Disgruntled Autoworker
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UAW PRB Appeal Update

On 03.05.08 I received a letter from the UAW Public Review Board that contained an Answer Letter from the International Executive Board, President Gettelfinger, that was directed at my Appeal Letter, DA # 48, which is posted on my website at disgruntledautoworker.com.

I was given 15 days to respond. On 03.19.08, I sent the following request to the PRB.

Dear PRB Members, Unlike the IEB, I do not have a legal staff at my disposal to deal with matters of importance such as this. Also, there is the fact that I commute seventy miles, one way, or three to four hours daily between Baltimore and Wilmington’s assembly plant in order to continue my employment; therefore, my allotted time to respond is greatly diminished. Then there is the matter of GM paying me (A) for lost wages and clearing my record (B) in relation to the grievance in question. GM Mgt and Local Union Officials are dragging their feet in providing me with GM’s written answer explaining why GM settled said grievance. Perhaps the PRB can put a fire under their feet to hasten my procurement of said written answer so I can determine if it is relevant to my appeal. Therefore, I hereby request an extension of the fifteen day time limit with which to respond. An additional fifteen to thirty day extension should suffice. Thank you.

On 03.27.08 the PRB gave me an addition 15 days to respond to the IEB’s Answer Letter.

On 04.08.08 I sent the following response to the IEB’s Answer Letter.

Dear PRB Members,                                                                                                                              

          Page two of the IEB’s Answer Letter contends that my “newsletter contained accusations of GM using the Joint Funds Programs as a means to bribe union officials and also questioned GM’s ability to produce quality products.”

          I stand behind my belief that the IEB’s Joint Partnership with GM and the Corporations, and their collectively shared and administrated multi-billion dollar Joint Funds Accounts compromises the IEB’s ability to adequately and in good faith represent the membership of the UAW. From a shop floor perspective and in light of the ever expanding Army of Appointees in our plants and throughout the Corporations, which are a direct result of the IEB’s Joint Funds Programs with the Corporations, this can only be perceived as bribery, and as a means to undermine true democracy and membership solidarity to insure, and secure, the perpetual dictatorial rule of the 70 year old one party slate that is the IEB.

          Furthermore, as to my questioning GM’s ability to produce quality products, one need only look at GM’s market share in the last few years to make that judgment. Also, the actions and comments of GM’s own over-paid executives are responsible for me reaching the conclusion that they are out of touch with consumers and environmental concerns. I cite GM executive Robert Lutz’s recent statement that, “Global Warming is a crock of shit.” To bolster Lutz’s and the Corporation’s beliefs, there is GM’s decision to kill the EV-1 Electric Car while buying the Hummer brand and focusing on building oversized gas-guzzling SUVs instead of more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles. Therefore, the facts speak for themselves. My critiques of GM’s abilities are justified.

          I feel it’s imperative to also note that I was disciplined for allegedly making a false statement about the selection of team coordinators and not for accusing the IEB of taking bribes or of criticizing GM’s ability to produce quality products. The IEB is blatantly attempting to distract the PRB by focusing on issues that are irrelevant. Therefore, I ask the PRB to be aware of, and to disregard, attempts by the IEB to distract it from the primary issues relevant to this case.

          Furthermore, page two of the IEB’s Answer Letter states that, “GM clearly articulated their position that the (disgruntled autoworker) newsletter had the potential to create a hostile work environment and threatened the efficient operation of their facility. The Company further contended that the newsletter was an attempt to polarize the workforce by creating a division between employees recently transferred from closed facilities and long time Wilmington Assembly employees.”

          I believe the above stated position by GM’s was either a bluff, or a fabrication by the IEB, because prior to the IEB’s 03.04.08 Answer to my Appeal letter, GM had a change of heart. Attached (A) is a copy of my 03.02.08 pay stub for 9.3 hours, which is for time lost that was a result of GM Wilmington’s 10.21.06 Balance Of the Shift reprimand. Also attached is a copy (B) of my disciplinary record; please note the record states that the discipline was “Removed per grievance settlement,” by GM.

          Since acquiring a copy of my discipline record on 03.10.08, I have been trying to get a copy the document that contains GM’s written response for its decision to withdraw the reprimand, pay me for lost wages and thereby making me whole. Two of GM Mgt’s personnel have consistently denied the existence of a document; and Local 435’s Chairman and Committeeman At Large stated that they will try to get me a copy of GM’s written decision.

          As of this writing, I have yet to receive a copy of any documentation from the Union that states the reason for GM’s decision to withdraw the reprimand. I find it very hard to believe that no such document exists considering the detailed, harsh and accusatory language directed against me and my newsletters by both GM and the IEB, which was clearly articulated and extensively documented in the IEB’s 12.21.07 Decision Letter denying my appeal and their 03.04.08 Answer to my 01.15.08 PRB Appeal Letter.

          The withdraw of the reprimand makes moot the IEB’s own stated positions and those of GM in both the 12.21.07 and 03.04.08 letters, which throws into question the reasoning behind International Rep John Washington’s decision to withdraw the grievance at the third step based on his personal (C) opinions, which also throws into question the reasoning behind the IEB’s decision to support Washington’s decision when they denied my appeal.

          Therefore, the question I have now for the PRB is will GM’s decision to withdraw the reprimand render my appeal moot? Personally I don’t believe it should, because the grievance was clearly withdrawn for personal reasons and the IEB supported that personal decision; thereby denying me my right to due process under the grievance and arbitration procedure.

          In conclusion, while I am happy with GM’s, albeit unexplained, decision to settle by paying me for lost wages and withdrawing the reprimand, I am not at all happy with the IEB’s decision to withdraw the grievance for personal reasons, or its decision to deny my appeal of said withdrawal. My attempt to resolve this issue with the IEB failed. On 04.01.08, I called Eunice Stokes-Wilson, Admin. Asst. to the President and asked if she could moot out the IEB’s decision in light of GM’s settlement of the grievance and forward a written copy of said action to me; however, she stated that she would not, and that I should proceed with the PRB appeal process.

          Therefore, I ask the PRB to take an unbiased approach to this matter and carefully review all of the information in my Appeal Letter and this Response Letter when rendering a decision. I believe both letters clearly and honestly present the facts as viewed from a shop floor perspective. The decision to withdraw the grievance and the IEB’s decision to deny my appeal were both based on personal opinions that do not comply with UAW Ethical Practice Codes.

          Also, from a shop floor perspective, I believe it is shamefully obvious that the collusive and perverse IEB Joint Partnership with GM influenced their decision. Accordingly, the IEB’s decision should be rendered moot and a letter stating as much should be issued. Thank you.

Sincerely, Doug Hanscom, DisgruntedMember@aol.com

Soldier Of Solidarity

I await the PRB’s ruling in this matter and will post it when available.

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