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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
 
 
December 14, 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
Dec 07, 2017

Members step up

I would first like to thank everyone for all your continuous support, not only to your local and international Union, but the support you show to your fellow Union members and the families in our communities that we live in. I have seen year after year our UAW members volunteering and donating to the many charities we have in our areas.
This year the United Way drives again were very successful in our plants, along with an exceptional Toys- for-Tots drive—the Lansing-area GM automotive plants combined for over $18,900 to help make sure that kids in this community will have a Christmas this year.
And I know by the time you receive this paper that you will have again supported the OLD NEWS BOYS and helped put shoes on kids’ feet. I also see our retirees that take time out of their lives to volunteer throughout our communities with places like the Red Cross and the Safety Council, just to name a few. Thank you for all you do!
Don’t forget the Oldsmobile Outdoor Club’s Winterfest on February 16, 17 and 18. It will again be held this year up at the Ramada Inn in Grayling. It’s great time for the whole family.
Please take the time to spend with your families and friends this holiday season and if I don’t see you, I would like to wish you and yours this Holiday a very Merry Christmas and Happy and New Year!


Vice President Ben Frantz
Dec 07, 2017

Your best friend

As we enter into the holiday season, we can use this time to reset the batteries and reflect on the blessings in our lives as Union brothers and sisters. With this time upon us, there is a topic that I would like to cover during this rediscovery period.
While learning about the various units, I’ve noticed there are a few folks who work in our shops who have signed off paying their union dues. I truly believe that many of these individuals have no innate disbelief in the Union or its positive impact on raising working standards. In fact, I believe these folks understand that working in a Union shop provides them with better benefits, pay and working conditions.
The individuals that I have had interactions with merely aren’t in agreement with a particular person in an elected position, or a piece of their Agreement, and—even more unfortunate—something they wanted didn’t go their way. Now this clearly is the “I’m gonna take my ball and go home” philosophy that we all saw as children growing up. My hope is that these folks may have gotten themselves in life’s “rut” and just need a reset.
We need to remember that in life negative things happen in all facets of our lives, but we can still appreciate the positives that coexist with these small inconveniences or irritations. I have thought of life as an adult attempting to utilize this “all my way or nothing” approach and how it would work in its simplest form—like this:
They say dogs are a man’s best friend, but the accompanying dog hair that attaches itself to all of our earthly belongings is not! My wife and I see our dog as loyal (yet flawed) and we are comfortable knowing that she is protecting our whole family while we are distracted. With that, my family and I work around that negative aspect of being dog owners. Now, if we were to take the approach that since we don’t like her hair on our couch and even though she is loyal and would protect us when called upon, we can no longer feed her due to this hairy nuisance, Lily would show little change at the onset … but over time our Lily girl will grow weak and no longer be able to defend us.
Clearly this isn’t how we treat our best friend, because we want her strong and although we dislike the hair, Lily is well fed. My wife and I pray she never has to protect us but if she should have to, Lily is at the ready.
This is just like paying union dues. There are flaws and minor irritations in our UAW, but how can we support enjoying all of the benefits of membership while not feeding the UAW? I will always feed the UAW and my Lily girl and tolerate the irritations because I know that a strong and healthy UAW is better for us than fighting alone.
That being said, I ask that you use this holiday season to reflect and see if the irritations of life have inadvertently led you off course. If this is true, it’s never too late to repair a relationship or rejoin the family. God Bless and I hope you have Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas. – Ben Frantz and Family


Financial Secretary Bob Smith
Dec 07, 2017

Reagan tax plan 2.0

1.5 trillion dollars. You could buy all of the teams in the NFL (and no, you can’t get a discount if you include the Lions!) and have change left over. You could buy 3.2 MILLION homes at today’s US median home price. You could pay the US Department of Defense budget, one of our largest budget items, for all of 2016 … TWICE! That’s the amount of new debt the proposed Republican tax plan will add to the deficit over its first ten years.
So, let’s look a little closer.
The right has claimed they are the party of the balanced budget … NOPE!
The tax cuts being proposed are expected to increase the deficit (1.5 trillion dollars from above). This is being acknowledged from members of both the right and the left.
The right has claimed this is a tax plan for the middle class … NOPE!
Around 70% of the tax benefits would go to people earning six figures or more (about 23% of all filers) and the majority of that would go to the highest earners, the infamous 1%, who will see a 40 to 60% tax cut!
The right has claimed this tax plan will benefit workers … NOPE! NOPE! NOPE!
A linchpin of this plan is a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% and assorted rules changes that concern money earned outside the US (allows this cash to return to the US with little to no tax) which would allow businesses to invest more, creating jobs, increasing economic growth, and generating additional taxes to help pay for the cost of reductions. That’s all fine and dandy, but then Trump’s own Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, addressed a gathering of businessmen and merchants in Columbus, Ohio recently and asked for a show of hands on who would invest tax savings in manpower and facilities. Only a few hands were raised. Befuddled, he asked what the group would do with it.
They responded with a litany – increased dividends, mergers and acquisitions, stock buy-backs, etc. Jobs and increased wages for employees were conspicuously absent—and I suspect Trump knows this, he is a businessman after all. His intent seems to be to help those who have the most while the rest of us get “trickled” on. That’s something I am getting a little tired of and I sincerely hope you are too! A quote from Frank Mathews with the Communication Workers of America is chilling – “Once this millionaire tax scam is complete, those in power will cry poor, and then they will come after Medicare and Social Security.” Many believe these to be off-limits but as any retiree in Michigan knows, nothing is off-limits when it comes to tax breaks for business. Think about it.
The Skilled Trade Christmas Meeting is scheduled for December 14 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Local 652 Union Hall. Food and beverage provided with a $3 donation at the door. I hope to see you there!
I’d like to wish a safe and happy holiday to everyone! Enjoy your loved ones and enjoy the time you spend with them. It all passes too quickly!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!


Recording Secretary Scott Lounds
Dec 07, 2017

Rising tribalism
During the 2016 presidential campaign at a rally in Iowa, Donald Trump boasted that he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose voters. With the revelations of his behavior toward women and other actions since being elected, I don’t doubt that President Trump’s boast may not well be true.
Now a Republican Senate candidate from Alabama has been accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl and multiple other women have come forward to tell their stories of how Roy Moore behaved toward them while they were teenagers and he was a 30-year-old assistant district attorney. Apparently, even if true, this is not a disqualifier for being elected in some Republicans’ minds.
Republican leaders in Alabama mostly supported Moore with one Alabama Republican comparing the relationship between Moore and his accuser to the age difference between the biblical couple, Mary and Joseph.
One Alabama county G.O.P. chairman went so far as to basically say that even if the accusations are true, people must still vote for Moore or they would be handing a victory to the Democratic party.
Sadly, this sort of thinking is apparent across the political spectrum and in many parts of society. It is part of a trend over the last decade which has led people to attach their social identity to a political party in a way that is akin to tribalism. It is no longer even about ideology or the political differences between the parties. Instead it is about supporting those who identify as belonging to the same groups you belong to, even to the point of ignoring abhorrent behavior in your fellows.
This is a scary proposition. When you come to identify so closely with a group to which you belong that anything that group does is seen through the prism of partisanship as an attack by the other side, you have lost the internal dissent that is key to curtailing extremism and corruption.
No member of any party or organization should feel that dissent is the equivalent of treason, and no leader of men and women should ever treat dissent as treason. But as the rank partisanship of our political system continues to grow, this becomes more common.
The sentiment behind this way of thinking is sold to people every day; it is the “be true to your school,” “my country right or wrong,” ideal. But that road leads in the end to jingoism and to despotism.
We in the Labor movement need to be vigilant in seeing the signs of gang mentality in ourselves and our organizations. I like to think that the Civil War Union General and Senator Carl Schurz had it right when he proclaimed on the floor of the Senate, “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” This sentiment, if applied to our country, our political parties, and our Union, will point the path to right thinking and right action.


Retiree Chair Mike Bauer
Dec 07, 2017

December 2017

Winter is almost upon us. Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Holiday 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 Region 1D Retiree Travel Committee has an upcoming Pigeon Forge trip April 9 - 14, 2018. For additional information on Lansing buses call Diane Bauer 517-627-5895 or Connie Garner-Dunn 517-323-2146. People wanting Flint buses call Linda Francis 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 Francis 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.
There will be two sessions for Black Lake again in 2018. The first session is April 3 - 6. The second session is May 29 - June 1. Participants must attend all classes of the session you are assigned to. If you are interested call 517-372-7581 ext. 147 and leave your name and phone number. I will return your call and provide additional details.
 The spring euchre tournaments will be held in April. The schedule is as follows: Saginaw - Friday, April 20th, Local 467, 2104 Farmer St.; Lansing - Friday, April 27th, Local 602, 2510 W Michigan Ave.; Flint - Friday, May 4th, Local 599, 812 Leith St. These tournaments are open to our retirees, their spouses, and associate members. You may play in all of the tournaments. You do not need a partner to play. Tournaments start at 10:00 a.m. Please arrive by 9:30 to get signed in, seated, and ready to play.
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 www.lansinglabornews.org
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: retiree652@hotmail.com


Local 652 Obituaries
Dec 07, 2017

December 2017

Noe Benavidez Sr. – Father of Noe Benavidez Jr.
Marilyn Chaffee – Spouse of Ed Chaffee
David Church – Retiree, Brother of Jim Church
Rosemarie Corey – Mother of Bruce Corey
Donald Debolt – Retiree, Brother-in-Law of Preston Rapelje
William Epps – Retiree
Janet Ferguson – Spouse of Bobby Ferguson
Andrew Higelmire – Son of Steven Higelmire
Patrick J. Izzo – Father of Mike Izzo
Jim Maurer – Retiree, Uncle of Dave Perkins, Ty Wickham and Chad Wickham
Roger McQueen – Retiree
Annie Mae Turner – Mother of Ricky Turner
William Van Deusen – Retiree, Step-
Father of Bruce Jury
Thank-You’s were received from:
The Marilyn Chaffee Family
The Donald Debolt Family
The Andrew Higelmire 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: Dec 07, 2017 (11:46:00)
 
 
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