What is it we're trying to accomplish?
I remain confident in my thoughts that the Delphi
bankruptcy would have been a done deal had it not
been for the Soldiers Of Solidarity.
I consider our UAW IEB as reprepresentatives of
the workers and not leaders. They have lost touch
with the true leaders (the workers) and have no
right to offer us contract agreements by just showing
the membership highlights of any proposed contract.
I've always labeled this "contract highlights" as halve
truths because as we all know the "contract lowlights"
will follow after the contract is ratified.
The UAW IEB has cut off the workers VOICE in their
decisions that concern us. We are the VOICE of the
union and the top representatives refuse to hear our
When the VOICE has been subdued, corruption and
wrong doings can then enter in and democracy as we
know it has vanished. We are then being led and told
on what is good for us.
When this democratic way had been silenced then we
have a dictatorship. Even though the workers are the
true leaders and pay union dues to be represented, their
VOICE has been silenced. We can't allow this to happen.
The SOS has allowed the membership to use their VOICE
again, something that our UAW IEB has refused to allow us
to do. When the UAW IEB refuses to hear our VOICE they
are dictating on what is good for the membership.
I must agree that there are good people within our union
representation and political representation. But, my thoughts
are that those VOICES are subdued and are never allowed to
represent the working people who are paying for them.
Greed and corruption enters into the process and then the
rich will be represented. The "love of money" will cripple the
true democratic process as we know it. If one doesn't follow
the money trail and agree with the "higher ups" then he will
find himself as being a dissenter or trouble maker.
We as members of the SOS can attest to these truths. We
will not allow our VOICE to be subdued. They can label us as
they wish but our fight and cause are for the workers and
retirees in this great world of ours.
Our VOICE can't be supperssed or repressed. We fight to keep
the middle class as a way of life in the world. We can't allow
that class of people to become extinct.
I agree that there are many good people in our union and in
our political representation. But, if they keep their VOICE subdued
then they are a big part of the problems that we are facing
in todays world. The squeaky wheel gets oiled. If there is no
squeak then it is assumed that everything is fine.
Local 699 Retiree
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, April 09, 2006 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: What is it we're trying to accomplish?
You'll have to forgive me, but I just returned from a "leadership
conference" at Sawmill Creek. It may seem like a tremendous waste of
money to many of you, but I don't know. I'm wearied daily by the
issues I have to deal with, and seeing so many people, committed,
dedicated sisters and brothers, reaffirm their committment to the
cause, regardless of whether or not we're pursuing the best road,
reinvigorates me. Sometimes we need to differentiate between causes
and politics. We can all find fault with the policy makers, we can
disown their view of the movement. We should be careful though, not to
consider those who have a different idea from ours, of how to get to
where we need to be, enemies, when their goal is the same as ours.
Seriously, I don't think, no matter how faulty we consider their
judgement, the union leadership is out to screw us over. They may be
making deals we can't agree with, they may be keeping a curtain pulled
on what they do, but seriously, Ron Gettlefinger is in my judgement, a
good man. I'm a member in 2B, our director, Lloyd Mahaffey, is, in my
estimation, a good man. They've done things I don't agree with, I've
felt they've not regarded the Membership sufficiently at times, but
they're not intentionally working against the cause.
Gregg, to the extent they've run the Union like a business, and were
deaf to the Membership, you're right. They've done some good, and some
ill. But the Leadership is not evil, we can agree to that and still
agree that changes need to be made.
You are absolutely right about mobilizing at the rank and file level.
I will have to admit, that sometimes I'm not as resolute as I should be
in "leading" the Membership, but in my estimation, someone always needs
to. They bum me out sometimes, but when I really require their
support, they've always been there. I honestly think that SOS is
probably the best thing that's happened with organized labor in a very
long time (though obviously the Leadership disagrees). You've
identified a problem, the leadership is too bureaucratic and
unresponsive, and you've mobilized the rank and file. You are what the
Union is about, I'm awed at what you accomplish in involving the
Membership. I think you epitomize what it takes to make organized
labor strong again.
I disagree if you think that all politicians are worthless (your
estimation that supporting Democrats is pointless, some are very
supportive of our goals). For example Capri Cafaro, Marcy Kaptur, AJ
Wagner, Stephanie Studebaker, Marc Dann, Ted Strickland are all
sympathetic to our cause. It was some years ago, Dennis Kucinich was
entertained as a possibility for President, he's still my choice, the
Leadership is not always wrong, actually, not usually wrong, just too
So I guess that what I'm trying to say is, we shouldn't demonize
anyone, the Leadership thinks you're destructive, I don't. Keep up
what you're doing, I know you will, you are right, the labor movement
is, to be effective, each and every member finding their voice. Keep
on doing what you do, we all depend on you. And those of us who think,
aprreciate your efforts.