When It Rains, It Pours!
At midnight September 14th the GM/UAW contract will elapse. By the time you read this it could all be over, we could be at work happy with an agreement that addresses most, if not all, of the issues that concern our membership…OR… We might be carrying picket signs on the outskirts of the plants, trying to educate the public about our issues and attempting to influence the Corporation to accept our demands!
Whichever way it ends up, it’s certain we’ll never see another confluence of economic, social, and political forces to match this round of bargaining! The last several years have been like a pressure cooker, turning up the heat on unions in general but the UAW in particular. In no particular order we have had GM and Chrysler bankruptcies (which thanks to the government loans both emerged leaner and stronger), a new U.S. President (who doesn’t have unions close to his heart), Climate Change (which said President doesn’t believe in), the Federal Reserve (which said President can’t leave alone), the Stock Market (the true root of all evil, and Yes, the President messes with that also), the Trade War (guess who is involved there, notice a pattern yet?) Foreign Competition (more competition, not just Toyota), the era of Electric Vehicles (a major problem, less manpower needed for manufacture) and last but not least, the President.
On top of all that GM announced that they would close…excuse me, UNALLOCATE several plants in the United States in the coming months, some of which have already been shuttered. GM can’t legally close the plants. That would be a violation of the 2015 contract. By unallocating product from these plants they have forced several thousand UAW members to accept transfers to other locations, in effect closing the plants by proxy. No workers equal no plant. Many of our brothers and sisters have transferred to 652 and I thank everyone at Local 652 for making them feel welcome in their new home! Several have told me they are thankful for our hospitality. Way to go 652!
As if that wasn’t enough the UAW corruption scandal has hit full force, rocking the top echelon of UAW leadership. This more than all the other issues combined makes it difficult to bargain a new contract that can be ratified by the membership. Can an agreement be reached and ratified with the mistrust that a few greedy people have caused? I believe it can. The framework of the UAW places Local leadership at the bargaining table. Leadership that has been elected by you and I to represent us. We can be happy knowing our Local 652 Shop Chairman, Ted Krumm, is in fact Lead Negotiator for the GM bargaining committee. Ted, along with many other UAW Leaders from around the country, will ensure that the members WILL be getting ALL THAT CAN BE HAD! I am extremely proud that a man like Ted is at the table working for us, making sure the agreement is balanced, fair, trustworthy and most of all everything we need to go forward. Thanks for the good work Ted!
The old saying is a few rotten apples don’t spoil the whole barrel. Don’t let a few bad apples influence your decision. When a tentative contract is reached take the time to attend the informational meetings. Get your info, ask questions, make your own decision. We have good people working on this!