My humble opinion on the Sold our Dignity article


Good evening brothers and sisters. The day of
confrontation with Delphi draws ever closer and
we are left wondering if indeed there will be a
strike, or if the last concessionary offer is waiting
in the wings to be presented to the membership,
and will it be accepted or rejected.

We know nothing on what's going on because of
lack of communication from our UAW IEB. SILENCE,
SILENCE, and more SILENCE. So we are forced to
wait and wonder on what is going to happen. We
all have our own ideas but no one knows for sure
yet.

I received an article from the SOS google web with
the subject of "Sold our dignity". The article was written
by Dale Russakoff a Washington Post Staff Writer. The
title of the article is "Union Leader Presides Over Painful
Changes." The article is in its entirety below and it
somewhat insults my views on Gettlelfinger and the role
that he has during these concessionary times.

Read the article and draw your own conclusions. My
take on the article is that the writer views Gettlelfinger
as a hero to the corporations and to the workers, even
though most of us are against concessions. The writer
tries to make Gettlelfinger out as a visionary person who
is doing the right thing.

The writer states that some of his most enthusiastic
supporters for re-election are the top executives of the
U.S. auto industry. (Naw! He must be joking. I could have
never guessed that.) He also states that without concessions,
the companies and the union will go down together.

It's also stated that Gettlelfinger has also steered major
concessions through an often angry and demoralized membership.
It was he who made the case last fall that Ford and GM had to
cut prieviously sacrosanct retiree benefits and cancel a pay raise.
I must have missed something here because I don't know what pay
he is talking about.

Gettlelfinger also states that the union is a check and balance
system with their employer. "That's really what a union is. Look
at the people at Delphi, the troubled auto-parts supplier trying
to void contracts and slash pay in bankruptcy court. Without
a union, they would be helpless. They wouldn't have any voice
at all."

Am I missing something here? Didn't Gettlelfinger and company
negotiate the contract that put us in the position that we are
in today? Do I really have a voice in union affairs now? Will they
hear my VOICE or any union members VOICE? The delegates to
the national convention will answer the last question for me.

Gettlelfinger could well be a visionary person. Maybe, maybe not.
History will tell. I do know that he will NOT listen to my VOICE.
He is a dictator and as such he feels that HE can and will make
the decisions for the membership. "Take a strike vote." For what
I would ask? Less concessions??? What a farce. Gettlelfinger and
cronies will dictate on what is good for us.

"Without a union, they would be helpless." With a union I AM
HELPLESS. "They wouldn't have any voice at all." I have NO
VOICE at all. I still firmly believe that without the SOS movement
the bankruptcy would have been a "done deal".

The writer also states that when the 2007 contracts come up,
and the companies seek more concessions, analysts say Gettlelfinger
will have to turn back to retirees. More cutting of out throats.

I certainly don't believe that giving concessions is good for me.
I do believe that it is good for the corporations. How can we expect
the big boys to live on the millions that they are making each year?
The rich bastards need bonuses and they have to put us in our
place (the poor house).

What type of a general would say prepare for war and then say
nothing more. I am negotating. SILENCE followed by more SILENCE.
Finally, the order comes down. "We are at war!" Why? "Because I said
so!" The battle begins and drags on. Finally the general says "stop
fighting. I signed a truce." When the soldiers inform him that they
have lost 100 miles of ground, the general states "that it could have
been worse. We could have lost 200 miles of ground."

It just doesn't make sense. Give half of what we have back and feel
good about it? In a year or so, we will be back at war again. What for?
More givebacks that we are supposed to feel good about? "Now John,
we are doing what's good for you. We won't cut OUR pay, benefits, or
retirement. WE are the leaders. WE earn our pay. You just make too
much money, so we will have to cut your pay and benefits. This is
good for corporate America." All that I can say is "BULL". I want a
democracy not a dictatorship.

             In Solidarity
             John Goschka
             Local 699 Retiree