Disgruntled Autoworker
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Observations #23
January 2003

GOBs Dinner Derailed

The Good Ole Boys (Gobs) are upset with President Plummer, VP Parrott and Gail Hardinger, because at December’s Union meeting, Gail objected to our Funds paying for an Executive Board (EB) Christmas Dinner at a local restaurant. The Gobs think Bud or Thomasine put Gail up to derailing their Dinner.

I spoke with Gail about the Gobs accusations, and the following is the result of our conversation. Did Bud or Thomasine give you the heads up on the EB Dinner? “No they didn’t. I was told last year that the EB had a $2,500 Dinner and it was charged to our Funds. So I was waiting to hear if they wanted one this year too.”

Who told you? “Recording Secretary Ann German did. After last years Dinner, she told me she was appalled that an EB member ordered 4 bottles of very expensive wine.”

So you expected them to have a dinner this Christmas too? “Yes, when I heard the Recording Secretary say in her report that the Executive Board approved using our Funds to pay for a Special Dinner for themselves, ex union officials, and an ex secretary. I thought, no way.”

Would you care to explain? “I figured the EB already has it made. They’re off the line and working in air-conditioned offices. They make trips to conventions; they charge our Local Funds for $600 luncheons and who knows what other perks they’ve been charging us for? Every year the Local puts on a little Christmas Dinner at the Union Hall for the membership, and if the Dinner at the Hall is good enough for the membership, then it should be good enough for them.”

Well said. What was that about $600 Luncheons? “About April of 2002, Ann showed me a voucher an EB member turned in for a Crab Cake luncheon at Canton Station, and stapled to the voucher was a piece of yellow scrap paper that was supposed to be a $600 receipt. She said she had a problem with signing the voucher, because the receipt didn’t look official. I’m not sure if she signed it or not.”

Anything else you’d like to add? “I think it’s ironic that Ann made a speech saying they deserve the Dinner, when she was so dead set against last years.” Thank you Gail. “Your welcome.”

Editor’s notes; The Gobs wanted to invite ex Gobs Lee Dorsey and Chuck Miller to their Dinner to show their appreciation for the previous administration. I guess it doesn’t matter that we already showed our appreciation by voting them out of office. If the Gobs had pulled off their Dinner, I wonder if Charley Alfred and Darrin Petty would have showed up as special guest.

I also wonder how many questionable $600 luncheons our Funds paid for at our ex Gobs Bar, Canton Station? If the Gobs want to have a dinner and invite ex Gobs, and an ex secretary who messed up our books, I suggest they pool their money and have a dinner at the ex Gobs Bar. I bet no one orders 4 bottles of expensive wine.

I hope this settles the rumors about who’s responsible for derailing the Gobs Dinner.

Elect Everyone

Friday, the 13th of December 2002, the last day of work for the Truck Plant, 2 management Reps hosted a little Dinner of their own for facilitators at Squires Restaurant. The Gobs Dinner may have been derailed, but at least 2 of the Gobs got to have Christmas dinner. And they are facilitator and ex-Gob Committeeman Rochester Robinson, and facilitator and Recording Secretary Ann German.

Speaking of facilitators. They are dues paying members and should be elected to their positions, not appointed. Until they are elected, the Plant Manager and Personnel Director, the Local President and the Shop Chairman are supposed to unanimously approve their appointments.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, because management appointed Robinson as head facilitator, bypassing Alternates and more experience facilitators that were trained for the job. And management did this in spite of the Local President’s objections.

So the next time you see Robinson chauffeured around the plant, ask him who appointed him? Which begs the question. Since the President objected to his appointment, does that mean Robinson represents management?

Another management appointee is Clinton Bryan. Until recently, his job was hanging around the Plant Lobby like a greeter at Wal-Mart. Now his job is to oversee the Jobs Bank. The man doesn’t have any seniority to speak of, and he’s a member of the Whispering Committee, yet he gets an appointed position that has always been held by a much higher seniority member.

Which begs another question. If the President objects to management’s choices, then why are they getting away with appointing whoever they want? The answer is the Shop Chairman, because if he stood with the President, management wouldn’t be getting away with it.

The Shop Chairman and the Gobs feel that if all appointees were elected, they would lose their power over the membership, because their Army of appointees usually dominates a Union meeting. Which means they carry voting power, because they’re obligated to whoever appointed them, not the membership.

That’s why we circulated a Demand to make all Local appointed positions elected. Since the Shop Chairman refuses to break with the previous administration and management, we’ll make him. We collected 648 names on the Demand, including the Presidents. Therefore Mr. Chairman, end all appointments and elect everyone. The balls in your court, your either with the President and the membership, or your against them.

Boos to Suggestion Awards

I lost track of how many Boos I heard when the winner’s names were drawn for the December Suggestion Awards. A card was pulled from the barrel, the TV screen went blank, and the Boos began when someone from Labor Relations won first prize, and they continued when a supervisor and people in the Joint Programs won. A Paint supervisor was even suspicious, because he jokingly commented that there would be a full investigation.

I talked to people in other departments and they were suspicious of foul play as well. A large majority of us feel that management and those in the Joint Programs should have their own drawing, because they have more free time to come up with ideas and suggestions than the rest of us. If management insists on one drawing for the entire plant, I suggest they broadcast the drawing live, thereby eliminating any suspicions.

Am I saying management can’t be trusted? Think about this, twice they dangled a Toy Van in front of us, and the second time they attached a bribe to it. Then they said we’ve been bad, because their Doctored numbers didn’t add up, and now we can’t have it. Trust management? I don’t think so. Isn’t that why Unions were formed?

An Educated Membership

Many of you may not know it, but Gobs Dorsey and Miller put a stop to Bill Barry’s Labor Studies courses in the plant. Why? Because they didn’t want Mr. Barry educating the membership about the History of Unions, Grievance and Arbitration, and Labor Law, just a few of his courses.

It was President Plummer who brought Mr. Barry’s courses back into the plant. However, during Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s failed campaign for Governor, her Aid and CAP President, Darrin Petty said in front of 10 witnesses, “Fred Swanner and I are trying to have Barry’s classes barred from the plant for good.”

Don’t let these Gobs ruin a good thing. The next time you see them, tell them to, “Butt out!” And inform them that it would be in the best interest of the membership to keep Mr. Barry’s classes in the plant, because their convenient. Classes are forming for February. Enroll now, because we need more members who are educated in the Union. See Gwen for a schedule of Mr. Barry’s upcoming classes, or call her at x2630.

Write Something Positive

A few members complained that my letters are too negative. They say, “Why don’t you write something positive?” I tell them, “Give me something positive to write about.” And they fall silent. Of course the majority of those complaining are Gobs, facilitators and a couple of the dozens of appointed quality people who seem to be everywhere doing, I don’t know what. I would love to write more positive letters. So I say again, “Give me something positive to write about.”

If my letters are too strong or too negative, it’s because I’m angry, and I want to make you angry, because I hope to motivate you to write letters to the International about our overworked jobs or our loss of benefits. More of us need to complain to Solidarity House or those Traitors are going to keep giving back other benefits that the forefathers of the UAW fought for. And I want to make you angry so you’ll get involved and start attending Union meetings so you can keep informed about what’s going on and why.

In Solidarity,
Doug Hanscom

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