For Your Information I
Early last year I called Tony Barbieri, Managing Editor
of The Sun. I complained about Business writer Ted Shelsby
quoting our Ex-president on the status of the Baltimore
plant. I told him past issues of The Sun didn't quote the
previous Regional Rep, Butch Fender, and they shouldn't
quote our Ex-president and current Rep, Charley Alfred.
I also told him if The Sun wanted to quote anyone on the
status of the plant it should be our current President or
Mr. Barbieri questioned me about why I was concerned about
who The Sun quoted. I proceeded to tell him about the growing
dissention among the members of Local 239 and how upset
we are with Alfred and the "Non-Expiring Living Agreements"
that many of us believe he manipulated us into. And I told
him about the 753-member petition we sent to the UAW International
complaining about his abuse of nepotism and favoritism.
Mr. Barbieri seemed genuinely concerned and told me he
would like to do a story about our situation and referred
me to Business Editor, Gerald Merrell. Mr. Merrell told
me to write him a letter explaining why members are upset
with our Ex, he also asked me to send a copy of the petition
and my Observations letters. And upon my suggestion, he
said he was interested in attending a union meeting.
I did as Mr. Merrell asked; by certified mail, I sent him
a copy of the petition, and my local and national letters
that further explain our situation. I gave him a few days
to look over the information and I called him the following
week to ask if he was going to do a story about us. He said
he was definitely going to do something with the information
I sent, and he said he might attend a union meeting.
As of this writing, Mr. Merrell has yet to attend a union
meeting, and as far as I know, he hasn't done anything with
the information I sent. Maybe he shared it with Management
or our Good Ole Boys, it doesn't matter whom, because they're
both one in the same anymore.
Anyway, Mr. Barbieri and Mr. Merrell wasted my time and
I will never write to that biased Paper again. Too bad Baltimore's
a one Newspaper town. Maybe I can interest the Washington
Post or the Washington Times in our story. To be continued...
For those of you who missed it, the following article appeared
in The Sun's Editorial section on 12-22-01. It seems I'm
not the only one unhappy with The Sun.
The Sun ignores GM's fine donation
I often hear people ask why the news is so negative these
days. One need not look further than a decision The Sun
The General Motors Baltimore Assembly plant, a proud part
of Baltimore since 1935, was participating in an event that
created quite a buzz with our 1,800 employees.
We had the incredible opportunity to donate six of our
great Astro and Safari vans to the New York Fire Department
to assist in their effort to recover from the Sept. 11 tragedies.
Our employees donated their time, without pay, to build
these vehicles, seizing the opportunity to give back to
On Dec. 6, we held a celebration in our plant as those
vans drove off the line and on their way to New York. Hundreds
of our employees were in attendance on their lunch break,
waving the U.S. flag and chanting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"
It was very moving, to say the least, as I drove one of
those vehicles off the end of the line and saw the pride
in each employee's face.
You can imagine my disappointment when I read the headline
in The Sun the following morning: "GM's van assembly
plant to close for 8 days in Jan." (Dec.7).
While some GM plants are extending their holiday a few
extra days into the new year to adjust inventories, certainly
the story here was one of pride in our nation, with a local
angle to boot. But you had to read well into the story to
find a mention of our plant donating these vehicles to the
New York Fire Department.
In several media outlets around the nation where other
GM plants were donating vehicles with similar pride and
patriotism, the stories in the papers reflected those positive
sentiments. Even our local television stations were on hand
to cover the event, and their news stories told our story
It's truly a shame that The Sun insisted on the negative
David C. Prange, Baltimore
The writer is plant manager of the General Motors' Baltimore
Also, for those of you who don't remember the article in
the September Observations letter that upset Chuck Miller
and motivated our Good Ole Boys (Gobs) to ambush me at Septembers
union meeting, I'm reprinting it, with the intro, exactly
as they appeared in Observations # 13. (Unfortunately, the
humor link on Local 594's website is no longer active.)
As you will clearly see, "Bonuses from Solidarity House"
was written for humor. Our Gobs getting upset about a bogus
article and not all the other ones I've written, proves
that the others are true. Like the old saying says, "If
you can't attack the massage, attack the messenger." And
judging by their reaction to "Bonuses," I wonder if it's
After losing the VP and Recording Secretary elections,
our Gobs have become nervous about approaching Executive
Board elections. They know they're on shaky ground, and
it's going to get a whole lot shakier in the coming months.
Fact or Fiction?
When I wrote, "Bonuses from Solidarity House" in April,
it was originally intended to be humorous, but after reading
it a few times, I found it to be a little unsettling and
I asked myself, is it really that far from the truth? I
sent it out nationwide and a member of the new UAW Solidarity
Coalition agreed and posted it on his website, giving it
an unofficial UAW letterhead.
Check it out and explore the website at; http://uawlocal594.com/humor/sodhouse/sod01.htm
BONUSES FROM SOLIDARITY HOUSE
To all Local Presidents of the UAW,
As you know, "Living Agreements" have replaced contracts
for many of you, thus allowing you to negotiate petty differences
and misunderstandings on an ongoing basis as they occur,
thereby eliminating all the unnecessary bickering and the
threat of strikes.
These Agreements have become so popular, we've decided
to take them to the next step and make them "Non-Expiring,"
and we've devised a program to implement non-expiring Living
Agreements nationwide. We're sure this program will be as
exciting for you as it is for us.
Therefore we, the Magnificent Seven of Solidarity House
are both proud and pleased to announce that we have a special
bonus program for all local presidents who meet the following
requirements. This program begins immediately, and expires
no later than midnight, September 14, 2002.
We are offering a bonus of $75,000 to the first local president
to ratify a non-expiring Living Agreement. And $50,000 bonuses
go to the second, third, forth and fifth local presidents
to ratify non-expiring Living Agreements.
Also a bonus of $25,000 will be awarded to all remaining
presidents to ratify non-expiring Living Agreements before
the deadline. If any of you are fortunate enough to generate
a petition within 24 months from the date of ratification
of said Agreement, you'll receive an extra bonus of $25,000.
We love it when the membership wastes their time on petitions.
Our goal is to have non-expiring Living Agreements throughout
all locals nationwide by the end of this decade. Although
we encourage all of you to ratify non-expiring Living Agreements
before the expiration date of this program, because we can't
guarantee we'll be offering this same lucrative bonus program
in the future. If however, you fail to ratify said Living
Agreement by the end of this decade, your future, as well
as the future of your membership will be in doubt. Need
we say more?
So, the sooner you ratify a non-expiring Living Agreement
in your local the more financially rewarding it will be
for you. Once we have non-expiring Local Living Agreements
nationwide, we, the Magnificent Seven of $olidarity House,
will receive our bonuses from the corporations when we provide
them with a non-expiring "National" Living Agreement.
All bonuses will be paid in cash and of course we will
deny any knowledge of the bonus program. Should the membership
get wind of this program or a copy of this letter, we'll
blame it on them damn bleeding heart activist that, like
roaches, seem to be everywhere lately, and they're always
lying about something.
For the hell of it, we'll throw in an extra bonus of $5,000
for every activist you discourage from infecting other members
with their freethinking ways. You may use any means necessary
as long as the Feds aren't involved.
Best of luck to all of you and may the most creative presidents
reap the most rewards.
Fraternally, the Magnificent Seven of Solidarity House