The Finger From Gettelfinger
On 05.31.06, a friend and I wrote UAW President Gettelfinger and asked him to investigate two Local 239 Good Ole Boy (GOB) union officials for giving Jobs Bank member’s names and addresses to a Smith Barney financial advisor for personnel gain. Off the record, Gettelfinger responded days later by assigning one of the accused, a chip off the old block, to the Rules Committee at the 34th Constitutional Convention in Vegas, thereby giving us the finger. On the record, he responded in a letter on 06.22.06 that our concerns were assigned to the appropriate department for follow through.
We wrote Gettelfinger because Region 8 Director Gary Casteel ignored our request and assigned the investigation to a friend of the accused, Servicing Rep Roger Griffin, who found no wrong doing by his friends, naturally. Since we haven’t heard from the appropriate department in two months, on 08.24.06, we sent a follow up letter to Gettelfinger. On 08.31.06 we received a response from Griffin, who was reassigned the investigation by Gettelfinger, who thereby gave us the finger again. And again, as expected, Griffin found no wrong doing by his friends and fellow traitors despite the overwhelming evidence.
The next day we received a letter from one of Gettelfinger’s Yum Yums, administrative assistant Dave Curson, who wrote that Griffin is an experienced servicing rep with impeccable credentials, as if. I’ve been a UAW member for thirty years and in all honesty, I’ve met hundreds of union reps who were liars, thieves, thugs and punks, but very few with impeccable credentials, none of which have been named above.
When my friend and I wrote Gettelfinger, it was on behalf of our coworkers in the Baltimore Truck Plant’s Jobs Bank, because we were all affected by our union rep’s selfishness. We sent documentation that proved beyond a shadow of doubt the accused violated UAW ethical practice codes; however, Gettelfinger shirked his duty by kicking the charge back to Griffin, thereby giving not just us, but the entire membership of our local the finger.
Considering the number of active and retired members Gettelfinger and his predecessors have screwed over the years and the ones about to be screwed as a result of upcoming contract negotiations with the Big Three, Delphi, and Visteon, the ranks of disgruntled autoworkers will grow exponentially. I don’t know how much longer they expect to get away with representing the company’s interest without some form of retaliation, but I suspect their sleeping with one eye open and looking over their shoulders during waking hours. Oh, the price of treason.
Because of incidents like the above, sometimes we have to seek an outside source like the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to remedy a problem, which is what friends and I did; again, on behalf of the Jobs Bank membership. A breach of duty of fair representation charge was filed against our local president and the UAW. The charge may encompass GM and Allison (GM Powertrain) Transmissions as well because of their complicity, but that may depend on the NLRB investigators’ outcome.
For an insight into the charge and the circumstances surrounding it, read my August 2006 newsletters at disgruntledautoworker.com. At this point, I can’t reveal too much for fear of compromising the case; however, we suspect GM and their UAW cohorts are feverishly working behind the scenes to do just that, it’s what they do keep the union’s traitors in power, but that’s out of our control. What I can tell you is that depositions were taken and the investigation is in its final stages. What everyone should know is that the government doesn’t move very fast unless you owe them money, so we ask our Baltimore coworkers to ignore the Gob’s rumors coming out of the Baltimore and Wilmington Union Halls and plants. Please be patient while the NLRB does its thing, which could take up to six months or more from the date the charge was filed, which was on 08.16.06.
Gobs and Yum Yums
The last of Baltimore’s production Job Bank members were forced to the Wilmington assembly plant on 09.11.06, and not surprising is the fact that Local 435’s leadership is a carbon copy of Baltimore’s Local 239. Some say its worse, much worse. Mind you, the faces have changed, but the cast of characters are the same, and that goes for Mgt as well. Wilmington’s Gobs showed their true colors during the first week, which was dedicated to orientation week, or more to the point, a week of indoctrinating us to Wilmington’s version of the sell-out policies and practices of GM/UAW Jointness.
Having come from a plant that was whitewashed in jointness too, we knew what to expect during the first week, and we weren’t disappointed. As expected, one appointee after another, or should I call them Yum Yums, because that is what they are, people who are appointed to jointness positions because they’re relatives of the Gobs or someone in Mgt, or they have connections to same, or they kiss up, suck up, stroke, sleep with, or do whatever to the Gobs and/or Mgt to get one of those coveted positions, hence, Yum Yums.
Anyway, Yum Yum after Yum Yum spewed forth the virtues and benefits of Team Concept, and they did so with the conviction and enthusiasm of snake oil salesmen. Of course the majority of them haven’t worked the line, much less under the current version of Team Concept, since well before Wilmington began building the Saturn Sky and Pontiac Solstice, so their credibility was lacking to say the least. Several people who do work the line walked by the classroom and yelled, “Bullshit!” When questioned about the comments, the Yum Yum, whose position is dependent on his loyalty to the GM/UAW Jointness Team and not the membership, defended Team Concept and labeled the commenter’s as disgruntled. We’ll soon find out.
One whole day was dedicated to building, un-building, and then rebuilding wooden cars. A process called Simulated Work Environment (SWE), which was designed to simulate the assembly process. GM even built a SWE in the GM/UAW Center for Human Resources, also known as Yum Yum Central, because it’s where GM and UAW International officials hide their siblings and friends to protect them from carpal tunnel syndrome and other maladies afflicting real autoworkers. That said; the SWE was designed to improve quality, safety, productivity and more according to the summer issue of the GM/UAW People magazine.
Two key words in the last sentence say it all, productivity and more, which translates to increasing jobs per hour without reducing workload. With Wilmington currently building only 8.72 jobs per hour, we figured the jobs can’t be that hard, right? Especially when a Yum Yum stated several times, “No one is working that hard.” Well, the Yum Yum lied. My Right Side Door Build job alone is described in 9 pages. It has 220 steps in the operation ranging from 0.60 to 22.20 seconds per operation with the vast majority at the lower end and so out of whack it’s obvious and pathetic. My native coworkers claim the left and right door build jobs are the hardest in General Assembly. I guess the rumors that Wilmington was waiting for me were true.
Mgt claims my job is, “Not overworked, it’s busy,” right. My committeeman claims, “The job is right there,” meaning it’s timed to the second and not worth writing up, right. How can he say that without doing the job? I insisted he write it up anyway. He reluctantly complied. From what I hear, my coworkers, native and transplanted, have similar complaints. If that’s the case, they should write up their jobs too. Apparently the GM/UAW Team hasn’t learned that overworked and disgruntled autoworkers can not make quality products, consistently. The vast number of repairs in the yard proves it, unless they’re in the yard for engineering and design problems, no, can’t be.
To make matters worse, while the majority of us from Baltimore have several years of seniority, we look around and see Gobs and Yum Yums from our plant with less seniority on good jobs. While we can’t begrudge the Gobs for looking out for their own, it’s only natural, but for them to look out for transplanted Gobs and Yum Yums too is reprehensible and discriminatory. There can only be one reason for local Gobs to do this and that is to build a support base among (Gypsies) transplants. Elections are less than two years away, and with Gypsies quickly becoming the majority, local Gobs want to insure their longevity by bring transplanted Gobs and Yum Yums into the fold. They must feel threatened, something for Gypsies to ruminate on as time progresses.
Lastly is something that is extremely disturbing, and should be to anyone who claims to believe in the union, and that is for Mgt to reserve the right to choose (TC) Team Coordinators. Seniority is not a factor in Mgt’s decision, and judging from my observations, it’s apparent that the majority of those chosen are loyal to the GM/UAW Team and not Team Members, and therefore they’ll drop a dime on a TM in a heartbeat. As if we don’t have enough problems with Gobs and Yum Yums.
With the recent NLRB ruling redefining the term supervisor, I have to wonder what affect it will have on all the Yum Yums in the GM/UAW jointness programs in our plants, and especially at Yum Yum Central in Detroit. Are TCs supervisors too? Several of them sure act like it. Why didn’t the AFL-CIO’s leaders solicit their memberships to try and stop the NLRB’s decision that will weaken unions more than they themselves already have? I have a pretty good idea why. It’s because Gettelfinger, Sweeney, Stern, and the rest of our so-called union leaders have their heads so far up corporate America’s asses they can’t see that the House of Labor is crumbling around their Knees.
To be continued……..NEXT
In Solidarity, Doug Hanscom