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Lansing Labor News
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April 04, 2020
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Vice President Steve Delaney
Updated On: Mar 12, 2020

February 2020

February is notable for many things. Two of the more prominent to me are “Black History Month” and every four years it adds an extra day to the calendar. Being a leap year, I should have known that Local 602 would do something special for it’s “2020 Taste of Black History Program.” This year Locals 2256 and 4911 joined us and were treated with food, prizes, entertainment and distinguished guest speakers. Local 602 retiree Marilyn Coulter, who started our very first Black History Program in 1999, was the honorary “Mistress of Ceremonies.” The Keynote Speaker was Dr. Eugene Cain and closing remarks were made by Judge Wanda Stokes. The theme for the program was “Seated at the Table.” Dr. Cain educated the audience on the significance of the ballot and the 95-year struggle that took place before blacks were finally given the right to vote under the law. Many didn’t know that In 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gave non-whites and freed black slaves the right to vote. That was quickly reversed in the racially segregated South. It took the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 60’s to get the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965. Discrimination could no longer be used to keep any person of color from voting. Many thanks to Deasha Johnson and her entire committee, along with the Civil and Human Rights committees of Locals 2256 and 4911 for a tremendous program on the sixteenth of February.

On Friday, February 21st, there was a ceremony to commemorate the three millionth vehicle produced at the Lansing Delta Township Plant. It was attended by many local and state-wide dignitaries. The media recorded the plant employees cheering as the grey metallic, red line version 2020 Chevy Traverse rolled of the end of the line. It was a milestone we can all be proud of. Since LDT opened in 2006 there are only a handful of plants in North America that can say they have built 3,000,000 vehicles. It took Oldsmobile/BOC/Lansing Car Assembly, 105 years to build 20 million here by the time it closed in 2005. It is my hope that we go on for the next 100 years and continue to be called “Car Capital of America!”

Tribute to Bill Reed
During his remarks at the three millionth car ceremony UAW Local 602 President Bill Reed announced that he will be retiring on April 1st. Bill was the 1st vice president of the Lansing area CAP Council. He’s a board member of the Lansing Labor News and the Capital Area United Way. He’s a volunteer for the Greater Lansing Area Food Bank and vice president of the “Old Newsboy” organization. He’s worked with many constituency groups including LACLA, BMIU, CLUW and the A. Phillip Randolph Institute. He Helped MSU professor Peter Glendening put together a Mobil Oral History display of UAW Local 602. While leading Local 602 he also negotiated the OPEIU contract for the staff at the hall. During the recent National contract negotiations Bill was elected Chairman of UAW Sub-Council 2 and helped lead us through the historic strike of 2019. During his ten years of leadership he says that one of his most cherished accomplishments is his formation of the new hire orientation classes held at the union hall. It has been my pleasure to be his vice president. He has been a wealth of knowledge and an inspiration to me. I congratulate Bill on his retirement and wish him the best of everything in his next chapter in life.


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