September Retiree Report

Local 2195 Retiree Meeting

Monday September 13, 2021 at 11:00 am

American Legion Post 15 

6th Ave (Hwy 31) Decatur, AL


This coming Monday is Labor Day this was established in 1894 after 26 states had adopted a Labor Day Holiday, President Grove Cleveland sign into law making the first Monday in September the official....National Labor Day Holiday.

This day honors those that labor for a living and spend their time effort muscles and sweat to build America.  At that point our history Unions were basically Trade Unions and were large promoters of the National Holiday.  We all know how much we looked forward to this day when we were working.  This day is the last three day holiday of summer, with a view of what was in front of us as we approached the fall and winter.

Our Unions and many others celebrated with large parades, family outings with our neighbors and friends.  There was a tremendous amount of work involved in this day, to celebrate us the workers.  Unfortunately these days don't seem to have the same impact on the working class and for the most part it is just another holiday.  I believe this is because we have a decline in Unions in our industrial job market.  Workers take for granted the many benefits that Union worker for, fought for, strike for and in some cases died for.  Unions do still celebrate the successes we have enjoyed because of the many scarifies made by those that created our path to the middle class.  So let us at least take a moment of thought, appreciate and honor what this day truly means. 

As I make this report my mind can't help but wonder, with all the disaster that is taking place how much of it is on us for not handling things the right way.  COVID-19 we prayed for an end we got a vaccination and only 49% were willing to take it which fell well short of the 70% needed for herd immunity. Now we see an outbreak called the Delta variant.  Our state AL is especially hard hit with this second round of COVID-19 and we still have 20% that state they will not take the shot.  Delphi friends and family that we worked with; I want you to know we have lost 56 since the first of the year and this doesn't take in consideration the number of friends and family members that have passed away due to COVID-19 that were not employed at Delphi. 

We have major problems with hurricanes, Ida has devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and brought floods and tornadoes even up through the Northeast Coast.  Flash floods pop-up come out of no-where. Look at the one that hit Waverly, TN.  This is not even a tip of the iceberg if you include the fires and drought that is taken place in the Western part of the United States.

All of this before I very eyes and we still have people that deny the science and what the cause is and the potential fix is.  The question remains can it be fixed? Not by the doubting Thomas’s that we continue to allow guide us.

John Hawkins and I attended the Region 8 Retiree Conference this past week.  I wrote a little report and posted it on our Local 2195 Web-site that you can check out on facebook.

We have a few nice improvements in our health care program forthcoming starting Jan. 1, 2022 and there is nothing being taken away for our existing benefits healthcare package.  

I would like to give a loud shout out to our UAW Retiree Health Care Benefit Trust as well as our International UAW for seeking ways to continue providing our Retirees the best possible health care coverage that we are blessed to have.  You should be receiving in the mail shortly all the information regarding any changes forthcoming.

We will be providing a report at our meeting of the information we receive at the Conference.  Please if you come we would like for you to wear a mask and hopefully all that attend will have already had their vaccination. 

A note of info our vendors, like BCBS and Aetna will not be at our meeting as previously scheduled.  Travel restriction were placed on them as of September 1st, due to the continued out-break of the COVID-19 Delta various.  Just one point of interest about our health care, WE DO-NOT have GM health care or Delphi our care is an independent V.E.B.A. known as the UAW RETIREE HEALTH CARE TRUST.  This was set up and become effective in 2010 after the bankruptcies at General Motors and Delphi.  I get question all the time about our health care and many refer to it as GM or Delphi. 

Our Retirees have been receiving a notice in the mail regarding a request for a vote on the way our International Officers are elected.  As most of you know this has been explained and discussed at our meetings on a couple of occasions, we have had some thieves in our upper leadership.  They have been caught and several have gone to prison for their illegal actions. They have been expelled from our Union the UAW.  Their membership has been revoked. We now have people in UAW leadership at the present that are doing all the necessary things to correct and right the ship. They are getting our Union back to the high standard that we have always known and expected of our Leaders. Many of you that know me personally you know I love this Institution the UAW I have been a proud member for 56 years and have always attempted to hold our Union in the highest of regards.  I have followed, studied and worked in this Union the UAW that has produced some of the most outstanding leadership anyone could ever ask or hope for.  I was asked my opinion on the difference in the two methods of election our International Officers, I wrote an opted on our FB which I will share and attach with this report.  It is not the procedure of our current election process that cause these former leaders to succumb to being thieves it was them giving into greed.  This can and does happen in many organizations, corporation, churches and unions all have suffered this type of creed.   

Our current method of electing our International Executive Board is known as the Constitutional Convention method, this was set up by our Founding Fathers and our Constitutional Delegates at which are elected by the membership of each Local Union.  The system is solid and was endorsed by the Greatest of all our many outstanding Presidents, including Walter P. Reuther.

I hope to see you at the meeting if you are not there we definitely understand.  Protect your health because it is so obvious that too many don't care about you or themselves.

In Solidarity


Thoughts on International Elections:

The talk can go on and wishful thinking about a better way of electing our International Officers. One person one vote already exists- the election on your delegates that you send to the Convention. A system in a great organization as the UAW doesn't have a failed system it had a few crooks that took advantage of an opportunity which could happen under any organization.

If you are think about throwing out a Convention time system that was set up by our late great President Walter P. Reuther and those that established this UAW as an ICON of all American Labor Unions you might want to think twice. Our union has been to the abyss but has proven it is residual and can be very strong and return to the once great Labor Organization that has been the envy of all Unions. Under present system any member in good standing can run for any International Office by being nominated at the Convention. You can have personal contact with all the delegates and make your case. Under the One person one vote you have to run a nationwide campaign, which more than likely very few of the members know you, so you have to depend on the same people that are normally elected as delegates for your support. Can you imagine the cost to a member attempting to run a nationwide campaign? That becomes a major problem where does the money come from to run a campaign of that magnitude. Because you don't like a system doesn't mean it is bad. I was a young man when I attended my first Convention and unfortunately that was President Walter Reuther's last. Our system is like our Union it is not perfect but on balance it has produced some of the greatest leader of any Union. They all have one main mission economic and social justice. It breaks my heart that some have chosen greed over their true mission.