From the desk of Tom Kanitz

During the first couple of weeks in February, the State of the Plant address was presented in a very different forum than in the past. The address was shown over the VCN TV monitors throughout the plant. Rather than withstand the large cost of bringing each member of the plant into a meeting room for an hour, the new Plant Manager decided to convey this information via video. Bill Cooper's method for spreading news to the workforce will be more cost effective. He will utilize his salary personnel to convey necessary information, or as hopefully you noticed, through visual means such as VCN TV. Of course, your union leadership will continue to handbill news, and answer questions out on the production floor as they arise.

The bargaining committee is attending daily meetings pertaining to both the Blackwood and U222-228 (Expedition) launches. Our skilled trade members are installing state of the art ergonomically advanced equipment. Not only are they installing it, our tool room and millwright personnel have built much of it in-house. All of the skilled trade and apprentice people have taken an active part in getting this line set up for the production people to run. Soon, both of these automobile lines will ramp up in full force. Many of you may have noticed the posting board has been loaded with jobs in the past few weeks. Good luck to all of you who signed these bids. These products are both very important, and require our dedication to be successful. Once again, customer satisfaction through quality workmanship will be key to the success of both launches. "The UAW and Visteon must demonstrate that Visteon is a quality company that can deliver consistent quality products to the consumer." Please do not hesitate to call upon your UAW representatives, both elected and appointed, for answers to questions or help. That is what we are here for. 

Stop in and visit the Fitness Center located in the basement. Finally, the long awaited new equipment is in and ready for our use. Our skilled trade crews have done a great job in the completion of many projects in the past year. Special thanks to them from the appointed and elected officials. When you see our trades men and women, let them know how much their expertise is appreciated and noticed.

Diversity & Sexual Harassment training classes are being scheduled to start soon. The trainers include Mark Burkhart and Toni Bates. We also have two alternate trainers in the event one of the full time people is unable to be present at some time during this long training project. These brothers and sisters have gone through extensive training themselves and have become certified to train our employees here at Saline. These important subjects and how they relate to the work place are issues that are necessary for everyone to understand. Please be open-minded, and ask questions. 

Lifestyle Management training classes will be underway soon. These classes were broadened to include issues and concerns of employees in both early and later phases of their lives. The objective is to make UAW-represented workers and their spouses better prepared to start or continue to plan for the future. Our EDTP Representative Joe Dzwonkowski can help assist you with questions about the classes. Call Joe D. at 5-6959 in-plant or from outside the plant at 429-6959.

Lets welcome our new members from Michigan Truck who will be transferring with the new jobs coming to Saline from that facility. Interested Michigan Truck employees have already visited our plant on a tour. The number of people that will transfer has not been confirmed, however, the bargaining unit has visited their facility to examine the operation and are negotiating the final number of people that should transfer with that operation in March.

Our UAW Vice President, Ron Gettelfinger, and his salary constituents for both Ford Motor Company and Visteon, have asked the Local UAW leadership to immediately assign our UAW Employee Resource Coordinators (ERCs) to be affiliated with the UAW Ford National Quality Committee. This task includes empowering our ERCs to work along with the UAW Quality Representative on the responsibilities outlined in Appendix Q. The priority here is obvious, improving quality is paramount to our job security. It is every member's responsibility to ensure the production of quality parts, it could mean our jobs if we don't.

The official "call" for the National Ford Council meeting has been received. All Ford and Visteon National Committees are invited to reconvene April 17, 2002. Our National Ford Delegate, Don Miller, will attend along with our President, Don Cattell and myself, Tom Kanitz. These meetings are held to discuss issues specific to each plant and any new upcoming programs. In addition, potential future business within the Ford/Visteon world will be reviewed. Also transpiring at this National Ford Council meeting in Detroit, is an important election. Every sub-council was advised that elections for national negotiators would take place. UAW Local 892 belongs to the Sub Council Six council, and is entitled to nominate and elect a negotiator. These newly elected negotiators will help negotiate our next national contract along with the International staff for both Ford and Visteon.