UAW LOCAL 180 PRESIDENT'S REPORT
DESK OF PRESIDENT JEFF VASSH
MEMBERSHIP/STEWARDS MEETING WILL BE HELD ON TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 2017 AT OUR
UNION HALL. TIMES ARE 3:00 P.M., AND 5:00 P.M. FEEL FREE TO
ATTEND THE MEETING THAT BEST FITS YOUR SCHEDULE.
180 EXECUTIVE BOARD WILL MEET ON TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2017 AT OUR UNION HALL AT
RETIREE CHAPTER MEETING WILL BE HELD AT OUR UNION HALL AT 1:30 P.M. ON THURSDAY,
MARCH 16, 2017.
I will be reporting our membership
numbers a little differently from this point forward. I
mentioned that we had approved Local 152 as an amalgamated unit of our Local
Union. That merger is now complete. Because of this, I will be reporting Local
180 Unit 1 (our historical Union) and Local 180 Unit 2 (previous Local 152)
separately. Our Unit 1 membership stands
at approximately 395 active members with 24 on various leaves. Our recall list has
been exhausted and a couple of our members that were recently dropped from the
recall list have returned as new hires using preferential hiring. Local
180 Unit 1 Retiree Membership stands at 1048 and 59 dues paying Surviving
Spouses. Unit 2 active membership is 1
(one). At this point I am trying to
retrieve retiree information and hopefully I will have an accurate number for
you next month.
Post-IPO Retiree Healthcare Lawsuit status has not changed from my last report. There has been
no decision from the appeals court.
Health Insurance issues for active
and current retirees (retired after December 1st2005) have surfaced as our new benefit levels went into effect. One of things that came up was Delta Dental
denying implants. Implants are now covered
at 50%; however, the $1500 maximum yearly benefit still applies. To be able to include this coverage was a huge
step in the right direction and will assist with implants, but realize that
there will still be substantial co-pays for implants. That will be an issue for our next round of
bargaining. The other thing that has
happened is that prescription drug co-pays have been charged incorrectly. I have contacted Corporate Benefits and they
have confirmed the improper charges and corrected the administrator. They also will be reviewing charges and
reimbursing those that were charged incorrectly. I have not heard of any other issues and the
two mentioned above should have been addressed.
The Local Union Bargaining
Committee attended two meetings with the plant Ops Manager within the past few weeks. At the first meeting we were informed that
CVT production would be reduced and two people would be reduced from that line
and absorbed into open positions. The
overall number of units produced would not change at that time and would be
made up by Power Shift units. Approximately
a week and a half later we met with him again and were informed that we’ll be
reducing overall production from 19 to 17 per day. There was be a reduction of approximately 12 man
assignments. The feeling at that time
was that all would be absorbed in open positions. The Bargaining Committee reviewed the reductions
to ensure they were consistent with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and
made the extra effort to ensure the open positions were filled and the man
assignments were accurate. I once again commend
the Bargaining Committee for how they handled this reduction.
UAW Local 291, Axle Tech, in
Oshkosh was on strikefor a week in the beginning of this month.
We had been asked to join them on Saturday, February 11th from 11:00
a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in a show of solidarity and support. There was no time to arrange a formal trip so I
put the word out and had some of our members lined up and willing to go. On Friday the 10th, I was informed
that bargaining had resumed and early the next day I was notified that a
tentative agreement was reached and there would be no need to join the picket
line. A ratification meeting was held
and the agreement was ratified by 90%.
Congratulations to our Brothers and Sisters at Local 291 on achieving a
new long-term agreement.
Our UAW Local 180 Trustee
Semi-Annual Audit took place on January 30th and 31st.
They found all finances and assets to be in order. I would personally like to thank them for
their service to our membership.
I received a call from our State
Senator Bob Wirchlast week. He stated that Governor
Walker and the Republican legislature are trying to look more like they are
acting supportively to the state residents with the increase in education and
infrastructure spending. This will be
the budget Walker will go into re-election with and he is trying to make it
look as good as possible. But behind the
scenes they are still attacking prevailing wage and banning project labor
agreements (requiring government projects to use union workers) that are not
used on the state level, but are used in some counties and municipalities. We have a tendency to pay attention to
headline news and while being distracted anti-worker legislation that will affect
our lives and reduces the standard of living of our families is being pushed
through secretively. I would encourage
everyone to be vigilant in our state government as well as our federal
Politics involves everyone, we have a primary that will take
place for two of our endorsed candidates on Tuesday, February 21st(today) for the 15th ALDERMANIC DISTRICT in Racine. Our candidate is Melissa Lemke. We also have endorsed Tony Evers for STATE
SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION.
Tony is the incumbent and believes in funding the public education
system to give ALL our youth an opportunity for a better future. He also strives for increasing graduation
rates and supports technical education programs and apprenticeships for family
supporting jobs. I know this is short
notice but please make every effort to vote in the primary today (Tuesday,
February 21, 2017) and again on April 4th.
candidacy of Bernie Sanders has created a revolution. It is up to us to continue the movement. On Thursday, February 23rd from
5:45 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. all of us activists will be meeting at the Racine Public
Library. Get active, stay active. It is our future, we must take control of it.
**** UNITED WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE
President, UAW Local 180