Local 72 Palmen Motors Technicians
The Palmen Motors Technicians, who are part of Local 72, successfully negotiated a new three year labor agreement with the Palmen motors group. Contract ratification occurred on Wednesday April 18, 2012 with a vote of 22 yes and 0 no it was apparent that the agreement was a fair for both sides. Congratulations to the Palmen Motors UAW bargaining committee led by Ron Stollings and servicing Region 4 representative John Drew. The solidarity the membership had with the bargaining committee I’m sure played a strong part with negotiating a solid labor contract. Good work!
Kenosha Election Results
Congratulations to all of you who voted in the April 3, 2012 election. State wide vote totals were in the 25% area considerably less than the 35% that was predicted.
A hearty congratulation’s goes to Mayor Keith Bosman for winning his election with more than a 2 to 1 margin of victory. I’d have to say Kenosha has got a great mayor and all of you who live there ought to be proud. Mayor Bosman exemplifies everything you want in a mayor and more. I know he will continue to do a tremendous job and lead Kenosha forward.
In the aldermanic races for the city of Kenosha our C.A.P. endorsed candidates got overwhelming support sweeping twelve out of fourteen districts. Congratulations to all of them with a special congratulations going to our own Tod Ohnstad from district #6. Tod was elected to his second term and he does a great job of representing us and the 6th district.
Also, a very special congratulation’s is in order for Local 72 Retiree Chair Curt Wilson on his victory in district # 13. I’m sure Curt knocked on every door and talked with everyone in his district. Those who voted for him showed confidence in his ability to help everyone. For those who did not, Curt will do everything he can to make believers out of them. The people in district #13 are getting a seasoned veteran that can and will make things happen.
Our C.A.P. endorsed candidates for county board supervisors in Kenosha were able to take five out of ten races, congratulations to all. The districts where we lost were very competitive. Congratulations to our own Mike Underhill from district #20. Mike was elected to his second term and I know he will do all he can for his district.
Brothers on the Line
This award winning documentary about the rise of the UAW by Victor Reuther's grandson, Sash was shown on March 30, 2012 at Monona Terrace, Madison, Wisconsin. The documentary was powerful, moving and very emotional for all of us in the UAW. There were about ninety people at the screening in Madison and it has been shown only in one other state and that was Detroit. I can’ tell you how much I enjoyed the interviews with Victor Reuther and Doug Fraser along with the film footage from the Ford plants and other factories. I never wanted the film to end. It took Sash Reuther four years to produce this film and we all could see that it is more than an historic document it truly defines the UAW. The UAW is more than just a labor union; the UAW is all about social justice. Hopefully Public Broadcasting Station (P.B.S.) will pick up this historic document and distribute it. Once it has been show it through P.B.S. it will be available on DVD. I don’t go out to see movies much, in fact the last time I went to see a movie in a theater was 1972 when the God Father first came out. I got an e-mail from John Drew that this documentary was going to be shown I’m glad my wife Kathy and I went. With any luck at all you will have another opportunity to see this great film. Don’t let it pass you by, it’s a must see for everyone in the UAW.
The Republican sabotage of the U.S. Postal Service
In 2006, the Bush White House and Congress whacked the post office with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act — an incredible piece of ugliness requiring the agency to PRE-PAY the health care benefits not only of current employees, but also of all employees who'll retire during the next 75 years. Yes, that includes employees who're not yet born!
No other agency and no corporation have to do this. Worse, this ridiculous law demands that USPS fully fund this seven-decade burden by 2016. Imagine the shrieks of outrage if Congress tried to slap FedEx or other private firms with such an onerous requirement.
This politically motivated mandate is costing the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year money taken right out of postage revenue that could be going to services. That's the real source of the "financial crisis" squeezing America's post offices.
In addition, due to a 40-year-old accounting error, the federal Office of Personnel Management has overcharged the post office by as much as $80 billion for payments into the Civil Service Retirement System. This means that USPS has had billions of its sales dollars erroneously diverted into the treasury. Restore the agency's access to its own postage money, and the impending "collapse" goes away.
America's postal service is a true public service, a grassroots people's asset that has even more potential than we're presently tapping to serve the democratic ideal of the common good. Why the hell would we let an elite of small-minded profiteers, ranting ideologues and their political hirelings drop-kick this jewel through the goal posts of corporate greed? This is not a fight merely to save 32,000 post offices and the middle-class jobs they provide — but to advance the big idea of America itself, the bold, historic notion that "yes, we can" create a society in which we're all in it together.
Watch Out for Social Security Scams
3 big ones try to separate benefit recipients from their money
With about 55 million people receiving Social Security
benefits, it's no wonder there are lots of scams
aimed at separating them from that money.
Here are three big ones:
1. "We're updating our records."
In a common ploy, identity thieves pose as Social Security Administration
employees who are making sure files are accurate. By phone, email or letter, they ask for your personal data — Social Security number, birth date, mother's maiden name, bank account number — information that can be used to steal your identity and your money.
Reality: Legitimate SSA reps don't contact you by email, but may reply to you by phone or letter if you've applied for benefits. Before providing any information, call Social Security yourself at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) or visit your local SSA office to verify that the contact is real.
2. "We'll get you a bigger check."
Beware of anyone who offers to help you snag additional benefits for a "filing fee."
Reality: The SSA does not charge filing fees. If you feel you're due a higher benefit, you can file an appeal yourself, at no cost. It can be a complicated process, so you're allowed to hire someone to help you — but you should find that person yourself. Social Security regulates what these people can charge; representatives may face prosecution if they charge more.
3. "You've got a special tax refund coming."
Scammers say by filing a new income tax return, you can get a lump sum of about $3,000 to compensate you for the lack of Social Security COLA
increases in the past two years.
You'll be charged $30 or more to file new tax forms, and you'll get no refund. But you'll have given away a trove of personal information
UAW activists to join coalition in Troy, Michigan
against attacks on working-class families
Michigan and Wisconsin governors called out as 'co-conspirators against the 99%'
UAW members, leaders and other activists will join a broad community coalition in a peaceful protest against continued attacks on working-class families and to oppose Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's appearance at a fund raiser hosted by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at the San Marino Club here on April 17, 2012.
The demonstration is targeted at the governors' shared agenda of cutting taxes on the wealthy while shifting the tax burden to the middle-class workers, as well as slashing social services for the poor and stripping voters of their rights. Protesters will also deliver a subpoena to Snyder and Walker, both Republicans, calling on them to account for their actions.
"We have to rise up collectively and demand change in our state government and their proposed anti-worker legislation. We must demand a more inclusive society for our children and generations to come. There is power in our numbers, and the 99% spring movement is rooted in our history of fighting for the dignity of all workers," said UAW President Bob King.
"By the end of the 99% spring training, tens of thousands of activists will be ready and able to carry out nonviolent direct actions all across the country. The torch of justice has been passed to us, and we bravely take up the battle to combat the inequalities that have been placed on the backs of working families." This collective, nonviolent direct action is the first of many that activists from the 99% spring movement, a coalition of grassroots organizations including the UAW, will be part of in a long-term effort to expose the exploitation of the poor and middle-class workers.
Tod Ohnstad for Assembly
I got a phone call from John Drew on Wednesday April 11th explaining that Brother Tod Ohnstad, alderman of the 6th district was going declare his candidacy for the 65th State Assembly seat. I am amazed and pleasantly surprised that he would take on the challenge and another campaign. Tod has always had a very strong sense of right and wrong along with a ton of commitment to the people he has represented over the years. I’m absolutely positive that the people of the 65th state assembly district would have a representative that would always put their interests first and would not be indebted to anyone else. Everyone in the 65th district should be excited about Tod entering the race.
Solidarity in Springfield! Thousands Protest Walker in Illinois
A spirited crowd of over 4,000 rank-and-file union members and community supporters demonstrated against the extreme agenda and failed record of Gov. Scott Walker earlier today in Springfield, Illinois. Gov. Walker is in the capital city today to address the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. After his talk he will be flying to a GOP dinner in Troy, Michigan where the UAW and other working families are expected to protest his appearance
Phil Neuenfeldt, President of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO, addressed the crowd in Springfield bringing a message of solidarity from Wisconsin workers. “It is amazing to see over 4,000 working people standing together in Springfield, Illinois today to tell Gov. Walker that his job-killing agenda of union-busting, cuts to health care and education and rolling back women’s equal pay protections are the wrong way for any state in the nation. The energy and excitement here in Illinois is providing fuel for the people of Wisconsin as we undertake the historic effort to reclaim our democracy by recalling Gov. Walker on June 5.”