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Lansing Labor News
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May 27, 2020
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Archived Articles by Past Presidents Hollis Barker, Ray Whitford and Al Vincent
Updated On: Jun 05, 2017

Barker, March 2017: You can run for Local's offices

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,
 I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year Holiday. Spending time with family and friends can be such a treat? Right! Just kidding. I enjoy the Holiday Season. Just seems like yesterday. Boy, time just blows by. It’s already March. It won’t be long until spring and warmer temps. I hope everyone remembered to turn in their vacation request. 
 If you attended the February Membership Meeting, you would be aware of what’s going on at the hall. The electrical service is being up-graded. New lights, inside and out. And more wall outlets. So that means no more popping the circuit breakers! Next time you’re around the hall, and the lights are on, stop in and check it out. Hopefully there will be other upgrades in the future, budget permitting. 
 You may also remember that there was some conversation about up and coming elections in May. That’s right, three years have passed, and it’s time to consider whether we keep or replace the leadership of our local. Every officer’s term is soon to limit out. The President, Executive Board and the Bargaining Committee, all offices. 
 As a member of this local for one year, in good standing, and an active member, you qualify to accept your nomination for any office. If you are a retired member you may accept your nomination to the Executive Board. Please pay particular attention to the dates posted in this edition of the Labor News. Also, for postings on the UAW communication Boards in the plant, and at the hall. Just a note of clarification: a member can accept nomination of only one office of the Executive Board.
 In addition, the standing committee terms are due. So, if you as a member have ever considered running for a leadership role, to serve this local and its members, bring it. We need you and your talents and time. 
 As always, in your service, Hollis Barker, President

Barker, January 2017: Recapping our local's year

Dear Brothers and Sisters,  
I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I know most of us only had the weekends off. All the same, it was with family and friends. 
If I may, I would like to recap some of the events that took place at our local in 2016. And thank all the members that helped make them a success. And all the members that came out and supported the events.
Thanks to Yvonne, Nancy, Laura and Dennis, along with Mandy and half of first shift’s maintenance crew, our annual Holloweenie roast went off without a glitch. And from the feedback (no pun intended), everyone had enough to eat while enjoying lunch with friends. Great job!
Let’s not forget the Chili Cook-off. The money generated went to support the vets. Thanks, Mandy, for planning such a fun event. I don’t even know how to begin to thank Bob Davis for all the hard work and dedication he so willingly volunteers to the Veterans Committee.    
During this election cycle, many of our members involved themselves or volunteered to participate in political rallies. Others manned the phone banks. Your time was not wasted, for you cared enough to get engaged and make a difference. I applaud you. 
Our standing committees have been involved serving the communities of Lansing. They helped ensure that many needy children heading back to school had backpacks filled with school supplies. When asked, our members donated gifts of time and money so children would have new coats and boots. And presents under their Christmas tree!
Your generosity even reached our neighboring community, Flint, in her time of need.
We really accomplished a lot in 2016. Looking forward to another great year with UAW Local 1753, and I can’t wait to see what we accomplish this year!

Barker, September 2016: Committees getting active

Dear Brothers and Sisters:
It’s hard to believe that summer is over and autumn is upon us. With the season change comes a change in temperature, and I don’t mean warmer! Shorter days, longer nights, and children heading back to school. Just the other day I was shopping at Meijer and I noticed the summer stuff is gone from the shelves and in its place were Halloween candy, costumes and Halloween decorations. And that’s when it hit me. This is it! Summer is over! And that to-do list? Well, it’s always good to have a plan for next year.
Fortunately, it was a different story at the hall. A new hot water heater was installed, and now we’re looking into upgrading the electrical service.
As many of you know, our standing committees have been busy as well. The Women’s Committee was successful in gathering donations for the Back to School supplies drive. Thanks to Sharae, Yvonne and Iris, Local 1753 was well represented at the work day/kickoff rally. Way to go ladies!
The Community Service Committee is working with management to bring life back into the United Way fundraising campaign. We hope to have more people involved than in years past.
And Eric says the Recreation Committee is planning a football trip. The Local was also able to send eight members to Fall School this year. As we move forward, it’s exciting to see so many members getting involved.
This spring, 18 of our brothers and sisters took advantage of a special attrition program. They took a cash incentive and retired. I would like to take this time to wish all of you a long and happy retirement. Go enjoy yourselves! And if I know Laura Clark, she’s already making contact with all of you to invite you to the retirees’ chapter meetings. As always, retirees are welcome to be a part of the general membership meeting. So please come back and visit us at the hall.
No sooner were we finished saying our good-byes than we were saying our hellos to 14 new employees. To all the new members, I would like to welcome you to Lansing CC&A and invite you to participate at our Local. General membership meetings are held monthly and I invite you to get involved.
As if you have to be reminded, we’re near the end of this election cycle, and it looks as if the race to the White House is heating up. As UAW members in good standing we are all called to be politically active, so I would encourage all members to get involved.
There are many ways one can get involved, from phone polling to volunteering to handing out campaign leaflets. You can get information from our VCAP rep and the postings that are on the plant communication boards. Get educated on the issues! Find out who the UAW endorses and why. Talk with other members. But be respectful. Like President Williams stated in a speech, “Republican, Democrat, it doesn’t matter. We’re all Unionist.” And on Election day, GO VOTE!

Barker, December 2015: Reflecting on the past year

Dear brothers and sisters, greetings! By the time this letter makes it to print, hopefully we will have settled our international contract with GM and our local contract as well. And then, just maybe, things will start to settle down and get back to normal. I’m sure that everyone has felt the stress in the warehouse in the last 4-5 months. Besides, it’s time to start stressing over the holidays!
You know what I’m talking about, going store to store, in search of that perfect gift, only to finally give up, and give cash. Or how many people will be coming to that Christmas Eve party? And what’s on the menu? And by the way, do any of our guests have a peanut allergy? It’s all important stuff, but at the same time, we need to remind ourselves to slow down and remember what it is we are celebrating.
The holiday season means a lot of different things to different people. It’s a time to celebrate one’s religion and for others it’s a time to celebrate family and friends. Whatever it is you celebrate, or even if you celebrate both, take the time to do it right. Enjoy the moment, that’s what my grandma always used to say. But most of all, try to be happy.
This season is a time to look back and reflect, and to make plans for the future. So looking back on 2015, and what our Local has done, we have several things to celebrate and be proud of. It took a while, but we now have fully functioning committees. Our Recreational Committee planned and hosted several events this year, such as our very first “family picnic” and a game night that was held at our Local. Thanks to Eric and Tim and all who worked to make these events a success.
Josh and Brian are heading up the Community Service Committee. Through their participation, this Local collected $1,443 for Toys for Tots. And they are currently collecting food for the Lansing Area Food Bank. There were also collections for the Old Newsboys  at our gates December 3.
Our very own Danielle is working hard to develop the Women’s Committee. She spent time at Black Lake for training, and is networking with other Locals. We are very fortunate to have her representing our Local.
And we must not forget one of this Local’s longest standing committees—the Veterans Committee. Bob reported at the November membership meeting that the Veterans Committee is purchasing gifts for the VA Hospital.
There is so much more to report, and going forward into 2016 we all should be excited and proud to be members of Local 1753. To be members of the UAW means that you are a member of an organization that stands for equality, a voice for its members and for the working class. But also, as a community building organization. Remember friends, there’s no greater calling than to be in service of your fellow brothers and sisters.
In closing, let me take this time to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and very prosperous 2016.

January 2014: A Christmas to remember
What a Christmas and kick-off of a New Year to remember! Mother Nature is always testing us. Summertime has the hot days and not much rain, and we know what the winter brings. We live in Michigan, so the old saying about the weather, stay around and it will change—how true it is.
The subzero temperatures and then the rain starts. Power lines and trees were accumulating ice. The excess weight was too much, so limbs of the trees were breaking off and falling on the power lines, bringing them down. Resulting in no power and transformers exploding like it was the Fourth of
People were reaching out assist others. Shelters were opened up to help. Some of us were fortunate enough to have generators. I had one, along with one of my sons who also had one. Round up all the gas cans and keep them filled. Normally fill them before bedtime and the next morning.
Some of the people were lucky to get a hotel room. Either way it was expensive. We survived our worst ice storm ever, everybody was inconvenienced. The situation could have been more devastating if it was a tornado and flattened the whole area around us. So be very thankful.
Let’s thank all the line workers from BWL and Consumers Power. Additional line workers were brought in from other states to assist. They were also inconvenienced. Away from their families for Christmas, plus working long hours
every day.
We can talk about the ice storm of December 2013, telling our grandchildren how bad it was. I heard tall tales from my grandparents and parents about winters when they were growing up. Snow five feet deep and hooking up the horse to the sleigh and across the fields and over the fences.
You were in awe but you believed them. We are survivors, no matter what the situation is, we will make the best
of it.
January Meeting
Nominations and acceptances for election meeting. Must be present to accept nomination. Vote at the February meeting. 

December 2013: Helping our community
It’s that time of year again. The local union officers and management have been at the entrance gates asking for donations that involve different charities. The most recent was sponsored by the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots. The total collection from our plant was Days: $563 and Afternoons: $667. This collection includes both hourly and management.
A special thanks goes out to Sharon Mower from Local 652. Sharon organized a great meal for all the Marines who donate their times so they can also be at the entrances to all the plants. It started in the early hours of the morning with donuts, cider, and coffee. At lunch Sharon purchased six-foot subs along with our Veterans Committee Chairperson Bob Davis who also purchased one. Nancy Munchbach brought a relish tray. Assisting at lunch time were Sharon, Nancy, Bob Davis, Chuck Walls, and I. Everything was great. Again, thanks to everybody who helped out.
Past activities in our plant included many charity drives, Eaton county Hospice, American Heart Association, Thanksgiving for the Elderly, Breast Cancer, Draper Drive for Siren House, and numerous others. When it comes to donations, both hourly and management always dig deep into their pockets to help others. The leadership of Local 1753 thank you very much. It’s better to give than to receive.
Again, as always, summer has passed us by. Summers always seem to be way too short. Working daily overtime and Saturdays doesn’t leave much to enjoy yourself. Work has to be done at home, mowing the grass, working in your garden and flower beds. With the good weather behind us, we are facing the long winter blahs, but think positive and spring will be here again.
It seems that the supervisors are more visible in the departments. Walking up and down the aisles while keeping their eyes on you so they make sure you’re working every minute. They will tell us they’re not watching you, but don’t believe them. Yours truly questions them. “No, just walking up and down the aisles.” We know better than what they are telling you. Keep your eyes on them.

September, 2013: Bursting at the seams
Where can we purchase some wall stretchers to add on to our plant? The plant is bursting at the seams. The 1000 Area is full, waiting for locations to store baskets, pallets and racks. Afternoons picks and delivers to the departments making some storage areas. All put-away areas are full, with trains waiting to be unloaded. Departments are being hit with trains from Receiving. We need space!
Somehow we do seem to survive, thanks to the people who do the jobs and get parts out to our customers and to storage areas.
Management hired five hourly employees, but we had four retire—making a gain of one. We can use more hourly people, plain and simple. Overtime is plentiful, but at the end of the week people are worn out and need the day off so as to regenerate the body and get ready for the next week.
Among the retirees effective July 1 was Alternate Benefit Rep Doty Danahy, who is also the CAP Chair. Doty, the leadership thanks you for all your involvement with our local union. You did an excellent job representing our local, with countless hours spent on CAP, working on campaigns, attending meetings, etc. We wish you good luck with your retirement. Don’t forget, with time on your hands, they still can use help working on the campaigns.
The bulletin boards were posted for resumes to fill the vacancy of Alternate Benefit Rep. The interviews were conducted. Selecting the replacement for Doc 46 of the International’s national agreement is no easy task. The member we recommend has been submitted to the International for their appointment.
Executive Board: Sept. 17 at 2:15 p.m.
General membership: Sept. 18 at 2:05 p.m.
Sanitation workers: Sept. 15 at 1:00 p.m

May 2013: CC&A employees once again show their generosity
The employees of CC&A, both hourly and salaried, showed their caring again. Recently we held fund-raising events to benefit the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. This money was raised through the sales of burgers, hot dogs and brats at lunch times. You donated a total of $1,000! Keith Jones was instrumental in putting this together.
When we prepared to send the money, representatives from Sandy Hook sent out numerous emails and news reports stating that there had been such an outpouring of support from all across the United States that they did not need any more money. They did request that any additional donations be made to other deserving groups in memory of the Sandy Hook victims. Therefore, we have donated the funds to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey relief fund.
CC&A employees have always made generous donations no matter what collection takes place at plant entrances.
Our society is an everyday changing of events. When growing up there were always disagreements, but we didn’t turn to using firearms and assault rifles to settle them. Settlement was normally a fist fight. Whoever thought that sending your child to school, they may never return home?
There is talk of arming teachers and principals so they have some way to protect themselves and the children they are teaching. I couldn’t imagine receiving a phone call or hearing it on the news that the school was in lockdown because there was someone in there shooting teachers and five- and six-year-old children. As a parent this would be extremely hard to handle—children just getting a start, going to school to learn, get an education—and their lives coming to a sudden end. What a sad society we live in.
The leadership, hourly and salaried, thank everyone for their donations.

December 2012: Work on local agreement
The general election (for the U.S. president, vice-president, etc.) is behind us. The phone calls and the knocks on your home door are also gone until the next election. Our congratulations to Barack Obama and Joe Biden on their reelection.
The bickering between the two parties never stops. Let them get down to working together for the American people and take into consideration making our country a better place to live, create the many jobs we need to have. America still needs the middle class, not just the rich or poor.
As of this writing, the Shop Committee is still trying to negotiate a skilled trades local agreement. Until they get a tentative agreement and it’s ratified by the skilled tradesmen, the non-skilled portion is affected. This portion is being held up.
At the October general membership meeting the one concern was rolling the overtime hours back to zero.
Once the new local agreement is in place, keep a concerned effort on management charging overtime hours to the people that turn down the available overtime.
If you wait until later and there’s an error, it makes it difficult for the committeeman to get it sorted out and corrected.
Keep an eye on the bulletin boards. Our local must have an election for trustee. It is in the hands of the Election Committee to set the dates and times to vote, plus the voting areas.

September 2012: Coping with the changes
Another summer has come and gone. What a hot one we had! Hot, humid days, especially on the afternoon shift, when it heats up, being on an order selector truck and picking parts close to the ceiling.
Thank the UAW for five VR days. Who wants to come to work when it’s 100-plus degrees?
I know in our area we consumed plenty of Gatorade every day. It was put on ice in a five-gallon bucket and it sure was refreshing.
Now it’s time to look forward to another winter. Hopefully, it will be a mild one like last year.
The Shop Committee is still trying to negotiate the local agreement for skilled trades.
New hires
Your local leadership welcomes all the new hires to our plant. As seniority employees, let’s help them to learn. By this I mean to look out for them. Management will take advantage of them every opportunity they get. A good example is having new hires do two-man picks. Hopefully this has been put to bed. It’s been brought to management’s attention.
Think about the trickle-down
This is an important year. November 6 is the Presidential election. We play a major role in these elections. When the Big Three went before Congress’ Ways and Means Committee, the Republicans were more than willing to throw us to the wolves.
Could you imagine the trickle-down effect this would have on the automotive industry, with all the lost jobs, down to all the suppliers?
Our thanks go to President Obama. Now it’s our time to get him re-elected as our President. He had faith in us, he depends on us as we did on him. Everybody has a part to do. Get out and vote on November 6.
Other issues also affect us. The
Republicans want to take away our collective bargaining rights. Can we live with all the take-aways they want? Will there be a middle class or just be rich and poor?
Vote on November 6!

May 2012: Back to the bargaining table
The winter is past us and summer is around the corner. Who would believe the mild winter that Mother Nature blessed us with? And the beautiful weather the past couple of months. People doing yard work, mowing the yard, etc.—in March! Motorcycles are out, everyone is enjoying it, and most importantly, you feel healthier.
The Shop Committee finally reached a tentative local agreement with management. A vote was taken, with production approving their part and skilled trades turning it down. This means the Shop Committee will attempt to make some corrections and vote on it again.
It’s good to see the young seniority members attending membership meetings and volunteering their time. During the month of March, drives and other money-raising events took place in the plant with the proceeds going to the March of Dimes to help families with premature babies. The afternoon captain was Shrae Fultron for Local 1753, and Erin Buckner was the day shift captain for management. A total of $2,100 was raised. Shrae, we thank you very much for accepting to represent your local in this joint venture.
The June, July, and August general membership meetings have been cancelled for Local 1753 members and also sanitation workers.
Executive board meetings will be held the third Tuesday of each month at the union hall, beginning at 2:15 p.m.

January 2012: Things to look forward to
Another new year is upon us. I hope everyone had a good Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The gate collections for Toys for Tots and selling of the Old Newsboys newspapers again were a huge success. The employees in the plant dig deep into their pockets when it comes to these two organizations. Your contributions enable less fortunate children to also have a happy Christmas, as we do. So the leadership thanks you.
Another day of importance is being observed on Friday, February 10. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the sit-down strike, which we remember with our White Shirt Day celebration. Let’s all participate in the sit-downers’ honor and wear your white shirt. Remember, don’t get your white shirt any dirtier than your supervisor does.
The Shop Committee opened local negotiations on September 13, 2011. Local management always have their issues or concerns that they present to the Shop Committee. If the Shop Committee gave local management everything they wanted, they would be in heaven: reduce classifications, wanting some of our past grievance settlements, do away with some jobs, etc. The Shop Committee is at a standstill, the same as other CC&A plants.
The good news from the 2011 national negotiations is that in March of this year we will receive at least $3,500 in profit-sharing. According to some of the past financial reports and waiting for the report from the last quarter, we could receive a little more. But don’t take that to the bank.

December 2011: Active Veterans Committee

The following acknowledgement is from the Battle Creek VA Medical Center: Throughout the years, Local 1753 has looked at our every need. Providing coffee supplies, computers, desks, chairs, clothing, personal care items, movies, lap robes and large, flat screen, High Definition plasma televisions for each of our wards and the new Patient Dining Room, complete with wall mounts for installation, is only a fraction of what they do for the VA.

With the support of UAW management and the Lansing General Motors Plant, an employee, Dan Arens, painted the murals in our Community Living Center and the patient dining room. The Veterans Committee of 1753 raised funds through pop can drives, raffles, T-shirt sales, and other fund-raisers to supplement Dan’s gas to cover the extra miles to drive to the medical center.

Dan alone contributed 1,064 hours to provide a home-like atmosphere for our residents. The Hero’s Diner Mural on Ward 83-1, valued at $20,288; two murals in the Extended Care area; and the canvas in the Patient Dining/Canteen area, valued at $7,200, have brought so much enjoyment to those who walk by.

People often stop and study the wonderful artistry. The attention to detail that was put into each painting portrays an appreciation and dedication to Serving Those Who Served.

The members continue to contribute their time and talents by assisting Community and Volunteer Service throughout the year during special events, distributions and holidays. The UAW provides hand-quilted lap robes to distribute during the holiday season.

To UAW Local 1753, on behalf of our veteran patients, the medical center extends a special thank you for your continued support. Please know the joy that your continued support and contributions bring to our veterans, their families, and staff each year is greatly appreciated.

–Battle Creek VA Medical Center

Past Chairman of the Veterans Committee Ron Van Dorpe was instrumental in getting this committee where it is at today. Through their hard work we also have a veterans memorial area in front of our plant. This area is where we fly our flags.

In the plant, by our first aid department, they have erected an armed services board. This board contains all the branches of the armed services. Our members who have served have their names inscribed on a plaque with their name, branch of armed service and the years they served.

In recognition of the past chairmen of the Veterans Committee, we also thank the following: Roger Waugh, Bob Starr, Phil Hnatiuk, and current Chairman Bob Davis. These chairmen have spent countless hours of their own time. This includes  purchasing pop and snacks, collecting pop cans throughout the plant, and returning the pop cans to the store. Most important, keeping count of all the money. I would be remiss if I forgot to mention past chairman Larry Hall (deceased).

This thank-you from all your local officers and members is long overdue. We also thank the Veterans Medical Center in Battle Creek. Keep up the excellent work!

Local 1753 meetings

January.Executive Board meeting on January 17 beginning at 2:15 p.m. General membership meeting on January 18 beginning at 2:15 p.m. Sanitation workers membership meeting on January 15 beginning at 3:30 p.m.

February. Executive Board meeting on February 21 beginning at 2:15 p.m. General membership meeting on February 22 beginning at 2:15 p.m. Sanitation workers membership meeting on February 19 beginning at 3:30 p.m.

September 2011: Our election winners

Hello, brothers and sisters. With our triennial election behind us, I will take the opportunity to congratulate the winners:

President Ray Whitford
Vice President Tony Glover
Financial Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Munchbach
Recording Secretary “Big Al” Vincent.
We also have three newly elected Trustees: Tamera Sangster, Bob Davis, and retiree Steve Carr.
Chairman Bill Niblock
Day Shift District 1 Shop Committeeman Rob “Farmer” Geisenhaver and Alternate Todd Grant
Afternoons District 2 Committeeman Tim Patrick and Alternate Eric Sanchez

Those who decided not to seek another term—we thank you for all your years of dedicated service to this local. To our past Recording Secretary “Indiana” Freddy, good luck.

A special thanks to our past trustees: Brian Fox, John Mazurek, and Steve Worthy. All of you did an outstanding job.

With local negotiations facing the Shop Committee, it’s time for Chairman Bill Niblock to determine the date to kick it off. Bill has spent countless hours on the computer organizing all the local issues. In June the Shop Committee met with the membership at the local union hall and discussed all the demands which were submitted, both non-skilled and skilled. Some were adopted and others not. If you have any additional demands, please get them to the Shop Committee, as they will still accept them.

We are seeing quite a few new faces in the plant. Local management made a business decision to hire some additional permanent hourly employees. With the line count up, plus being forced to work 10 hours per day and Saturdays, our members are getting burned out. Let’s hope the line count continues on the incline, though, as it means job security.

Remember, we were new hires at one time. Welcome them to our plant and help them to get into a comfort zone. Show our unity and give all our support to the Shop Committee during local negotiations.

It’s been great -- Al Vincent, May, 2011

I always wondered what it would be like to write my last article for the Lansing Labor News, and now the time has come.

Lets go back to the late 90’s. The membership knew that there had to be a new direction for this local and they made some tough choices. Some new faces emerged from that election that helped shape this local for years to come. A lady that I look up to for being a very good Shop Chairperson is Renee McMann, who took on the big boys and never blinked an eye. She had more grit than a lot of men I know. Also, Gary Williams for his wisdom and spell checking.

I give credit to my first E-Board that first term for knowing what had to be done and doing it. Mark Daniels, the Vice President; Trustees Scott Dunsford, Billy Faust, and the late Ed Bailey; along with Tim Loveland, Lou Shannon and my long-time Recording Secretary Fritz Burke (who will be stepping down after this election). Last, nobody could I give higher praises to other than the BEST Financial Secretary this local or any other local has had over the years, Nancy Munchbach. They ALL had to make some difficult choices to get this local back on its feet and they did it.

It does not help that the plant population has shrunk over the years and this has put a strain on my other E-Boards who have stepped up to the plate. We can only do with what we have, and they realized that.

Most of all I want to thank the membership over the years for their support both at the ballot box and on projects that the union supported, such as the Make A Wish car shows, Toys for Tots, and the Old Newsboys. Your support for the Veterans Committee projects has been tremendous. And I cannot forget my old co-workers who are now also retirees and their support over the years.

In case you forgot, starting in March, every Wednesday is Solidarity Day. The International Union is asking all members to wear red as a show of support with public sector workers and their fight to save middle-class America.

I know the old saying, “It is easier to say something bad about someone than it is something nice.” Well, I want to thank those who called, or when they saw me complimented me on one of the articles I had just written. I know they are not all home runs, I just tried to make them more on the “common sense” approach.

And I could not forget the crew over at the Lansing Labor News: Harold Fos-ter. who has kept this paper afloat during these hard times; Nancy; and of course UNO #1 Tim Bogar, the man who is the backbone of this paper.

Also Laura Clark who is doing a great job as President the Local 1753 Retirees Chapter.

So what do retired Presidents do now? Catch up on things around the house, travel, and my favorite—dig into my record collection and look for more. The thrill of the hunt! If you have any records around that you don’t play, call me at 517-645-2508. Thanks.

Don’t forget to VOTE May 12th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Local Union hall and 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. in the plant across from the cafeteria. If run-offs are required, they will be one week later, May 19, same times and places.

The union meeting for May is one week later than usual, Sunday May 22 at 6 p.m.

My food for thought: People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Hold your loved ones close, tell them you love them. If tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today. Thanks and God Bless.


General membership: May 22, 6:00 p.m. June, July, and August meetings may be canceled.

E-board: May 17, June 21, July 19, and August 23, all meetings at 2:15 p.m.

All meetings are held at the Local 1753 Union Hall. Sometime this summer there will be a special meeting for Local Demands. Watch the boards at work for this notice.

April 2011: That’s not right

“That’s Not Right” is the theme that was chanted repeatedly at the rally in downtown Lansing at the Capitol on March 16. Concerned citizens and many union employees from all ranks and files were on hand for one of the biggest rallies in recent times. UAW President Bob King was one of the many speakers. 

When one of the speakers would hit the right tone in their speech, it was just natural for the crowd to respond with “That’s Not Right”. And believe me, there is a lot in Governor Rick Snyder’s proposed budget for the State of Michigan that is NOT RIGHT. 

There were so many signs that people were carrying, but here were a few that caught my eye: Inside this Mitten is a Fist!, Curb the Nerd, and my favorite, “Your mother IS NOT proud of you!” 

Of course, the main bill that I and ALL retires should be on the phone to their State Senator and House Representative about is for the State of Michigan to keep their hands off our pension. Personally, I would rather see the state raise our sales tax to 7%, that way ALL the people in Michigan would help pay for these trying times. Even tourists would help when they visit. 

It was great to see a couple of retirees that that I had not seen in a while down at the Capitol, Gary Williams and Dan Phinney. There were so many people down there that even Denny Slowinski and I lost our group.


Make sure you read the Election Notice on page 3 in this edition of the Lansing Labor News. This will tell you the dates and times for Nomination and Election dates. Because of the snowstorm back on February 20th, which was our general membership meeting date, there were not enough members present to hold a meeting. This put us up against a wall since the membership has to approve these dates. We had to go ahead with some dates and are glad that these dates were approved at the membership meeting on March 20.

The General Election will be on Thursday, May 12. If a run-off election(s) are necessary they will be a week later, with the same places and times. Because of the possibility of a run-off (less people voting in the plant), the May general membership meeting will be moved back one week to Sunday, May 22 at 6:00 p.m.

In case you did not know, I will not be running for President of this local again. It is time to pass the torch. That’s not to say that my name might not end up someplace else. We will see. The time has come to be fully retired.

REMEMBER, this is your local union. GET OUT AND VOTE on THURSDAY, MAY 12.

Al’s food for thought: One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that it is such a nice change from being young. We all get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads. Life is too short to wake up with regrets. Love the people who treat you right and forget the ones who don’t.

Local 1753 Meeting Notices

Executive Board, April 12 at 2:15 p.m. General Membership, April 17 at 6:00 p.m.

Executive Board, May 17 at 2:15 p.m. General  Membership, May 22 at 6:00 p.m.

All meetings are subject to change upon membership actions

January 2011: Election cycle starting now  

   On Sunday, January 16, at 6:00 p.m. Local 1753 held our general membership meeting. This change was brought about because the plant changed the starting time on the afternoon shift to 3:00 p.m. We were hoping this would not work and they would go back to their old time of 4:00 p.m., but they have not. We hope we can run a meeting in a timely fashion and not be rushed. 
   At this meeting there were nominations for the Election Committee, reading of some proposed by-laws changes and approval of the National demands submitted by the membership.
   Since the Lansing Labor News is on a limited basis right now, my guess is the next edition will come out in early April. This will be the issue for all the upcoming local elections. It will most likely be the last one before the local elections in May.
   I encourage EVERYONE to run for an office. Some offices take more time than others. If you truly believe in your union, you will run for something. If you are going to run for some office, you CANNOT run for the Election Committee. Or in other words, if you run for the Election Committee you cannot run for a Union office. One or the other. Retirees are eligible to run for ANY office except Committeeperson or Shop Chairperson.
    If you are having thoughts about running for some office, but have some questions first, talk to me. If you see me, I will be glad to answer your questions or you can call me at 645-2508. One thing you must do is show your fellow co-workers that you want the job and think you will do a good job at it. Press the flesh. Show up at your Union meetings. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, it worked for me.
   My Food for Thought: AMAZING! You hang something in your closet for a while and it shrinks two sizes! The most thoroughly wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed. A laugh is a smile that burst.
Local 1753 Meeting Notice
Executive Board meets at 2:15 p.m. on:
February 15            March 15        April 12
General Membership meets at 6:00 p.m. on:
February 20            March 20       April 17
All meetings are subject to change upon membership actions.

December 2010, "Time changes"
   There was a motion to change the starting time and day for our Local 1753 union meetings at our October meeting. The motion passed. Starting in January of 2011, our local general membership meetings will be held on the third SUNDAY of the month at 6:00 p.m. The problem was that our meetings were on Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. And there lay the problem with a 2:15 starting time. This was a perfect time until management changed the starting time for the afternoon shift to 3:00 p.m. Those working that shift had to leave the meeting after 25 minutes. We were hoping the company would change back to their old time, but that has not happened. We will give this new time a go, and see if this brings a better turnout. Remember, third Sunday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
   ANNUAL OPEN HOUSE: Remember to mark your calendar for Thursday, December 9 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. This is the date and time for our annual Local 1753 open house. This is open for active and retired members. There will be food and drinks, but we will not stop you if you want to bring a dish to pass. It is always pleasure to see the ones who made this union a great place to work, retired or active.
   YES, retirees, you will get a Christmas bonus this year. The rule of thumb is “if you got one last year, you will get one this year.”
   At our January 16 general membership meeting we will be taking nominations for the Election Committee, for the next three years. Six permanent members and three alternates. Election for this committee will take place at the February 20 general membership meeting. These positions are open for both active and retired members. BUT if you are thinking of running for any position in the general election next May, you cannot be on the Election Com-mittee. You must be present at the January meeting to put your name up for nomination or to accept your name put in nomination by another member.
   I truly believe General Motors is on the way to bigger and better things. They are leaner and meaner. Just ask any retiree, they will tell you they are glad they retired when they did. I don’t know any that want to go back to work.
   Let’s see if GM learned who helped them through their tough times the last couple of years. GM  might have the upper hand in the 2011 contract negotiations but the UAW is no dummy.
   Al’s Food for Thought: Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are. Women and cats will do as they please, so men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. Merry Christmas and a Great 2011.
December General Membership meeting is canceled.
Membership meetings for 2011:
Sunday, January 20 at 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 16 at 6:00 p.m.
EXEC. BOARD Wednesday, December 22 at 2:15 p.m.
January and February — see postings

Al Vincent's September 2010 column "A vote about Local 1618"
    You won’t be able to say this edition of the Lansing Labor News is not hot off the press [because of the hot weather]. I can smile and thank God I am not 10 to 20 feet up in air, in one of the aisles, picking parts at the warehouse. I hope you have been able too stay cool.
    This coming September 22nd at 2:15 p.m. at the Local 1753 General Membership meeting, we will be asking the membership to approve a motion asked for by the International UAW – to accept Local 1618 as an affiliated membership to our local. NO, they are not amalgamating with us. Local 1618 was the old Plant #2 employees. Now that the last one has officially retired, all that is left is their Retirees unit. Local 1753 will be taking their retiree unit under its umbrella. Their money will be separate from ours. Our Financial Secretary Nancy Munchbach will disperse their funds on their behalf. Their retirees will NOT be able to vote in our general elections. Local 1753 will just be Local 1618’s big brother.
    Many warehouse employees came from Local 1618 in the mid 80’s. A few went back, but most of us stayed and retired from Local 1753. Local 1618’s Retiree unit has been using our union hall for their monthly meetings the last few years, and has built a shed in back of our hall for their supplies and fixtures.
    There should not be any objection to this motion. It’s just helping the 1618 Local, like we would any other local. 
    It is hard to put timely information in the Lasing Labor News since the number of issues are down this year. But I want to thank all the retirees who came out to Local 1753’s retiree picnic and the Lansing area UAW picnic.
    This year our Halloweenie Roast at the plant will be on Friday, October 29. Watch the boards in October for more.
    Important date to remember is Thursday, December 9 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Local 1753 in conjunction with the Retiree Chapter will be having our annual open house at the hall. Stop by and see your former co-workers, past and present. A dish to pass is optional. Refreshments will be served.
    Remember, general elections for the local are next year. If you have thought of running for an office, it’s never too soon to start planning. From what I hear, there should be plenty of openings.
    Don’t forget to read Laura’s column. Retirees meet on the second Thursday of each month at noon at the union hall for a lunch and short meeting. Retirees still meet the fourth Monday morning at 8 a.m. or later at the Waverly Restaurant just North of Waverly Rd & St. Joe for a social breakfast.
    Food For Thought: Only Robinson Crusoe could have everything done by Friday. Forbidden fruit results in many a bad jam. One day you will no longer be the big dog, just the old dog who has to stay on the porch.
Executive Board
Tuesday, September 21
October 19
November 23
December 21

General Membership Meeting
September 22
October 20
December— Cancelled
All meetings are at 2:15 p.m. at the hall.   

Al Vincent's May 2010 column "Shipping jobs out"
I’m having some photos of a ship called the Emma Maersk uploaded to our website. You won’t believe your eyes! Ships like this are how companies get many of their goods stuff from China.
   The crew-size: 13 people on a ship longer than a U.S. aircraft carrier. Its 207-foot beam means it cannot fit through the Panama Canal.
   Cruise speed: 31 knots. The goods arrive four days before the typical container ship (18-20 knots) on a China-to-California run. So this behemoth is hugely competitive when carrying perishable goods. And some people wonder where our jobs have gone.
Local news
   Local 1753’s delegate to the upcoming Constitutional Convention in Detroit is Corey Jones, by acclamation.
   The ongoing rearrangement in the plant is not going like management would like. There are a lot of hiccups and they will still have to be worked out.
   Meetings: Executive Board will meet on May 18 at 2:15 p.m. and the General Membership on May 19 at 2:15 p.m. All general meetings for June, July, and August have been cancelled.
   Our retirees’ picnic will be at Hawk Island County Park in Lansing on Monday, June 14, starting at noon. If you have never been there, you should know that Hawk Island is on Cavanaugh Road between Aurelius and Pennsylvania, and is very nice. Please bring a dish to pass and come early before the park gets full. I hear there will also be a dessert contest. Yum!
   My food for thought: Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
   It’s never too late to have a second childhood, but the second one is up to you and no one else.
   We ALL get heavier as we get older, because there’s a lot more information in our heads …
   That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Al Vincent's January, 2010 column, "A Better 2010?"   
   I sure hope so. In the future we will all talk about the year 2009. Not just the employees but the retirees too. We all took a hit in 2009. The employees on work-rule changes and the retirees losing dental and vision coverage. 
   Some of you are soooo pessimistic you never see the good of anything. 2009 was not good for General Motors and us, period. The International UAW did not put us in this situation where we all had to give up something. The International UAW did its best to keep GM from going under and most people still had jobs. Remember, I said most. And the checks still came.
   Retirees, come on now, how many of you were surprised to see your Christmas bonus in December. I’ll bet most of you thought that was history. The International union does its best to look out for ALL its members. 
   We may be the forgotten GM UAW local in this area, but one thing I’ve said before and will say any time I get a chance, is that the employees of Lansing SPO give more out of their pockets than any other units around the central Michigan area for those in need, on a per capita basis.
   The employees are great for giving of their time and money, but now is the time for ALL local employees at SPO to really get involved with their union. With membership down, now is NOT the time to say, “Oh, let the other guy do it.”
   There is going to be plenty of activity within the UAW over next couple of years. Starting this year with the International convention in Detroit and national and local contracts and local elections in 2011. Start by ATTENDING YOUR GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS. This month’s meeting is on January 20 at 2:15.
   Retirees, don’t forget you have till February 9 of this year to sign up for the COBRA dental and vision care. After that, you are S.*L. (let’s just say you are out of luck).
My Food for Thought: A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. The American Indian found out what happens when you don’t control immigration. Friendship is the golden thread that ties all hearts together.

Al Vincent's December 2009 article: It is time to really shine!
    This is the time of the year when our membership really shines. Vice President Phil Hnatiuk and the Veterans Committee have already had a gate collection for veterans on Veterans Day. We will be having the Old Newsboys paper on Thursday, December 3, followed a week later with Toys For Tots. Our membership has always stepped up for most worthwhile needs and I am sure they will do it again.
    Our Local 1753 open house is coming up on Thursday, December 10 between 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It is always a well-attended event, with the membership and the retirees sharing new and old memories. This year we are asking for ALL attending to bring some non-perishable food to be given to the food bank. IF you want to bring some food to share with those attending we won't stop you, but it is not required. There will be light snacks and liquid refreshments. 
    Back in October, while I was on vacation, Vice President Phil Hnatiuk was ready to run the general membership meeting. The meeting was cancelled due to a lack of membership attending. I'll have to be honest with you, since I was out of state, I do not know if the day shift was working overtime or not. There is no excuse for the afternoon shift. We start right at 2:15p.m. so the afternoon shift can get to work on time. If you were working at Lansing SPO the first of the year, you got a calendar and all the union meeting were highlighted.
    The December general membership is cancelled and replaced on December 10 with the Open House 1:00 -  5:00. See you there!
    I want to thank Harold and Tim and the Lansing Labor News board for their efforts to get the paper up and online. Now that we have it, I hope it is well used. I have taken lot of pictures over the years, many before digital. My hope is that with Tim's help at the Labor News we will be able to get the old 35mm pictures up on the LLN photo gallery, both for Local 1753 and Local 1618.
    This upcoming holiday in December is still Christmas and will always be. No ifs, ands, or buts about it! 
    My Food For Thought: No one is in charge of your happiness but you. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Al Vincent's September 2009 article "We don't ask for much"
   I look at working in a union shop as almost like it’s a family. The Union is your blood side of your family and your employers are the in-laws. You have more of a sense of responsibility to your blood side for your family than your in-laws. You do your best to please everyone.
   Here at Local 1753 on the union side, we only ask that you support the union in its endeavors, attend union meetings, and give of your time or dollars on special projects. Generally, we only have eight membership meetings a year, which amounts to about 12 hours a year we ask you to give.
   Considering everything we do, this comes out to about one hour a month, if you do your fair share. WE DON’T ASK MUCH! I feel this is a fair price for working in a union shop. I could give names of people that go overboard on their efforts for the union and then there are the slackers. 
   There are always a few that say, “We can do as well without the union.” Yeah, right! No one in their right mind can ignore the fact that history proves that unions have accomplished great things to improve the lot, not only for the worker, but even for the company and this great country of ours.
   So the next time you are asked to do something for Local 1753, say “YES,” and consider it family.
Cash for Clunkers
   I’m happy to see so many people got out and bought new cars. My only rub was that this program did not zero in on “the cars should be assembled in America.” Also, the program had to many restrictions. I had a friend tell me about his in-laws that went out and bought a KIA. Talk about my blood boiling. That is just is not right!
   Here at the plant, as with all GM plants, the company is having the unions reduce the number of local appointments in accordance with the plant population.(National Contract) In our case, all three will now be flexing their hours with their union jobs and working on the floor. 
   Retirees, don’t forget Local 1753’s retirees luncheon on the second Thursday of each month at noon. Bring a dish to pass. The retiree board will have the main item. Remember, if you used to work at the GM Parts Warehouse but retired from someplace else, you can always transfer your membership back to Local 1753, even in retirement.

My food for thoughts: Don’t let aging get you down, it’s too hard to get back up. Your friend is the person who knows all about you, and still likes you. So be happy! Don’t let anything burst your bubble! Boogie through life!


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