January 27, 2015
Autoworker Retirees Take Action
The North Texas UAW Area Council meeting is not the largest retiree meeting, but it is critical. Leaders of several Autoworkers retiree clubs meet at 10:30 on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at UAW 276 hall, 2505 W.E. Roberts in Grand Prairie. They invite all UAW retirees. The January 27th meeting elected George Cummings as First Vice President and Michael W Music as 2nd Vice President. President Mary Holomek swore them in with the oath from the UAW constitution.
Financial Secretary Brenda Warner, who is also a Vice President of TARA, called for a discussion of increasing the organization’s finances. Several good ideas came forward, and President Holomek put in a call to UAW Region 5 Retiree Rep Gary Style for advice.
As each local union gave their report, the entire group was invited to their monthly luncheons. All Autoworker unions are encouraged to have retiree chapters and monthly luncheons.
I gave a report from the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans. On the previous day, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had written a majority report asserting that retiree health benefits are not deferred compensation. Workers have argued for decades that they could have negotiated wage increases instead of health care and pension benefits; consequently, both are “deferred compensation” and negotiated in union contracts. The Supreme Court is apparently trying to sweep away the legal basis for employer-provided health care, in my opinion.
I also remarked on the U.S. Congress’ effort to isolate the disability part of Social Security, and their previous efforts to privatize Medicare.
Several meeting participants plan to go to Austin for “Retiree Day” on our chartered bus. They will be turning in their deposit money by February 3. Everybody was interested in holding public events on the 50th Anniversary of Medicare, July 30. President Mary Holomek suggested we host an event on July 30 at the UAW 218 Hall in Hurst that day.
The organization took out their 2015 affiliation with the Texas Alliance and paid their $25 on the spot.
–-Gene Lantz, President
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