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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
December 18, 2018
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
Sep 21, 2018

September 2018

        Time goes by so fast, its fall already; I hope everyone enjoyed summer with their family and friends.

This has been a very busy time for our union. In June we held our Constitutional Convention in Detroit. Saying good bye to President Dennis Williams and electing Gary Jones as the new President of the UAW.

We congratulate President Gary Jones and his entire executive staff which includes:

President - Gary Jones

Secretary – Treasurer – Ray Curry

Vice President –Cindy Estrada

Vice President – Terry Dittes

Vice President - Rory Gamble

And also elected was our Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem with Asst. Director Steve Dawes. Congratulations!

In July this year at Sleepy Hollow State park we held our Local 652 Family picnic. It was a great time with lots of fun and good food. I’m looking forward to the next one. My thanks go out to all of you that made this event such a success.

In August, 29 members went up to Summer School at Black Lake Education Center and by the time you read this we will have sent 29 more members to Fall School. What a great way to see what your union is all about and how you can be a part of your union.

This is an important election year for our state as well as for our country. The Capital Area CAP Council along with Lansing Labor Council did a joint screening of local candidates and decided what candidates we would recommend to endorse.  We were very successful in the August primaries. Together we have a lot of hard work ahead of us to get our endorsed candidates elected on November 6th. You will find a list of our UAW endorsed candidates in this paper. It will be posted on our Local 652 FB page along with the Lansing Labor News web site. This way you can take a picture of the endorsed candidates list and have it with you when you vote. Don’t forget that the Judges and Proposals are listed at the end of the ballots, sometime on the back and a straight ticket vote will not count for them.   Please remember to get your absentee ballots done and turned in. We will need every vote to count. And as a good friend of labor once said “we can’t fix the world in a day, but we can work on it every day” (UAW/ GM Chairman Ted Krumm). And that is what we (all of us)do best, we do the work!

Vice President Ben Frantz
Sep 21, 2018

September 2018

As I take stock of the world in which we work and live, it becomes apparent that we must find a way to look at this place in time and not merely accept the world how it is but rather take hold and step into the game to help change the tide. No, I don’t mean just politics, I mean fun life, work life, real life.

William Durant brilliantly identifies the problem in society with his quote “the political machine triumphs because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority”. I would adjust it a bit and replace “political machine” with “1%” to be more relevant today. Those of us operating in common life outnumber those with wealth and privilege in society by an incredible number. The real life issue is that these elitist individuals have capitalized on what we as a working class have ultimately done to ourselves. We don’t look at another person in a better paying job or house and think, that’s where I want to be, how do I get there? What will it take me doing to rise up to that level?  We are more inclined to look at that those situations and think that is not fair, I should have that. Pushing away the facts of the matter that the other individuals have more time in the job or on earth to have accomplished these things. When we covet, we lose perspective and those in the 1% understand this and foster these environments because when we divide ourselves over the scraps they maintain their spoils. Worse still are those who, looking upward, want what they have not yet earned while looking down upon those who are less fortunate. We all know that the situation in which you are born can be a help or hindrance to your position in life. This is an unavoidable truth for most all of us in society. We must face and overcome obstacles that a sliver of our society will never understand nor care to. Does this mean we are we all screwed? Is there no hope for us? Of course not, we merely need to unite and come together with a few basic understandings. Are our possessions and our stations in life attached to how hard we work? Of course not. This is the first understanding we must come to realize. Second, we must not judge others for being different or in lesser societal positions. We must look at them as opportunities to deepen our understanding of community. When we concentrate on community building and bringing diversity together, we win. We can then begin to rise as people, neighborhoods, towns and even movements! When I talk about taking hold of our place in time, I mean becoming an inspiration to your kids, coworkers and neighbors. Strive to have your actions in life be positive and constructive. If we all take hold of ourselves and be happy with what we have and realize that reaching out in any direction to grab the hands of our fellow people can create unity and begin to untie the binds that hold us down in our lives. If we can begin to believe that we are winning when we are pulling up a neighbor or reaching upward ourselves and counting on a neighbor or coworker to pull us up, then we have a chance. In the end, we need only remember one thing; basic math is simple and 99 hands clasped together will always be greater than 1 hand holding us down!

Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Jun 27, 2018

May 2018

Recently I was reading an article on the Economic Policy Institute website ( that made a lot of sense.  Titled “How today’s unions help working people” it attempts to explain the importance, strength, and power of labor organizations.  Americans have historically joined together in organizations to solve problems and make changes that improve their lives and communities.  Joining a union allows people to influence a place where they spend a great majority of their lives: their workplace.

Subtitled “Giving workers the power to improve their jobs and unrig the economy” it’s an in-depth look at the who, what, where, why, and how of organized labor in today’s environment and what’s needed to regain the lost ground of the last few decades.  Here is a small taste of the beginning…

The freedom of workers to join together in unions and negotiate with employers (in a process known as collective bargaining) is widely recognized as a fundamental human right across the globe. In the United States, this right is protected by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. law and is supported by a majority of Americans.

Over 16 million working women and men in the United States are exercising this right—these 16 million workers are represented by unions. Overall, more than one in nine U.S. workers are represented by unions. This representation makes organized labor one of the largest institutions in America.

By providing data on union coverage, activities, and impacts, this report helps explain how unions fit into the economy today; how they affect workers, communities, occupations and industries, and the country at large; and why collective bargaining is essential for a fair and prosperous economy and a vibrant democracy. It also describes how decades of anti-union campaigns and policies have made it much harder for working people to use their collective voice to sustain their standard of living.”

And a little of the end…

“Unions are a dynamic and ever-evolving institution of the American economy that exist to give working people a voice and leverage over their working conditions and the economic policy decisions that shape these conditions. Collective bargaining is indispensable if we want to achieve shared prosperity.

But it is precisely because they are effective and necessary for shared prosperity that unions are under attack by employers who want to maintain excessive leverage over workers and by policymakers representing the interests of the top 1 percent. These attacks have succeeded in increasing the gap between the number of workers who would like to be represented by a union and the number who are represented by a union. And these threats to the freedom to join together in unions haven’t been met with a policy response sufficient to keep the playing field level between organizing workers and the employers looking to thwart them.

Giving workers a real voice and leverage is essential for democracy. While unions historically have not been able to match corporate political donations dollar for dollar, working people organizing together in unions play an equalizing role because they can motivate members to give their time and effort to political causes. For example, one study found that unions are very effective at getting people to the polls—especially increasing voting among those with only a high school education.

As this report has shown, unions—when strong—have the capacity to tackle some of the biggest problems that plague our economy, from growing economic inequality, wage stagnation, and racial and gender inequities to eroding democracy and barriers to civic participation.

And, unions also help to address current workforce trends that are increasing work insecurity, from the rise of part-time work and unpaid internships to the exploitation of student athletes to increasing numbers of Uber drivers and other “gig economy” workers.  In a recent New York Times op-ed, Kashana Cauley cited some of these trends and called on her millennial peers to lead the next labor movement.  Indeed, there is evidence that young workers are primed to do so: 55 percent of 18- to 29-year-old workers view unions favorably, compared with 46 percent of workers age 30 and older.  And young people of both political parties are more amenable to labor unions than their older peers.  Having entered the workforce during the last recession, these young workers have experienced a labor market with lower wages, diminishing benefits, “non-compete” clauses that make it harder for even entry-level employees to move to better jobs, and other facets of increasing insecurity, Cauley explains.

Certainly, Americans of all ages, occupations, races, and genders have a vested interest in making sure our economy works for everyone. To promote an inclusive economy and a robust democracy, we must work together to rebuild our collective bargaining system.”

Taken from:  By Josh Bivens, Lora Engdahl, Elise Gould, Teresa Kroeger, Celine McNicholas, Lawrence Mishel, Zane Mokhiber, Heidi Shierholz, Marni von Wilpert, Valerie Wilson, and Ben Zipperer

Please take the time to visit the Economic Policy Institute website.  Read this article and, while you’re at it, take a look at the rest of the site.   It’s refreshing to read positive things about workers and their labor groups.  Frankly, I’m a little tired of being blamed for all the economic woes of today when the truth is, our conservative “friends” are more the cause of the inequalities plaguing our country than we could ever be.

Until next time…Solidarity

Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Sep 21, 2018

September 2018

It is difficult to overestimate the role of the United States Supreme Court in today’s America.  That said, the right-wing attack on worker protections continues with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.  While I am sure much attention will be focused on Kavanaugh’s stance on abortion rights and the legal immunity of sitting Presidents, the memo issued by the White House upon his nomination highlights an issue that is of great importance to the workplace and the lives of our members. This statement from the Trump Administration lauded the Supreme Court nominee for his strong stance opposing Administrative agencies, stating “Judge Kavanaugh has overruled federal agency action 75 times. . . protects American businesses from illegal job-killing regulation. . . helped kill President Obama’s most destructive new environmental rules.”

Kavanaugh has taken stances on the authority of Federal Agencies to regulate everything from worker safety to the environment more akin to view the Court held in the early 1900’s than todays law.  These views have repeatedly leaned toward an economic system that favors corporations being free to act as they will with the believe that bad-behavior will be punished through loss of business.  This kind of thinking was shown to be dangerous by Progressives in the early 1900’s, spurred in part by exposes of the results of these policies such as Upton Sinclair’s book The Jungle which exposed the appalling working conditions in the meat-packing industry. Sinclair’s description of diseased, rotten, and contaminated meat shocked the public and led to new federal food safety laws.  Many courts at the time found laws such as these an illegal restraint of trade, but society and right minded elected officials and jurists finally won the day.

From these sorts of victories came Agencies like OSHA, which made workers safer and punished companies for putting their workers at risk, the EPA that cleaned up our water, our air, and the earth we walk upon, the SEC that regulated insider trading and banking fraud, the list goes on and on.  Under the Trump administration and a Supreme Court of Kavanaugh’s these sorts of agencies would be handcuffed from regulating business.  Each of these agencies is in place to protect the average American from the corporate oligarchy of the Gilded Age and the ultra-rich of present day resent those protections, in their minds we are chattel to be done with as they see fit.

While for many people other issues will take center stage at upcoming hearings on Kavanaugh, in the long run and in the daily lives of working people it is Kavanaugh’s beliefs on the role of Federal Agencies which may mean more than anything. Imagine a workplace where only Management decides what level of exposure to harmful chemicals is okay and not okay, or where guarding of machinery is no longer required.  If the current direction of the court and the right is not diverted you won’t have to imagine long, because you’ll be living it.

Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Sep 21, 2018

September 2018

Fall is just around the corner now.  We have made it through the long hot summer.

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.

     Fall Euchre Tournaments will be held in Saginaw, Lansing, and Flint for retirees, spouses, and associate members.  The first tournament will be in Saginaw, on September 14, at Local 467, 2104 Farmer St.  The second tournament will be in Lansing, on September 21, at Local 602, 2510 W Michigan.  The third tournament will be in Flint, on September 28, at Local 659, 4549 Van Slyke.  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 Connie Garner-Dunn (517) 323-2146 or Diane Bauer (517) 627-5895 for a Lansing bus.  Flyers will be going out soon and we will start taking reservations in mid October.  A Branson trip is in the works for December 2019 for their Christmas show.  More information will be available soon.

     The annual VEBA Trust update meeting will be held Friday, October 19, at Local 652, starting at 10:00 a.m.

     There will be no cards November 27th or December 25th.  The January 1st bingo is also cancelled.

     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
Sep 21, 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: Sep 21, 2018 (05:46:00)
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