|Financial Secretary Debra Abent
|Lansing's general strike
Eighty years ago this June, workers in Lansing staged a one-day general strike which came to be known as the Lansing Labor Holiday. By the start of the work day on June 7, between 2,000 and 5,000 union members and sympathizers poured into the downtown streets, forcing the closing of many shops, factories, theaters, and business of all kinds.
Workers paraded down the streets of the city singing labor songs, while UAW-AFL organizer Lester Washburn and other union representatives successfully negotiated the release of those imprisoned for illegal picketing (including Washburn’s wife Nevah). By nightfall, after the intervention of Governor Frank Murphy, the holiday was over and before long, Capital City Wrecking negotiated a contract with its workers.
The Lansing Labor Holiday was a rare instance of a mass, spontaneous demonstration by the working class of the city of Lansing to address injustice standing in the way of the momentum of the union organizing of the late
The workers forcefully demanded that the new industrial relations regime ushered in by the passage of the successful Lansing Labor Holiday gave voice to the desires of this generation of newly empowered workers.
A commemoration event was held on June 3 at the City Hall Plaza, which included labor speakers and the unveiling of the Lansing Labor Holiday State Historical Marker. – Information from John Beck of the MSU Labor Education Program
|About Local 724
AMALGAMATED UAW LOCAL 724
UAW Local 724 was chartered on May 14, 1940. The Local consists of twelve different worksites that are part of the Independent Parts Suppliers (IPS) and Technical, Office, & Professional (TOP) sector of the UAW. The following are the Bargaining Units of the Local:
- Bharat Forge, affiliated with the UAW in October 1950, is the oldest worksite in the Local. They form steel parts for the automotive and agricultural implement industries.
- Huntsman produces tooling boards for the automotive, agricultural implement and aerospace industries. They joined the UAW in February of 1955.
- Industrial Metal Products or IMPCO produces sophisticated machinery that is used around the world. The skilled trades workforce formed their Unit In June of 1972.
- In April of 1980, the Delta Dental unit became UAW members. The membership provides customer support, data entry, and claims processing for dental insurance market.
- The Lear Mason workforce supplies seats for the Lansing Grand River General Motors plant. Their members joined the UAW in September 1999
- Regional Steel Distribution Center or RSDC also became part of the UAW family in September 1999. The membership supplies cut-to-length and blanking for General Motors stamping plants.
- Dakkota Integrated Systems, UAW affiliated since October 2004, supplies interior cockpit systems for the General Motors Lansing Grand River Rlant. They also produce parts for the Oshawa Canada plant and do some Ford Motors as well.
- In October 2004, the UAW was recognized at the Woodbridge Lansing plant. The membership provides the drive train/power train for the Lansing Grand River GM plant.
- The Dimondale Nursing Care Center provides care for those needing care that can’t be provided at home. They care for many of our loved ones and have been UAW members since October 2005.
- UAW members since February 2006, the Dr. Pepper/7-UP bargaining unit delivers and merchandises their products in the Mid-Michigan area.
- Bridgewater Interiors members produce the seats and headliners for the Lansing Delta Township General Motors plant. They joined the UAW in October 2006.
- The Alliance Interiors Unit joined the UAW in May 2007. They endured a month-long strike in order to reach their first contract. The membership supplies the interior carpeting and some sound deadening materials for the Lansing Delta Township GM plant. They also have some business for the General Motors Spring Hill, TN plant.
Currently the membership stands at around 2,000 members, although layoffs have impacted the active working numbers.
|Local 724 Units
The Alliance Interiors Unit joined the UAW in May 2007. They endured a month-long strike in order to reach their first contract. The membership supplies the interior carpeting and some sound deadening materials for the Lansing Delta Township GM plant. Terry Summerville is the Unit Chair
Bharat Forge, which joined the UAW in October 1950, is the oldest worksite in the Local. They form steel parts for the automotive and agricultural implement industries. Scott Kazmerski is the Unit Chair and the Unit has its monthly Unit membership meeting on the first Saturday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
Bridgewater Interiors members produce the seats and headliners for the Lansing Delta Township General Motors plant. They joined the UAW in October 2006. Karac Brown is the Unit Chair and the Unit holds two monthly membership meetings on the second Thursday of the month at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Dakkota Integrated Systems
Dakkota Integrated Systems, UAW affiliated since October 2004, supplies interior cockpit systems for the General Motors Lansing Grand River plant, produces parts for the Oshawa, Canada plant, and does some work with Ford Motors. Ron Dean is the Unit Chair and the membership conducts their monthly meetings on the second Sunday of the month at 3:00 p.m.
In April of 1980, the Delta Dental unit became part of the UAW. The membership provides customer support, data entry, and claims processing for the dental insurance market. Rhonda Cain is the Unit Chair and they hold their monthly meetings on the fourth Sunday of the month at 1:00 p.m.
Dimondale Nursing Care Center
The Dimondale Nursing Care Centerprovides care for those needing care that can’t be provided at home. They care for many of our loved ones and have been UAW members since October 2005. James Jackson is the Unit Chair.
UAW members since February 2006, the Dr. Pepper/7-UP bargaining unit delivers and merchandises their products in the Mid-Michigan area. James Moncada serves as the Unit Chair representing the Dr. Pepper membership.
Huntsman produces tooling boards for the automotive, agricultural implement, and aerospace industries. They joined the UAW in February of 1955. The Huntsman Unit Chair is Glenn Morrill.
Industrial Metal Products or IMPCO produces sophisticated machinery that is used around the world. The skilled trades workforce formed their Unit In June of 1972. Dean Paseka is the Unit Chair, with Ron Gilbert serving as the Bargaining Chair. The Unit meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 3:45 p.m.
The Lear Mason workforce supplies seats for the Lansing Grand River General Motors plant. Their members joined the UAW in September 1999. Shawn Weicht serves as the Unit Chair. The membership meets monthly on the third Saturday of the month at 2:00 p.m.
Regional Steel Distribution Center
Regional Steel Distribution Center (RSDC) became part of the UAW family in September, 1999. The membership supplies cut-to-length blanking and slitting for General Motors stamping plants, along with other metal-related operations taking place currently. With Todd Collins serving as Unit Chair, the membership meets monthly on the third Sunday of the month at 12:00 p.m.
In October 2004, the UAW was recognized at the Woodbridge Lansing plant. The membership provides the drive train/power train for the Lansing Grand River GM plant. On the third Tuesday of the month, the Woodbridge Unit holds its monthly membership meetings with Bill Barrett serving as the Unit Chair.
|Local 724 Activities
By Todd Collins, Recreation Chair and First Vice President, UAW Local 724
Hello to all my fellow UAW members out there. Our annual Local 724 Golf Outing was held at Centennial Acres golf course in Sunfield on August 6. I would like to thank all the UAW members and their friends and family for coming out and making the day a huge success once again.
All of the hard work that goes into putting on all the events at our Local is definitely worth it when you see all of the fun everyone is having and the smiles on their faces. The true purpose for all of the recreation events we put on at the Local is to promote solidarity, not only within our workplaces, but outside as well.
I definitely can’t do all of the work by myself and would like to thank the volunteers who helped make the day a success once again. Terri Niblock from our Dakkota Unit and Dave Levine from our RSDC Unit were our Hole-in-One spotters. Our President, Dean Poggiali, checked the golfers in and made sure we got out on the course without any issues.
I would also like to thank our sponsors. UAW Region 1-C Director Norwood Jewell sponsored a $10,000 hole-in-one hole. Graff Chevrolet in Okemos sponsored a hole-in-one hole for a new Lansing-built Chevrolet Traverse. The law firm of Rapaport, Pollack, Farrell & Waldron also sponsored the event. Thank you to all of our sponsors for your support. I look forward to seeing you all next year. Solidarity!
|Local 724 Obituaries
Dewel (Dick) Hogan – Atlas Retiree
Versey Williams – Atlas Retiree
Jimmy Dean Cowley, Jr., brother of RSDC Unit member Lisa Flanders, passed away on February 17, 2015. Our condolences to family and friends.
Carl Joseph Fox, IMPCO retiree, passed away on 1-20-2015
Jason A. Field, Bridgewater Unit member, passed away on 1-23-2015
Maxine E. Mills, mother of Local 724 Financial Secretary Debra Mills, passed away on 1-25-2015
Retiree Christopher Arthur Hayward (retired from Atlas) passed away January 5, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
William Douglas "Doug" Barker passed away Oct., 6, 2012. He worked at Dakkota.
David E. Marchant of Dimondale Age 75, passed away on July 16, 2012. Dave spent 27 years working for Melling Drop Forge. Dave served on the Local 724 Election Committee.
Updated On: Jun 19, 2012 (11:17:00) We are sad to report the sudden passing of Al Snauko, a Local 724 member at the Bharat Forge Unit. Our condolences to his family, friends, and fellow union members. Thank you to Scott Kazmerski, unit chair at Bharat Forge, for this information.
Carolyn Evans passed away on July 4, 2010. She was presently employed at Bridgewater Interiors and formerly employed at Labor Source (Heritage)-Delphi. She was a member of UAW Local 724 for the past 10 years.
|Archived Articles for Local 724
Bidding a fond farewell
As I compose the last article I will write as President of UAW Local 724, I know that there is not enough space within the Lansing Labor News for me to express my thoughts and gratitude. Therefore it is not out of disrespect that I don’t leave anyone out of the thanks, but offer a wholehearted thanks to everyone where our paths have crossed.
When this journey began in 1979, when I first joined Local 724, the path had many twists and turns. It had periods of layoff, working 60+ hours a week, learning what it was to be a union member and, lastly, learning to serve unselfishly.
The first thanks must go to my family: wife Janet, daughters Shoni (Shawn) and Andrea (Juan) and their kids. Without their support and understanding, I would not be able to accomplish one percent of my service. They understood the long hours, the lean times, the statement “I’m going to the hall for a bit.” I can’t fathom where the path would have taken me if they didn’t have my back.
When I was first elected President of UAW Local 724 we were at around 600-700 members and wondered if we could keep the lights on. We had just gone through a three-year strike at Melling Forging and we had not seen a tremendous amount of organizing. Then in 1999 to 2000 there was a concerted effort by the UAW to organize the supplier plants that had spun out of GM. It was our good fortune to be the recipient of these units and we saw our numbers swell to around 2,000. Although some have closed and our numbers have dropped slightly, we still can maintain the high standards of an Independent Parts Suppliers and Technical Office & Professional Local Union that was chartered in 1940.
I am not retiring, but choose to concentrate on my position as the labor liaison at the Capital Area United Way. I feel as though it was a blessing 16 years last March when I started the position. With my strongest passion being community service, it was a perfect fit. Therefore I will still be around as the liaison, continue to serve on the CAP Council for the remainder of this term, and if called upon will humbly serve our members.
In closing, thanks for all the mem-ories, the friendships, and the laughs. Also the times of struggles, uncertainty, and frustrations have made us stronger to fight the good fight for working people.
My sincere hope is that this quote from Walter Reuther that has resonated with me throughout the years, will continue to stay with me the rest of my
“There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow man. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well.
Page Last Updated: Aug 08, 2017 (12:05:47)