December 3, 2006 "Obscene"????
Remember Gettelfinger called it obscene when Steve Miller proposed to give $500 million dollars to the top executives of Delphi while Miller was demanding wage cuts from Delphi workers? He even said that the UAW was FIGHTING BACK? Hog wash! During the 2003 UAW_GM/Delphi contract Negotiations he already knew that the bankruptcy was going to happen. He needed a way to cover his greedy little ass. This will show you how he did it!
I have been reading and trying to keep up with the story about the temporary workers in Belvedere, Illinois. My heart goes out to them and I wish them the best of luck with their class action lawsuit though I personally believe they do not have a legal leg to stand on! However, I still support their effort.
As I said, I regret what happened to the Belvedere temporary workers. However, what I mostly regret is seeing so much attention, and energy given to an issue that will not play a role in shaping the UAW and how it will operate in the future. I regret that so many have forgotten an issue that was very dear to Brother Gregg Shotwell's and my heart back in 2003. An issue that should not be forgotten by any UAW GM/Delphi UAW member. I am referring to the two-tier wage agreement ratified in 2003.
On November 22, 2006, Delphi and the UAW International vice president, Cal Rapson announced that all newly hired employees hired before November 20, 2006 will be converted from temporary to new hire status. Those with 90 days before the date above would become permanent employees, those hired just before November 20 would become permanent once they complete 90 days.
Until that very day, no member, except union officials at my sight, saw a copy of the two-tier wage supplemental agreement. Local Union officials kept the language under their hats until after the announcement. They even with held that information from the new hires during orientation. Then suddenly, committee people went crazy passing out copies of the UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement to any new hire who wanted a copy.
As usual, I could not resist the temptation to review the language of the UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement. To my surprise, I found myself reading things that sounded familiar to me. It was like De se vu! Where in the world did I read that before I asked myself? Well I went home and researched my archives, and low and behold, I started reading the very same language in another document. It was the Proposed Modification to the UAW-Delphi Agreement Pursuant to Bankruptcy Code Section 1113(c), filed by CEO Steve Miller in the Southern District Court of New York, on November 21, 2006.
Yes, fact is, Miller even made reference to the two-tier wage supplemental agreement in the docket.
Let's take a casual look at some of the similarities.
1) In Delphi's first proposal Miller wanted to eliminate paragraph 223 of the Delphi-UAW national agreement.
He got it nearly two years before he even asked for it in the UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement
(223 sets the termination date and makes exceptions for reopening the National Contract.)
2) Reduce wages to UAW national average in parts plants. Once again, Miller did not get his $10 to $12 per hour wages but he did get them lowered by half what all-former GM employees make. Ironically, over a year ago, I mentioned in one of my Constitutional Deaths of the UAW that the two-tier wage would be the benchmark for future wages in Delphi when the company came out of bankruptcy court. This substantiates my prediction.
3) Delphi eliminated the AIF and replaced it with performance bonuses. Furthermore, it will take a new hire 261 weeks to top out in his/her classification.
4) Miller wanted to reduce classifications. The May 3, 2004, UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement reduces them to three.
5) In Miller's proposal he wanted to eliminate COLA. The Delphi Supplemental Agreement eliminated (WAVED) COLA for four years for all new hires and then they will receive only 70% in the fifth and sixth years.
6) In Miller's proposal he demanded that Vacation entitlements would be reduced to 160 hours total. He got it in the 2004 UAW-Delphi Supplement Agreement.
7) Miller's demands included the elimination of a defined pension plan. He got it in 2004 when Shoemaker negotiated a 401-K plan for new hires and not a defined pension plan.
8) Miller wanted the reduction of paid holidays. Again, he got it in the 2004 UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement with the elimination of the 4th of July shut down language.
9) In Miller's first proposal he wanted to eliminate the JOBS Bank. Needless to say it, Yes, he got that also when it was negotiated in the 2004 two-tier wage agreement.
10) Miller wanted to put an end to legal service plans, TAP, Retiree Tuition Assistance Scholarship Program for dependents, Pre-post retirement programs, Childcare and Elder care referral services, National Paid Educational Leave Program, and subsidies for any childcare center usage. Yes, he got it and it was negotiated in the 2004 UAW-Delphi Supplement Agreement.
11) The elimination of area hiring, extended area hire placement, area hire protected status, seniority return to former community of Appendix A. Yep! Miller got his way. Ironically, the language was negotiated in the 2004, UAW-Delphi Supplement Agreement.
12) In Miller's first proposal, he wanted to eliminate joint funding. He got his wish, the 2004 UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement forfeited Delphi rights to any of the joint funds money Delphi paid into the UAW-GM program. However, more importantly, he can now use the UAW-GM â€œCHRâ€ as a consulting firm and pay the CHR for services as needed.
I find all of this amusing, because so many of the proposed changes that CEO Steve Miller demanded in October of 2006, were negotiated and April of 2004. Did Shoemaker and Gettelfinger negotiate the 2005 bankruptcy contract in 2004?
Further analysis of the language reveals they most like did, if not, why then did they include language covering former GM employees in a supplement for new hires? As found on page 6 of the UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement it reads
Flowback to GM Facilities
Delphi commits to provide opportunities for the flowback of UAW-represented Delphi employees not covered by this Supplement to GM facilities, on a mutually agreed basis and consistent with the provisions of the UAW-GM- Delphi Flowback Agreement.
Enhanced Retirement and Separation Incentives
Delphi commits to develop mutually satisfactory retirement and separation incentives for UAW- represented employees not covered by this Supplement.
The latter cries for a question an answer, why would Shoemaker negotiate language concerning former GM employees in an agreement that was suppose to pertain to new hires only?
There can only be one answer. He was negotiating the future language of the 2007, 2011 UAW-Delphi National Agreement in April of 2004!
Ironic as it may seem those poor temporary workers in Belvedere got caught up in UAW International union politics just as former GM/Delphi workers did.
Ask yourselves one question, where is vice presidents Richard Shoemaker and Nate Gooden NOW? How can we hold them responsible for the crap they negotiated? Both were going to retire after the Constitutional Convention and both were expendable? The Administrative Caucus new they could use them to cover Gettelfinger's ass in the future and make him appear plausible no matter what he said during the bankruptcy proceedings or what the outcome might be. Nate Gooden simply did the same thing to those in Belvedere as Shoemaker did to us in Delphi.
Let us look at Delphi at present time. According to UAW Local 2195's shop chairman's report there are only 4,100 Delphi workers left that are eligible to flow back to GM. Let's say half of them flowback to GM, and the rest take a buy down, which means the remaining members would agree to the terms of the 2004 UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement, right? If the above turns out to be the case, then why would there be a need to renegotiate the 2003 UAW-Delphi Agreement in 2007?
Nobody knows what goes through a person's mind when confronted with a dilemma such as negotiating diminishing wage and benefit agreements for tens of thousands of members versus fighting the system to maintain your members level of income. Whom would that person take care of first? Would it be their family, their pension? Then again, maybe it was just greed, a trade off for a $32,000 a year position on the new Administrative Committee for GM's new healthcare VEBA that ironically was negotiated by none other than Richard Shoemaker.
Just before the Con-Con, I made a recommendation to every UAW dissident I knew. I requested that somebody find out who was appointed to the Administrative Committee of the new healthcare VEBA from the UAW International Union. The Union would not tell a soul then. Maybe we need to look into that again.
Shortly after the ratification vote Brother Gregg Shotwell filed an appeal to the EIB in opposition to the manner the International Union conducted the two tier wage agreement ratification. Gregg's appeal fell on deaf ears and now we know why! Secondly, I filed an appeal to the NAACP, which also was ignored.
Maybe someone out there will take the initiative to contact the NLRB now and ask how the Union could legally include language for members that was not stipulated in the highlights of the 2003 UAW-GM-Delphi contract.
All you members in GM may think this does not pertain to you. However, allow me I bring something to your attention before I close.
On page 4 of the UAW-Delphi Supplemental Agreement it reads
Preferential Hiring Opportunities at General Motors Plants
During the negotiations of this Supplement the parties discussed the desirability of providing employees covered by this Supplement preferential hiring as new employees at General Motors facilities. The parties agreed to discuss this arrangement with the appropriate representatives of General motors and work together to develop a tripartite process to allow this arrangement.
Will the latter will be the way Gettelfinger forces a two tier wage supplement down your throats?
I. S. Bill