Toronto trip planned for the weeks of October 1-5, 2018, and October 8-12, 2018. For the first week Lansing buses call Connie Garner-Dunn, 517-323-2146 or Linda Franci, 810-423-8661. For the second week (Lansing) call Diane Bauer, 517-627-5895. Anyone wanting info for the Flint buses call Linda Francis, 810-423-8661.
If there is enough interest there is a possibility of having a bus to the Detroit Auto Show in January. Details are still being worked out at this time. If you are interested please call 517-372-7581, ext. 147, and leave your name, phone number, and mention the Detroit Auto Show. I will get back with you when the details (date, cost, any other activities during the trip) are available.
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
Oct 02, 2017

September 2017

Kay F. Badge – Retiree
Mary Ann Behovitz – Spouse of Vincent Behovitz
Robert “Bobby” Brown – Retiree
Kenneth Cary – Retiree
Ruby Cornell – Mother-in-Law of William Sherburne
Kenneth Croff – Retiree, Spouse of Velma Croff, Brother-in-Law of Andy, Tom and Dave Kerr, Cousin of Richard May, Uncle of Garland Morgan
Welton “Leroy” Davis – Retiree, Brother of Robert “Bob” Davis, Son-in-Law of James Betz
Keith Eldred – Retiree
Jack Freeman – Father of Randy and William “Bill” Freeman
Eliseo Gauna – Retiree, Brother of Ruben, Manases and Ray Gauna
Vernon L. Grove – Father-in-Law of William Sherburne
John E. House – Retiree, Spouse of Gloria House
David Johnstone – Retiree
Mary Klaker – Mother-in-Law of Ken Ralston, Sister-in-Law of Leon Hundt
Keith Kniffen – Retiree, Father of Karen Kirkpatrick and Ron Kniffen
Luann C. Kramer – Spouse of Frederick Kramer
Delphine Joan Kurtz – Mother of Robert Kurtz
Robert Lira – Retiree, Spouse of SanJuanita Lira, Brother-in-Law of Lupe Torres and Florencio Torres II, Son-in-Law of Florencio Torres, Step Son-in-Law of Mike Peek, Uncle of Anna Perez
Dorothy McHenry-Fones – Mother of Robert McHenry
Louis J. Rademacher – Retiree
Viola Simmons – Mother-in-Law of Robert Kurtz
Fred Smith – Retiree
Trina Villegas – Mother of Mary DeLaGarza
Virginia Wiederhold – Spouse of Jason Wiederhold
Roger Dean Seabrook – Retired
Thank-You’s were received from the following families:
The Alden Brewbaker Family
The Jack Freeman Family
The Mary Klaker Family
The Keith Kniffen Family

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: Oct 02, 2017 (07:57:00)
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