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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
 
 
December 14, 2018
Archived Articles for Debra Abent
Print Icon Apr 08, 2011

May 2018

Here is an interesting article on the Conflict of Interest Rule

What’s at stake with the conflict of interest rule

By Heidi Shierholz and Ben Zipperer

When financial advisers are paid through fees and commissions that directly depend on which investment products their clients choose, the advice they provide is “conflicted”—what is best for the adviser may not be best for the client. This creates incentives for advisers to steer their clients into investments that provide larger payments to the adviser but are not necessarily the best choice for the investor. Every year, retirement savers lose $17 billion acting on advice from financial advisers who have conflicts of interest. Annual losses from conflicted investment advice range from $24.2 million in Wyoming to $205.3 million in Iowa to just over a billion in Texas and to nearly $1.9 billion in California.

This fleecing of retirement savers should be illegal. Financial advisers, like lawyers and doctors, should be required to act in the best interests of their clients. That’s what the “conflict of interest” rule—also known as the “fiduciary” rule—does. Set to go into partial effect June 9, the conflict of interest rule would require financial advisers to act in the best interests of clients saving for retirement.

But this rule is under threat from the Trump administration, which has demonstrated that weakening or rescinding the rule is a core priority. In the second week of his presidency, Donald Trump directed the Department of Labor to prepare an analysis concerning thelikely impact of the rule—despite the fact that the department had already completed a roughly six-year, exhaustive vetting process. This vetting process produced a nearly 400-page economic analysis on the likely impact of the final rule. The analysis was published one year before the rule would go into effect, and it incorporated feedback from four days of hearings, more than 100 stakeholder meetings, thousands of public comments, and a detailed review of the academic literature. The analysis found that “adviser conflicts are inflicting large, avoidable losses on retirement investors, that appropriate, strong reforms are necessary, and that compliance with this final rule and exemptions can be expected to deliver large net gains to retirement investors.”

To have time to conduct the additional examination, the Department of Labor delayed the implementation of the rule by 60 days, from April 10 to June 9. This delay hurt retirement savers, and not just during the period of the delay. In the proposal to delay the conflict of interest rule, the department noted that the losses that retirement savers would incur from being steered toward higher-cost investment products during the delay “would not be recovered, and would continue to compound, as the accumulated losses would have reduced the asset base that is available later for reinvestment or spending.” The 60-day delay will cost retirement savers $3.7 billion over the next 30 years—and this estimate is an undercount because it considers only individual retirement accounts, not other investment vehicles subject to potential conflicted advice, such as 401(k)s.

Alexander Acosta, who became Secretary of Labor on April 28, originally said that he was hoping to further “freeze the rule,” but has since said that he couldn’t find a legal way to do so, stating that while the department “should seek public comment on how to revise this rule,” department officials “have found no principled legal basis to change the June 9 date while we seek public input.” The fact that there will be no added delay in the near term is very good news. Further delay of the rule would have been a huge win for the financial industry and a huge loss for retirement savers all across the country, with every additional week of delay costing retirement savers $431 million over the next 30 years.

However, while the rule’s fiduciary standard will take effect on June 9, key compliance provisions built into the rule’s exemptions have been further delayed to January 1, 2018. Moreover, the department has stated that it will not enforce the rule between June 9 and January 1.8 This means the loopholes that allow financial advisers to take advantage of savers are not fully closed, and retirement savers will continue to be harmed.

Further, it is far from certain that the rule will in fact become fully applicable on January 1. The department has made it clear that—as requested by the financial industry—it is considering proposing additional changes to the rule and delaying it beyond January 1.9 Thus, we can expect further attempts to weaken and delay the rule in coming months. These actions would further harm retirement savers, who need a fully applicable and vigorously enforced rule to protect their savings from the large losses caused by conflicted advice. As the administration takes its next steps, the cost estimates provided in the map and the table show what is at stake for retirement savers.

December 2017: Happy holidays!

Each year our Holiday Tree of Warmth has been a big success because of all of you, so we need all your donations again this year to provide our families in need with new hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to the needy people in our community.
Please drop off your items from December 1 to December 22 at Local 724 Union hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Or drop at your worksite. Our sincere thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
I know everyone will be out shopping. Let’s remember to buy American and buy Union. With so many of Union brothers and sisters in need, let us help our own this holiday season!

September 2017: On health care

As we were going to press, the Republicans in Congress were trying to pass an even worse health uncaring bill. Whether or not they get their way now, it’s worth keeping in mind the union perspective on this issue:
There is something wrong with our system when working people are forced to forego lifesaving treatments in order to put food on the table. Americans want and need health care that allows children to grow into their potential and grandparents to be an active part of family life.
We have taken important–but imperfect steps–toward providing comprehensive, affordable health coverage for all. Today, the share of Americans who are uninsured is at a historical low. That’s thanks to the combined impact of workers’ health plans, strong Medicare and Medicaid programs, and the Affordable Care Act’s protections against unaffordable private insurance.
Still, too many people do not have health insurance. Medical care and prescription drug prices are too high, which drives up the cost of health insurance and sticks working people and retirees with exorbitant deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance.
Now, Republicans are trying to ram their ill-conceived plans through Congress. If they succeed, millions of working people and retirees will be stripped of their health benefits, coverage will be far more expensive, workers’ health plans will be taxed and federal health care funding will be raided to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations.
We will continue to advocate for affordable health care for all Americans and to protect and strengthen the family protection programs that provide vital care to millions of children and seniors. – aflcio.org

May 2017: 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
1930s.
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

March 2017: International Women's Day

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.
International Women's Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, academic institution, women's network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause.

January 2017: Moving into 2017

By the time you read this, the Christmas holiday has passed and we will have celebrated the 2017 New Year. As we move into 2017, let’s hope for a brighter and secure future.
All of us at Local 724 would like to thank everyone for their donations, along with special thanks to Nicholas Lumsden for his generous donation to the Tree of Warmth.  Our Holiday Tree of Warmth was a success; the hats, mittens, scarves and gloves will be given to the community for those in need.
Local 724 held the annual Children’s Christmas party for its members on December 4. The party was wonderful, the families had a nice time, and the children saw Santa Claus. They had many activities to participate in, and received a present from Santa. There were lots of smiling faces, and this year we added gift cards for the adults. Needless to say, this event is not possible without the help from Local staff, officers, and local members and their families. 
And big thanks to Santa. He was a hit, and he does carry a Union card!
The Local Toys-for-Tots drive was a big success this year. Thanks to Huntsman, Impco, Alliance, Bridgewater, and Woodbridge units as several boxes were filled. Thanks for all your time making sure the children received toys.
So as we continue in the 2017 year, let’s still remember to buy American and buy union.  We still have many of our sisters and brothers out of work, so let’s continue to help our own and make 2017 even more successful.

December 2016: Shop UAW-made

Across the land, UAW members build cars, vans, and trucks. But did you know that in a factory in Michigan, UAW members also build houses? Or that in a plant in New York, UAW members prepare and package sugar. Or that in Ontario, UAW members make hockey sticks?
All UAW members should look over this guide to UAW consumer products before we shop. Every time we buy a UAW-made product, we help preserve the jobs of our brothers and sisters.
Let’s proudly proclaim that we buy what we make because when we do, we create a better tomorrow. Just go to uaw.org/uaw-made to start your search. Have a happy union holiday season!

September 2016: Historic struggle

Here is an interesting historical item from the UAW website:
On September 22, 1910, seventeen-year-old Hannah Shapiro (also known as Annie) walked off the job at Chicago’s Hart, Schaffner & Marx clothing factory after getting a pay cut – from 4 cents to 3 ¾ cents an hour.
Sixteen of her co-workers followed Shapiro out that day and by the end of the week, 2,000 of Shapiro’s co-workers had joined the strike. Word spread that an immigrant girl was taking a stand against the garment industry and by mid-October, 40,000 garment workers were on the streets of Chicago demanding better wages and working conditions.
The strike lasted four months and crippled the clothing business in the Midwest. Some of the striking workers at other sweatshops ended up back on the job without a pay raise but Hart, Schaffner & Marx became one of the first clothing companies to sign a contract with its workers.
By 1915, many of the Chicago garment workers were members of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, a new union that grew out of the 1910 Chicago strike led by a teenage girl who had had enough.

May 2016: Working women survey
More than 6.8 million women in the United States are part of a union. In the fall of 2015, the AFL-CIO launched a comprehensive survey to better understand the experiences and aspirations of working women.Nearly 25,000 working women responded in just six weeks.
The National Survey of Working Women is more than just a job assessment. It zeroes in on how working women spend time at home, tackle financial challenges and engage in our communities. The results paint a clear picture of the economy and society working women are committed to building: where equal pay, paid leave and fair scheduling are the law of the land.
The AFL-CIO received so much information  they decided to release the findings in a series of short reports over a few months. The first one presents a snapshot of the entire sample. Later briefs will examine young women, mothers, women of color and other topics. See it at www.aflcio.org/Issues/Work-and-Family/Equal-Pay-Equal-Say

January 2016: Union Plus
With Union Plus benefits, your union membership “pays” at work and at home — through your major life milestones, your celebrations and hardships. By using the collective buying power of unions, we are able to offer valuable, discounted products and services exclusively to working families.
Backed by the AFL-CIO, the Union Plus brand promises the value, quality service and competitive cost-savings that union members deserve. Since Union Privilege started in 1986, union members and their families have expanded and tailored Union Plus programs to serve today’s working families in their lives off-the-job. Union Privilege is committed to improving the quality of life of working families through unique products and services. Visit www.unionplus.org

December 2015: Happy holidays
Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is that time of year again, the wonderful holiday season!
UAW Local 724 along with the Women’s and Recreation committees, are having the Christmas Party on December 6 from 1:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Santa will be here too! Please come and join us. There will be desserts, punch and coffee as well as activities and surprises for the children.
Each year our Holiday Tree of Warmth has been a big success because of all of you. We need all your donations again this year to provide our families in need with new hats, mittens, gloves, scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to the needy people in our community.
Please drop off your items from December 1 to December 23 at Local 724 Union hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Or drop at your worksite.
Our sincere thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
I know everyone will be out shopping. Let’s remember to buy American and buy Union. With so many of Union brothers and sisters out of work, let us help our own this holiday season!

September 2015: Backpack giveaway even bigger
The annual backpack and school supply giveway hosted by the Region 1D Women’s Committee was bigger and better than ever this year. This year we had vendors from many service organizations, with many giveaways-–and a bouncy house! Shown below are members of the committee preparing for the crowd. Below right is Local 4911 President Joe Douglas, who was one of many union officers and members on hand to help. Many thanks to all who helped make back-to-school easier for so many families.

May 2015: Suing UIA
A group of Michigan citizens, joined by the UAW, has sued the Michigan unemployment insurance system to stop its illegal and unconstitutional practices. In a federal lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, the plaintiffs allege that the State’s practices have deprived them, and thousands of Michigan’s unemployment insurance claimants, of their fundamental rights under the Constitution and under the Social Security Act.
The suit challenges the State’s widespread practice of deciding cases involving serious accusations of fraud through a computer program lacking any human oversight. Under the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s recently instituted “robo-adjudication” system, the Agency regularly accuses people who have filed for unemployment benefits of fraud based on routine discrepancies in the Agency’s information. This has resulted in potentially thousands of Michigan’s unemployed citizens being accused of fraud and assessed onerous financial penalties, despite the fact that they did absolutely nothing wrong. In one case, the fine was as much as $20,000.
“The stories of the individual plaintiffs demonstrate a systematic and widespread practice of automatically accusing Michigan’s unemployed of criminal fraud – assessing penalties and sometimes seizing property without the benefit of a hearing, and without any probable cause to support the allegation,” said attorney David Blanchard of the Ann Arbor civil rights firm Nacht, Roumel, Salvatore, Blanchard and Walker, P.C.
The plaintiffs are seven former unemployment insurance claimants. Each of the plaintiffs was qualified for unemployment benefits, but was erroneously accused of fraud by the Agency. Some even have had their wages garnished and tax returns taken, costing them thousands of dollars.
They are joined in their lawsuit by the UAW and the Sugar Law Center for Social and Economic Justice. The Sugar Law Center is a non-profit public interest legal organization headquartered in Detroit, providing legal representation to unemployed workers on fraud and restitution claims. – Information from the UAW website

January 2015: True Solidarity
The UAW’s Solidarity magazine is nowadays mostly online. So I wanted to make sure you saw the following article from the last issue. Also, you can go to www.uaw.org to sign up for email notifications of the publication of the digital version, or even to opt in for the print issue.
When Ann Martin was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2011, she knew the road to recovery would be difficult. As the mother to a son and daughter, the then 16-year employee of General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana was worried about many things — including the toll the disease would take on her health and family.
By May 2012, she had undergone a double mastectomy and finished five months of chemotherapy. Her final procedure was reconstructive surgery. It was a draining time for her family, including her husband, who also works at Fort Wayne Assembly, in Trim.
Martin and her family were struggling, but something happened on her last day at work that redefined her idea of what “family” meant. As Martin was walking through her department, she started to see pink T-shirts on her fellow Local 2209 members. At first, she didn’t take notice, but then she started to see more and more of the iconic shirts symbolizing the fight against breast cancer on the people she worked with.
“I couldn’t believe it. These were people I see every day, some I know well. Others I just know through work. But they were all expressing their support for me in the most visible, unifying way,” said Martin. The memory still brings tears of joy. “Heading into the surgery, we were all so exhausted. But knowing there was all this love and support for me at work provided such a sense of comfort and warmth.”
Teal George is one of Martin’s co-workers who organized the show of support. She said, “When we found out about her diagnosis, it hit a bunch of us hard. With surgery coming, we knew we wanted to do something to celebrate her and show her support. We agreed to all wear pink and spend some time having cake with her and sharing a group prayer. Everyone was supportive and wanted to participate.”
That act of solidarity continued when she returned to work. Her hair had still not grown back since the chemotherapy and Martin was self-conscious about it.
“I would wear hats or scarves, even wigs. But honestly, the plant gets very hot in summer months and I didn’t want to stick out or have people notice me. I even feared people would say negative things about it. It wasn’t until one night when one of my co-workers, Kenny, said, ‘Take your scarf off. It’s boiling in here!’ that I had the courage to go natural and know I was going to be accepted and protected.”
Today, Martin is cancer free. But the spirit of the events that unified her and her co-workers’ lives on. “I think we all look at other people’s struggles differently now,” said Martin.
George agreed. “Now, we care about each other not just as union members, but as people. The simple act of showing solidarity as we go through hard times is powerful. Our world would be a better place if all of us did more of it.”

December 2014: Happy Holidays 
Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is that time of year again, the wonderful holiday season! Local 724 along with the Women’s and Recreation Committees is having our Christmas Party on December 20 from 12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Santa will be here too! Please come and join us—there will be desserts, punch and coffee as well as activities and surprises for the children.
Each year our Holiday Tree of Warmth has been a big success because of all of you, so we need all your donations again this year to provide our families in need with new hats, mittens, gloves, scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to the needy people in our community. Please drop off your items from December 1 to December 23 at the 724 hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or drop at your worksite.
Our thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
I know everyone will be out shopping. Let’s remember to buy American and buy Union. With so many of Union brothers and sisters out of work, let us help our own this holiday season!

September 2014: What is V-CAP?

V-CAP is the UAW’s Political Action Committee. It is funded by money that is voluntarily contributed by members and retirees to UAW V-CAP. Only V-CAP money can be given to candidates, up to limits established by the Federal Election Committee. By law, union dues cannot be used for this purpose.
V-CAP dollars are spent to support candidates who support us. In 2012, ninety percent of the money given by organized labor was to Democratic candidates. Republican candidates received nine percent.
Where does V-CAP money come from?
• Check-off: if negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement, members can elect to have their employer take a set amount out of their paycheck as a V-CAP contribution, to be sent to UAW. To initiate this process, members must sign a check-off card.
• Direct Payment: members/retirees may also send their V-CAP contributions directly to the UAW each month in a personal check. Some locals also use online V-CAP giving.
• Raffles: most Regions sell tickets at regional events that go to benefit V-CAP.
Why V-CAP funds are more important than ever: Simply put, the U.S.
Supreme Court changed the landscape for elections with its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Now, corporate spending for independent political commercials cannot be
limited.
This has led to right-wing groups like Americans for Prosperity (Koch Brothers) and American Crossroads (Karl Rove) pouring millions into advancing their anti-worker agenda.
Consider this: in 2012, PACs supporting Obama raised almost $96 million. PACs supporting Romney raised over $174 million.
Almost all the money raised in support of Romney was spent on attack ads against Obama.

May 2014: UAW Black Lake scholarships
For the first time, active members can now bring their grandchildren on the same basis as their children.
The UAW Family Scholarship Program was created to provide an environment where members may bring their families to the Walter and May Reuther UAW Family Education Center in Onaway, Mich., (Black Lake), and help them gain an understanding of the values of the union and what it does to advance the rights of working people.
Members, through lively discussion and interactive exercises, also gain an understanding of the value of union membership, and how what happens at the bargaining table not only affects them, but their families and communities as well.
Children learn what their parents learn at an age appropriate level. For children ages 4 through 6 years old, Day Camp provides a playful environment with creative activities that teach the basic functions of the union and child safety. Youths between ages of 7 and 11 enjoy a variety of outdoor activities that include golf, gym, swimming, along with unique arts and craft workshops also used to teach the value of union membership.
Teenagers from 12 to 15 years of age will enjoy a schedule filled with Union Involvement workshops combined with outdoor activities. Teens from 16 to 18 years of age are included in the adult program to help prepare them for entry into the workforce. The adult program is designed to coordinate with the schedules of children’s day camps.
The dates are July 6-11; July 13-18, which will also be for those who need Spanish translation; and July 20-25. 
At the end of the program, we’re sure you, like all others, will leave with a renewed spirit of family both at home, your workplace, and community. The UAW covers the cost of all lodging, food, and programming for the member and their family.
For more information about how your family can be a part of the UAW Family Scholarship Program, please contact your local union president, unit chairperson. Or or go to lansinglabornews.org for the scholarship application.

March 2014: Women’s History Month
March is celebrated as Women’s History Month. Following are excerpts of President Obama’s March 1 proclamation of Women’s History Month:
During Women’s History Month, we recognize the victories, struggles, and stories of the women who have made our country what it is today.
This month, we are reminded that even in America, freedom and justice have never come easily. As part of a centuries-old and ever-evolving movement, countless women have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress—activists who gathered at Seneca Falls and gave expression to a righteous cause; trailblazers who defied convention and shattered glass ceilings; millions who claimed control of their own bodies, voices, and lives.
Together, they have pushed our
nation toward equality, liberation, and
acceptance of women’s right—not only to choose their own destinies—but also to shape the futures of peoples and
nations.
Through the grit and sacrifice of generations, American women and girls have gained greater opportunities and more representation than ever before. Yet they continue to face workplace discrimination, a higher risk of sexual assault, and an earnings gap that will cost the average woman hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her working lifetime.
As women fight for their seats at the head of the table, my Administration offers our unwavering support.
The first bill I signed as President was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which made it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination.
Under the Affordable Care Act, we banned insurance companies from charging women more because of their gender, and we continue to defend this law against those who would let women’s bosses influence their health care decisions.
We are also encouraging more girls to explore their passions for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and taking action to create economic opportunities for women across the globe.
Last fall, we finalized a rule to extend overtime and minimum wage protections to homecare workers, 90 percent of whom are women ...
As we honor the many women who have shaped our history, let us also celebrate those who make progress in our time.
Let us remember that when women succeed, America succeeds. And from Wall Street to Main Street, in the White House and on Capitol Hill—let us put our Nation on the path to success.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.—Barack Obama

January 2014: To a brighter year ahead
Happy New Year to everyone. As we look back on 2013, we have since seen improvements on our economic decline which touched everyone in our nation. We all have family and friends who have been impacted by the loss of a job, home, or savings. As we move into 2014, let’s hope for a brighter and secure future.
All of us at Local 724 would like to thank everyone for their donations to the Tree of Warmth. I would like to thank the retiree that sends her handmade hats and mittens. Also thanks to Rod and Stephanie Duwig for her handmade hats, and scarves, along with Dean and Pat Paseka.
Our Holiday Tree of Warmth was a success, the hats, mittens, scarves and gloves will be given to the community for those in need.
Local 724 held the annual Children’s Christmas party for its members on December 15. The party was wonderful, the families had a nice time, and the children saw Santa Claus.
They had many activities to participate in, and received a present from Santa. There where lots of smiling faces, so needless to say this event is not possible without the help from Local Staff, Officers, and local members and their families— especially the Women’s Committee, along with Mary Holmer’s donation of decorations and dedication, the event was again a success. 
And big thanks to Santa, he was a hit, and he does carry a Union card!
The Local Toys-for-Tots drive was a big success this year. Thanks to Huntsman, RSDC, Alliance, and Bridgewater units as several boxes were filled. Thanks for all your time making sure the children received toys.
So as we continue in the 2014 year, let’s still remember to buy American and buy union. We still have many of our sisters and brothers out of work, so let’s continue to help our own and make 2014 even more successful.

December 2013: Happy Holidays 
Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is that time of year again, the wonderful holiday season! UAW Local 724, along with the Women’s and Recreation committees, is having our Christmas Party on December 15 from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Santa will be here too! Please come and join us, there will be desserts, punch and coffee as well as activities and surprises for the children.
Each year our Holiday Warmth Tree has been a big success because of all of you, so we need all your donations again this year to provide our familes in need with new hats, mittens, gloves, scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to the needy people in our community.
Please drop off your items from December 1 to December 23 at the 724 hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or drop at your worksite.
Our sincere thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
I know everyone will be out shopping. Let’s remember to buy American and buy Union. With so many of Union brothers and sisters out of work, let us help our own this holiday season!

September, 2013: Making Strides
The fight to end breast cancer starts with a single step. Take that step with us at the  American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Just a few hours of your time will help bring a lifetime of change for people facing breast cancer and their families. Every Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event is an incredible and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about what we can do to reduce our breast cancer risk, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services, and access to mammograms for women who need them. Lansing’s event is October 26 at the Capitol. See
www.makingstrideswalk.org/lansingmi 

May 2013: Race for the cure
April 28 was the date of the 11th annual Komen Race for the Cure at the State Capitol. This important event raises funds to make the following programs possible:
Free mammograms and diagnostics  
Support services for breast cancer survivors
Education about the warning signs of breast cancer, methods of early detection and the latest treatment options
Cutting edge research to find a cure for breast cancer
Up to 75 percent of net proceeds are used for local programs like those listed above, with 25 percent used to fund breast cancer research.

January 2013: To a brighter new year
Happy New Year to everyone. By the time you read this, the Christmas holiday has passed and we will have celebrated the 2013 New Year. As we look back on 2012, we have since seen some improvements on our economic decline which touched everyone in our nation. We all have family and friends who have been impacted by the loss of a job, home, or savings. As we move into 2013, let’s hope for a brighter and secure future.
All of us at Local 724 would like to thank everyone for their donations. I would like to thank the retiree that sends her handmade hats and mittens, and Rod and Stephanie Duwig for her handmade hats and scarves, along with Dean and Pat Paseka. Our holiday tree of warmth was a success; the hats, mittens, scarves and gloves will be given to the needy people in our community.
Local 724 held a Christmas party for its members on December 15. The party was wonderful and the families had a nice time. The children saw Santa Claus, they had many activities to participate in, and received a present from Santa. There where lots of smiling faces! We had about 100 children, so needless to say, this event is not possible without the help from local staff, officers, and local members and their family, especially the Women’s Committee.
However, the person who is the glue behind the scenes that helps above and beyond is Mary Holmer from the Lear Unit. With Mary’s time and dedication, and flair for decorating the hall, the event was again a rousing success.
And a big thanks to Santa—he was a hit, and he does carry a Union card!!
The Toys-for-Tots drive was a big success this year; the Huntsman unit and Bridgewater filled several boxes! Thanks for all your time, making sure the children received toys.
As we continue in 2013, let’s remember to buy American and union, because  we still have many sisters and brothers out of work.

Let’s continue to help our own and make this a successful year.

December 2012: Happy holidays
Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is that time of year again, the wonderful holiday season!
By the time you read this article, the Thanksgiving dinner is past history. I hope you and your family had a wonderful day and enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast.
UAW Local 724, along with the Women’s and Recreation committees, is having our Christmas Party on December 15 from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Santa will be here too! Please come and join us—there will be desserts, punch and coffee as well as activities and surprises for the children.
Each year our Holiday Warmth Tree has been a big success because of all of you, so we need all your donations again this year to provide our families in need with new hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to the needy people in our community.
Please drop off your items from December 3 to December 21 at the 724 hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or drop at your worksite.
Our sincere thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
I know everyone will be out shopping soon. Let’s just remember to buy American and buy union. With so many of union brothers and sisters out of
work, let us help our own this holiday season!
You will be amazed at the number of things that are union-made: from butter to cars.Some good sites to check:
www.unionlabel.org
www.unionplus.org/buy-union-made
http://www.labor411.org/

September 2012: Where you shop matters
Are you supporting a Republican Party Super PAC and don’t even know it?
Surely you have heard of the Koch brothers, two of the top money backers of the Republican Party. They own many companies. If you are buying their products, you are donating to the Republican Party as well.
Koch Industries products include:
Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft ’n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity Fair napkins
Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes
All Georgia-Pacific lumber and building products
Stainmaster carpet
Think about it!
Shop Union
The 40,000 Michigan members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union ask you to support good union jobs by shopping at these unionized retailers where UFCW members work. You can get more info at www.ufcw.org.
Kroger, statewide
Meijer, statewide except Traverse City
Rite Aid stores
Hollywood Markets, statewide
Hiller’s Markets, statewide

January 2012: To a brighter year for all
Happy New Year to everyone. By the time you read this, the Christmas holiday has passed and we will have celebrated the 2012 New Year. As we look back on 2011, we have since seen some improvements on our economic decline which touched everyone in our nation. We all have family and friends who have been impacted by the loss of a job, home, or savings. As we move into 2012, let’s hope for a brighter and secure future.
All of us at Local 724 would like to thank everyone for their donations. Our holiday Tree of Warmth was a success! The hats, mittens, scarves and gloves will be given to the needy people in our community.
Local 724 held a Christmas party for its members on December 17. The party was wonderful: the families had a nice time, the children saw Santa Claus and received a present, and they had many activities to participate in. There were lots of smiling faces! We had about 100 children, so needless to say, this event is not
possible without the help from Local Staff, Officers, and especially the Women’s Committee.
However, the person who is the glue behind the scenes that helps above and beyond is Mary Holmer from the Lear Unit. With Mary’s time and dedication, and flair for decorating the hall, the event was again a rousing success.
And a big thanks to Santa. He was a hit, and he does carry a Union card!
So as we continue in the 2012 year, let’s still remember to buy American and union. As you know, we still have many sisters and brothers out of work; let’s continue to help our own and make this a successful year.

December 2011: Happy holidays

Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is that time of year again, the wonderful holiday season!

By the time you read this article, the Thanksgiving dinner is past history. I hope you and your family had a wonderful day and enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast.

UAW Local 724, along with the Women’s and Recreation Committees, is having our Christmas Party on December 17 from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. Santa will be here too! Please come and join us. There will desserts, punch and coffee as well as activities and surprises for the children.

Each year our Holiday Warmth Tree has been a big success because of all of you. So we need all your donations again this year to provide our families in need with new hats, mittens, gloves and scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to the needy people in our community.

Please drop off your items from December 1 to December 21 at the 724 hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or drop them off at your worksite.

Our sincere thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.

I know everyone will be out shopping soon. Let’s just remember to buy American and buy union. With so many of union brothers and sisters out of work, let us help our own this holiday season!

January 2011: To a brighter year

   Happy New Year, everyone. By the time you read this, the Christmas holiday has passed and we will have celebrated the 2011 New Year. As we look back on 2010, we have since seen some improvements on our economic decline which touched everyone in our nation. We all have family and friends who have been impacted by the loss of a job, home, or savings. As we move into 2011, let’s hope for a brighter and secure future.
   All of us at Local 724 would like to thank everyone for their donations. Our Holiday Tree of Warmth was a success! The hats, mittens, scarves, and gloves will be given to needy people in our community.
   Local 724 held a Christmas party for its members on December 18. The party was wonderful, the families had a nice time, the children saw Santa Claus, and they had many activities to participate in, and received a present from Santa. There were lots of smiling faces, and we had about 60 to 75 children, so needless to say, it was a good time.
I would like to thank all of the members who worked on the Committees and the units along with Local 724 donations to make the party a success. And a big Thanks to Santa—he was a hit.
   So as we continue in the 2011 year, let’s still remember to buy American and union, because as you know we still have many sisters and brothers out of
work.
   Let’s continue to help our own and make this a successful year.

December 2010, "Happy holidays"
    Hello Brothers and Sisters, it is that time of year again, the wonderful holiday season! By the time you read this article, the Thanksgiving dinner is past history. I hope you and your family had a wonderful day and enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast.
   Local 724, along with the Women’s and Recreation Committees, is having our first Christmas Party on December 18 from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Santa will be here, too! Please come and join us. There will be desserts, punch, and coffee, as well as activities and surprises for the children.
   Each year our Holiday Warmth Tree has been a big success because of all of you, so we need all your donations again this year to provide our families in need with new hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves to put on the tree. We will get these gifts to needy people in our community.
   Please drop off your items from December 1 to December 22 at the 724 hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or drop them off at your worksite.
   Our sincere thanks ahead of time; I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
   I know everyone will be out shopping soon. Let’s just remember to buy American and buy union. With so many union brothers and sisters out of work, let us help our own this holiday season!

Debra Mills' September 2010 column
  The UAW Region 1-C Women’s Council along with Regional Director Norwood Jewell, International Reps, and Lansing UAW presidents, passed out 476 backpacks, with Flint projected to pass out 600 more on August 18.
   The outreach to our community to help families get their children ready with the supplies needed to start the 2010-11 school year was a huge success. With the donations from UAW Region 1-C, Lansing and Flint UAW locals, and Lansing and Flint businesses, the goal was reached.
   Special thanks to the UAW Region 1-C Women’s Council for all their hard work. I was proud to work with Anita Dawson, Lena Wyeth, Roberta Cannon, and our Flint sisters, who all gave so much time and effort to make the rally a success in the Lansing area.
   Thanks to UAW Local 724 units, donations from Bharat Forge, Dakkota, Lear, RSDC and the Huntsman Unit. I would also like to send a special thanks to Pam Kissane. She did a wonderful job, as always, with all her hard work.

Debra Mills' May 2010 Column
   Saturday, August 7 at Centennial Acres Golf Course, 12485 Dow Rd., Sunfield, MI (517) 566-8055.
   Registration at 8:00 a.m. Tee off at 9:00 a.m. A bargain at $50 per player. All payments must be turned in to the Local in the form of cash or money order. This covers 18 holes with cart.
   Open driving range in the a.m. Rolls and coffee in the a.m. All-you-can eat barbecue starting 60 minutes after shotgun, and ending at the conclusion of golf.
   Prizes: Trophies for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Finishes; Longest Putt, Longest Drive, and Closest to the pin. Hole in One Prizes: $10,000 Cash sponsored by UAW Region1-C; New Lansing-built Chevy Traverse sponsored  by Graff Chevrolet, Okemos; Secondary Hole in One Prizes. The outing is a four-person scramble open to all active and retired Local 724 members and to their family or friends. All alcoholic beverages must be purchased at the golf course.
   Entry Deadline: Friday, July 23, 2010. If you have any questions please call the Local at 517-482-7377 or Todd Collins, UAW Local 724 Recreation Chairperson, at 517-749-6642.  

Debra Mills' April 2010 column, "Narrowing the earnings gap"
    It's a fact that there's a huge disparity in what men and women are paid. It's also a fact that women who become union members earn more and have a strong advocate in working to close this pay gap. 
    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in 2009 there was a 20 percent pay gap between what nonunion women earned when compared to their nonunion male counterparts. The pay gap between female union members and male union members was 12 percent. 
    According to BLS, in 2009 the average union woman earned $840 per week versus $628 for her nonunion sister, a union advantage of 34 percent. That's larger than the union advantage among men, which was 22 percent. The union advantage also outweighs the gender disadvantage: Median weekly earnings for women who belong to unions are $54 higher than the median for nonunion men. 
    Clearly, it pays for women to be in a union. But there's also a need for more work to be done. 
    "Unions are strong advocates for women -- members and nonmembers alike -- in the fight to eliminate sex-based wage discrimination," said Elizabeth Bunn, the UAW's secretary-treasurer. "And, a union contract provides a formal and effective mechanism to address job discrimination, to fight against sexual harassment and to enhance family-friendly workplace policies." 
    The wage gap isn't simply because women work in traditionally lower-paying jobs. When comparing usual weekly wages for all men and women who work full time in the same field, the gap remains: 
• Elementary/middle school teacher: $1,040 for men, $891 for women (86 percent of what men earn). 
• Registered nurse: $1,090 for men, $1,035 for women (95 percent). 
• Database administrator: $1,391 for men, $1,071 for women (77 percent). 
• Secretary/administrative assistant: $666 for men, $619 for women (93 percent). 
• Machinist: $722 for men, $501 for women (69 percent). 
    The UAW seeks to address pay inequity not only through bargaining with employers, but also through supporting legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was passed by the House last year and could be considered by the Senate this year. The legislation would deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations and prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages. -- Information from the UAW website

Debra Mills' January 2010 column, "Warmth for all"
    Happy new year, everyone. By the time you read this, the Christmas holiday has passed and we will have celebrated the 2010 New Year. As we look back on 2009, we have seen an economic decline which touched everyone in our nation.
    We all have family and friends who have been impacted by the loss of a job, foreclosure on a home, or 401(k)'s evaporating. As we move into 2010, let's hope that the future is brighter and more secure.
    All of us at Local 724 would like to thank everyone for their donations for our holiday tree. The hats, mittens, scarves, and gloves will be given to needy people in our community.
Walk for Warmth
    The Capital Area Community Services group invites everyone to join their effort to provide heating assistance to those who need it. This year's theme is "Hearts & Feet Providing Heat." The walk will be on Saturday, February 27. It begins and ends at Perspective 2 at 319 E. Grand River Avenue in Lansing. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 9:00 a.m. For more info and pledge sheets, contact the City of Lansing Service Center, 393-7077 or go towww.cacs-inc.org

Debra Mills' December 2009 column:

Please give to our warmth tree

    Hello everyone, it's that time of year again, that wonderful holiday season!  By the time you read this article, the Thanksgiving dinner is past history.  I hope you and your family had a wonderful day and enjoyed the Thanksgiving feast.
    Last year our Holiday Warmth Tree was a big success, so we have decided to have another Christmas Tree for Warmth.  We need you to help fill the tree with gifts of new mittens or gloves, scarves, and hats for adults and children sizes.  We will get these gifts to needy people in our community.
    Drop off your items from December 1 to December 23 at the 724 hall during these hours: Monday-Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    Our sincere thanks ahead of time.  I am sure that with your help we will have another successful drive.
    I know everyone will be out shopping soon. Let's just all remember to buy American and buy union.  With so many union brothers and sisters out of work, let's help our own this holiday season!


 
 
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