UAW Local 848

Committee Faces Problems and Seeks Solutions

Some of the participants in the new Committee stayed late for a photo


Committee Faces Problems and Seeks Solutions

by Gene Lantz

President Ducker convened a first meeting of a new steering committee on the crisis at Triumph December 2nd. Participants outlined some of the problems that the local faces and decided to ask all our members and friends for their input. The committee intends to formulate a positive program and lead the local away from the present situation and toward secure livelihoods.

We Aren't the Only Ones Hurting

Government policies have led to wage stagnation for nearly all American workers. Even though the federal government has been responsible recently, many state governments have deliberately cut into workers' rights to organize and seek a better standard of living. The cuts in government spending seriously prolonged the recession that began in 2007. Specific cuts in aerospace spending came with the sequestration rules.

For a list of aerospace industry problems, one merely needs to look on-line. For example, an article at http://www.csc.com/aerospace_defense/insights/103853-aerospace_defense_the_challenges_ahead begins: "The aerospace and defense industry (A&D) has reached a pivotal point as it faces program cancellations, defense spending sequestration and only moderate market growth in aerospace...."

From our point of view, outsourcing and increasing automation have drastically changed the "good old days" of American industrial domination and "cost plus" aerospace contracts. As aerospace products become more sophisticated, the demands for quality have become more urgent. Incompetent and inefficient management add to workers' problems. Worst of all is the trend, encouraged by government officials, toward outright union busting!

Local 848 Members Have a Lot Going For Us

Compared to the most American workers today, many of whom are threatened with "WalMart" status, Local 848 members have considerable advantages. We are an extremely competent and seasoned workforce. We have legal union status and the backing of a great international union, including its legal department and political experts.

We just need to make a united effort to maintain the jobs that provide our decent standard of living.

Some Initial Possibilities

Triumph and Boeing management need to be convinced that their best work will be done in the present facilities. At the same time, we can help find new work in aerospace or even possibly in new areas such as the growing light rail mass transit, new forms of energy production, or even the bullet train between Dallas and Houston.

We are capable of working together toward a united effort to outreach the major decision makers. We can and should also outreach to our allies, including other working people and retirees, political figures, and community allies. Members can begin by sending their own ideas to President Ducker at james.ducker@uaw848.org or by giving messages to their steward. It will not be easy, but with a united effort, our fate is in our own hands.

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