Through the Years at UAW Local 892
By Don Cattell

The Brooklyn Plant was part of an experiment in decentralization of big industry. 
Henry Ford I gave this reason for decentralization of industry: "It gives the employee and his family the advantage of rural life with city income, and the company better and happier workers and, therefore, less labor turnover and a better quality of workmanship."

* Ford organized by UAW. New contract includes seniority, representation, grievance procedure and dues check off.
* Local 892 chartered July 23 at the Brooklyn Plant.

1942 - 1946
* The plant was retooled for war work, by 1946 two million bomber parts and one million air engine parts had been produced, originally planned only for Ford aircraft engines, the quality was so good that Air Corps Representatives recommended their use by other firms. 

* UAW-Ford on strike.

* The Detroit Freedom March with Martin Luther King, A. Phillip Randolph, Waiter Reuther and other national and local Civil Rights leaders was held. Under Waiter Reuther's leadership the UAW and other unions participated in Martin Luther King's march on Washington DC where he gave his historic "I Have A Dream" speech.

* Pensions increased and early retirement for those with 85 points.
* Bereavement pay and tuition refund added to contract.

* The 20th Constitutional Convention determined that each Local with 25 or more retired members shall establish a Retired Workers Chapter. 
* Ford pays a $32 Christmas bonus to each worker for the first time.
* Local 892 members move to newly built Saline Plant along with workers from Rawsonville.
* Virginia Arnett first President elected at the Saline Local.

* A six-week strike against Ford led to an even better SUB program, increased pay, more paid vacation time, Prescription Drug Program and other improvements.

* On January 7, 1970, Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelly issues an opinion stating that limiting the working hours of women is a discriminatory employment practice and all such limitations should cease and desist. Ken Bannon, Director of the Ford Department and member of the UAW Executive Board, directs Ford to end this discriminating practice.
* From the new contract we gain "30 and Out retirement, five weeks vacation for 20 year employees, prescription drugs for retirees and unbroken Christmas holidays.

* Dental Care is won in the 1973 contract and we now have a Health & Safety Rep in-plant.
December 15th Union Hall at 211 Monroe St. was Dedicated.

* Retiree Chapter was chartered October 9th. 

* Strike against Ford.
* Contract gains include Vision Care, Hearing Aids and a full time Benefits Rep besides improved insurance and pensions.

* The new contract has the first Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Employee Involvement.

* Contract is negotiated early. The new contract includes profit sharing, several job-security programs, the Education, Development and Training Program (EDTP) and mutual growth forums.

* Contract gains in the 1984 agreement included the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), now called ESSP, and UAW-Ford Legal Service Plan. Other joint programs were added or enhanced

* Region 1E Director Frank Runnels organized the'Motown to Coaltown" caravan and rally supporting striking mineworkers.
* Veteran's Committee formed.

* UAW Regions 1A and 1E combined into Region 1A with Ernest Lofton elected Director at the 28" UAW Constitutional Convention.

* Ford is strike target. Job security was improved in the 1987 agreement with the Guaranteed Employment Numbers (GEN) established. We are also given a voice in quality.

* May 25th Local 892 formally breaks ground on the new Union Hall located at the corner of Maple and Woodland Dr. in Saline.
* 29th Constitutional Convention in which our Regional Director Ernest Lofton was elected Vice President and appointed Director of the Ford Department.

* The Ford contract establishes Physical Fitness Centers and Pilot Child Care Centers.
* Dedication of new Union Hall April 27th.

* First Meeting at New Union Hall on Feb. 24th
* 50th Anniversary of first contract between UAW and Ford.
* Solidarity Day '91 march in Washington DC August 31st
* Caravan to Ravenswood, W.VA.

* We support: striking workers at Kroger, GM Willow Run workers and Fingerle-Hollister Wood Lumber Company Teamsters.
* Participate in the Adopt a Striker program for UAW Caterpillar strikers

* March on Washington D.C. August 28 for anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech

* Solidarity Rally for Teamsters Local 164 working for Jacobson's

* 892 supports the Detroit Newspaper strikers

* Cat workers return to work
* Detroit Sunday Journal started by striking Detroit newspaper workers

* Local web site launched -
* Action! Motown '97 Rally to support striking Detroit newspaper workers
* Labor Day Parade theme is "Organize America"

* Bob King, Region 1A Director, elected to UAW International Executive Board as Vice President and named Director of the Organizing Department at the UAW Constitutional Convention
* Ron Gettlefinger, Region 3 Director, elected UAW VP and named Director of the Ford Department
* Gerald Bantom is elected Region 1A Director
* Veteran's Day is a new paid holiday on November 13th 

* The explosion at the Rouge Power Plant heightens safety awareness for all of us. 
Many members donate blood and money to help burn victims and their families.
* Labor Day Parade theme is "Bargaining for Families"
* Visteon spin-off is the major contract issue. Strike narrowly averted.
* Saline American Heritage Award for Excellence of Service to Community.


* Ford spins off Visteon but 1999 contract guarantees we remain Ford employees
* UAW hosts Community Wide Prayer Breakfast at Cobo Hall in observance of National Day of Prayer 
* Active members get "free" computer from Ford
* UAW-Ford employees get Election Day off as paid holiday
* Campaign Labor Award from Washtenaw United Way Labor Participation Committee.

* Explorer Safety Confidence Rally in Washington DC to support Ford.
* 60th Anniversary of first Contract between UAW and Ford.

Resources: Brooklyn Exponent, UAW Local 898, past issues Local 892 Reporter, UAW - Ford National Programs Center publication "UAW-Ford Sixty Years of Progress 1941 - 2001", sign in roster from membership meetings, information and materials supplied by current and past officers and members of Local 892.