Fact is, only one person signed the Ford Visteon agreement, that was Vice President Gerald Bantom, Richard Shoemaker signed the GM document. It appears they unilaterally negotiated the terms of both agreements. If not, why then were the pictures of the top negotiating team excluded and not printed in the UAW-GM and UAW-Ford highlights? Did the Top Bargaining Team sign the new agreements as required? Some members may not even know that one of their local officials is on the top negotiating team. All you need to do is find a copy of your 2003 contract highlights and look at the back page. For example, in GM and Delphi their names are Ron Gettelfinger President UAW; Richard Shoemaker Vice President of the GM department; Dave Curson director of UAW Special Projects, Bill Stevenson A.A. to the President, Jim Beardsley, Henderson Slaughter and Joe Spring are Administrative Assistants to V.P Shoemaker, Jim Shroat, Ron Bieber, Tom Walsh, Tom Weekly, Tony Ortiz, Willie C. Williams and Scott Campbell, are assistant directors of the UAW GM Department; Frank Mire director of the UAW Health and Safety Department, Dan Sherrick General Counsel; Chuck Gayney director of Social Security Department; Linda Ewing Director Research Department, Leon Skudelarek administrator of the Umpire and review Staff; Mark Kelly and David Shoemaker coordinators of the GM department; Mark Hawkins Shop chair of 598; Clyde Sims shop chair of Local 913; Mike Jones shop chair Local 499; Midge Collette president of Local 292; Lee Jones shop chair Local 5960; Rick O’Donnell shop chair Local 163; Jim Jenkins shop chair local 977; Ron Brogan shop chair local 668; Darrel Shepard president of Local 2157; Larry Kuk shop chair Local 167; , and Bob Bueno shop chair of Local 2162.
The GM-Delphi council made up of Local Presidents and Shop Chairpersons elect members to each top negotiating team. The people named above were elected during a UAW-GM council meeting prior to national contract negotiations. They were chosen to represent the UAW dues paying members in GM and Delphi for the duration of the contract and Constitution. If the members duly elected representatives were not used, how did those negotiations represent the members democratically? Maybe we should ask the folks mentioned above a couple of questions such as, where were they during the negotiations of the GM healthcare agreement. Then ask, if they signed the documents also.
Gettelfinger and Shoemaker alone cannot be blamed for stomping on the members Constitutional democratic rights. Remember, the IEB had to endorse the newly negotiated agreements before those agreements went before our local presidents and shop chairpersons or GM and Ford Councils for their vote of approval. Therefore, approval by the IEB members simply implicates them in these shenanigans as well.
Consequentially, the Cooperation Partners (IEB) changed the negotiation process to exclude the top negotiators. Why did Gettelfinger allow that? Was it to save face with the media or with his Cooperation Partners, GM and Ford? Or was he to proud to reopen the agreement and negotiate it accordance to constitutional procedures, just so he could say “LOOK, I told everybody I would not reopen the GM contract and I lived up to my word” However, everything he did to accomplish that feat is typical oligarchial style democracy in action. I.E. that is when one person or a small group of people dictates to the masses what is best for them and the masses get to vote but one way, the way that person or the autocrats dictate.