An Argument for Buying American

Letter from a Indy Stamping Plant Employee Local 23

It seems that all the pundits from Rush Limbaugh to the World Socialist Website have entered the fray concerning the fate of the Indianapolis stamping plant while the real culprits escape scrutiny and feign innocence.

Before calling them out, however, I would like to exonerate the loyal and hard working members of UAW Local 23 who look on the public disdain with incredulity as if they have not quite yet conceded enough. To demand that they act against their own self interests to benefit a modern-day Andrew Carnegie wannabe is akin to asking every American who could possibly retire to do so whether or not they are financially ready to step aside in order to lower the unemployment rate.

It is irresponsible and inane.

As a third-generation autoworker at the plant with 75 years of service between myself, father, and grandfather, each have witnessed the decline from 5000+ employees to the current 551 seniority employees.

What precipitated the unsustainable decline?

The truth is the very aforementioned culprits who assail the workers exercising our right to freely choose who we will or will not work for all the while driving a vehicle made by a foreign-owned company. The entire blame for the current debacle lies with those who like our erstwhile mayor decided to purchase 85 Toyotas in lieu of the Chevrolet Malibu regardless of the fact that the Indianapolis stamping plant made a major portion thereof.

General Motors has closed its Pittsburgh, Grand Rapids, Mansfield, Pontiac, and Indianapolis stamping plants as a direct response to the falling demand of American-owned companies' vehicles concomitant with a rise in foreign-owned companies' cars and trucks.

If you want to know who is to blame for the latest American factory failure, look no further than you and your neighbors' driveways.

Donny Jones

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

what he means is, this whole thing is rush limbuagh's fault.

Sorry Donny...WE didnt vote down the contract and WE dont run the company..the UAW DOES and YOU DID....

You made your bed and put your faith in a company union....UAW is managment now.....and now you get to see how your union brothers will screw you in a heart beat while sitting on fat saleries...

As a point of fact...Camrys are assembled at Georgetown, Ky

And No...I wouldnt own one...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Psst! Hey Donny check this out.....Even as the industry struggles with massive losses, the UAW brass continue to own and operate a $33 million lakeside retreat in Michigan, complete with a $6.4 million designer golf course. And it's costing them millions each year.
The UAW, known more for its strikes than its slices, hosts seminars and junkets at the Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center in Onaway, Mich., which is nestled on "1,000 heavily forested acres" on Michigan's Black Lake, according to its Web site.

But the Black Lake club and retreat, which are among the union's biggest fixed assets, have lost $23 million in the past five years alone, a heavy albatross around the union's neck as it tries to manage a multibillion-dollar pension plan crisis.
Critics call it a resort for union leaders that wastes money from union dues.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Fred drives a Japanese built Prius. Fred reminds me of a spoiled child that demands ice cream for every meal then wakes up one day at age 18 and finds he weighs 300lbs! Fred will argue that he employs the sales staff at the local Toyota dealer where he bought the foreign car. American car manufacturers employ or support 50,000 workers in Northwest Ohio. Fred daily complains that Toledo has a funding shortage for local government and schools. Fred complains that 50% of Americans do not pay income tax. !4dollar/hr wage will create more non tax paying American workers most will end up on some form of government support. Most foreign governments restrict the importation of foreign built autos.They know the consequence of good economic policy. While our country chooses to spend its resources on war they, foreign governments, work to build their manufacturing base. Fred's logic is self defeating and unpatriotic, an extension of failed trade policy that has developed since Reagan. Reagan fostered unfunded tax cuts while promoting trade policy to export jobs. We bought it because Americans love to live beyond their means, borrowing till the bank is broke. Until these trade policies are changed there will be more home foreclosures, more abandoned commercial property, and more poverty for Americans. Fred thinks it being a smart consumer because his Prius gets 48 mile a gallon but the true costs are reflected in his lower home property value and higher costs of government services because less Americans are working to support the economic pie.

Be an American buy an American auto that is built by a union manufacturer. When you support the non-union low wage auto worker you support a lower wage for you and your children's future!

Vice President Joe Biden comes to Toledo today to emphasize good economic policy that saves middle class jobs that support schools and government. The naysayers support economic decline with poverty wage scales. Richie Rich Iott supports the broken low wage model and free trade agreements that have given us this Great Recession. Remember Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur voted against NAFTA she an Ross Perot seen the consequences back in 1993. She voted against Bill Clinton and Al Gore's NAFTA a vote for the workers of Northwest Ohio!

Statements made are the opinion of the writer who is exercising his first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are generally permitted.

Damn Paulie.... you are such a tool....

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

"The entire blame for the current debacle lies with those who like our erstwhile mayor decided to purchase 85 Toyotas in lieu of the Chevrolet Malibu regardless of the fact that the Indianapolis stamping plant made a major portion thereof."

Union or no union.. if this mayor did this, he/she should be removed. Do you think Mr. Bell would purchase toyotas over Jeeps? I certainly hope not.

Dottie

I particularily enjoyed the part where the writer defends "the workers exercising our right to freely choose who we will or will not work for" and then goes on to complain when private citizens exercise there right to freely choose how they want to spend there hard earned money. And a mayor who exercised good fiscal judgement by purchasing a superior product for less, I mean lets face it, Chevy Malibus are nothing but overpriced JUNK. All while not looking at the fact that the high cost of overpaid UAW labor is one of the main factors in the big three's downfall. If they had realistic labor costs and didn't have to dole out those ridiculous pension payments, they might just be able to spend some money putting quality parts and good manufacturing practices into there vehicles, not the cheap plastic and made in mexico garbage that make there cars suck so bad, and then they could sell them for less and actually compete with there foreign adversaries. A little common sense would do WONDERS for the American auto companies. I personally don't understand why any of the American auto manufacturers still build in the Detroit area, instead of moving operations to a right to work state. It just doesn't make sense.

The fruits of MY labor are not a social commodity.

Instead of giving up their hard earned benifits and salary, they really should strike.
Before the UAW and mommy Gubberment owned GM, that is what would have happened.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

I am unpatriotic. Guess I better buy an American flag for my car and leave it there until it hangs in shreds. And get a sticker that just says "Remember" for the bumper.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Rather than give up part of their income, the plant workers decided to give up ALL of their income! The old Union mentality. 'It's better to keep all of nothing than part of something!'
That makes total sense to the likes of WolfMan. Now that those ex union hacks will be unemployed, the sales of cheaper imports will go up because MORE unemployed ex union hacks will not be able to afford overpriced American made stuff.

Don't blame me,
I didn't vote for a
socialist.

Wow, the sheer awesomeness of complete stupidity at work... well... not at work anymore.

MikeyA

BTW....the new pay rates where for NEW hires.....not current employees...this is the same thing Jeep did in toledo...

“Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.”

Jobs? We don't need no stinkin' jobs.

UAW Local 23 Shows What Solidarity Looks Like
Just in time for the UAW’s huff-and-puff parade in Detroit on August 28, UAW Local 23 in Indianapolis, Indiana has come forward to show us how rank and file solidarity can enforce workers' rights and justice, on the spot.

The UAW’s Concession Train got derailed in Indianapolis, Indiana. On Sunday August 15, 2010 a full house (at least 325 members according to the workers' clicker) told the UAW International they weren’t going to take it anymore.Local 23 had passed a motion at a membership meeting last May which affirmed their conviction as union members that it was wise to uphold solidarity and adhere to the UAW Constitution. Article 19 Section 6 obligates the UAW International Executive Board to protect UAW Locals against “infringement by Local Unions with inferior agreements in workplaces doing similar work...”. In other words, prohibit scab shops or locals that break the master agreement.

Local 23 said in no uncertain terms: We are union. Union to the core.

Local 23 passed a motion denying any UAW official permission to negotiate an inferior agreement which would set Local 23 in direct competition with other unions.

We all, especially UAW members at stamping plants, owe them a salute.

Article 19 Section 3 forbids any UAW official from negotiating with an employer “without first obtaining the approval of the Local Union.”

Local 23 nailed their union credentials to the Constitutional wall with one motion.

Dirty Deals and Dirty Dealing

Despite the fact that Local 23 denied permission to negotiate concessions, the UAW International went behind their backs and negotiated with an anti-union company, J.D. Norman Industries, for a contract that would in effect make Local 23 a bunch of scabs. The “Highlights” concealed more than they revealed but members of UAW Local 23 didn’t need an oracle from Delphi to tell them it was a dirty deal. The Indianapolis Metal Fabrication plant has 1.2 million sq. feet of exploitable space. If the workers had agreed to cut their pay in half, GM and their partners in the UAW Concession Caucus would have been pounding on the doors of every stamping plant in the country demanding King’s perversion of “pattern bargaining” — equal concessions.

Throw The Bums Out!

Within hours of the announcement that an information meeting was set up for Sunday and a ratification vote for Monday, a letter entitled “Throw the Traitors out of the Union Hall” hit the floor.

The shopfloor letter declared “the highest authority in the UAW is WE THE MEMBERS.” “Throw the traitors out of the Union Hall. Shout them down and throw them out.”

The International had not only invited cops to the meeting, they had brought them inside the Union Hall. The members demanded that all the police leave the hall. The police left.

The chaplain then began the meeting with a prayer entreating the Lord to guide the membership to stand together and do God’s will for the good of His people.

The Local Union president tried to introduce the International reps but as soon as he said the word “International” the room exploded with boos.

One member smiled and said, “I guess we know what God’s will is.”

UAW International rep, Mike Grimes, took the stage. Workers shouted, “Traitor! Traitor!” As the room quieted down, Grimes explained how important he was. Workers responded with shouts, “Go home! Get out! This isn’t your house!” Grimes tried to explain what the workers were “facing” but they told him “Cut your own pay!” They shouted, “No means NO!”, and “We don’t need no explanation!”, and “The members aren’t stupid!”

The Local Union president tried to quiet the members but he was shouted down. A few members attempted to get the chair to recognize them from the floor. Shouts of “Point of Order” from the floor were heard but the chair refused to recognize the fundamental point oforder which was: the meeting was illegal because it violated both the Local Union By-Laws and the UAW Constitution.

Finally Grimes yelled, “Are there any members who want to hear this information?” A resounding “NO!” exploded from the crowd. “Go home! Hit the road! Get out! Go! Go! Go!” reverberated from the floor of the hall.

Reporters outside could hear the reaction loud and clear and reported it in the Indianapolis Star. [http://dailyme.com/story/2010081600001316/local-23-shouts-gm-plan-opposition.html]

When the UAW International reps walked out, all the members stood up and cheered. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owUjzuVLY-s]

Local Heroes

When UAW Local 23 Bargaining Chair Greg Clark took the podium he got a standing ovation. He stood by the membership from start to finish. Clark stood strong against the pressure of the UAW International, the Governor of Indiana, and the Chamber of Commerce.

Rank & file members stood with him. The entire shop committee united with the members. Strong and proud and union through and through.

For the record, Greg Clark recited the Local Union By-Laws and the UAW Constitution Articles that were violated by the International, before the meeting adjourned.

UAW Local 23 showed us all that rank & file members are the highest authority in the union. They showed us how members can control their own meetings. They showed us that true solidarity works.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

The United Autoworkers Union has refused to pay assessed property taxes on a $33 million private resort for members and their families in recent years, which has impacted funding for education and other basic public services in rural Cheboygan County.

According to public records, the UAW has challenged Waverly Township in the state Tax Tribunal and won reductions of nearly $5 million over the past four years. The legal challenges comes at a time when Cheboygan County struggles with cash-strapped schools, high unemployment and increased property foreclosures.

“Shame on the UAW for not paying its fair share towards educating Cheboygan County’s next generation,” said County Drain Commissioner-elect Dennis Lennox (R-Topinabee). “The UAW is using its $1.2 net worth to get around the system and its responsibility to pay the same taxes that hard-working families pay without dispute.”

Tony Matelski, who recently retired as Waverly Township supervisor, says local government can’t afford to defend itself against the UAW and its legion of attorneys — including County Commissioner Leonard Page (D-Grant Township), who served as the union’s associate general counsel from 1970-1999.

While Page’s district includes the lavish resort, he has avoided helping Waverly Township and the UAW come to a resolution despite assurances at County Commission meetings that he would help end the long-standing dispute.

FOX News reports the resort — formally known as Walter and May Reuther Family Education Center — has lost $23 million in the past five years. The UAW covers costs the interest it earns on its strike fund, according to tax documents, but massive losses in the past five years have forced the union to make heavy loans to keep the center afloat.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

Shames the Wolfboy again.....

"DTOM" {1776} " We The People" {1791}

It's like a hobby for me. Something I enjoy that doesn't require a lot of time or thought.

Any statement I make is the opinion of me exercising my first amendment right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech in the United States is protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is generally permitted.

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