Come one, Come all! Come celebrate Labor Day with Union Brothers and Sisters!!!
UAW Local 180
President’s Report From the Desk of
President Jeff Vassh August 2014
MEMBERSHIP MEETING WILL BE HELD ON AUGUST 12TH AT OUR UNION HALL. TIMES ARE
6:45 A.M., 12:30 P.M., 3:15 P.M. FEEL FREE TO ATTEND WHICHEVER ONE BEST
FITS YOUR SCHEDULE. THE AGENDA WILL INCLUDE: PRESIDENT’S REPORT, CHAIRMAN
OF THE BARGAINING COMMITTEE’S REPORT, FINANCIAL SECRETARY/TREASURER’S REPORT,
COMMITTEE REPORTS, APPROVAL FOR ACTION TAKEN GOVERNING YOUR UNION AND THE VOICE
OF THE MEMBERSHIP IS THE MAJORITY OF NEW BUSINESS IN OUR REGULAR ORDER OF BUSINESS.
ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER WILL APPLY TO ALL PARTS OF THE MEETING TO ENSURE ALL
MEMBERS WILL BE HEARD. YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND.
RETIREES UNION PICNIC WILL BE HELD AT PRICHARD PARK PAVILION (OHIO ST. AND 21ST).
YOU MAY PURCHASE TICKETS AT A COST OF $10.00 UNTIL AUGUST 8TH.
to the actions taken by the delegates at our UAW Constitutional Convention that
was held in June and as a cost saving measure Solidarity magazine will be
available online at UAW.org or you can have it emailed to you They will
also mail it via US Mail if you sign up (opt-in). If you look on page 5
of your last issue it will explain the process. The following is a quick
link to the signup page: https://localunion.uaw.org/SolidaritySignup.php
. You will need the mailing information on the back of the issue where it
was addressed to you. If you would like assistance with the process feel
free to contact me.
Retiree Issues:Current Retiree
– Our current retirees (those that retired after May 1, 2005) that are
Non-Medicare eligible are facing a very large premium increase starting this
month. The Grievance that was filed through our Local Union and advanced
to the International Union will be heard in arbitration August 19th.
I would expect that it would take approximately six weeks to receive a
decision. We have also had some reports of members receiving new Anthem
ID cards. Only those that become Medicare eligible will receive a new card.
All others will continue to use the card you currently have.
Retirees Lawsuit Update – The discovery process has been completed and the
briefs have been submitted. The suit is in the hands of the court and
they will make the determination if and when the actual hearing will be
held. At this point there is no date set. So once again, this could
take awhile and your benefits should remain the same.
Healthcare Lawsuit Update – Almost all the class members received their
settlement. For the relative few that have not settled to this point, all of
the claims have been calculated and sent to the court. There are some
medical service insurance claims that also need to be settled. Our
Retirees Benefit Rep. Kevin Mieczkowski has once again sent all medical claim
information to the attorney to ensure they have all the information needed for
the medical service claims settlement. All claims will be paid at the
final lawsuit settlement which may take a couple of months yet.
In the PlantSince my last report, we added 29 new
all assemblers. As always, I ask that you welcome our new Union Brothers
and Sisters and assist them in any way you can. Although they go through
an orientation process that covers a lot of information in a short amount of
time, there is nothing better than to show them on the floor level the location
of the evacuation and safe areas and how to manage their work
environment. Also, make sure they know their union steward and safety
ambassador. According to the numbers we currently have you may think we
with all the hiring we would be well over 900 members. Because the
company is experiencing a large turn over (terminations and quits) we are at
approximately 880 including those that are on various types of leave.
have completed our Steward and Alternate Steward elections in the plant. I was extremely
happy to see that we have so many of our younger members stepping up to the
challenge and becoming front line leaders within our Union. We have sent
six of these new leaders to our basic leadership training at our Region 4
Education Center (Pat Greathouse Center) in Ottawa, IL., and are currently
working with the International Union Staff to have a Steward Seminar at our
Local Union Hall later this month or early next month. We will inform the
Stewards and Alternates when we firm up a date. Congratulations to all
the front line leaders that were recently elected. The membership has
placed their trust and confidence in you. I guarantee that if you put
your heart into this position the rewards will far outweigh the frustration you
you haven’t heard the UAW has set up a Local Union for the Volkswagen workers
in Chattanooga, TN.
Our newest UAW members will be members of Local 42. Although the UAW felt
strongly about the Labor charges they filed they decided to drop them so they
could proceed with chartering Local 42. As it stands many workers in the
VW plant are joining the union. The Local Union is functioning within the
structure of the UAW and as soon as over 50% of the employees sign up they will
have bargaining rights and representation in the plant. I commend the
International Union for thinking outside the box and being willing to reach out
to represent those workers.
Meetings for CAP, Civil Rights, Community Service, and Veterans will
tentatively take place on Sunday, August 24th. The reason they
will have to take place on a Sunday is because that is the only non-mandatory
workday and everyone on the committee should be available for the Committee
Officer Elections. Elections for Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Recording
Secretary, and any other officers the Committee feels is necessary will take
place at that meeting. After this initial meeting will be up to the Committee
to schedule all future meetings.
primary elections will be coming up next week Tuesday, August 12th. I would
encourage all members to take part in our democracy and exercise your right to
vote. It was because of the complacency of the working class people like
us that politicians took away most of the collective bargaining rights of
public sector employees. Don’t think for a minute that these same
politicians wouldn’t like to take yours away also. Do your research, see
what politicians stand for and how their position will affect you and your
family’s lives. We can prepare for our upcoming negotiations, but if our right
to bargain is limited with a strike of a pen in Madison or Washington D.C. we
will still lose. Our political leaders are very important to our working
family struggles. Our UAW and AFL-CIO screening committees have screened
candidates in respect to our working class needs and have recommended and
endorsed the following candidates:
– Mary Burke
Governor – John Lehman
General – Jon Richards
of State – Doug La Follette
HOUSE OF REPRESENATIVES
1 (Racine and Kenosha) – Rob Zerban
4 (Milwaukee) – Gwen Moore
21 (most of Racine County except for the City of Racine) – Randy Brice
63 (most of Racine County except for the City of Racine) – Andy Mitchell
66 (City of Racine) – Cory Mason
**** UNITED WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ****
If we allow the company to divide us we will lose.
RetirementsI wish you all a long,
healthy, and happy retirement
The following member retired effective June 1, 2014: Randall E. "Randy" Ellis
#4157, Dept. 786 - 39.00 Credit Service Years
The following members retired effective July 1, 2014: Mark J. Barranco
#3343, Dept. 140 - 39.60 Credit Service Years
John J. Loomis
#479, Dept. 735 - 34.10 Credit Service Years
Dennis L. Pennefeather
#987, Dept. 743 - 50.80 Credit Service Years
Mark S. Smith
#634, Dept. 786 - 39.30 Credit Service Years
IN MEMORIAMOur deepest
sympathy goes out to the familyand friends of
our deceased brothers and sisters.
Passed away on
May 29, 2014
December 1, 1999 from Dept. 330
Jose A. Charo,
Passed away on
June 6, 2014
December 1, 1991 from Dept. 368
Passed away on
May 31, 2014
Retired on April
1, 1992 from Dept. 987
Jack L. Eyman
Passed away on
June 3, 2014
Retired on March
1, 1994 from Dept. 987
Milton D. Hall
Passed away on
June 7, 2014
January 1, 1990 from Dept. 788
Passed away on
June 8, 2014
January 1, 1988 from Dept. 987
Passed away on
June 3, 2014
January 1, 1985 from Dept. 368
January 2014 Local 180 President's Report From the Desk of President Jeff Vassh
Current Retiree Healthcare update – Our current retirees (those that retired after May
1, 2005) that are Non-Medicare eligible are facing a very large premium
increase starting this month. The issue was taken directly to our
Regional Director and the second in command of the UAW on the National level,
Dennis Williams, at our CNH Council meeting. A meeting was held the week
of Thanksgiving with the head of CNH Corporate Human Resources and the head of
Corporate Benefits. The Company finally got back to us the week before
last and stated that they are going to maintain that their calculations are
correct and no adjustments will be made. The International Union is
meeting with their actuaries and legal department and will determine the next
move. Bargaining Chairman Rich Glowacki has a grievance ready for
submission if directed.
Post IPO Retirees Suite Update – The discovery that the retirees assisted in by
sending in their information has been submitted. Briefs will be submitted
in late February with rebuttals due sometime after the February time
frame. A hearing will be scheduled upon completion of that process.
The dates for the rebuttals and hearing have not been set by the courts as of
yet. So, this could take awhile and your benefits should remain the same.
Pre-IPO Healthcare Lawsuit Update – Almost all the class members received their
settlement. For the relative few that have not settled to this point, all of
the claims have been calculated and sent to the court. There are some
medical service insurance claims that also need to be settled. There will
be no more interim payments. All claims will be paid at the final lawsuit
settlement which may take a couple of months yet. In the Plant
I’m happy to report that we have added four new
skilled trades members. Two
electricians and two machine repairmen have joined our ranks. Two more
skilled tradesmen have been offered a job, but either have not responded or
have not set a start date as of yet. In addition, an approval to hire ten
more assemblers is in process. With the additional twelve forecast to
come in we should have 827 active members in the plant and approximately 40 -
45 on various leaves of absence.
We recently had an All Employee Meeting last Thursday. It was nice to confirm that we have a slightly
higher production schedule than last year. The schedule along with the
new product launches should keep us very busy for at least the first two
quarters of this year. Just remember, a revised schedule comes from
Corporate every month so the production numbers could change. I was at
all the “All Employee Meetings” and thought the membership had some great
questions and feedback. I will continue discussing your concerns with our
Our World Class Manufacturing (WCM) production system audit was held last month. I
would like to thank everyone that participated in it and worked so hard
cleaning the shop and presenting on the shop floor. I spoke directly with
the auditor and his assistant and they both stated that our hourly employee
presentations were outstanding. The only thing they followed up with was
that we need more hourly members involved. Congratulation to everyone in
the plant for a successful audit. Our score advanced to 43. The
goal of the plant is to reach 50 by the end of next year.
I have a couple of tickets available for the 32nd
Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Commemorative Program that will be held at UAW Local 72 in Kenosha on January
25th. If you would like to attend please contact me.
Last week it was announced
that our State Legislator is working on a bill to make a 7 day workweek.
At this time I don’t know the proposed law in its entirety, but it is an
indication that they are still after worker’s rights. I will say that we
as working class people need to get it together and become more active on the
political front. It will do us no good to bargain anything if it can be
taken away in the legislative process.
One of our retirees sent this link as a point of
interest. It is about 4 minutes
long and explains the evolution and results of our jobs going overseas.
It’s not high tech and is able to be understood by everyone. The best
part is it shows how we can bring jobs back. It is not a new message, but
it is certainly understated. I hope you share this with others. If
your browser does not open when you click on the link copy and paste it into
your address bar.
Remember this, the more jobs that are
created the higher the demand for a workforce and the higher the demand for a
workforce the higher the wage and benefit structure will have to be for
companies to compete for the workforce. We win.
In Solidarity, Jeff Vassh, President, UAW local 180, 262-631-5988
UAW Local 180
From the Desk of
President Jeff Vassh
Please note: the Union Hall will be closed until
January 2nd, 2013
of this information has been printed in the in plant paper so it may be
redundant to the active members. There
is some new information to share, but please realize that I send reports to
retirees also. So if you have heard or
read any of this before I ask for your consideration to those that have not.
healthcare update –
After years of reporting on the lawsuits for the Pre-IPO and Post-IPO Retirees
it seems rather peculiar for me to start a report with current retiree (those
that retired after December 1st of 2004) issues. As reported previously our current retirees
that are NON-Medicare eligible are facing a very large premium increase. The issue was taken directly to our Regional
Director and the second in command of the UAW on the National level, Dennis
Williams, at our last CNH Council meeting.
Information is being shared between the Company and Union, and a meeting
was held the week of Thanksgiving with the head of CNH Corporate Human
Resources and the head of Corporate Benefits.
Another meeting to discuss our concerns and the application of the
benefit package is to be held this week.
I will try to let you know the outcome of that meeting if indeed
anything gets settled.
Retiree healthcare lawsuit update – The final interim payment of
441claims was approved by the court and sent on to El Paso. I have received many phone calls informing me
that they have received their settlement.
I have also been informed that there will be no additional payments
until the suit has been finalized hopefully in the second quarter of next year.
Retiree healthcare lawsuit update – There is nothing new to report. Preparations are being made to submit the
discovery that many of you submitted information for and prepare briefs as it
IN OUR PLANT
– Per the UAW Constitution we as a membership have to elect an election
committee to run the general elections next year. Nominations will be taken at
the January Membership meeting and an election process will take place at the
February Meeting. Those nominated in
January will be expected to submit a letter of acceptance or accept at the
We finish the
year with an active membership of 817 with approximately 30 on various types
of leave. The majority of our new hires
are assemblers, and only a handful were hired on the machining side. Overall, it has been a good year for
increasing our membership and growing our union.
Our World Class
production system audit was held last week.
I would like to thank everyone that participated in it and worked so
hard in presenting on the shop floor. I
spoke directly with the auditor and his assistant and they both stated that our
hourly employees presentations were outstanding. The only thing they followed up with was that
we need more hourly members involved.
Congratulation to everyone in the plant.
Our score advanced to 43. The goal
of the plant is to reach 50 by the end of next year.
I think that the end of the year is a good time for us to review our union
membership and what it means. Many of
you are unaware of, or at the least, have not thought about our mission
statement for some time so I would like
to share it with you:
objective of Local 180 is to improve the quality of life for its members and
their families by assuring that they will be treated with dignity and provided
with economic security. In addition, it
is essential to the union’s purpose to assure that workers are afforded the
opportunity to master their work environment; to achieve not only improvement
in their economic status but of equal importance, to gain from their labors a
greater measurement of dignity, self-fulfillment and self worth.
is your Union. The Company challenges
this principle on a regular basis.
Together, whether active or retired we have a responsibility to each
other to fulfill our mission.
Independently we will have no dignity or voice in our workplace or our
retirement. Make a New Year’s resolution
to become more active in your Union.
the National level our membership stands at approximately 384,000 active
in approximately 750 local unions and over 600,000 retired members. Ford is bringing Fusion assembly back to
Michigan from Mexico. The UAW is having
organizing success in the south, most recently three independent parts
suppliers, and Navistar bus in Oklahoma have been organized. They are still working on the Nissan and VW
campaign. The International Union is
preparing for the Constitutional Convention.
This is where the Leadership of the International Union and our Regional
Directors are elected. It is also where
the direction and policies governing the UAW will be set for the next four years. At the Leadership conference some of the
recommendations were discussed. Among
them were the Dennis Williams' nomination to the
President’s position and Regional Director Gary Casteel for Financial Secretary
Treasurer. Additional financial
decisions will include elimination of a Vice President position and combining
Region 1C and 1D. There is some concern
about the level of the strike fund and our ability to challenge major
corporations for better contracts. So
they are looking for ways to strengthen that fund, which may include a recommendation
to increase dues earmarked specifically for the strike fund. Strengthening the strike fund is the
absolutely right thing to do. The best
way to stop a strike is to show that we are prepared and in a position to pull
that trigger if needed.
Agricultural/Implement Conference – Caterpillar’s
total membership is approximately 9,000 in seven Local Unions. Things are slow with the lack of
infrastructure improvements and the slow mining industry capital
investments. Disciplinary actions are
high. They are reducing the temporary
workers and using weekly temporary layoffs to cover reduced schedules. Deere
total membership is approximately 10,000 at twelve Local Unions. They too have reduced the temporary workforce
and in some locations are implementing single day layoffs. They report that the turnover rate is
especially high among newer hires.
Overall, the Company is working well with them and they maintain a
relatively good Company/Union relationship.
the Regional Level:
Regionally we have a total of 219 Local
Unions, broken down as 149 Independent Parts Supplier, 13 Auto, 13 AG, 3 truck, 1 Transnational, 22
Public Sector, 6 heath care, and 12 Individual.
Membership stands at 54,325 up about 3,000 members from last year. Membership in all states is down except in
Illinois. Illinois has added approx
7,000 jobs. The majority of those are in the auto sector. Employment at Case was reported as up
slightly, Deere was down slightly, and Caterpillar was down significantly. Independent part supplier sector is up
because of auto and the Technical and Office (TOP) sector is steady. Director McInroy stated that with the newly
extended contract at Oshkosh Truck plans for the new military vehicle are going
forward and that should secure the jobs there.
is the UAW Voluntary Community Action Program, the political arm of our union
that supports our state and national legislators that stand up for the working
class people . Overall contributions were up approximately $95,000 to
$405,000. The top three prizes of
$10,000, $4,000, and $3,000 were all won in Wisconsin. In addition, five members in our Local Union won
Southeastern CAP Conference prizes.
Those checks have been delivered to the winners. Thank you for your contribution and good luck
again next year. Not only does the voluntary contribution go to a good cause,
but for every $2 you contribute you automatically get put into the Southeastern
CAP Conference drawings and the Regional drawings for the big bucks. Many of
our members give $2 per month just to get a chance (actually 12 chances) at
winning in the drawings. If you are not part of V-CAP and would like to be
please contact me and I will get you signed up.
– Once again we had a very successful 2012 Christmas Food Basket
In the spirit of the season
Christmas Donations – Once again we
had a very successful 2013 Christmas Food Basket Drive.
CNH employees donated:
$687.00 in food donations (754 pounds)
$1986.00 in monetary donations
$2500.00 in corporate donation
For a total
donation of $5173.00
In addition to
this, over 300 gifts were given to children and the elderly from the Giving
Tree Program, and your Union donated money to the food bank for a program that
was started by a previous Vice President of our Union, Kevin Mieczkowski, call
“Because Labor Cares.” Thank you for caring and your continued
also want to give special recognition to our members that helped in our Hot
Meal Program. I was unable to be there this time but I am
told that approximately 80 meals were served.
We are signed up for two meals next year with a possibility of an
additional Christmas meal. Just another
way your Local Union supports others.
Local Union also donated $600 to our two area Veterans hospitals. $300 of it went to Christmas with the
Vets/Wounded Warriors at the VA Hospital in Milwaukee and $300 to the VA
facility in Union Grove.
I heard the Company/Union United Way effort was at 92% of its
goal. So again, thanks to all that
contributed to the United Way. Our community will be better for it.
We will probably
never see the faces of the families that we touched this Christmas, but know
that you are part of something much larger that made the season a little
brighter for those that needed it most.
On a personal note:During the holiday
season, my thoughts turn gratefully to those of you that have supported your
Union and reached out to help your brothers and sisters on the shop floor and
within our community. You have given from the heart through the many food
drives, coat drives, Hot Meal Program, United Way Program, and yes, we asked
for blood in blood drives and you gave us that too. You have demonstrated
the spirit of the Christmas throughout the year.
From my family a
Christmas wish for you:
"May you have the gladness of
Christmas, which is hope;the spirit of Christmas, which is peace;and the heart of Christmas, which comes
from caring for your fellow man." We wish you and yours a Merry and
Blessed Christmas and a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year.
UAW Local 180
CURRENT RETIREES ONLY (retired between December 1, 2004 and now) From the desk of Local 180 President Jeff Vassh
Since I sent the last president’s report I have been
inundated with calls and emails asking about the current retiree’s healthcare
premiums. Because the open enrollment period is here you need to make a
decision on healthcare for 2014 I would like to keep you up-to-date with the
information I received. The UAW National Department in Detroit has this
as a priority and data is being shared between the Company and the Union.
The actuaries are conferring with each other to determine the process used in
setting the premiums. I have not received anything as far as the validity of
the premiums as of yet.
I would like to share some questions and answers that I
received to assist you in making the best possible decision you can when it
comes to your healthcare coverage.
A. Will the premiums be reduced for those when they
turn 65 (the month of, or month after) during the year and go on Medicare? Yes – as retirees and/or their spouses become Medicare
eligible during the year – notices are mailed to the retiree and premiums will
be reduced effective the same day as the Medicare effective date.
If a retiree opts out of the CNH healthcare coverage:
1. Will the retiree maintain the vision and dental
coverage at no cost? Yes - If they want to drop their medical coverage they can
either mark “No Coverage” in the medical section of the enrollment worksheet
and mail or fax it back to us. Or they can log on to the enrollment
website and elect “No Coverage” for medical and leave the dental and vision
elections. They just need to be sure they do not mark “No
Coverage” in the dental and vision sections.
2. Can retirees get back on CNH insurance during
open enrollment or under a qualifying change of status?
Yes – qualified status changes require 30 day notice
3. Can retirees still use their RMSA to pay for
other premiums and healthcare costs? Yes – they
simply have to file claims for reimbursement with American Benefits Group
4. Is it possible to request the company
contribution to the current healthcare to purchase insurance elsewhere? No
Can a retiree and spouse choose to cover just
the retiree or just the spouse at the single rate?
They can elect single coverage and cover just the retiree – but they cannot
elect spouse only coverage. The retiree must have CNH coverage in order
for the spouse to have coverage.
If you know of Retirees in this group please share this
information. I will continue to share information as I get it.
THIS INFORMATION DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY RETIREE THAT
RETIRED PRIOR TO DECEMBER 1, 2004
UAW Local 180
President’s Report October 2013 From the Desk of
President Jeff Vassh
Healthcare Premiums for current retirees (those that retired on December 1,
2004 or later, this does not apply to Pre-IPO or Post-IPO retirees)
have received the health insurance premiums released by the Company for current
retired members: In the non-Medicare group premiums have increased up to
The notification of premiums are as follows:
Medical - Non Medicare 2013(Current)
Monthly Premiums2014(Next year)
Monthly Premiums Retiree/Spouse Only
Retiree & Spouse
Retiree & Child(ren)
Medical - Medicare
Eligible Retiree/Spouse Only
Retiree & Spouse (both Medicare)
Retiree & Spouse - one eligible over 65, one not
eligible under 65
Retiree & Child(ren)
Family (Both Medicare)
Family - one eligible over 65, one not eligible under 65
Union had absolutely no indication that these costs would raise to this level
and it really does not make any sense since healthcare cost have risen 5.7%
this year. As soon as I received this notice I contacted the
International Union. They are getting involved and are taking this very
seriously. Last week Bargaining Chairman Rich Glowacki and I met directly
with our Regional and National Reps. all the way up to the UAW National
Department’s second in command, Dennis Williams, to exchange information.
Dennis Williams has directed the UAW Social Security Dept. (department that
deals directly with retiree issues of this kind) to request all the data and
calculations from CNH that were used in setting these premiums. Once the
data is received they will review it and relate it to the negotiated agreement
to verify it is being applied properly.
do know one of the reasons cited was that the non-Medicare retirees have
reached over 200 participants so they were carved out as a group by themselves
for the first time. Because of this, we have no past history of that
specific group so the data will somehow have to be segregated. That will be
reviewed for compliance to our agreement also.
would also advise anyone that is contemplating retirement to consider the
premiums you will be expected to pay upon your retirement. These
premiums, for a 30 + year employee, would equal 1/3 to 1/2 of your pension
before taxes. I know most of us would not be able to retire under those
conditions. You should be receiving your annual open enrollment forms
within a few days. I will keep you informed as I get the information back
from the International Union.
a side note: These premium increases have nothing to do with the
Affordable Healthcare Act. In fact, part of what the National Department will look at, as a
test case, is the possibility of our retirees getting health insurance through
the Health Care Exchange at a more affordable price.
Retiree healthcare lawsuit update – No change from last month.
We are still hoping that the 441 claims submitted September 17th for the
interim payment will be received by the end of November.
Retiree healthcare lawsuit update – There is nothing new to report since
the meeting held on September 12th at UAW Local 72.
have also been informed of the healthcare premiums for the active
members. They are as follows:
(Current) per Month
Employee & Spouse
Employee & Child(ren)
These premium increases are in line with
the increase in cost of healthcare. The new premiums will go into effect
January of 2014. You will also be receiving open enrollment
information within the next few days. I know that any increase in
premiums will be difficult for new hires and second tier wage earners. I
can guarantee this will be a very contentious issue during our 2016
Since my last report we added six new members. That brings us to about 851 with
approximately 46 on various types of leaves. Be sure to welcome them and
make sure they know their union representatives and safety ambassador.
Trinity – Bargaining
Chairman Glowacki, Committeeman Craig Olsen, Barb Mendez and I met with Plant
Manager Darin Tiedt, Logistic Manager Clark Ezell, HR Rep. Bozena Andric, and
HR Manager Melanie Bish to discuss the length of time and scope of the Trinity
removal project. We have had some setbacks because of the 3000 additional
parts that the current and near future launches have or will be adding to the
system. We have also had a problem with the amount of time it takes to
process the Plan For Every Part. Both sides are still committed to
removing Trinity from our line side delivery.
Thanksgiving – Rich and I
met with Darren Tiedt on the corporate production schedule that is updated
monthly called PO9. Our production schedule has not changed since the one
he presented at the all employee meeting. I mentioned that last month the
plan was to shutdown Magnum production the three days before
Thanksgiving. That shutdown is still in the schedule. I continue to
caution members on making plans that they cannot change. This is a
tentative shutdown and may very well change.
for the two Workplace Organization and the Focused Improvement positions were
on hold while the plant HR Rep. was out on leave. Hopefully, now that she
has returned we will start the selection process once again.
is tentatively scheduled to take place November 7th and 8th.
Our audit score is important in the way that Fiat looks at the facilities with
the highest scores as the ones that will give them the greatest return on their
investment. Investment in our plant is a big part of our job security in
Racine. It is in our best interest to put their best foot forward for the
UAW Health and Safety Training took place on October 9th and 10th.
This is the training that our Safety Committeeman Tom “Woody” Visintainer and I
have been working on for a long time. Woody and I wanted to retrain all
the forklift and tugger operators and give some advance training to those that
will be designated as future trainers with a train the trainer class. As
it turned out, the company only scheduled the designated trainers to take the
class. Woody was already scheduled for Skilled Trades Toyoda training and
was unable to attend. The designated trainers, Steve Koshere, and I will be
meeting to apply what we learned to develop a better training program for the
forklift operators and develop a comprehensive training for the tugger
operators. Those that were involved in the training all thought it was
very good and very useful. I have received positive feedback from the
Company also. Hopefully, we will be able to form a partnership with
the International Union staff to be trained properly.
UNITED WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE ****
RETIREES ARE OUR FOUNDATION,
CHILDREN ARE OUR FUTURE,
MEMBERS ARE OUR STRENGTH.
The Walker budget effects on job growth in Wisconsin. That's not Forward, that's Backwards!
Retiree healthcare lawsuit update –
Kevin and I continue to receive
numerous calls with questions concerning tax liability on the
reimbursement. There has been a very interesting twist that developed at
the end of last week. The attorney was able to convince El Paso that the
reimbursement should not be reported as “other income” to the IRS, so El Paso
will be sending another 1099 that will be blank and no income will be
reported. This is possible because the actual reporting from El Paso to
the IRS was supposed to take place electronically at the end of March, so no
income was reported and no income will be reported. This will not affect those
of you that have had their income tax prepared and did not include this as
income. Unfortunately, those of you that did claim the reimbursement as
income should contact your tax preparer for their advice on whether you should
file an amended return. I will agree that this was handled very poorly by
El Paso. I however, am very thankful that Attorney Roger McClow has once
again took on El Paso and got this corrected on your behalf.
Retiree healthcare lawsuit update – I have not been informed of any new
developments. For now the healthcare benefit level remains the same.
my last report we have added 18 new members to our union. All have
been assigned to the assembly area. We are at approximately 825 active
members at this point. Production remains steady at our current levels
and I have not been informed of a change in overall tractor production for this
year. The only thing I’ve been told is that some CVT units will be pulled
and replaced with the Power Shift transmission. The Front Axle Line and
CVT Line launch is progressing, but does have some issues to overcome. I
was also informed that specific areas in Cash Crop High (CCH, basically Magnum
related) assembly and associated support will be scheduled to be on
layoff the week of April 1st, returning to work on Monday April 8th.
All of you that are affected by that shutdown have been notified already.
Those that are laid off should apply for state unemployment benefits (even if
it is your waiting week) and if you have over one year of seniority and are off
for five consecutive days you will be eligible for a Supplemental Unemployment
Benefit (SUB), that was negotiated by your union, and paid through the
Company. SUB pay does not affect your state unemployment benefit.
brings me to a follow up of an unemployment problem I reported on last
reported that those of you that were involved in the week layoff before
Christmas last year may have received a notice from the state informing you
that you had wages for that week and that you would have to repay a portion of
your state UC benefit. As it turns out somehow your SUB was reported as
wages. I tried to work with the company to rectify this issue and company
turned it over to their third party administrator who stated they reported it
correctly. The company could have contacted UC directly, but refused
stating it is the third party that needs to deal with it. I assisted in
processing one of our members appeals and that appeal was won. I then
worked through our UAW Union International Representative who is on the UC
advisory board and he was able to assist us in getting the problem
corrected. As it turns out we had 238 members that received SUB
pay. 230 were caught up in Governor Walker’s Act 10 waiting week and did
not receive benefits, one appeal was processed successfully through your Local
Union as I mentioned previously, and the state will be notifying the other
seven of the correction to their UC claim. If you are one of the seven
that were notified that you were overpaid and owe that money back and have not
been contacted by the state of the correction please contact me.
am hopeful this upcoming shutdown will go smoother and have asked the Company
to contact the third party payroll administrator with direction to pay special
attention as to how they report your SUB benefit to the state.
– Due to the resignation of our Trustee, Jeremy Thornton, we will be scheduling
an election to fill that position. I have been in contact with the Election
Committee Chairman and we are working on a schedule. The election
committee is totally responsible for this election and once they set up a
schedule of events I will pass that information on to you. I would like to take
this opportunity to thank Jeremy for his service to our Union.
Amalgamation - The
International Union and members of UAW Local 557 are expressing interest in
becoming Amalgamated with our Local Union. There are currently 17 members
of Local 557 and they work at Wisconsin Metal Products. Your leadership
is in the process of gathering as much information as possible on this process
and the effects it may have on the two individual memberships. Any action
taken on this issue will have to be approved through both Local Union
memberships. There is nothing more to report on this at this time as this
is completely new to our Local Union and we have many more questions than we
have answers at this point. Although this is not an urgent issue, we are
cautiously investigating and you should know that there is some discussion taking
place in the background.
As it turned out, the transition back to UAW line side delivery of Anixter
parts has taken much longer and has been more intense then we could have
realized. After a lot of hard work the pilot area for the transition is
ready for conversion. The first area to transition will be the Fargo
assembly line. Our plan is to transition that area starting April 1st.
Another part of the transition is to handle all hot calls through our UAW hot
call coordinators. This will also start April 1st. After all
issues have been addressed in the pilot area we then expand incrementally into
the rest of the “Red Square” route. Once that route is running smoothly
we will start expanding to the other routes throughout our facility. This
has been a huge task and will ultimately create security for those jobs in the
plant. The success of this WCM project is of the utmost importance to the
Union hourly workers in the plant. We argue consistently that we are the
best workforce and are willing to take ownership of our jobs. This
will be the benchmark of what we can accomplish here in Racine Manufacturing
Operation using the World Class Manufacturing Production System. Thanks
to all those that worked extremely hard and cooperated with the process to make
this successful to this point. We still have a long way to go and I ask
for your continued cooperation and efforts to complete this important task.
Year Cub Banquet
will be held on Saturday, April 27th at Festival Hall. Tickets have
been sent to retirees and should have been received by now. All active
employees with a minimum of 20 years of seniority can pick up their ticket in
the plant from Debbie Lovedahl or Rodney Andersen at a cost of $10. The
theme this year is, “25 years of Magnum.”
Membership Activism - UAW members and nonunion workers rallied at
seven plants operated by auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate Corp. on Feb. 13. The
demonstrations were held simultaneously in five states, and were organized to
shine a light on the company's treatment of workers at its nonunion facilities
and in support of workers bargaining for new contracts. The UAW
represents workers at six facilities owned by Flex-N-Gate which is a $3 billion
global parts supplier to the automakers including Chrysler, Ford, and General
Motors. But workers at several other plants, in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan,
Ohio, and Texas, have been illegally fired or disciplined for attempting to
form a union. The nonunion workers are also exposed to life-threatening hazards
on the job. In the past eight months, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration cited and fined the company for dozens of serious
safety violations at Flex-N-Gate nonunion operations. Workers want to organize
to gain a voice at the table and help make the company more successful. In
addition, UAW members at Flex-N-Gate union plants in Warren, MI., and
Belvidere, Il., are currently trying to bargain new contracts. At both
facilities, workers voted overwhelmingly to strike if necessary to achieve a
District 5 Bargaining Committeeman Ken Hartog, Bargaining Committee Chairman
Rich Glowacki and I attended the rally in Belvidere, Illinois Flex-N-Gate
plant. We were the only UAW Local to participate in the rally from
Wisconsin. We were proud to represent our Local Union and Wisconsin in
support of those workers that are fighting to raise their standards and take
better care of the their families. This is what is necessary for us to
maintain and possibly advance our own standards, because as long as there are
people making less than you in your community, and society as a whole, they
will want your job and be willing to replace you. We as middle class or
lower middle class workers need to support and participate in activities such
as this not only to help others, but to ultimately raise our standards as well.
You need to be active. I am going to create a email distribution list of active
and retired members that want to get more active in the cause. If you
would like to be on that list please email me at email@example.com
and I will keep you posted on support activities.
The next thing that may come up for us is supporting our UAW brother and
sisters at Master Lock. They are currently in collective bargaining
negotiations and are preparing to take a stand as the bargaining sessions are
not going well. Many union members picketed with us during our
strike/lockout in 2004 and 2005 and now it is our turn to support them. I
will be in touch if we are called upon to support our brothers and sisters on
the picket line at Master Lock.
you vote is a personal decision to be infringed upon by no one.However many
times it is difficult as an individual to follow the issues that affect us and
the candidate’s position on the issues. For this reason the UAW has
established a Community Action Program Committee who actually screens
candidates and shares their recommendation with the membership based on our
working-class concerns and support for us.
endorsements for the April 2nd elections are as follows:In the election for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. The Wisconsin
State UAW CAP Executive Board has endorsed Ed Fallone because of his
commitment to stand up for working families. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has
the final say in key issues like voting rights, redistricting rules, Act 10
challenges and more!Corporate contributors, many from out of state,
have bought a 4-3 conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court which
has become extremely dysfunctional and highly partisan. Ed Fallone will
restore integrity to the court because he is independent and will base his
decisions on the law, not serve large corporate interests to insure their
Fallone’s qualifications are impressive:
• Associate Professor at Marquette University Law School
• Expert in Constitutional, Corporate and Criminal Law
• Graduated magna cum laude from Boston University School of Law
• Law practice spanning 24 years in both federal and state courts
• Represented clients in complex corporate litigation and shareholder lawsuits
• Served on the Steering Committee of Catholic Charities Legal Services for
Immigrants and on the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of the Milwaukee
• Involved in nonprofit organizations increasing access to justice for those
who have difficulties using the legal system
The UAW is endorsing:
Tony Evers for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, because of
his commitment to our Public Education System.
Racine School Board – Mike Fontier, Julie McKenna, Chris Eperjesy
Racine Aldermanic – 1st District – Keith Fair
3rd District – Mike
Kenosha Unified School District – Sam Leibert, and Kyle Flood
Turnout is expected to be low this Tuesday so remind all your friends and family
to get out and cast their ballot. Please remember to vote on Tuesday,
April 2nd, Last of all, I would like to wish you and
yours a happy and blessed Easter. Enjoy your Union negotiated Good Friday