Disgruntled Autoworker
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January 2000

Local 239, my union as I see it

When I see an open job go to a person with only five years seniority when there are people with 25 years or more who want that job, (secondary move, yea right). I just have to tell you that a move like that is a slap in the face of this membership. How the union can allow this sort of behavior to go on is also a slap in the face. I do not for a moment buy the line that our union uses so frequently, "Our hands are tied." That line to me means the union is too scared or too weak to speak up. From what I see their hands are not tied, they're sitting on them.

President Charlie Alfred and the negotiating committee had no right to throw our seniority out the window like they did. If Alfred and his boys had to work on the line you can bet your bottom dollar that they would not have even considered this contract. What Alfred and his boys did to this membership makes us the laughing stock of GM. You can bet that the international looks at Baltimore and says "What the hell were they thinking". General Motors looks at Baltimore and thinks, suckers!

The contract, not so much team concept, but the clauses about seniority smell to the high heavens. There has to be some really shady dealings going on there. It is my opinion that Alfred and his committee were doing some dirty dealing under the table. I'm not the only one with this opinion. A lot of old timers also saw what was going on, it's a shame that the new people we have working with us (those with five years or less) did not see this, or chose not to, because they carried the vote. (That is if the vote really mattered, most people think it was a done deal before the vote even took place).

Between the Corporation and union, I don't know which is worse. The Corporation treats us like used parts, the union treats us like yesterday's garbage. The Corporation gets away with more than the union should allow. Our union leaders should be disciplined for what they've done to this membership, be it impeachment or investigated, something should be done! I'm not a violent man, but if I were I would personally tan Alfred and his boys butts. Damn, sometimes I wish I were a violent man.

There was a time when you had the seniority you could get yourself a decent job, but not anymore. Alfred and his boys saw to that, now to get a decent job you must be one of the boss' pets or a kiss ass. To me that is lower than I am willing to go. I don't know about you, but if I had my time I would go now because I take no pleasure in coming to work anymore. It takes all my will to come to work and keep my mouth shut, well guess what? Not anymore, I'm going to start speaking my mind beginning with this half-ass letter.

I only have a few years to go with GM; however, I have a feeling that a few years under this contract is going to feel like twenty.

Sincerely, a Disgruntled Member

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