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Valley union calls GM managers ‘sneaky’

Published: Sat, September 25, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.




The seemingly friendly relationship between General Motors Lordstown auto assembly workers and GM management during the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze has cracked a little.

A flier distributed by United Auto Workers Union Local 1112 this week calls GM management “sneaky, evasive and dishonest on many issues” and calls on the union’s workers to treat management with “the same respect that they treat us. So as of today, that’s none.”

The flier says the union is especially troubled by a GM document that spells out rules relating to skilled-trades workers at the plant and the practice of sending Cruzes out of the plant for repairs “that our membership should have been repairing.”

The union handbill also says Local 1112 learned Tuesday morning that Cruzes were going to a warehouse, believed to be on Victoria Road in Austintown, where a “third-party vendor” was doing work on “the switch and a canister” on the underside of the vehicle.

At 7:30 a.m., “We took pictures of the content of work they were doing, which pertains to us in the assembly plant,” the union flier says.

“The following day, after many heated discussions, your leadership had management agree to stop shipping vehicles to this designated area until we reach a full resolution,” says the flier, which was signed by Jim Graham, Local 1112 president and Ben Strickland, Local 1112 shop chairman.

The next step will be to discuss grievances written regarding the practice and to “bring restitution to the employees who were violated,” according to the union publication.

Tom Mock, GM Lordstown spokesman, said he was aware that Graham was talking to the media regarding the flier, but Mock said GM was “deferring comment on it.”

Graham did not return a phone call to The Vindicator seeking additional information on the dispute.

The flier said Local 1112 leadership had hoped that because of all the changes the union had agreed to in recent months and years to help make GM profitable, “we envisioned our relations would improve with management. Unfortunately, we were mistaken because it has not happened.”

The flier says meetings are planned for Monday at GM’s Center of Human Resources in Detroit between the company and the UAW union to determine whether the company is following the UAW’s national agreement regarding work performed by skilled-trades employees.

“Our position is that they are violating the national agreement and overstepping their boundaries,” the flier says.

In 2007 and 2009, the UAW and General Motors agreed to reduce the number of skilled-trades classifications to cut costs by having employees cross train and do more types of work than in the past.


1JaQuanNuby(8 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Corporations can never be trusted to keep their word and agreements.
"A Leopard Never Changes It's Spots!"
I would hope that GM will not return to it's adversarial ways and mind set.
I do believe the UAW has done it's part to help the company, and now the company wants to stab it's workers in the back. That's not the right way of doing business.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Who would have thought the relationship between GM and UAW wouldn't last. Now the Cruze will go the way of the Vega, Cavalier, and Cobalt - guess fixing the valley's union mentality driven economy is just a dream.

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3Heartland(38 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

You name is UnionForever and you trash unions? The valley's union mentality? The unions have done nothing but give concessions for years. Delphi has three tiers and they wanted the union to vote for a fourth. The unions are not bargaining agents they are concessionary panels. They are "cops for the boss" and the best friend the companies have. The unions are weak and yet we still have fools talking about our area's union mentality. Wake up it's 2010. I wish we had strong unions but we don't.

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

It seemed they had a problem , talked about it , and seemed to have solved it . Is that not whats it all about?.What is so wrong with that ?.

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5nedia5(7 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Unions primarily provide substandard work at a higher than normal wage. GM is just ensuring that the Cruze is delivered to market with no major issues.

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6author50(1121 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Obama needs to have a beer summit between his employees. Congress can they have a hearing about the summit and bring in Stephen Colbert to testify.

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7sue(179 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The government shouldn't have bailed out GM. With the company bankrupt, the union wouldn't have anything to complain about.
I was actually thinking of buying a Cruze but I think I'll go with a Honda.

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8palbubba(809 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm sure the union is never "sneaky, evasive and dishonest", at least while they are asleep. Welcome back the latoffs that will follow this confrontation. It's one thing to defend your workers, it's quite another to go to the media with it to give your opponent a black eye. That's no way to promote harmony, the blame is not all on Government Motors.

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9freakshowobserver(1 comment)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

c,mon man! According to the union,mgt.,and all the low-life politicos,The Cruze is bringing new life to a dying entity.What a bunch of B.S.!
I give Lordstown Gov,t Motors 24-36 months, and The highly vaulted CRUZE will be history.How can any company afford to pay $30.00+ an hour to under-educated,un-skilled workforce (for the most part),with exceptional benefits,with a historically inferior product.Common sense tells you it won,t be long until this new product fails to live up to the hype.I have owned numererous G.M products in the past,but would not go near a G.M.
built product even for 1/2 the price.
Also,all theB.S. about " Buy American"is
a fairy tale.The Aveo is built in Korea, The HHR is built in Mexico, and parts from foreign countries go into Your all- american Govt. Motors.inferior products.
I know I''ll get a lot of haters replying to my statements,but I the truth is painful to hear & accept. C,mon Man!

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10steelwagon(284 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

The flier says the union is especially troubled by a GM document that spells out rules relating to skilled-trades workers at the plant and the practice of sending Cruzes out of the plant for repairs “that our membership should have been repairing

Why should a brand new freshly built car need repaired ?

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11Silence_Dogood(1675 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

"Why should a brand new freshly built car need repaired ?"

As was seen on the TV just a few days ago, the members of the UAW were out in the parking lot of a major car manufacturer in the US the other day doing drugs.This was being done right out in the open and was recorded over a several day period. Then when they were done getting thier "mind" strait they all went back into the plant to build some more cars. These type of stories really make me want to buy thier products, how about you?

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12YanniBGood(12 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Expecting GM management to obey either the word or spirit of a contract is like expecting a leopard to change its spots. It never happened before, it's obviously not happening now, and it will not happen in the future.

A word to the newbies at the complex : This will be how local management will always react when they get heat from Detroit. The" new spirit of cooperation between labor & management." is a one way street. Don't be intimidated by threats and don't be afraid to stand by the tenets of unionism which were defined by the blood, sweat, and tears of the brother that came before you. Otherwise, you're looking at a very long and miserable career under the thumb of people who hold you in contempt.You will never have their respect as an individual, but you will be heard and listened to when you demonstrate solidarity.

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13Joe306tow(49 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

What? GM is screwing over Lordstown Union employees.

Well, I will have to NOT buy that Cruze I was going to buy.

Just to show GM this kind of behavior is NOT OK.

Then when folks like me opt to buy something else from someone else, then GM will take note. Of, course the Union workers will suffer in the process, as folks buy other brands, GM will have to layoff workers @ Lordstown.

Of, course this only gives me an excuse NOT to buy a CRUZE.

Call it payback for the 2000 Cavalier LS that I bought, that was a lemon, built by YOU LORDSTOWN HACKS!!!

Two tranny leaks before the car had 1,500 miles on it. GM's Moronic Management said "Buyers Remorse".

More like I was remorseful that I: 1.) .Trusted Anything Bob Serpintini sold. 2.) Wonderd how you idiots managed to put a screw through a wiring harness, instead of through a hole NEXT to it. 3.) Thought that having a Multifunction switch GO Bad 6 times in the cars first two years was NORMAL.

It's good GM is sending out cars to someone else to check. YOU LORDSTOWN HACKS cannot be Trusted!

Signed A former (VERY UNHAPPY) customer!

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14casper77(136 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

JIm Graham needs to go away. His beef with Management should be behind closed doors, not out in the public eyes. We don't need this kind of crap out there. If the Cruze fails , GM fails. If this is true about shipping cars out to do rework by outsde sources then Graham has the right to want to stop it, but through the channels, not in the Papers!! Graham wants to run for Mayor and the more he makes the media the better for him. Well Jimmy, the Union doesn't need this kind of publicity, not now!! So Shut up, and do it through the right channels. Keep it out of the Papers

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15HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Typical of the socialist posters above to want the unions to control the work rules. Only in bizarro world does that work. Allowing the unions to dictate a rule that says the same people who performed the original assembly wrong will perform the correction of the failure. Probably done wrong so that the fixers can make overtime. They'll file a grievance and get paid for the work they didn't do. Then the union will wonder why GM moved the work to Mexico in 5 years.

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16AWESOME(10 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Thats right Jimmie Boy start your crap & get the car plant moved like you helped do to the Van plant by constantly shutting the line down due to your personal agenda. Making the personnel director scrape off your parking violation stickers because you were illegally parked didn't help either. Retire before you ruin it for this VALLEY & take useless Tom Mock with you!!

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17georgejeanie(1527 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

I would not buy one of these union made cars under any circumstance. Give me a Hyundai any time, what an automobile. Dealers could not be nicer, if there is a problem it is taken care of quickly and efficiently. I am not wandering what is going to fall off next, or if a problem does happen it will not reappear. These union hacks never learn, dont they realize their jobs will be in Mexico shortly.

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18Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Looks like just hate Gm group is out in force . Could you not get a job there so you are going to buy a jap crap . Thank You AsHo

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19candystriper(575 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Will China buy GM?

At this point taxpayers need $140 per share to break even on GM.

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20mrblue(1175 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like the honeymoon is over. I sure hope not. We need this plant.

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21casper77(136 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Fairandequal sounds like a broken record. We get your point. Now try writing to GM and your representive because you 're not getting anywhere with the readers by repeating yourself ,over and over again

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22lime60(3 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

.Whenever a new car is being built for the first time, and the company realizes that there is a problem with it at the very beginning, management begins to act really crappy towards their employees if they feel they need more "down time" to fix the problem. So, if they provoke their employees enough, strike talks will begin. This eliminates management to be forced to pay them unemployment compensation as a result of a lay off if they need to fall back and regroup. They are not fooling anyone. I think there is more than what meets the eye, or should I say media, as far as just how major the repairs are. I also think it's more than just the ONE repair problem reported. The repairs SHOULD be made by their own GM employees in this case. Wake up employees! Don't fall for their tactics

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23casper77(136 comments)posted 5 years, 10 months ago

Repair are things like fits, maybe some dirt got in the paint, stripped bolt , a scratch or a ding made during the build. All this happens with ALL car companies, even Toyota and Honda . With all the robots building the cars ,Yes even they will screw-up, like a hose fitting will come loose and scratch up the car or a weld fault will happen ,where the welds might not be holding and have to be sent to repair to be rewelded. That is what they mean when they say the cars need repair

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