GM/Delphi and the UAW disclose the annual audits that are mandated by federal law? Do they think they are above the law? The law states that the funds are to be audited once a year by outside accounts. Why have the joint programs and the UAW-GM CHR been such a dismal failure? Additionally, since it is such a failure, why then don’t the UAW and GM negotiate cuts in the cost of the joint programs, maybe even end them?
Next, we need to look at the $20 million worth of GM funded activities of the Corporation-Union Committee on Health-Care Benefits and the Delphi Joint Committee on Health Benefits. What was the rate of return on that money? Where did it go? What was the money used for? Where are the annual audits of the CUCHCB fund, especially since it is part of a Welfare Benefits Fund? How exactly did the $18.45 million help maintain coverage while reducing cost for GM and Delphi? Could the only answer after spending more than twenty million dollars be "MORE CONCESSIONS?" Just think of the lobbying that amount of money could have bought for National Healthcare.
Since the newly negotiated UAW-GM and Ford Direct Contribution-VEBAs for health-care will create another new source of income for the UAW International Union, an insider of the UAW might consider the creation of the new VEBAs a plus for the union. Especially if it would help to maintain the level of benefits UAW staff get before and during retirement. Yes, income for the union for the charge-backs that the union will eventually receive from the new VEBAs will help to replace the loss of income the UAW will lose from 60,000 plus dues paying members whose jobs they negotiated to cut over the next few years. Nevertheless, by the end of 2007 the "Cooperation Partners" might negotiate away another 50,000 dues paying members’ jobs. Where will the UAW International Union get the money to operate then? Will they hit the helpless retirees for more concessions?
NOW is the time for the UAW "Cooperation Partners" to get up off their complacent asses and put an end to the concession merry-go round they have their membership on. As I explained in Constitutional Death of the UAW Part 5, there is no need for the UAW to be negotiating health-care and pension benefits unless they plan to consent to more concessions. Delphi and GM negotiated the benefits guarantee language for former GM employees who were forced to work for Delphi back in 1999. The only people that should be negotiating how the companies are going to pay for the Benefit Guarantee should be Delphi and GM.
The GM Delphi spin-off was a corporate activity only. The UAW was not a legal party of interest in the spin-off. The UAW negotiations in 1999 with Delphi took place after the legal fact! The benefits guarantee for Delphi workers was part of the legal proceeding between GM and Delphi. Every worker and retiree should call Shoemaker and Gettelfinger’s offices at (313) 926-5311 and tell them to "Stop" meddling in GM and Delphi’s corporate decision making and leave our health-care and pension benefits alone. Moreover, remind them that the UAW lobbied and fought hard for the passage of ERISA in 1974. Then demand they "stop" helping GM circumvent and undermine the very law the UAW supported. The UAW Cooperation Partners should withdraw from the GM lawsuit against the retirees’ benefits today. Remember if the UAW was not a partner in the law suit, then GM would not have a legal leg to stand on to unilaterally change the benefits.
Last, but not least, every one of my colleagues and I have discussed the lack of interest the UAW retirees are exhibiting and their willingness to allow GM and the UAW to cut their pension and health-care benefits. Retirees, where is your outrage? Do you not understand what the new healthcare program could do to you financially because of the HOLD HARMLESS clause being left out? If you were to get very ill and go to the hospital, you could wind up owing tens of thousands of dollars, which might drive you and your family into bankruptcy. Please do not sit back and wait for someone else to protect you! The UAW International Union is trying desperately to protect its own financial interest, for they are not the least bit worried about yours! If you are a retiree sitting back waiting for someone else to do something, you are badly mistaken. The main question to all retirees should be: What are "you" going to do about it?
Please get involved and call UAW Brother Leroy McKnight’s attorney, Mr. Mark Baumkel at (248) 642-0444 or 1(800) 288-9080 or you can e-mail him at email@example.com. Ask him, how can you get involved and help protect my retirement benefits.
"Attention Retirees and Activists Who Support Brother McKnight’s Lawsuit!"
The UAW will soon be mailing out Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) call letters to all Local Unions, if they have not already started. We need all activist and retirees to announce their candidacy for Delegate to the Con-Con