In this email:
Chairman's Report for May 19, 2014
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Laid Off Members Return To Work
There will be nine members returning to work on Monday May 19 in an agreement reached between the union and management. The three (3) members that were laid off and the 6 members that the union was successful in getting rehired as a result of the local collective bargaining agreement will be brought back in for drug testing and rehire procedures on Monday. This is very good news for these members as well as our teams that are short of manpower. The union continues to discuss additional hiring with management as the UAW feels that we are significantly short of manpower to support our daily requirements including vacation backfills. I will keep you updated as these discussions continue.

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Retirements Continue to Grow
    There are 23 members that have applied for retirement in the UAW -GM  process over the next three months. This is a proportionately much higher number than historical average for these three months. Given the average age and number of years of service accrued by our membership, we may be seeing the tip of the iceberg. There is a $10,000 lump sum bonus payment has been extended by the UAW for members retiring before Jan 1, 2015.  I want to thank these retiring members for their years of membership in our union and for the dedicated  labor to make GM a great company.  

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$1000 Performance Bonus To Be Paid 
The UAW-GM National Agreement states in paragraph 101(b) that On June 7 all eligible employees as determined by the National Agreement shall receive a  $1000 Lump Sum Bonus. The UAW collectively bargained this payment to reward GM Employees for building world class quality vehicles and for our union members critical role in helping to restructure the new GM.  Thank you to every worker that builds quality into our vehicles everyday. It has truly taken a team to turn around GM. 

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Pro-Member Forums To Be Held
    Region 8 International UAW Representative’s Darrin Petty and Tim Smith will be in Spring Hill at the UAW Hall on Tuesday May 20, 2014. Brothers Petty and Smith will be hosting a forum to explain the challenges facing the UAW and answer questions pursuant the financial status of our union. Three sessions will be held in an effort to cover all three shifts recognizing that we have a very diverse schedule and operating plan in Spring Hill. The International UAW will be sharing a significant amount of data regarding the convention and tough questions that will appear on the floor for deliberation. The times that these informational sessions with questions and answers will held will be 6:30 am, 12:00 noon and 3:00 pm this Tuesday. This will be a great opportunity to see the facts and be able to ask questions that you may have about the need for a dues increase or any other topic that may be brought to the floor of the convention.

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Arlington Texas Posts For A Toolmaker
The General Motors Plant in Arlington Texas that makes the Chevrolet Tahoes, Suburbans and Denalis has posted an internal nationwide skilled trade job for a Toolmaker. Any member wishing to relocate to Texas may be eligible for the $30,000 relocation allowance. If you are interested in this opening you can apply by using the Employee Placement System at Interested team members must satisfy the conditions outlined in paragraph 178 and have experience as a toolmaker.  

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General Motors Fined 35 Million by US Government  
    The United States Government fined General Motors 35 Million Dollars this week for purposely delaying the recall of the vehicles that had faulty ignition switches. Although all of the vehicles were manufactured by "old GM" from 2001 through 2008. 
    GM CEO Mary Barra stated, "we have learned a great deal from this recall. We will now focus on the goal of becoming the Industry Leader in Safety. We will emerge from this a stronger company"  
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA)  itself has faced criticism over its failure to order GM to recall these vehicles with suspect ignition switches earlier. NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman was called before congressional committees probing the recalls. He testified GM did not give the agency the information  it needed to decide to order a recall.
    CEO Mary Barra has apologized repeatedly for the delays, and insisted they are a result of a culture at the old, pre-bankruptcy GM that put cost concerns ahead of the customer. She insists the problems would not happen today.
    NHTSA's Friedman said there are some signs that GM's culture has changed, but pointed ad that some of the delays took place as recently as December, 2013.
Dental and Vision coverage coming to eligible GM retirees
    On May 5th, 2014, UAW Secretary Treasurer Dennis Williams made an announcement at our UAW-GM Joint Health & Safety Conference that impacts current and future UAW GM retirees eligible for benefits as provided by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the “Trust”) that we wanted to share.
    We are pleased to inform you that effective January 1, 2015, the Trust will provide Dental and Vision coverage to our eligible GM retirees. The covered benefits will be comparable to those that were provided by General Motors Corporation prior to the 2009 bankruptcy.
     We appreciate your patience as the details continue to be worked through.  Plan details will be provided to eligible retirees by the Trust as part of the normal benefit communication process this Fall.
    It is important to note that retirees who are paying premiums for their “Lifetime” COBRA should not cancel at this time, since the new coverage will not be effective until January 1, 2015.
     We believe you all agree that this is great news for our retirees. 
    The attached letter from the UAW and the Trust is being printed now and will be mailed to eligible retirees over the next week to inform them of this development.
 As always, we appreciate your continued support.  

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Uniform Allowance Update
    On May 26th, the second $300 clothing allowance will be available for all our active members to use and take advantage of. This $300 balance will be available for 1 year to be used on clothing, upgrades on Safety Shoes or for a Gym membership (up to $180).
    The first $300 clothing allowance balance is good for a 1 year period also, from the time it became available. If you have not used the whole amount yet, that balance will remain available until the first part of 2015.
    Many members have contacted me and my office, sharing the concern that there are not a lot of offerings with the UAW Wheel on them. I have spoken directly to the President of Impressions, which is our clothing supplier, and asked him to provide more clothing with the UAW Wheel on them immediately so we can provide out members with Union Made, American Made clothing which proudly shows the UAW logo on them. Based on my conversation with Impressions, I believe we will see many more UAW Branded options in the uniform store.
General Assembly  Restrooms Closed
    Starting May 19, 2014 the two bathrooms upstairs in General Assembly will be closed for repairs. The closure will last a week or less. These are upgrades that are necessary and consistent with the collective bargaining agreement. 

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United Autoworkers Convention Approaches
    The United Autoworkers Union holds their Convention every 4 years and the time is quickly approaching for the next Convention to take place. The 2014 convention will be held at Cobo Hall in Detroit Michigan. The convention will open on June 2, 2014 and run through Thursday June 5. 
    Delegates to the Constitutional Convention are elected at the local union level in secret ballot elections. Any UAW member in good standing is eligible to run for delegate. Each local union is allocated delegates in proportion to the size of its membership. This year our number of delegates allocated by headcount in Spring Hill was three. The three members elected by our membership to represent our local union were Cheryl Offutt, Mark Wunderlin and Bill Weber. 
    The Constitutional Convention delegates elect the International President, Secretary-Treasurer, Vice Presidents and Trustees. Regional directors are elected at the Constitutional Convention by the delegates of their respective regions in separate regional meetings.
The Constitutional Convention delegates have the sole authority to:
  • Amend the UAW Constitution by majority vote.
  • Debate and adopt resolutions stating the UAW's positions on a broad range of social and economic issues.
  • Define the powers of the International officers.
  • Set the salaries of International officers, regional directors, and staff.
  • Establish appeal procedures.
This year is sure to be very interesting as for the first time since 1967 the UAW is contemplating a dues increase of 1/2 hour to establish a defense fund capable of protecting our members in the event of a strike or lawsuit. 

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Vehicle Advocate Program Deadline Approaches
    The vehicle advocate program which is a UAW-GM Sponsored Program to get active employees into the newest GM Products is again coming to Spring Hill. This very popular program has a cutoff date for applications of Wednesday May 21, 2014. UAW Quality Network Leader Tony Mills is responsible for the administration of this program. Tony has been successful in extending the timeframe for driving vehicles by one week. The program will run June 16th through Week of July 4.  There is a small imputed income charge of $4.18 for each car driven that is required by the Internal Revenue Service.  Members should only apply once as multiple applications will void all of the entries.  

We have some great vehicles coming to our plant for our members to check out and get to drive overnight coming up in June. This is great way to get to experience a vehicle you might not ever get into.
Here is how the program will work:
The VAP Program is founded on “The Power of One” Principle 
“One Employee Reaching One Customer”
How Can YOU Participate?
All active Spring Hill (Rep- Tier 1 and Tier 2 and Non-Rep) team members are eligible to submit their name for a drawing for an overnight or weekend drive. This year we will have the following vehicles to drive:
  • Cadillac CTS
  • Cadillac XTS-V Sport
  • Chevy Silverado
  • Chevy Tahoe
  • Chevy Cruise Diesel
  • GMC Sierra
  • GMC Yukon
  • Buick LaCrosse
  • When a team member gets a vehicle it will be cleaned and full of gas and it should be returned the same way; there are no mileage limitations on these vehicles.
  • If you are interested in taking a vehicle overnight and/or weekend as part of the GM Vehicle Advocate Program, please fill out the form on the back of this Newsline completely and drop it in one of the Transfer boxes by 9 a.m. on May 21, 2014. The drawing will be posted in the Newsline. Team Members are allowed to submit ONE entry form, and duplication submissions will disqualify that Team Member from participating in this program.
If you are chosen, here are some key highlights:
  • You must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • You must understand GM’s Safe Driving Program and procedures.
  • A GM Employee must be in the vehicle as a passenger during any test drives with family or friends
  • It is your responsibility to replace any fuel you use during your participation. The vehicle should be full when you get it and needs to be returned full.
  • You will receive the vehicle clean and it needs to be returned clean!
  • Drivers must complete “Driver Record” portion of the GM Vehicle Pass and be free from any convictions for at least 36 months.
  • Company vehicles must not be abused.
  • Smoking is not permitted in GM-owned vehicles.
  • Upon returning the vehicle to the facility, park the vehicle in designated parking spot that you picked it up at, fill in the Mileage on the vehicle pass and return keys to where you picked the keys up. Mileage must be filled out.
  • If you turn down the opportunity to take a car home on the assigned date, you forfeit your overnight participation in the program.
  • Share your experience with our new products with anyone within your circle of influence.
                *The winner’s names that are drawn will be published
                   in the Newsline and posted at the doors. You will
                   have to contact Tony Mills by 2:00pm May 28, 2014
                   @ 931-486-5582 or email to
                   confirm your vehicle. Failure to contact Tony by that
                   day will forfeit your spot and another name will be drawn.

Only One Entry Per Person
 *If multiples are submitted you will be disqualified.
Since the GM Bankruptcy the Tax Staff had to charge Imputed income for all overnight usage of vehicles which included the Vehicle Advocate Program. The imputed income will be $20 a night of vehicle usage. The driver will only pay for the tax on $20 a night of vehicle usage. The imputed income will show up on your check as Gross Income and will be added in with your normal earnings. It will then be taxed accordingly with the rest of your income. This will vary depending on how you have your taxes deducted but on average it’s around a little more than $4.00 a day. The information will be submitted to Tax Staff in July and sometime after that drivers will see this in their check.
The vehicles will be parked in a designate spot in the GA 2 parking lot, and all the paperwork will be filled out in the UAW Benefits and ADAPT Area above GA 2 Entrance. Team members who work the 3rd shift will pick up and deliver the vehicles at the end of their shift between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Team members who are working the day shift will pick up their vehicles at the end of their shift (2-4 p.m.) and return the vehicles at the beginning of their shift (5-7 a.m.). Team members who work 2nd shift will pick up and deliver the vehicles at the beginning of their shift between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. If you have a question about the program, please contact Tony Mills @ 486-5582 from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
What is the Vehicle Advocate Program (VAP)? 
It is about YOU, educating, promoting and generating some excitement about our company through a physical experience. There couldn't be a more important time then now, for us as Team Members, to promote our products and truly become GM Advocates. During this program you will get an opportunity to physically experience some of our most exciting vehicles. We will provide you with information to educate yourself and share with others about each vehicle that we have. This will allow you to understand the products at whole new level. You will be given one of the new vehicles to take home and experience. No mileage limits, no salesman riding with you, no one telling you where you can go - it's just you getting familiar with and getting excited about our GM products! We want you to share this with your friends, family. Take your friends and neighbors for a ride and then post the whole experience on your favorite social media page. Use this opportunity to help educate someone who doesn't currently own a GM product on what we have to offer. As a Team Member, show your excitement and be the face of GM!
Finally I have attached the application form to this email for you to print and submit. There are also forms at the entry ways into the plant to pick up and fill out also. 

Apprentice Program Update

    The response to the Apprentice Program has been very good. I am glad to see many of our members signing up to be included in the upcoming information share out about the program. Apprentice Committee Chairperson Al Farley is continuing to gather the applications, and will contact all the applicants later this year, when the information rollout meetings will happen.

JUST A REMINDER: There is no deadline date to sign up for the Apprentice Program information. Our Active GM Members can sign up anytime. Application forms are available by the PRD boxes or in the UAW Office in GA.
    Recently the UAW/GM Learning Center mailed out their class schedule for May, June, July and August. In the schedule you will see APPR TEST on certain days. This IS NOT the actual Apprentice Test. This is the UAW/GM CHR Apprentice Test training. This is a computer based training, that will help you better understand what the testing will be about. The Learning Center has put this training on the schedule in anticipation of receiving the actual training that is being developed. Feel free to sign up for the training and if there are any changes the Learning Center will contact you.
I apologize on behalf of the Learning Center for any confusion on this, but they have a limited amount of space to work with and it didn’t print everything out. To sign up call 931-486-6554 or email

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Southwestern Bell Telephone Sued for Treatment of Employees
    The US Department Of Labor Has filed a lawsuit against the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company on behalf of four employees who received disciplinary action and unsatisfactory performance appraisals for reporting workplace injuries in Missouri and Kansas. 
    "It is against the law for employers to discipline employees for reporting injuries," said Marcia Drumm, acting regional administrator for OSHA in Kansas City, Mo." Southwestern Bell must understand that discouraging workers from reporting injuries, it increases the likelihood of more injured workers in the future.The Department will do everything in it's power to prevent this type of retaliation. Many workers were put on notice or disciplined for injuries sustained in the normal performance of their job responsibilities. This is unacceptable and illegal for employers to act this way according to the OSHA Investigators.
    Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War: a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping” by Nella L. Sweet carried the dedication “To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead”.
    While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to hono
r the war dead in the 1860’s tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in Union General 
Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.
    On Behalf of the UAW Bargaining Committee and Executive Board, President Stannard and I would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend while honoring those that gave their lives in pursuit of our Freedom. We really hope that you are able to spend time with your families having fun and relaxing.
Membership Meeting for May and June Combined By Membership
The next UAW Membership Meeting will be held on Sunday, June 8. The membership approved a motion to have a combined meeting for the moths of May and June due to the Memorial Day Holiday interfering with the normal timing of our meetings. The new officers will also officially be sworn at this meeting by either International UAW Assistant Director Ray Curry or International Servicing Representative Dave Bortz. Please mark your calendars with this change.

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New Product Update
    Last August,  General Motors and the UAW announced a $350 Million Dollar Capital Commitment for Spring Hill Tennessee. This new capital is being spent to Launch two new,  yet to be named,  mid size vehicles in the Spring Hill Plant. These commitments were established in the 2011 National Collective Bargaining Negotiations. The public announcement of the specific vehicles has not yet occurred however both the Union and Management at this facility are eagerly awaiting the news regarding when the public announcement will occur. There are always a lot of variables that control the timing of such announcements including political ramifications, Incentives, market segment, competitive pressures, hiring strategies, facilities modifications, allied plant impacts and supplier procurement. We expect this announcement in the near future.
    There is currently a tremendous amount of facilities work that is occurring at this location in preparation for these new products as many of you have noted. This work will really increase in volume starting in June 2014 and continue through the rest of the year. Please be safe and use extra precaution as much of the construction taking place in General Assembly and Body Fab to return our facility to the high volume manufacturing model, will take place in close proximity to areas where our members work.
In Solidarity,
Mike Herron
UAW Local 1853 Chairman
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