Pat Meyer speaks to you
It is the decision of L.A.W.S., Inc., after being contacted by workers from the Saline, MI plant, to assist you in your concerns about the conditions that exist in this plant now owned by Faurecia, a French company. We were shocked at the actions of the company telling the employees that it got rid of the local union president and that if they attend any meetings or complain they may
be replaced. See the following pages for an explanation of this situation.
I have contacted the National Labor Relations Board and your claim has been accepted. The U.S. Labor Department will be given the information concerning the improper use of money in various UAW locals.
We are also working employees from other Ford facilities.
Some courageous workers have come forward and are willing to give information about what is happening in the plants and in the locals. Because of this we are able to prove injustices that have been allowed by the company and the union.
This website will keep you informed about what is happening.
Please feel free to share your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Ford employee in the subject line. It is important that the truth be told so the injustices can be stopped.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Debi Muncy, Saline worker and friend to all, sends you a message.
WORKERS OF THIS PLANT, WE HEAR YOUR CONCERNS!
We are Americans who are willing to show we care about what is happening to working people and our communities. As paychecks and benefits decrease it can only lead to more dependence on government support programs. The smaller the paycheck the less you shop, eat out, pay your bills. Saline businesses are already seeing that effect. Someone has to say to corporations and unions "LET YOUR PEOPLE LIVE!" Obviously the big corporations don't care if workers can afford to buy the product they make, much less they need. At Saline the wages have gone from $28/hr down to $11/hr. That should be a crime! Corporations should quit taking tax dollars to score profits while bankrupting workers and communities. This country was built on the back of hard working people. When did that become a bad thing?
Workers Shouldn't Blame Workers
We say again, workers shouldn't blame workers for the stress and high tension you all feel in this plant. That falls squarely on the shoulders of greedy corporations and leadership that takes care of itself instead of the membership.And lets not forget the boss who treats you like a piece of trash. Everyone who comes thru the door is here for the same reason, to earn a paycheck. No matter what the amount on that dollar line is. No one asked to have their job given away and I don't believe anyone asked to take a job away from someone. There is no reason for name calling, threats or bad feelings between each other because ALL OF THE WORKERS ARE GETTING SHAFTED IN THIS BUILDING !
What you can do is look out for each other at this time.A lot of things are going on and people are told to be afraid to speak to other employees. Some are so afraid they won't admit to what is going right in front of them. If something bad is happening to you , you would want someone to tell the truth about it. You signed on for a job, not to give your rights away. You have a right to come to work in a safe enviroment, free from intimidation. It does not matter who is doing it. All serious matters should be reported to labor relations and then any other place YOU feel comfortable. Talk to your coworkers and let them know that you want to work without threats and wish the same for them. If we all look out for each other the intimidation will stop. If you step up and tell the truth about something you saw then there are witnesses. Is this easy to do? NO! But only cowards have to work like slaves with no say in what happens to them at work. We have met some of you and you are not cowards!
It doesn't matter who is paying your wages because this is about all working people having their heads held under water until companies feel their profits are high enough. Maybe then they will respect the workers and treat them as a valuable asset to production. Your work is crucial to their success, they just don't want to recognize that fact. There are Americans who care about how the workers of this country are continually being shoved into low pay, no benefit employment. You can find information and guidance at DISPUTETHIS.ORG. Check it out for yourself, and know that there are many people who care about what is happening to you in Saline.
Pat's findings in Saline
A current situation has been brought to our attention by a phone call from an employee at the Ford/ACH plant in Saline, Michigan asking for our help. Many of the workers are confused about where they stand with Ford and what their future will be.
On October 1, 2005, Ford Motor Company took back 17 facilities from Visteon Corporation and renamed them Automotive Components Holding LLC (ACH). The mission of the holding company was to prepare the plants for sale of closure while ensuring that Ford would get all the parts it needed at discount prices. The employees were promised that they would be Ford employees for life. Doesn't this remind you of GM/Delphi?
Faurecia, a French auto supplier, is purchasing the automotive interior components operations in Saline, which employs 2,100 people and is part of Ford's ACH subsidiary. Faurecia will lease the building and property in Saline. Nearly all of the 2,100 employees at Saline will be offered employment. About 1,100 will continue at Saline for Faurecia. Others will have transfer rights to other Ford plants. (71)
Prior to the Faurecia purchase there were 4 levels of employees in Ford/ACH Saline plant. These employees wore different color shirts so they could be identified as to which group they belonged to. All of these employees were represented by the UAW and paid union dues for this representation. The levels are:
Orange Shirts - former Visteon employees
Light Blue Shirts - Ford GEN pool loaned Ford employees
Dark Blue Shirts - Ford employees who are Saline plant based
No Color Shirts - temporary workers
Pat talked with an employee who had worked at the Saline for five years as a temporary employee. When he was hired he was told that after 89 days he could become a full time Ford employee. When the 90th day came he was not offered this option. He chose to stay at the plant but never gained the full time Ford employee status. Throughout his employment he has been paying UAW dues.
Faurecia offered him the opportunity to become a Faurecia employee. He was given a $2,500 bonus and was able to retain his current wage of $16.50 per hour. Health insurance would be paid out of his check. He could sign up for a pension. To pay for this he would have 6 percent taken each week from his wages and the company would match 50 percent of that. At $16.50 an hour that would amount to $39.00 a week for him and $19.50 for the company. Once he signed with Faurecia he would sever all ties with Ford.
Any employee hired after June 1, 2012, would be a Faurecia employee and would wear a white shirt. He took this job because of his age and the distance he would have to travel to work at a Ford facility. He now qualifies to wear a white shirt.
The UAW is still representing the employees. At the present time there is confusion as to who is representing the new employees as many of the older workers are still at the Saline plant waiting for transfers that may not come until 2014. It makes one wonder as to whether they will really be transferred at all. The Ford/ACH employees are represented by one UAW Shop Chairman and the new Faurecia employees are being represented by another UAW Shop Chairman.
Members of Laws, Inc. went to Saline shortly after the announcement of Faurecia's takeover to support the employees since there is concern about the different levels of workers and pay disparities among these levels. We were there to show the employees and the community that we are Americans who are willing to show we care about what is happening to working people and our communities. As paychecks and benefits decrease it can only lead to more dependence on government support programs. The smaller the paycheck the less you can shop, eat out, or pay your bills. At the Saline plant wages have gone from $28 an hour down to $11 an hour. How can a family live on this and help support the American economy? When you have employees working on the same job but earning different wages this can only lead to hard feelings among the employees.
After meeting with several employees it was decided to take their information to Washington, D.C. to the United States Labor Department and to the National Labor Relations Board. Ford failed to hire the temporary workers as fulltime Ford employees after 90 days of employment as promised and the UAW leadership allowed this to happen.
Ford and the UAW leadership also allowed the two and possibly 3 tiered wage system to develop lowering the workers standard of living.
Unions came into being to protect the workers, the quality of working conditions and provide a living wage for their workers, thusly, allowing communities and small businesses to flourish. Now UAW workers in America are discouraged with their union leadership. They see their union as a business, a company union who no longer functions as a body supporting workers. Following are a few examples of this:
- UAW took over health insurance for its employees and retirees, the VEBA,
- UAW allowed the 2 tier system into the plants which lowered wages and
- UAW and the government allowed the underfunding of the pensions
- UAW allowed the Big 3 corporations to take away the COLA (cost of living
Patricia Meyer, Director of L.A.W.S, Inc., is announcing the release of her 4th book "How Washington, D.C. helped allow corporations to get away with fraud" , General Motors/Delphi Spin Off and Bankruptcies, What can we do about it?"
In 2006 she received an award from Mother Jones honoring all the work she has done over the years to help workers and their families.
Pat is a retired postal worker and a past bargaining representative of the postal union. She began her work in the manufacturing area when one of her daughters, who worked for General Motors, needed help getting transferred back to Michigan. As she became more involved she was approached by many workers and retirees who needed help finding justice. Eventually she organized UAW Concern and later its political arm, L.A.W.S., Inc., a not-for-profit organization working for American workers, retirees and their families.
Pat has been an advocate for workers and retirees in Washington working with our Senators, Congressmen and federal agencies over the past seventeen years to expose corruption in corporations and union leadership where it exists.
Recently she was invited to appear in Judge Robert Drain's court to present information dealing with the GM/Delphi spin-off and bankruptcy.
These experiences have lead to the writing of three earlier books, "You Win ...But Lose, A Must Read for All American Workers", "America: Rightside This", and "Dispute This! America is Crumbling Within, The Keys to Uncovering the Cover-up."
Find out more about Patricia and the work her organization does at www.disputethis.org