Soldiers of Solidarity - GM 2007 Contract Info
Vote No Until You Know the Whole Truth

Analysts are suprised....
"While the devil will be in the detail, our first reaction is that GM captured a much broader set of concessions than we previously anticipated," JP Morgan analyst Himanshu Patel said in a note.


Appendix A
Memorandum of Understanding.pdf
Employee Placement

THE Actual UAW/GM CONTRACT (Changes).pdf
(From the "White Book"--7.08MB--83pgs.)


VEBA Memorandum of Understanding.pdf
Post Retirement Medical Care (27pgs.)


UAW/GM Highlights.pdf (23pgs.)




Vote NO until we KNOW the WHOLE truth
And until we beat concessions!

With the GM contract as the pattern we’re in big trouble. The Chrysler contract isn’t identical. But we’ve got only two days between the strike’s end and our plant shutdown that may last until the contract vote. We need to know what to look for in a hurry. This analysis of the GM contract is from UAW Soldiers of Solidarity supporters.  Please e-mail me your opinion.
--Brett Ward, member of UAW Local 1700,  btalbotward@aol.com


GM Contract Analysis (You can download actual contract pages at www.soldiersofsolidarity.com)

MONEY
Base wage -- Current COLA rolled into base wage, but no raises. Base wage frozen for 4 years.
COLA – Most COLA raises taken away. 10 cents “diverted” from each new COLA raise. The “Highlights” estimate total 4-year COLA at 73 cents. By contrast, COLA from last contract is $2.13, even after diversion.

Bonuses – $3,000 signing bonus.  Performance Bonus of 3% in 2008, 4% in 2009, 3% in 2010. “Highlights” say bonuses and COLA will add up to $13,056 over 4 years.

But what if we got raises and full COLA instead of bonuses?  The contract standard used to be 3% raise per year, plus full COLA. If workers got 3% raises and full COLA instead of bonuses, after 4 years it would add up to $31,220.  The “Highlights” estimate GM base wage and COLA at $28.85 in 2011. If workers got raises and full COLA instead of bonuses, 2011 base wage plus COLA would be $33.88…a $5 an hour difference.

2-TIER  WAGES
♦ All clean-up jobs to be outsourced.  Current clean-up workers will go to production or take buy-outs.

♦ Many jobs will become low wages jobs.
Pay rates:              Group A     Group B      Group C     
Starting Wage        $14.61        $14.00         $14.00    Reduced                                                                                            medical                                                                                              benefits.
Full Wage              $16.23        $15.30         $14.50     No regular                                                                                          pension.

Low wage jobs include Material Handling, Inspection, Sub-assembly, Machining, Truck Driving and “Others”.Others” is not explained. The contract also does not say clearly what happens to workers already on those jobs. Most workers will be stuck on the line 30 years, as almost all off-line jobs will be either low wage or outsourced. Company can hire more temporary workers in other jobs up to a year, paid at 70% of full pay with few benefits.

VEBA FOR  HEALTH  CARE
♦ For decades, auto companies guaranteed retiree health care.  Now the only guarantee is that these benefits stay the same until January 1, 2012.  The Committee that runs the VEBA fund “shall have the sole discretion to determine benefits and contribution made by retirees.” So then they can reduce retiree benefits and increase what retirees pay.

♦ Much of the money put into the VEBA is not new money out of GM’s pockets. It’s money from the 2006 wage increase taken from GM workers, from COLA diversions, and from a fund that GM already set up after past contracts. Some money from the pension fund goes to VEBA.  Part of GM’s contribution ($4.37 billion) is a convertible note, not guaranteed if GM declares bankruptcy.

♦ Once GM puts their money in VEBA, the UAW can never again ask GM to “provide additional contributions”, “make any other payments” or “provide Retiree Medical Benefits.”  But the UAW can ask the Company to divert more of active workers’ “profit-sharing, COLA, wages and/or signing bonuses” to fund the VEBA.

UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said the VEBA will last 80 years.  Then why do they reduce retirees’ benefits and divert more active workers’ wages?  Workers at Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar were given promises, but VEBA at Detroit Diesel ran out in 12 years--at Caterpillar, in 6 years.

JOB  SECURITY
♦ Language is filled with loopholes. Products promised for many plants, but only “dependent on market demand”.

♦ GM promises not to close plants, except for 11 plants that will close or be sold.

♦ Promises are made to stop outsourcing, but with old language that permitted lots of outsourcing.

MORE DANGERS IN G.M. CONTRACT
♦ A GM contract letter on “Sourcing” says there will be “in excess” of 16,766 “non-core” jobs at the end of the contract, plus another 3,000 to be brought in at low pay. Other production jobs can be filled by “long-term temporary” workers, paid $17. One part of the contract says temps get full vision benefits after 5 years of work.
All janitorial and other clean-up jobs are to be “exited”: that means outsourced.

By the end of this contract, more than half the production jobs could be paying $17 an hour, or $14.50, or even less.  Why would these workers vote to protect us older workers in the future? The two-tier scheme at Delphi soon cut the wages on the rest of the other jobs in half – first for new hires, then for the seniority workers who were left.

Losing Doctors, Hospitals, Dentists and other Health Care Providers.
Everyone will have to go into one Dental Plan, which will exclude some dentists people now use. Everyone will have to go into the basic TCN Network, or one of three HMO’s, cutting off some doctors, dentists and hospitals that people now use.

Many Small Health Care Take-Aways, Including:
Premiums (so-called monthly contributions), co-pays, co-insurance, annual deductibles and annual out of pocket maximums can be raised 3% a year. Prescription co-pays on mail order go up to $10, generic, and $15, brand name.  Each year after this, prescription co-pays will go up by 3% a year or “industry trends.”

Here Are Some of the concessions for Skilled Trades:
Alternative Work Schedules: Skilled tradespersons can be scheduled to regularly work Saturday and Sunday as part of a 40-hour-a-week schedule -- at straight time pay.

Skilled Trades Jobs to Be “Exited” The new contract states that many “work elements” and others can be eliminated as skilled trades work. Will you see this list before you vote?  And “As the workload requirements exceed the remaining resources, the work will be exited and not subject to the subcontracting provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement”.

Skilled Trades Work Pushed onto Production Workers:
The new GM contract says: “Production Operators/Team Members/Leaders are first point-of-response to deal with out-of-standard conditions with machinery and equipment including quality, material, or maintenance.” 

A Kokomo Delphi worker warns:
“Our brothers and sisters at the Big Three must understand that what happened at Delphi is coming their way if they do not hold the line now in their 2007 national negotiations. Delphi only lasted one contract with a two-tier supplemental agreement and now we are all two-tier employees.   We went from a career to “just another job” with a single vote.  Don’t let it happen to General Motors and the rest of the auto industry. Your struggle is our struggle. Hold the line”

Don’t cut the next generation’s pay. We’ll ask them to defend our pensions. Young workers will reply, “Where were you when they cut our pay?”

VEBA Las Vegas
VEBA will gamble health care on stocks and bonds. The risk is transferred to us.  We’ll make up shortfalls. Health care premiums will gobble up our pensions. That’s why UAW past Regional Directors, Jerry Tucker, Warren Davis and Paul Schrade, and past Local 751 Caterpillar president Larry Solomon say “Vote NO.

www.soldiersofsolidarity.com                 www.futureoftheunion.com
                              www.factoryrat.com


UAW Local 600 members Gary Walkowicz and Ron Lare and other SOS supporters contributed to this leaflet.


Labor donated October 2007


Click here to copy and distribute this flyer with graphics



More Information about Take-aways in the GM Contract
From: Gary Walkowicz, Dearborn Truck Plant, A Crew, Motor Bay
Bargaining Convention Delegate and Former DTP Chairman, Local 600

If you did not get the first letter we circulated about the major take-aways in the GM contract, contact me. My cell phone: 313-737-3166. You can also download the actual
contract pages with most of the changes at: www.soldiersofsolidarity.com.

In 4 years, half the jobs could be low-wage, few-benefit jobs.

-- Almost 20,000 jobs will be changed to “non-core” jobs, paying $14.00 to $16.
    A letter on “Sourcing” says there will be “in excess” of 16,766 “non-core” jobs at the end of the contract, plus another 3,000 to be brought in at low pay. These jobs include material handling, inspection, sub-assembly, environmental, driving, 10 others, plus a category called “OTHER,” without specifying what this “other” means.

-- Other production jobs can be filled by “long-term temporary” workers, paid $17.
    One part of the contract says they can be worked for up to one year. But another part says they will get full vision benefits after 5 years of work. There is no limit set in the contract on the number of “long-term temps” who can be hired.

-- All janitorial and other clean-up jobs are to be “exited.”
    These jobs will be done in plant by workers hired by some other company, paying much lower wages.

    By the end of this contract, more than half the production jobs could be paying $17 an hour, or $14.50, or even less. If we don’t vote to protect the wages of new hires now, why would they vote to protect us in the future? This same two-tier scheme was used at Delphi to cut the wages on ALL jobs in half – first for new hires, then for the seniority workers who were left.

The Retirees’ VEBA Fund is NOT Protected Against Bankruptcy.
    15% of the VEBA will be tied up for five years in one GM-issued security for 4.4 billion dollars. Federal regulations to protect retiree benefits require that no more than 10% be in company stock. But GM is asking for an exemption from this law – and not only for the 4.4 billion dollar note, but for other holdings. Perhaps as much as 20% to 25% of the money could be tied to GM. If GM did go bankrupt, GM securities and promises to pay would be worthless.

Funded at only 59%, the VEBA Is Not Protected against Running Out.
    The newspapers reported that the VEBA would be funded at 70% of the 51 billion necessary to pay retiree benefits. That would have been almost 36 billion dollars. But, the “Highlights” said that GM is funding it at only 29.9 billion. That’s only 59% -- not much more than half of what’s needed. And GM doesn’t have to put all of that in right away. Some could be paid off in 5 years, some in 13 years and some in 20 years.

Losing Doctors, Hospitals, Dentists and other Health Care Providers.
    Everyone will have to go into one Dental Plan, which will exclude some dentists people now use. Everyone will have to go into the basic TCN Network, or one of three HMO’s, cutting off some doctors, dentists and hospitals that people now use.

Many Small Health Care Take-Aways. Here are Some of Them:
-- In the basic plan network, there will be a $25 co-pay for the first five office visits per year, per family. In any PPO, a 50% co-pay. After that, you pay full charge.

-- Premiums (so-called monthly contributions), co-pays, co-insurance, annual deductibles and annual out of pocket maximums can be raised 3% a year.

-- Prescription co-pays on mail order go up to $10, generic, and $15, brand name. Each year after this, prescription co-pays will go up 3% a year or “industry trends.”

-- New age and other limits set on coverage for children and legal dependents. Even children who are totally and permanently disabled can be cut off the plan.

-- Someone on disability leave who doesn’t go back to work when the plan arbitrator overrules their own doctor will not only lose disability payments but will lose ALL medical coverage.

Here Are Some of the Cutbacks in Skilled Trades:
-- Alternative Work Schedules:
    Skilled tradespersons can be scheduled to regularly work Saturday and Sunday as part of a 40-hour-a-week schedule -- at straight time pay.

-- Skilled Trades Jobs to Be “Exited”
    The new contract states that these “work elements” and others can be eliminated as skilled trades work: Building Construction including interior remodeling; Painting and
Glazing; Carpentry; Building Envelope Maintenance; Specialty Maintenance such as elevators, sprinkler systems, re-lamping; Certified Welder Maintenance; Hi Voltage
Electrical Distribution; Building Mechanical; Building Electrical; Crane Hoist Repair/Inspection. This is only a partial list. See the letter titled “Exiting Non-Strategic Skilled Trades Work” for the whole list. This letter also says: “As the workload
requirements exceed the remaining resources, the work will be exited and not subject to the subcontracting provisions of the UAW-GM National Agreement”.

Full Utilization Is Undercut:
     Another letter on “full utilization” says that “excessive overtime” will be eliminated. This only allows more outsourcing without penalty.

-- Skilled Trades Jobs to be Combined:
    “Lines of Demarcation” are to be reviewed “to eliminate situations that cause unnecessary delays or inefficiencies”. “Self-managed skilled trades teams” to be set up,
“without restrictions on how the teams would interact”.

-- Skilled Trades Work Pushed onto Production Workers:
    The new contract says: “Production Operators/Team Members/Leaders are first point-of-response to deal with out-of-standard conditions with machinery and equipment
including quality, material, or maintenance.” In other words, skilled trades work will be added onto production workers along with their other responsibilities.

10/11/07. Labor Donated.



Click here to copy and distribute this flyer




What’s in the Tentative GM Contract?

This information comes from the language of the GM contract and the VEBA Memorandum of Understanding, as well as from the “Highlights”. Main issues are:

Money
Base wage -- The current COLA is rolled into the base wage, but there are no raises. Base wage rates are frozen for the 4 years of the contract.
COLA – Most COLA raises are taken away. Each time workers are due a new COLA raise, another 10 cents will be “diverted”. In the “Highlights”, it is estimated that at the end of 4 years, the total COLA will be only 73 cents. By comparison, the COLA from the last contract is $2.13, even after some COLA was diverted.
Bonuses – There is a $3,000 signing bonus. There is a Performance Bonus of 3% in 2008, 4% in 2009 and 3% in 2010. The “Highlights” says that these bonuses and COLA will add up to $13,056 over 4 years.

What if we got raises and full COLA instead of bonuses?
For many years, the standard UAW contract had a 3% raise every year, plus full COLA. If workers got 3% raises and full COLA instead of bonuses, after 4 years, it would add up to $31,220.

The “Highlights” estimates the GM base wage and COLA to be $28.85 in 2011. If workers got raises and full COLA instead of bonuses, the base wage plus COLA in 2011 would be $33.88 – more than $5 an hour more.

2-Tier wages
All clean-up jobs will be outsourced. Workers currently on clean-up will be put back into production, or offered buy-outs.

Many jobs will become low wages jobs.
Pay rates: Group A Group B Group C
Starting Wage $14.61 $14.00 $14.00 Reduced medical benefits.
Full Wage $16.23 $15.30 $14.50 No regular pension.

The jobs that will become low wage include: Material Handling, Inspection, Subassembly, Machining, Truck Driving and “Others”. The contract does not explain what “Others” means. The contract also does not say clearly what will happen to the workers already on those jobs. One thing is clear, if this contract is ratified, then most workers will be stuck on the line for all of their 30 years, because almost all of the off-the-line jobs will be either low wage or outsourced.

The contract also allows the company to hire more temporary workers to work any job in the plant for up to one year. These temporary workers would be paid 70% of full pay with few benefits.

VEBA for Current and Future Retirees’ Health Care

For the last 43 years, the auto companies have guaranteed retiree health care. Under this tentative contract, the only guarantee is that retiree health care benefits will stay the same until January 1, 2012, four years and three months from now.
--The Committee that runs the VEBA “shall have the sole discretion to determine benefits and contribution made by retirees.” In other words, they can reduce retiree benefits and increase what retirees pay, anytime after January 1, 2012.

More facts about the VEBA:
--Much of the money put into the VEBA is not new money coming out of GM’s pockets. It is money from the 2006 wage increase that was taken from GM workers, from COLA diversions and from a fund that GM already set up after past contracts.
--Money from the pension fund will be put into the VEBA.
--Part of GM’s contribution ($4.37 billion) is in a convertible note that is not guaranteed if GM declares bankruptcy.

--The VEBA agreement states clearly that once the company puts in their money, the UAW can never again ask the company to “provide additional contributions”, “make any other payments” or “provide Retiree Medical Benefits”.
--But, it says that the UAW can ask the Company to divert more of active workers’ “profit-sharing, COLA, wages and/or signing bonuses” to fund the VEBA.

UAW president Ron Gettelfinger said the VEBA will last for 80 years. But if that is true, then why do they already have language in the contract to reduce retirees’ benefits and divert more of the active workers’ wages when the VEBA runs down?
Workers at Detroit Diesel and Caterpillar were given similar promises, but the VEBA at Detroit Diesel ran out in 12 years, and the one at Caterpillar ran out in 6 years.

Job Security
The "Highlights" made a lot of promises about job security. However, in the actual contract, these promises are filled with loopholes.

GM promises products for many plants, but only “dependent on market demand”.

GM promises not to close any more plants, except for 11 plants that the contract says will close or be sold.

Promises are made to stop outsourcing, but the contract language is exactly the same as the old contract, under which there was a lot of outsourcing of work.

***** ***** *****

From: Gary Walkowicz, A Crew, Motor Bay, Dearborn Truck Plant
Bargaining Convention Delegate; Former Plant Chairman. Call 313-737-3166.

October 4, 2007 Labor Donated.

What’sInTheTentativeGMContract.pdf
temps vote / get laid off


Oct 23, 3:04 am
By Gregg Shottwell

The GM plant in Lansing that makes GM’s hottest selling vehicles — the Buick Enclave, the Saturn Outlook, the GMAC Acadia — is laying off 1,000 workers, an entire shift, despite the fact they have been working mandatory Saturdays to keep up with demand.

Most of the laid off workers will be temps who were led to believe they would have permanent positions if the contract was ratified. Prior to ratification, temp workers were taken into the office, one by one, and informed they would have permanent status if the contract was ratified.

GM bought their votes, now they are done with them.

What does the "new" contract say about rehire for workers who had less than one year seniority at the time of lay off? The old contract provided an 18 month window for recall rights. What does the new contract provide?

I've earned my cynicism. I've been working for GM/Delphi more than 28 years.

sos shot

TempsVote-GetLaidOff.pdf
UAW/GM Deal Based On Unrealistic Cost Forecasts
October 26, 2007


The recently ratified contract between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, details of which were disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, underscores the precariousness of future retiree health care benefits.

On one hand, analysts say, the deal to transfer $35 billion to an independent trust to manage retiree health care is the best deal the union could have made given the dire financial straits of General Motors. The union will receive 70 cents for every dollar owed to it—allowing GM to offload about $47 billion in liabilities.

At the same time, the deal is based on assumptions that greatly underestimate the cost of health care.

The contract, which remains subject to court and regulatory approval, is based on the assumption that health care costs will grow 5 percent annually—a growth rate significantly slower than in the past 25 years.

From 1970 to 2004, Medicare costs increased an average of 9.1 percent annually. For private sector payers, health care costs increased an average 10.1 percent annually. Gerard Anderson, director of the Center for Hospital Finance and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says such an assumption leaves in doubt the UAW’s ability to pay for retiree health care for the next 80 years, as union leaders have promised.

“The economic trends would suggest it’s not viable in the long run,” Anderson says of the union’s health care trust, known as a voluntary employees beneficiary association.

To make the fund financially sustainable, the union must put its faith in the financial markets, where it will look for returns on par with some of the best-performing institutional investors.

According to GM’s filings, the current health trust is funded based on an expected 9 percent return on investment of the funds assets. That rate of return equals the 10-year return of 9.1 percent for CalPERS, the California state employee pension fund.

Another variable complicating the union’s funding of future retiree health care benefits is that 75 percent of GM’s 74,500 union workers could retire by the end of the four-year contract, significantly adding to the rolls of health care beneficiaries, which today total more than 500,000 people.

The 5 percent estimate is a common accounting technique used by many employers to calculate future health care costs, a GM spokeswoman says, since actual long-term projections yield numbers that are unsustainable for the economy.

In 2005, health care costs totaled 15 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. That number is expected to grow to 20 percent of GDP by 2015.

But VEBA consultant Lance Wallach says the 5 percent increase in health care costs is deceptive, even if it is a necessary target. For most people, especially blue-collar retirees, health care cost increases are significantly higher.

“That’s not even ridiculous, it’s preposterous,” he says of the 5 percent projection. “I’m not just talking for these people, but for anybody.”

—Jeremy Smerd


www.workforce.com









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