Disgruntled Autoworker
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To the Membership,

When we were laid-off for the whole month of November, contractually GM was supposed to deduct only one hour of Union Dues from our checks. However, some had two hours deducted from their 11.09.08 Holiday (Election Day) checks; others had two hours deducted from their 11.02.08 Sub checks, while others had an hour deducted from their Holiday and Sub checks.


I contacted Local 435 Financial Secretary Jim Brown and I was told to bring the checks stubs that show two hours of Union Dues deduction for November and he will make copies and see to it that I am reimbursed for the extra hour.


I also asked Brother Brown if he was going to post a notice so affected members can apply for a Dues Refund. He told me the problem is too complicated and not everyone had extra dues deducted. Our conversation ended there and I was concerned that he would not inform the membership of management’s mistake. I gave him the benefit of doubt; I thought I’d wait till Monday December 1st to see if he did in fact put out a notice to the membership. Upon returning to work, I could not find a notice anywhere.


Management has pulled stunts like this before when they deducted initiation fees from members who transferred to Wilmington, but it’s not just Wilmington’s Mgt who did this. Framingham and Baltimore Mgt did it too when members transferred in from other states.


It wouldn’t surprise me if this is being done nationwide. I don’t believe incidents like these are an oversight. I believe they are deliberate attempts by Mgt to enrich the Local Union’s bank accounts at our expense, a sort of pay off for inadequate representation. I site our Union Reps failure to notify the membership of the Extra Dues Deduction to support this claim.


Those in the know who brought these issues to Unions Reps attention when they happened were reimbursed. I can’t help wonder how often unreported incidents like these happened over the years, and just how much Mgt enriched our Union Rep’s bank accounts at an unsuspecting membership’s expense. It boggles the mind when you think about it.


Check your Holiday and Sub Check pay stubs to find out if you paid too much in union dues for the month of November. If you did, take your stubs to the Union Hall or the plant’s local union work center to apply for a one hour dues refund.


And while you’re at it, be sure to check Sub and Payroll Checks for October 10.05.08 and 10.12.08, which should have a combined two hours of dues deduction, because Union Rep’s argument is the extra hour that’s deducted for November was carried forward from October, not.


Yes, this is conveniently more complicated than it should be, but worth the effort considering today’s economy where every penny counts.     


In Solidarity,

Doug Hanscom


The Factory Rat

Soldiers of Solidarity



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