|From the desk of Tom Kanitz
Welcome back to all from a long Holiday weekend. We had beautiful weather especially for the Labor Day parade in downtown Detroit. Thank you to all of our members and their families who marched in the parade. Your dedication to labor is appreciated. Special thanks to the key players involved in making the parade an exceptionally good one this year; Brent Sevenish, Mark Caruso, Pete Graham, Wendy Graham, Dick Graham, and Mr.and Mrs. Don Cattell for the extra work each contributed to our Locals' participation in this annual event.
We have good news concerning everyone's wages. Beginning September 17, we all received a 3% increase in our base rate. This increase was negotiated in the 1999 UAW Collective Bargaining Agreement. (See Article IX, Section 2) This wage increase was negotiated instead of a performance bonus. The UAW views this as an advantage over the bonus because the base rate increase also positively affects your related benefits such as; life insurance, profit sharing, TESPHE, and finally, the raise in your annual income should increase everyone's borrowing power. In the long run, the base increase gains every member more money overall. The Cost-of-Living allowance also increased on September 3, by $0.17 per hour. Added to the existing COLA figure, the benefit now totals $1.40 per hour.
Just a reminder to all of our members, if you did not yet receive the 60th Anniversary Commemorative History document, please stop in at the in-plant Union office and pick a copy up. This 104 page book is dramatically illustrated and written, and traces the relationship between the UAW and Ford Motor Company since June 20, 1941.
Good news and fun for all, we are planning an open house to celebrate 35 years at the Visteon Saline Plant, as well as the 60th anniversary in existence of the UAW. The celebration will take place on Sunday, October 21, at the Saline Plant from 11:00am until 5:00pm. An invitation is extended to all active and retired employees, and their families.
Our Joint programs will play a key roll in helping sponsor this event. The elected officials will help guide the employees and their families throughout the day, as well as assist with the joint program events being held.
Events will include: a photo contest, games, interesting videos for your viewing, a haunted house, bands, cars, and a tour of the plant. Of course, there will be special keepsake gifts, food, and drinks for all that attend.
Just a helpful reminder, anyone who did not get the handbill that was circulated at work can pick up a copy in the union office, or visit our UAW web site at, http://www.uaw892.org.
We had a Community Outreach event this past August 22nd. The event was a huge success. You might have noticed the young men traveling around the plant on our "Blue Bus." These Boysville residents were here to learn something about manufacturing as a whole, and to specifically, have manufacturing employment, both hourly and salary, introduced to them as a viable option for employment. The event included three phases: History of Auto Manufacturing and the UAW, Jobs and Education in Manufacturing, and finally, a plant tour. This type of program helps improve and solidify good relations with our surrounding communities. Hopefully these events will be repeated in the near future. The goal is to invite surrounding High schools to our facility for a similar event
Phase I of the basement construction was the new In-plant union office. This phase has been completed, and now Phase II is complete as well. Phase II consisted of renovating the old In-plant union office into new offices for our appointed officials. Now open for business, the membership will enjoy "one stop shopping," when looking for assistance from any of the following appointed union personnel:
* Health and Safety-Ken Williams or Dennis Keezer
* Benefits-Dusty Kelley;
* Job Standards-Bob Coffey;
* ESSP-Elaine Thrower;
* Ergonomics-Tom Nortley;
* The Chairman of our Skilled Trades Apprentice Program-Tom Blumhardt.
Look for the passthrough corridor now located where the old In-plant union office was, and you will find the above offices located left and right as you proceed through this hallway.
Phase III will begin shortly, and is the focal point and ultimate goal of the entire three phased project. This phase will include expanding both the Rehab and Fitness Centers by knocking out existing walls where the appointed union personnel use to be located. In addition to enlarging both facilities, the centers will get new carpeting, and be cleaned from top to bottom.