Wisconsin Assembly Rep Subeck’s Bill on Housing First for Homeless people

Representative Lisa Subeck, Wisconsin Assembly District 78, has this set of Bills to bring the Housing First concept into Wisconsin’s statutes, and thus introduce Wisconsin to the 21st century on questions of housing for persons who are under severe economic stress.

Housing First Package Release 5-08-17 Subeck

If you would like to see these bills now in their “Assembly Bill” form, go on Lisa Subeck’s official page and select the highlighted numbers.


6/7/2017: 2017 Assembly Bill 376
Relating to: eviction prevention grants.

6/7/2017: 2017 Assembly Bill 378
Relating to: a study of affordable housing financing.

6/7/2017: 2017 Assembly Bill 380
Relating to: providing housing vouchers to individuals and families on a waiting list under the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program.

6/7/2017: 2017 Assembly Bill 377
Relating to: transitional housing grants and making an appropriation. (FE)

6/7/2017: 2017 Assembly Bill 379
Relating to: case management services for recipients of federal housing choice vouchers.


Dimensions of Homelessness in Stevens Point, WI

At our September meeting of Central Wisconsin Green Party, we invited two people who know the most about homelessness in our city and school district. We heard from Tiffani Krueger of the Evergreen Community Initiatives, who organized and ran a warming center for homeless folks last winter, and will do so again this winter. And we learned a lot form Jerry Gargulak, School Psychologist for Stevens Point Area Schools, a District with over 7,400 students (School District’s “Third Friday Count for 9/16/16).

Here are a few video segments of the discussion that night, with some ideas on how to proceed to meet the unmet needs for affordable housing in our County.

The numbers: dimensions of the problem

Part 2: How the credit industries contribute to the problem (The “Credit-Score Problem”)

Part 3: What are viable alternatives in the community?

Part 4: How can homeless people self-organize to rise up out of homelessness? Unions, co-operatives, mutual aid?

Sierra Club’s “Water for All” at Stevens Point, WI 5/17/17

Sierra Club brought their Water Quantity awareness paper to Stevens Point last Wednesday. Not directly related to CAFOs and their contamination, but more so related to the enormous water draws that many of these (animal or vegetable) Factories take out of our groundwater.

There will be about 4 or 5 of these video shorts from that presentation… this first one is the opening remarks from Portage County Executive Patty Dreier, and Bill Davis, Exec. Dir. of John Muir Chapter.


George Kraft, Professor of Water Resources and Director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education, UW-Stevens Point. On the impacts of huge numbers of high-capacity wells drawing from groundwater, upon the lakes, streams, and wetlands in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin.


Francie Rowe, Professor and Chair, Biological Sciences Dept., Edgewood College, Madison WI

At Sierra Club’s Water for All presentation on Wednesday the 17th, Carl Sindebrand explains the “Public Trust Doctrine” of water in Wisconsin.


Question & Answer period, after the presentation-part 1

Question & Answer Period, after the presentation – part 2
Portage County Board members Bobby Gifford on Citizens United/Corporate Personhood, Oligarchy vs. Democracy in Wisconsin; Vinnie Miresse, on the water users forum he has planned at Midwest Renewable Energy Association on June 16, 2017 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Green Party USA’s Platform on Foreign Policy

See if you can find differences between the Green Party’s stance on foreign policy, war and imperialism, in this platform, and the policies of the Democratic Party and Republican Party’s stances.  Timely, with events in Syria spiraling out of control.

1. Foreign Policy—Peace and Disarmament
(from gp.org)

  1. As one of the initiators and primary authors of the United Nations Charter, the United States is obligated to conform to the stipulations of the U.S. Constitution, which identifies all such agreements as treaties that hold the authority of U.S. law. The U.S. government is pledged to abide by its principles and guidelines in the conduct of foreign relations and affairs.
  2. We recognize our government’s obligation to take disputes with other nations or foreign bodies to the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly forum for negotiation and resolution. The U.N. and international laws, treaties and conventions that the U.S. has signed are the framework that controls U.S. military actions abroad.
  3. The U.S. must recognize the sovereignty of nation-states and their right of self-determination.
  4. We recognize and support the right of the U.N. to intervene in a nation-state engaged in genocidal acts or in its persistent violation and denial of the human rights of an ethnic or religious group within its boundaries, and the right to protect the victims of such acts.
  5. The U.S. is obligated to render military assistance or service under U.N. command to enforce U.N. Security Council resolutions.
  6. The U.S. must recognize and abide by the authority of the U.N. General Assembly to act in a crisis situation by passing a resolution under the Uniting for Peace Procedure when the U.N. Security Council is stalemated by vetoes.
  7. We seek the permanent repeal of the veto power enjoyed by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
  8. We urge our government to sign the International Criminal Court agreement and respect the authority of that institution.
  9. Our government does not have the right to justify preemptive invasion of another country on the grounds that the other country harbors, trains, equips and funds a terrorist cell.
  10. Our government should establish a policy to abolish nuclear weapons. It should set the conditions and schedule for fulfilling that goal by taking the following steps:
    • Declare a no-first-strike policy.
    • Declare a no-pre-emptive strike policy.
    • Declare that the U.S. will never threaten or use a nuclear weapon, regardless of size, on a non-nuclear nation.
    • Sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Our pledge to end testing will open the way for non-nuclear states to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which has been held up by our refusal to sign the CTBT. Honor the conditions set in the NPT for nuclear nations.
    • Reverse our withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and honor its stipulations.
    • End the research, testing and stockpiling of all nuclear weapons of any size.
    • Dismantle all nuclear warheads from their missiles.
  11. We urge our government to sign the Toronto treaty banning the production, stockpiling, use and sale of land mines, and assist other nations in unearthing and disabling land mines buried in their lands.
  12. We urge our government to end all stockpiling of chemical and biological weapons and all research, use, and sale of such weapons; and sign the convention that will establish the decrease and inspection of all nations’ stockpiles of such weapons, which the U.S. abandoned.
  13. The U.S. must allow foreign teams to visit the U.S. for verification purposes at least annually.
  14. Our defense budget has increased out of all proportion to any military threat to the United States, and to our domestic social, economic and environmental needs. The United States government must reduce our defense budget to half of its current size. The 2012 defense budget exceeded $700 billion, and that does not take into account military expenditures not placed under the defense budget.
  15. The U.S. has over 700 foreign military bases. We urge our government to phase out all bases not specifically functioning under a U.N. resolution to keep peace and bring home our troops stationed abroad, except for the military assigned to protect a U.S. embassy. Many of these bases are small and can be closed immediately. We advocate further reductions in U.S. foreign military bases at a rate of closure of 1/4 to 1/5 of their numbers every year.
  16. Close the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, in Ft. Benning, Georgia.
  17. The U.S. is the largest arms seller and dealer in the world. We urge our government to prohibit all arms sales to foreign nations and likewise prohibit grants to impoverished and undemocratic nations unless the money is targeted on domestic, non-military needs. In addition, grants to other nations may not be used to release their own funds for military purposes.
  18. The U.S. must not be a conduit for defense contractors to market their products abroad and must shift our export market from arms to peaceful technology, industrial and agricultural products, and education.
  19. The U.S. must prohibit all covert actions used to influence, de-stabilize or usurp the governments of other nations, and likewise prohibit the assassination of, or assistance in any form for the assassination of, foreign government officials.
  20. We must build on the Earth Charter that came out of the 1992 U.N. environmental Earth Summit. New definitions of what constitutes real security between nations must be debated and adopted by the foreign policy community.

2. A Real Road to Peace in the Middle East

The Green Party of the United States recognizes that our greatest contribution to peace in the Middle East will come through our impact on U.S. policy in the region.

Our commitments to ecological wisdom, social justice, grass-roots democracy, and non-violence compel us to oppose U.S. government support for “friendly” regimes in the region when those regimes violate human rights, international law, and existing treaties. We call on congressional intelligence committees to conduct comprehensive public hearings on the development and deployment of weapons of mass destruction by all states in the region.

U.S. policy should support the removal and/or destruction of all such weapons wherever they are found there.


The Green Party supports the “joint comprehensive plan of action” signed in July, 2015 by Iran and the P5+1 (five permanent members of the UN Security Council: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States plus Germany), and the European Union, which confirms Iran’s status as a zone free of nuclear weapons. According to the United States National Intelligence Estimate, Iran halted an alleged active nuclear weapons program in the Fall of 2003. Iran, which has signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, has consistently called for a nuclear-free zone in the entire Middle East.

The “joint comprehensive plan of action” provides that in return for Iran upholding its agreements to rid itself of nuclear material as verified by inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), current economic sanctions by the US, European Union and UN Security Council will be lifted. The Green Party supports the swift elimination of these economic sanctions on Iran and looks to the normalization of relations between Iran and the United States. In keeping with UN resolutions call for a nuclear-free Middle East, the Green Party also calls on Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East with at least 200 nuclear warheads, to dismantle its nuclear weapons program and sign on to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict

Our Green values oblige us to support popular movements for peace and demilitarization in Israel-Palestine, especially those that reach across the lines of conflict to engage both Palestinians and Israelis of good will.

  1. We reaffirm the right of self-determination for both Palestinians and Israelis, which precludes the self-determination of one at the expense of the other. We recognize the historical and contemporary cultural diversity of Israeli-Palestinian society, including the religious heritage of Jews, Christians, Muslims and others. This is a significant part of the rich cultural legacy of all these peoples and it must be respected. To ensure this, we support equality before international law rather than appeals to religious faith as the fair basis on which claims to the land of Palestine-Israel are resolved.
  2. We recognize that Jewish insecurity and fear of non-Jews is understandable in light of Jewish history of horrific oppression in Europe. However, we oppose as both discriminatory and ultimately self-defeating the position that Jews would be fundamentally threatened by the implementation of full rights to Palestinian-Israelis and Palestinian refugees who wish to return to their homes. As U.S. Greens, we refuse to impose our views on the people of the region. Still, we would turn the U.S. government towards a new policy, which itself recognizes the equality, humanity, and civil rights of Jews, Muslims, Christians, and all others who live in the region, and which seeks to build confidence in prospects for secular democracy.
  3. We reaffirm the right and feasibility of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in Israel. We acknowledge the significant challenges of equity and restitution this policy would encounter and call on the U.S. government to make resolution of these challenges a central goal of our diplomacy in the region.
  4. We reject U.S. unbalanced financial and military support of Israel while Israel occupies Palestinian lands and maintains an apartheid-like system in both the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Israel toward its non-Jewish citizens. Therefore, we call on the U.S. President and Congress to suspend all military and foreign aid, including loans and grants, to Israel until Israel withdraws from the Occupied Territories, dismantles the separation wall in the Occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem, ends its siege of Gaza and its apartheid-like system both within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Israel toward its non-Jewish citizens.
  5. We also reject U.S. political support for Israel and demand that the U.S. government end its veto of Security Council resolutions pertaining to Israel. We urge our government to join with the U.N. to secure Israel’s complete withdrawal to the 1967 boundaries and its compliance with international law.
  6. We support a much stronger and supportive U.S. position with respect to all United Nations, European Union, and Arab League initiatives that seek a negotiated peace. We call for an immediate U.N.-sponsored, multinational peacekeeping and protection force in the Palestinian territories with the mandate to initiate a conflict-resolution commission.
  7. We call on the foreign and military affairs committees of the U.S. House and Senate to conduct full hearings on the status of human rights and war crimes in Palestine-Israel, especially violations committed during Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of Gaza (“Operation Cast Lead”) as documented in the 2009 “UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict”(“The Goldstone Report”) authorized by the UN Commission on Human Rights.
  8. We recognize that despite decades of continuous diplomatic attempts by the international community, it has failed to bring about Israel’s compliance with international law or respect for basic Palestinian human rights; and that, despite abundant condemnation of Israel’s policies by the UN, International Court of Justice, and all relevant international conventions, the international community of nations has failed to stop Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in Israel and the OPT, while Israeli crimes continue with impunity. We recall that ending institutionalized racism (apartheid) in South Africa demanded an unusual, cooperative action by the entire international community in the form of a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against apartheid South Africa, and that BDS can become the most effective nonviolent means for achieving justice and genuine peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and for the region, through concerted international pressure as applied to apartheid South Africa; and that Palestinian resistance to ongoing dispossession has mainly been nonviolent, including its most basic form—remaining in their homes, on their land; and that while Palestinian armed resistance is legitimate under international law when directed at non-civilian targets, we believe that only nonviolent resistance will maintain the humanity of Palestinian society, elicit the greatest solidarity from others, and maximize the chance for future reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. However, we also recognize that our appeal to Palestinians to continue to resist nonviolently in the face of ongoing existential threats from Israel is hypocritical unless accompanied by substantial acts of international support. We recall that in 2005, Palestinian Civil Society appealed to the international community to support a BDS campaign against Israel, and that in response the Green Party of the US endorsed this BDS campaign in 2005. Therefore, we support the implementation of boycott and divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era, which includes pressuring our government to impose embargoes and sanctions against Israel; and we support maintaining these nonviolent punitive measures until Israel meets its obligation to recognize the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by
    1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Palestinian lands and dismantling the Wall in the West Bank
    2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
    3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
  9. We recognize that international opinion has been committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet, we view the two-state solution as neither democratic nor viable in the face of international law, material conditions and “facts on the ground” that now exist in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Given this reality, we support a U.S. foreign policy that promotes the creation of one secular, democratic state for Palestinians and Israelis on the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan as the national home of both peoples, with Jerusalem as its capital. We encourage a new U.S. diplomatic initiative to begin the long process of negotiation, laying the groundwork for such a single-state constitution.
  10. We recognize that such a state might take many forms and that the eventual model chosen must be decided by the peoples themselves. We also acknowledge the enormous hostilities that now exist between the two peoples, but history tells us that these are not insurmountable among people genuinely seeking peace.
  11. As an integral part of peace negotiations and the transition to peaceful democracy, we call for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission whose inaugurating action would be mutual acknowledgement by Israelis and Palestinians that they have the same basic rights, including the right to exist in the same, secure place.

When Kennedy & Nixon collaborated against the U.S. labor left

Source: faculty.ccbcmd.edu
Labor Studies Program
LBST 113 Grievance and Arbitration
UAW-GM Contract History

“. . .the man whose life is spent performing a few simple operations . . .generally becomes as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.”

Adam Smith, British economist

“Before 1933, General Motors had no dealings with labor unions except for a few craft organizations in the construction field. For this and perhaps other reasons we were largely unprepared for the change in political climate and the growth of unionism that began in 1933. One is inclined to forget that unionization in large industries was not then the custom in the United States. The significance of large-scale unionization was not yet clear to us. We knew that some political radicals regarded unions as instruments for the attainment of power. But even orthodox “business unionism” seemed to us a potential threat to the prerogatives of management. As a businessman, I was unaccustomed to the whole idea. Our early experiences with AF of L unions in the automobile industry were unhappy; the chief issue with these unions became organizational. They demanded that they represent all our workers, even those who did not want to be represented by them. Our initial encounter with the CIO was even more unhappy; for that organization attempted to enforce its demands for exclusive recognition by the most terrible acts of violence, and finally seized our properties in the sit-down strikes of 1937. . . .What made the prospect seem especially grim in those early years was the persistent union attempt to invade basic management prerogatives. . . .In the end, we were fairly successful in combating these invasions of management rights. . . .The issue of unionism at General Motors is long since settled. We have achieved workable relations with all of the unions representing our employees.”

Alfred P. Sloan. My Years With General Motors. (1963) pp.405-406

30 December, 1936–11 February, 1937–sit down strike of 44 days in Flint, MI, results in first National UAW-CIO-GM Agreement (handout)–under this agreement, the UAW had a period of six months to negotiate a full agreement, but the UAW-CIO was given exclusive representation rights for those plants which were named–open shop status was continued

In Flint, UAW Local 156 had 40,000 members, including GM, parts plants, dime store workers and bus drivers, as the UAW-CIO replaced GM as the dominant social force in the area

February 1937-June, 1937–GM claimed the UAW pulled 170 wildcat strikes as leaders in the shop struggled with foremen for departmental control–while GM officially refused to recognize the UAW-CIO informal steward system, in fact foremen bargained constantly over departmental issue (line speed, discipline)

Alfred P. Sloan:”our rights to determine production schedules, to set work standards, and to discipline workers were suddenly called into question.”

February-March, 1937–in negotiations with the UAW for a new contract, GM refused to recognize a shop steward system, insisting instead on a committeeman structure, in which a UAW-CIO committee person could represent 400 workers–at Chrysler, in contrast, a steward represented 20-30 workers

Walter Reuther, then a UAW-CIO Executive Board member, stated that a committeeman system is “far superior” to non-union status but not as strong as a steward structure

GM reorganized after the UAW-CIO sit down strike in three ways:

1. Created a new manufacturing practice, so that there would be at least three separate sources for each part, so that the union could not shut down the whole corporation, as it had during the original sit down strike, by seizing control of strategic facilities

2. Agreed to continued negotiations with the UAW-CIO on a longer contract only if the union leadership became “partners” in maintaining order in the shops

3. Foremen began to make it clear in each department that GM was willing to take a strike over the issue of production standards or the right to discipline

GM also expanded a campaign to maintain the loyalty of their foremen–for 10,000 foremen/supervisors, in 1934, were put on salary, but were also paid OT, even though exempted from the Fair Labor Standards Act; in 1941, a policy paid them at 25% above the rate of workers being supervised–also created the General Motors Institute where foremen were trained to be “tough but fair”

In the summer of 1937, there was a public reaction against sit down strikes, and even John L Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers and of the CIO, promised an end to the sit down movement, since it frightened the bosses in the steel, textile, aircraft and meatpacking industries, which the CIO was trying to organize

In the summer, 1937, the US. Supreme Court declared that sit down strikes were illegal

In the fall, 1937, the UAW-CIO leadership split and GM took advantage of the chaos by firing many union activists–GM also allowed outside forces, like the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Legion, to operate inside the shop, and encouraged followers of Father Charles Coughlin to challenge the leadership of the UAW-CIO

Under internal pressures, UAW-CIO President Homer Martin sent to GM President William Knudsen (who knew how to yell “hurry up!” in 18 different languages) an official letter, agreeing “That the corporation will be allowed to discharge or otherwise discipline union members known to be or guilty of instigating unauthorized strikes”–also agreed that the UAW-CIO would take disciplinary action against any member involved in sit down strikes

In November, 1937, Walter Reuther led a rank-and-file caucus to demand repudiation of this letter

Martin eventually reversed himself, but was also found to have been negotiating with Harry Bennett, of Ford, for recognition of a UAW-AFL organization, with Martin as president

In November, 1937, at Pontiac Fisher Body, conflicts between the union and the foremen (over speed-up, the collection of dues on company property and time, and the authority of foremen and stewards) led to a sit down strike of more than 500 workers–in a display of sheer power, GM fired four union leaders, using Martin’s letter for support, and then moved work to a non-union facility in Linden, NJ, laid off 1,350 workers and put the rest of the Pontiac shop on a four-day work week

1937 UAW-GM Agreement: In contract negotiations, GM finally agreed to a grievance procedure–in these negotiations, GM continued to insist on three basic management “rights”:

1. Determine production standards

2. The right to discipline

3. Also agreed to “seniority protection” for layoffs/recall but not for promotions, which would still be at the foeman’s discretion

Over the next 18 months, GM regained control, taking advantage of internal conflicts within the UAW-CIO, the Roosevelt recession (during which 25% of UAW-CIO members were laid off, and even more simply stopped paying dues), so the four Pontiac leaders stayed fired

January 17, 1938–UAW-CIO signed the letter with GM agreeing that company could discipline leaders of “unauthorized strikes”–Walter Reuther supported the signing of this letter

In 1938, GM centralized labor relations as Sloan created the Industrial Relations Department to regulate local negotiations and to develop long-range personnel policies–in this way, GM moved to take power away from foremen, and to move negotiations over shop issues off the floor

In 1938, GM also opened five new production facilities, including one in South Gate, CA, a suburb of “union-free” Los Angeles

March, 1938–UAW-GM Agreement–a new contract with GM, which Walter Reuther called “a wretched surrender to the corporation”–included in this contract were clauses which:

1. Reduced the number of committeemen so that each represented 400 workers

2. Reduced from four to two the number of hours which a committeeman could spend on grievances

3. Prohibited stewards from collective union dues on GM property

4.Allowed Homer Martin to exclude other UAW-CIO officers from meetings with management–allowed GM to basically pick and choose which UAW-CIO officer it wished to deal with, even though the NLRB provided that workers could be represented by representatives of their own choosing

January, 1939–factional struggle inside the UAW-CIO reaches a peak and Homer Martin is displaced by the officers of the CIO, and is replaced by R.J. Thomas as UAW-CIO President–George Addes continues as Secretary-Treasurer–

May, 1939–Walter Reuther becomes the head of the General Motors Department of the UAW-CIO–in GM, only 6% of all production workers were paying dues and in Flint, only 6,000 out of 42,000 workers were paying dues–in view of the union’s low membership, GM basically withdrew recognition of the UAW-CIO–Reuther began to rebuild the union, using a 3-point program:

1. A 30-hour work week with a guaranteed annual wage

2. A complete recognition of the steward system

3. Joint control over production standards

Reuther called it “power under control” and hoped to end wildcat strikes and to reestablish bargaining relationship with GM–with the internal conflict continuing inside the UAW-CIO, GM petitioned the NLRB for an election, claiming that it could not tell which union–if any!–represented its workers–Reuther shrewdly refused to agree to such an election and mobilized a work stoppage by the skilled trades, who were building the tools and dies for the 1940 models

July 5, 1939–work stoppage of 7,000 workers, closing many GM facilities–a demonstration of 12,000 workers surrounded GM headquarters–eventually, the factionalism led to 435 stoppages between 1937-1939

April, 1940–NLRB holds an election in 55 GM facilities–UAW-CIO gets 68% of 134,000 votes to represent 200,000 GM workers–while Reuther still wanted to build a steward system in GM, the impending war made a nationwide strike impossible

William Knudsen left GM to join the FDR administration and was replaced as President of GM by Charles “Engine Charlie” Wilson, who understood “responsible collective bargaining” with “responsible leadership”

1940 GM-UAW Agreement was the first real national contract, and allowed:

1. Exclusive representation for UAW-CIO

2. Right to collect dues on GM property by stewards, but stewards could not represent the workers

3. Company-wide wage standardization

4. No change in the committeeman structure, which continued a 1/250 ratio, although the committeemen were now given the “right” to move around the shop–Reuther desperately wanted a one steward/supervisor structure to “overthrow the small-time dictatorship of the foremen”–Alfred P. Sloan responded that any attack on the foremen was “a direct assault on basic management prerogatives,” so he insisted on a strong Management Rights clause

This demand was supported by Article 78–production standards represented GM’s world view of its power–Sloan insisted that all contract issue would now be resolved out of Detroit–”management by policy”

5. All grievances could now be arbitrated, and an umpire system, similar to the one used in the men’s clothing industry, was implemented--Sidney Hillman advised Reuther in this procedure–eventually, the selection of the umpires put Reuther in the middle between GM management and more militant rank-and-file members–also, many local managers and foremen simply ignored the contract, so the UAW-CIO was forced to look to higher management to pull local managers back into line

Umpires were called “contractual activists,” and often added new clauses to the contract, rather than simply interpreting the clauses

1941–Umpire George Taylor awarded for the first time, back pay in a discharge case–revoked GM’s policy of never paying a worker for “not working”–also allowed suspensions to replace discharges–in both areas, the umpire invaded GM’s management authority

Umpires’ decisions also strengthened seniority claims on promotions

Umpire Harry Shulman’s decision in 1944 (see handout) established a work-then-grieve procedure, directly attacking sit down strike movement (see handout)–also changes the position of the steward/committeeman (see Widick handout)

Umpires also invoked “the higher duty” of committeemen, with greater penalties, to prevent work stoppages–as part of “power under control,” Reuther centralized the GM Department and endorsed arbitration, moving power off the shop floor

GM continued to try to exclude issues, like line speed, discipline and piece work from the control of the umpires

World War II–increased pressure on UAW-CIO not to interrupt production–stoppages were called “unpatriotic”–note war issues in the Shulman award

March 27, 1946–Walter Reuther elected president of the UAW-CIO, with George Addes continuing as Secretary-Treasurer

1946--National UAW-GM Strike–issue raised by UAW leadership included “open the books” and a proposal that workers get wage increase but GM would not raise the price of automobiles–rejected by GM as “interference in the business”–part of post-war strike campaign by major unions

1946 national elections–brought conservative Republican majority to Congress, including new congressmen Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy and Joseph McCarthy, who denounced the CIO, and the UAW, as “communist organizations”

1946-47–strike by UAW Local 248 at Allis-Chalmers, in Milwaukee–company wanted to eliminate the steward system, as GM had done–as strike dragged into its eighth month, the Wisconsin Labor Relations Board scheduled a certification election for January 26, 1947–Reuther intervened and met with the company, and was accused by local union officers of trying to agree with company on stopping shop-floor militant unionism– while the UAW-CIO won this election, with a slight majority, congressmen Kennedy and Nixon scheduled hearings in Milwaukee for the House Un-American Activities Committee to “investigate” elected Local 248 leaders

April 24, 1947–CIO proposes massive work stoppage and demonstration, starting at 2 p.m., to show opposition to proposed Taft-Hartley legislation–this would be a “political strike” which the UAW-CIO had often pulled in the past–GM notified Reuther that any worker who left, even a few minutes early, would be disciplined–on April 22, Reuther met with the UAW-CIO Executive Board and refused to support a strategy to threaten GM with a “massive and concerted response” if any workers were disciplined on April 24

Reuther:”No board member, no matter how righteous he may feel about the cause, has the right to shut down a General Motors Plant as a counter measure of the company’s discipline.” (UAW-IEB Minutes)

Describe John Anderson episode

On April 25, GM fired fifteen local presidents and suspended more than 400 others, sending a wave of both fear and resistance throughout the GM membership–Reuther recognized that the grievance procedure would be futile, so on May 8, 1947, he agreed to send a letter to GM agreeing that April 24, 1947, was in fact an illegal work stoppage and promising that the UAW-CIO would never again call such a clearly political strike–in exchange, GM modified the penalties on their “hostages”

Passage of Taft-Hartley Act and Walter Reuther campaign for presidency of UAW create a politically conservative force, diminishing the union’s bargaining power

TREATY OF DETROIT–changed labor relations in the U.S. after 1948

April 20, 1948–Walter Reuther shot in his home

June, 1948–UAW-GM National Agreement–Sloan claimed that he had planned a major change in labor relations in 1940 but was unable to propose it until after WWII, so GM’s offer was an Annual Improvement Factor (AIF) of 2%, which was a “credit” to workers for increased productivity, plus a quarterly cost-of-living, as part of a two-year agreement–GM stated that it wanted to “pay for predictability,” moving toward long-term agreements at a time when one-year contracts were the standard

The union had propose substantial changes to Article 63(b), the seniority provision–GM gave the UAW a 55-page brief defending management rights on this single clause–called “the monumental NO” by UAW-CIO negotiator Art Johnstone, temporary head of the GM Department of the UAW-CIO–company negotiator Harry Anderson remarked that GM “had conceded no ground whatsoever on fundamental principle matters which would have the tendency of watering down management’s responsibility to manage the business.”

GM was proactive on production controls, and GM executives were hired away to other auto firms to spread the “GM way”–GM began to increase line speed, creating more productivity this way rather than by the introduction of new technology

Reuther dismissed Saul Wallen, the UAW-GM Umpire, because Wallen had supported GM for disciplining shop leaders for “talking back” to their foremen

May, 1949–the famous speed-up strike by UAW-CIO Local 600 at the Ford River Rouge plant–workers had voted to strike over production standards but Reuther felt such a strike would disrupt national negotiations over the pension issue–when B Building walked out, Ford fired fourteen committeemen held responsible, then 62,000 workers closed the whole facility in protest of the discipline–Ford executives complained that wildcat activity undermined national negotiations, so the dispute was submitted to Umpire Harry Shulman for resolution

1950 UAW-GM National Agreement–for the first time, a five-year agreement, which included a pension, company-paid health insurance and the union shop–created a private welfare system for G.M. workers, blocking the union’s political campaign for national health insurance, and putting enough money on the table so that issues of control were no longer important to the UAW–Reuther called this contract “the most significant development in labor relations since the mass production industries were organized.”

1952–in spite of the contract, GM agrees to an economic re-opener in view of heavy inflation related to the war in Korea

1955 UAW-GM National agreement–included provision for the Guaranteed Annual Wage (GAW), even though GM wanted to offer stock ownership instead–GM had allowed workers to “borrow” from a fund in times of unemployment–GM had regained absolute control over “production standards, work schedules and job assignments that most corporate officials felt they had lost during the union drives of the 1930s–created an increased level of wildcat strikes

Reuther stated:” We will not go the bargaining table as just a routine matter of another bargaining session. We are going there knowing that this is a crusade–a crusade to gear economic abundance to human needs. We plan to give management a little bit of the vision that we have.” (Statement to UAW Convention, March 27, 1955)

UAW, now part of the merged AFL-CIO, found that protests had shifted to the grievance procedure, so that by 1958 negotiations, more than 11,000 unresolved grievances existed–in addition, in 1958, it was the most severe recession since 1938, and there were more than 300,000 unemployed auto workers and nearly 900,000 unsold cars

1958 UAW-GM National Agreement–”no social pioneering” –when the UAW was unable to reach agreement, it allowed the contracts to expire in May, 1958, while the workers kept working–it was almost like a return to pre-1936, as more than 90% of autoworkers voluntarily paid dues, committeemen processed grievances and the auto companies did not try to decertify the UAW

Lemuel Boulware of General Electric had established new management bargaining techniques, which the auto companies followed–a symptom of country-wide anti-unionism, which continues to 1999

Negotiations at Chrysler were most important, as that company decided to eliminate steward system and crack down on wildcat strikes, although Reuther feared that the company would go out of business–begins a pattern of “concession bargaining” by companies which were, or claimed to be, in financial distress

Bargaining becomes more narrow and routine, focusing on economic issue and on job security issues, but the causes of control slipped away.

Recommended reading:

Nelson Lichtenstein. Walter Reuther: The Most Dangerous Man in America

Wyndham Mortimer. Organize: My Life as a Union Man

Henry Kraus. The Many and the Few

Heroes of Untold Story

“We the People 2.0” Filmmaker Leila Conners Interviewed

Leila Conners has a new documentary out, all about the community rights movement in the USA. The title is “We the People 2.0” and it is being rolled-out in screenings around the country during this spring season 2017.

Here are some video snips from a long interview by Wes Clark, Jr. on his show. They’re broken out into 5 or 6 minutes segments, with a particular aspect of the community rights struggle highlighted.

Pt. 1 – Poor communities as sacrifice zones

We The People 2 0 Interview Pt 2 People Want it to be OK
We The People 2 0 Interview Pt 3 A lot easier to buy off a State House

We the People 2 0 Interview Pt 4 Corporations are Not People


Our Revolution-WI Intro Meeting, Stevens Point

Joel Rogers introducing Our Revolution-WI to a crowd of about 50-60 at the Portage County Library, Feb 11 2017.  Part 1

Joel Rogers introducing Our Revolution-WI to a crowd of about 50-60 at the Portage County Library, Feb 11 2017.  Part 2

Joel Rogers introducing Our Revolution-WI to a crowd of about 50-60 at the Portage County Library, Feb 11 2017.  Part 3