Liars, Thieves, Thugs, & Punks
After a brief, albeit phony, two day UAW strike against GM over what UAW president Gettelfinger claims was for job security, it was announced that it was now up to the membership to ratify the tentative agreement. International Reps will make the rounds to locals nationwide to Roll Out the agreement prior to ratification votes which must be submitted to the international UAW by October 10th. Rumors immediately circulated that the ratification vote will be held on Saturday the 6th in the Wilmington plant, which upset members who commute from Linden and Trenton, NJ as well as from Baltimore, because they’d have to spend three to six hours on the road to and from Wilmington just to vote.
Local 435 officials let it be known on Tuesday the 2nd that the ratification vote will be Monday the 8th; however, the roll out will be Friday the 5th at 12:00 pm for second shift, 3:00 pm for first shift, and since second shift Paint doesn’t start until 6:30 pm, a 4:30 pm roll out is scheduled for them. There is no third shift Paint. Wait a minute, what about third shift General Assembly and Body Shop? All these schedules are way too inconvenient for those on third shift, because many of them commute from NJ and MD, 12:30 pm is too late for them to hang around, and 4:30 pm is too early for them to come in. For some strange reason, a roll out is scheduled for Saturday morning at 7:00 am. Some of us believe this is a deliberate slap in the face to those of us on third shift who commute.
On Wednesday morning after my shift I stopped into the plant’s union work center. This name has always confused me, because near as I can tell, there’s not much work that goes on in there, and I don’t mean just in the Wilmington plant, but also in the shuttered Baltimore and Framingham work centers. I think it’s got something to do with jointness. Anyway, I asked the Shop Chairman and Committeeman At Large about there not being a roll out scheduled for third shift. The CAL said, “The international set it up that way.” I said, “Well that sucks!” The CAL said, “I know, we had nothing to do with it,” right. The SC said, “We can check with NJ and MD locals so you can attend their roll outs.” I said, “That works. It’s better than nothing.” He said, “I’ll look into it and post their roll out schedules.” “Great,” I said.
Apparently he looked into it, but he didn’t post anything. Instead, someone made up flyers for Baltimore’s roll out and put them on a table outside the work center the following Thursday morning, hardly enough time to inform that evening’s third shift that Baltimore will hold roll outs at 12:00 pm and 4:30 pm Friday for the Allison plant’s first and second shifts. There were no flyers for Trenton and Linden’s roll out that I know of. A couple of coworkers and I circulated as many flyers as we could considering the timing of our discovering them and our hectic work schedules.
About fifteen Wilmington/Baltimore members attended the 12:00 pm rollout meeting in local 239’s union hall. Present were four international Reps who were doing the roll out, the local’s international servicing rep, the local’s ex-president, and various appointed and elected reps, current and past, Good Ole Boys (Gobs) and traitors, each and everyone. Right from the start the local president said, “We have a few Wilmington members and some retirees here and I want you to know you have no vote and no voice, but if you have any questions you can come up and ask them at the end of the roll out.” This upset us, but since we stayed up to make this meeting, we’ll wait until the end to ask our questions.
My question related to our recall rights to the Allison plant a few miles up the road. It was sort of answered when a Jobs Bank member, who is also a skilled tradesman, mentioned that the Allison plant hired five Baltimore members who were forced to the Wilmington plant. He was upset because he had applied to the Allison plant as a production member, but was not considered. The Rep told the member that if he feels he was slighted, then he needs to go through the proper channels to file a complaint. Been there and done that, good luck dude. This was part of the answer I wanted to hear, but I’ll wait until the end to have it clarified.
When the meeting wound down and the Rep was about to close it, a retiree, former appointee, Gob, and Yum yum asked a VEBA question. I figured that since they allowed the retiree to ask a question, so could I. When the Rep finished answering the retiree’s question I put my hand up. He called on me. Just then the local’s president said, “No!” Almost simultaneously, a Gob from Allison said, “No!” It feels good to be loved by these yahoos. The Rep said, “Come up here and ask.” As I got up I said, “ Bastards.”
When it was my turn to ask a question, I said, “There are about three hundred of us Baltimore truck plant members in Wilmington. Do we have recall rights to the Allison plant, to return to our former community, over the Jobs Bank skilled tradesmen who’ve applied as production members?” He said, “Yes, but in seniority order.” In other words, a skilled tradesman in the Baltimore Jobs Bank with thirty five years, who applies for a production position in Allison, has priority over a Baltimore member in Wilmington with thirty years. If his answer is true, then this is good to know because there are dozens of skilled tradesmen in the Jobs Bank with less than twenty years, some with as few as ten, who’ve been brainwashed by their rep into believing they have priority over those who were forced to Wilmington. I know several Baltimore/Wilmington members who will be happy to hear this.
When a couple of Wilmington’s former Baltimore members asked me to attend the Baltimore meeting with them, I was reluctant, because I know I’ll be voting NO to VEBA and Two Tier, I don’t need to hear their lies, and I know the Gobs there wouldn’t be welcoming me with open arms, pretty much like how they welcome me in Wilmington. The Gobs, here, there and everywhere hate dissenters, especially those with a pen and a website, but when they mentioned that local 239’s president would have us arrested for trespassing, I couldn’t resist.
We weren’t arrested, and those who asked me to attend were a no show, go figure. They used me, but that’s okay, I got this newsletter out of it. Anyhow, about two seconds before I entered the hall, someone’s car alarm went off three times. When we looked around, the two standing next to the car acted as if nothing happened. I believe the alarm went off to signal my arrival, cool, and as I was leaving a Gob violently brushed up against my shoulder with his shoulder. Knowing that I’m in hostile territory and out numbered, I ignored the arrogant chump who probably hurt himself more than he thinks he did me. I exited the hall and property without further incident.
The membership nationwide needs to wake up and find a way to rid themselves of the traitorous liars, thieves, thugs, and punks controlling our international and local unions. I fear ratification of this sell out agreement is emanate since those who count the votes control the results. When all is said and done and GM and their UAW get their way, I believe GM will Delphi us, and then there won’t be enough of us left to tar and feather the traitors in our union halls, much less the ones in Solidarity House. Damn them straight to hell for what they’ve done to our unions; and shame on us if we let them get away with it.
In Solidarity, Doug Hanscom