Open Letter to UAW and AFL-CIO Presidents - I will not be silenced
Mr. Yokich and Mr. Sweeney, I spoke with my local Good
Ole Boys (Gobs) about a problem I had with one of your Boys,
but they didn't want to be bothered. I'm sure you gentlemen
don't want to hear about it either, but I'm going to tell
you anyway, because the membership needs to know about the
people representing us and I can't think of a better way
to tell them than an open letter.
I'm not going to name him, because I've noticed that whenever
controversy surrounds a union official, our ex-president
and regional rep for example, you guys promote them. And
I will not assist your Boy with his career. My coworkers
and your Boy will know who I'm talking about and that's
what really matters.
So before it becomes physical, I'd like to inform you that
this up and coming Boy of yours threatened to knock my teeth
out at our December union meeting because I wrote in my
Newsletter that he was appointed to his AFL-CIO position,
and he claims he was elected.
Fortunately for both of us, another member interrupted
before anything could happen, but just before I got in my
truck your Boy yelled, "Why don't you do something
constructive for this union?" I ignored him and drove
away grinning, because I got under his skin and survived
another union meeting.
First, was your Boy elected to his AFL-CIO position? Yes,
but, he was nominated and elected by fellow Good Ole Boy
delegates. And as every hard working member knows, being
elected by delegates is not the same as being elected by
Because as you Gentlemen know, most delegates will vote
for whoever is nominated, especially if the one nominated
is to succeed the person who is nominating them. Like you
Mr. Yokich, you nominated Mr. Gettelfinger to succeed you
as president of the UAW and he is therefore guaranteed to
become president in June. Democracy is not in your vocabularies.
So I don't buy that crap, "I was elected," from
you or your Boy.
And second, why do I write Newsletters? Because the membership
needs to be made aware of what you Boys are doing, supposedly
on their behalf. Like your abuse of nepotism and favoritism
nationwide that is responsible for demeaning the chain of
command in our Unions.
We have people like your Boy appointed to positions they
who don't have a clue about. They are advancing up the unions'
ladder because of who they are or who they know, not, because
they're knowledgeable about the union contract or how well
they represent the membership.
And I write Newsletters to see the look of surprise; disbelief
or shock on member's faces when they learn things like;
the President of the UAW sits on the Board of DaimlerChrysler,
adding credibility to the fact that you Boys formed partnerships
with the very corporations you're supposed to be adversaries
And your Boy had the nerve to ask me why don't I do something
constructive for this union? My Newsletters, including this
one, are doing more to educate the membership about your
GOB Democracy and your perverse corporate partnerships than
he's done or will ever do in forty years as an appointee
of the UAW or the AFL-CIO.
Gentlemen, it is because of your selfish monopoly of the
International Executive Board elections that make it necessary
for dissidents like myself to write Newsletters. And your
Boy's threats and intimidating tactics will not silence
Mr. Sweeney, at last November's AFL-CIO convention, you
had another opportunity to do the right thing for your members
when a motion was made to initiate one member/one vote.
However, you and your cronies decided that the membership
wasn't competent enough to vote and therefore recommended
that delegates reject it again, and of course they did.
And Mr. Yokich, I'm sure you and your self appointed clone,
Mr. Gettelfinger, will do your best to make sure UAW delegates
reject one member/one vote again during its conventions
in June of this year. I guess autoworkers aren't smart enough
to vote either.
A fellow dissident referred to the membership as a Sleeping
Giant. He said if we keep hitting it with our Newsletters,
eventually it will wake up very upset. And the membership
will be very upset when more of them learn, through Newsletters,
that it is your GOB Democracy that is responsible for destroying
our unions. What do you Boys think will happen then? I know,
and I can't wait.
Obviously, on the International level, we are powerless
to make changes that will affect us in a positive way. The
Good Ole Boys (GOBs), President Yokich and his clones are
scared out of their wits to give us the right to vote in
their Executive Board elections, because they know the membership
nationwide is fed up with their sell-out policies and corporate
Repeated request to the FBI and the NLRB by UAW Solidarity
Coalition members for an investigation of the UAW International
for corruption have been ignored. A meeting was scheduled
for September 15, 2001 between Senator John McCain, UAWSC
members and Union watchdog group, UAW Concern's Patty Meyer.
However, the events of September 11th postponed the meeting
On February 21, 2002 a hearing was held in DC between officials
of the NLRB, UAWSC members and Patty Meyer. The focus of
the meeting was our right to vote, and Joint Funds. NLRB
officials were unaware and concerned about the millions
of dollars in Joint Funds that UAWSC members claim compromises
the union's ability to adequately represent us. A follow
up hearing is scheduled for April. UAWSC member, Gregg Shotwell,
was at the meeting and is working on a full report. I'll
circulate it as soon as it's available.
We may be powerless, for now, when it comes to the International
Executive Board elections, but not when it comes to our
own Local Executive Board. We proved it twice when we elected
two people to the Board who were not in our local Gob's
clique. And soon we'll have the opportunity to prove it
In spite of losing the last two elections, our Gobs continue
to show favoritism, last spring with their selection for
facilitators, and again for the fall education program.
A committeeman recently pointed out that they were more
considerate in who they selected for the spring education
program. Big deal, it's too late to make amends now, Boys.
The damage is done. You're through walking all over our
pride and dignity.
Our committee people are not the problem, because they're
limited in the performance of their jobs, and they're influenced
and controlled by our Gobs. It is the Gobs who are the problem.
And they are the President, the assembly plant and Allison's
Shop Chairpersons, the Financial Secretary, all Trustees,
the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Guide, and all Board Members at
I left out Vice President, Recording Secretary, and Murray's
Shop Chairperson, because they were not in the loop when
Alfred and the Bargaining Committee presented our non-expiring
Living Agreement to the Executive Board and Shop Committee
for approval. And as a result of this sell-out agreement,
we are all paying, big time. Haven't we had enough?
I'm sure you're aware Nominations for Executive Board Members
and Convention Delegates will take place during the March
10th union meeting at 2:30pm at the Hall. Also an election
committee will be selected to oversee the election and the
counting of the ballots.
If your not running for office, have yourself nominated
for the election committee, or campaign for candidates who
are challenging the Gobs. Or volunteer to be a challenger
at the polling stations and at the counting of the ballots.
And no locking the ballots up overnight, they should be
watched like a Hawk.
Something else that is very important. Right from the start
all challengers are handicapped, because they don't have
the free time to campaign like our Gobs, they're not allow
to campaign inside Allison like the Gobs, and the Gobs
have already started mailing campaign literature to retirees.
So as soon as we know who all the nominees are, we need
to inform our friends at Allison, and all the retirees we
can of the desired ouster of our Executive Board. Lets all
get involved in this election and give the Gobs a run for
the money, and the boot.
Considering some of the names I've heard and the ones I
know of who are running for Executive Board member, I believe
the end of the Gob's Dynasty will be the first "done
deal" since our Living Agreement.
Personally, I do not have any political ambitions for any
office of our Executive Board. Although, my sights are set
on Convention Delegate, because I want to witness the proceedings
that are mainly responsible for the mess our Union is in.
And then report my observations and possible solutions back
to the membership. However, that will be up to you to decide at election time.