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An excuse to destroy unions?

outsourcing


<p>UAW Local 287 member Billy McIntosh and family members at their home in Indiana. PHOTO: BRIAN BOURFF / UAW LOCAL 933</p>

UAW Local 287 member Billy McIntosh and family members at their home in Indiana. PHOTO: BRIAN BOURFF / UAW LOCAL 933

Each night when Billy McIntosh pulls into his driveway after work, he pauses to look up at his house and wonders if he’ll be able to keep it.

It’s not an uncommon question on a lot of people’s minds these days. But for McIntosh and the other 500 members of UAW Local 287, it’s certainly a more urgent one.

The workers, who make transfer cases for the Ford F-150 and Ford Explorer at a Borg Warner plant in Muncie, Ind., learned in February 2007 that their plant would be closed and their work moved to Mexico.

“They just came out with this, bam, we’re closing the plant, nothing leading up to it,” said McIntosh, the local’s vice president. “They’re telling us they can’t be competitive unless they’re paying Third-World wages.”

In their last contract members agreed to cost-savings measures worth millions of dollars in the hope of keeping the plant open. “I think ‘being competitive’ is an excuse to destroy the union,” said McIntosh. “The company’s making record profits, and our plant has been one of their main money makers.”

Borg Warner plans to close the facility in April 2009. Workers will be eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a program that provides extended unemployment and job training benefits to people who have lost their jobs to trade deals. President Bush and congressional Republicans have proposed funding caps and regulatory changes that would make it harder for workers to qualify for benefits.

As the TAA program now stands, McIntosh and his coworkers will be eligible for unemployment benefits for up to two years as long as they’re in school. Last fall, congressional Democrats tried to increase funding for the TAA program and extend its coverage to public-sector workers. The legislation passed in the House but was blocked by Senate Republicans.

Local 287’s bargaining committee is also pushing the company for a fair severance deal that recognizes workers’ contributions to Borg Warner. If an adequate package is negotiated, McIntosh, who has 25 years at the plant, plans to go to school to become an electronic systems technician. He hopes that with the training he can find a job at an area telephone or cable company.

“My faith is in God, but I have to be realistic,” says McIntosh. “Without a buyout, and with me being 50, what am I going to do?”

His wife of 17 years, Jama, cleans classrooms at Ball State University. She doesn’t earn the kind of wages her husband does but “it’s decent,” and her job will provide a basic level of health insurance for the family after the plant closes.

The couple has a 15-year-old son, Will, as well as three adult children.

“I’m most worried about my son,” says McIntosh. “In three years he’s going to be in college. If the plant stayed open, I would be able to pay for it. That’s what I worry about the most. He’s first.

“And I worry about the economy in Muncie because we’re the last big manufacturer here, and it’s going to devastate our community.”

As a member of the local chaplaincy committee, McIntosh spends a good part of his time counseling his fellow workers.

“There are a lot of workers who are not as blessed as I am. They just have the one income,” he says. “People out here are really stressed. A lot are not handling it well.

“It’s just a sad thing in America today. Companies just have to get richer and richer no matter what. And they’re wiping out the middle class,” says McIntosh.

McIntosh says there’s nothing “free” about free trade. “NAFTA is killing this country, and some representatives and senators are finally admitting it wasn’t what they thought it was going to be.”

That’s the opening McIntosh thinks workers need this election year. Wrong-headed trade policies, he says, will continue to destroy jobs and communities unless working people become more politically engaged.

“A lot of people don’t take it seriously because they think all politicians are alike,” he says. “I don’t believe that. Republicans do not take care of working people. I just think that as a country we need to make politicians accountable – and that’s Democrats, too.”

“I believe we can get it turned around. If we can get the right president in there, we can start a reversal,” he says of the job-killing trade agreements. “I’m very hopeful.”

Action alert

Free trade agreements have caused real pain for millions of American workers and their families. During the 14 years NAFTA has been in place, U.S. trade deficits with Canada and Mexico have soared, and the auto trade deficit has more than tripled. And now Bush wants passage of a NAFTA-style deal with Korea that would mean the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. auto jobs.

Do your part

Urge your representative and senators to insist that NAFTA be renegotiated to fix the many problems with this agreement and to stop the outsourcing of good-paying manufacturing jobs to Mexico. Urge Congress to oppose the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KOR-U.S. FTA).

For more information on NAFTA and other bad trade agreements we’re asking Congress to address, see the CAP section of the UAW’s Web site at www.uaw.org/cap/08/index.php.

Take our country back

our marching orders


Photo: BY RICK REINHARD
Photo: BY RICK REINHARD

It was too long coming, but President Bush finally had to concede in January that things aren’t going so well for ordinary Americans. Even so, it was only after world markets began behaving badly in response to the U.S. credit crunch that the administration started talking about ways to pump some life back into the ailing economy.

We could say (and we do) better late than never. But working people have been feeling the squeeze for some time now – at the gas pump and the grocery store, and at the dining room table when they sit down to try to pay mortgage, utility and college loan bills.

The tough time facing working families were at the top of the agenda for more than 1,400 delegates to the UAW Community Action Program (CAP) Legislative Conference who gathered in Washington in February to plan the union’s 2008 political agenda.

CAP delegate Pete Miller, a UAW Local 12 member who works at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio, said it’s important to focus on making opportunities available for future generations.

“My parents came from middle-class backgrounds, and they were able to go to college,” said Miller. But will their grandchildren be able to do that?”

“There’s a huge disconnect between what’s going on in Washington and what’s going on in the rest of America. That’s why we’re here this week. We’re going to bring back the American Dream,” he said.

Median household income fell between 2000 and 2006, while the cost of food and fuel have gone up every year since 2003. People are falling further behind and many are no longer even getting by, as evidenced by the rate of home foreclosures and accumulated credit card debt in the last few years.

While the tax rebates settled on by Congress and the Bush administration in February provide a much-needed injection of cash into the economy, the larger problem with the stimulus package is that it can’t go far enough to right the wrong policies that put us here in the first place.

Tax cuts for the rich and spending on the war in Iraq have meant there’s little left for investing in the creation of new jobs, education and programs that help build the economy. And seven years of Bush’s anti-union labor board have kept millions of American workers from exercising their right to join a union, the surest way to achieving good wages and economic security.

Bad trade deals have cost U.S. workers 3 million jobs. That includes thousands of UAW members like Billy McIntosh and his co-workers at Borg Warner in Muncie, Ind. The company announced in 2007 that it will close the plant next year and move the work to Mexico. (See story on page 16.)

At the same time another 4 million workers lost their health insurance between 2000 and 2006. They are people like Rachel Kearney, who has been denied a policy by insurance companies because she has a kidney disease. (See story on page 18.) Rachel’s father, Tom Kearney, was a CAP Conference delegate. He’s pushing for a national health care plan, so his daughter and others would never be left without health care.

Fair trade, labor law reform and investing in high-paying U.S. jobs are also top UAW priorities in 2008. Union members met with their lawmakers to discuss these issues and other economic problems working families are confronting and pledged to step up their game this year to elect a president and legislators who will put people first.

“Brothers and sisters, the change that we need is to take our country back on behalf of hard-working Americans who made it great in the first place,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, opening the conference. “That’s our directive. That’s our marching orders.”

Pamela Powell, a delegate from UAW Local 849, Automotive Components Holdings in Ypsilanti, Mich., said she understands that sometimes people feel helpless when it comes to trying to effect change on a national scale. But by working together, union members can help each other and help the whole country. “If we all work together, collectively we can do a lot. Even if it’s just one thing, if everyone does it, it builds and really makes a difference.”

Gettelfinger said the kind of change the union seeks is a direct challenge to the forces of wealth and privilege in the country.

“They will strongly resist our efforts. But we’ll be ready,” he said. “We’ll be ready because every single one of us is committed to working as hard as possible to win this election on behalf of working people.”

From the readers


Focus on the doughnut

Just the thought of labor unions causes some naysayers to shudder. They find it difficult to see the positive side of things with labor-management practices that have proven beneficial to the competitive success of our country.

H.L. Mencken, an American writer from the early 20th century, satirized American society for its anti-intellectualism and emphasis on conformity. Such present-day nabobs in our community can look at a sugar-coated doughnut and only see the hole.

Sitting down together openly discussing ways to promote productivity and establish trust and harmony between labor and management seems to be a successful remedy toward solving negotiating issues.
I’m perplexed as to why the thought of labor unions continues to have a negative effect on some people. Let us focus on the doughnut and not the hole by looking at the labor movement’s most significant accomplishments, such as the National Labor Relations Act. It’s evident that strides were made by labor unions to protect the interests of all employees, whether union members or not.

John Sanchez
UAW Local 600 retiree
Traverse City, Mich.

Protecting everyone’s rights

Last October, I lost my partner to cancer. A member of UAW Local 879, Dan worked at the Ford Motor Co. plant in St. Paul, Minn.

In 16 months, his medical bills were nearly $300,000. If it hadn't been for the union’s health care plan, we would have probably lost our home. The monthly survivor benefits I receive are a huge help.

Congratulations, UAW, for recognizing and protecting the rights of same-sex couples.

Jon Raymond
St. Paul Park, Minn.

Sticking together

Article 41, Section 2 of the UAW Constitution states, “It shall be the duty of each member to render aid and assistance to brother or sister members in case of illness, death or distress, and in every way acquit her/himself as a loyal and devoted member of the International Union.”

Last fall the call came out from a union sister with a leaky roof who needed a temporary cover before the rains came. She wasn’t able to do it herself because of a back injury from a car accident, plus she wasn’t fond of heights. The next day five members of our local union showed up to help and worked hard to get the job done.

Sticking together and helping each other out – that’s what solidarity is all about.

Keith Fink
UAW Local 3520
Mooresville, N.C

Wray McCalester is the UAW

For all he does to help the homeless, the working poor and the uninsured,


As the minister of a small church in northern Indiana, UAW Local 2209 retiree Wray McCalester could see the need for a free health clinic. So he started one. PHOTO: MARK GEVAART / UAW LOCAL 2209
As the minister of a small church in northern Indiana, UAW Local 2209 retiree Wray McCalester could see the need for a free health clinic. So he started one. PHOTO: MARK GEVAART / UAW LOCAL 2209

After all those years working at the General Motors Fort Wayne (Ind.) Assembly plant, UAW Local 2209 member Wray McCalester was looking forward to retirement so he could do whatever he wanted.

It turns out what he really wanted to do after 31 years with GM was open a free health clinic for the homeless, working poor and uninsured in his tiny community of Wolflake in northern Indiana.

“The UAW has been great for me and my family, and it has benefited the community in more ways than it knows,” he said. “But as pastor of a small United Methodist Church here, I could see all the people who were coming in looking for health care. There’s no doctor, and many people don’t have insurance or the transportation to get to the next town where there is a doctor.”

Since last November, McCalester and a team of 45 volunteers – including eight doctors and nurse practitioners, 15 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, and the rest clerks and housekeepers – have been keeping the Wolflake Free Medical Clinic open from 1-8 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. The clinic operates out of several rooms in a former hospital that closed more than 50 years ago and became a museum.

Most UAW members would never have heard McCalester’s story or the dozens of other stories from UAW members if it wasn’t for the new “I Am the UAW” Web site and TV advertising campaign.

The union’s new broadcast, cable and Internet advertising campaign tells the story of the UAW by telling the stories of individual UAW members.

The Web site, www.IAmtheUAW.org, is the union’s way of letting Americans know that UAW members not only live and work in their communities but are their friends and neighbors, too. Every day UAW members work to improve their workplaces and communities, and the Web site is one way of sharing the stories that come out of that activism.

One person who heard about the union’s new public relations campaign was Brett Molitor, a UAW member and Employee Development Trainer at GM’s Fort Wayne plant.

“After I heard about the campaign from a union meeting, I went immediately to the Web site,” he said. “Indiana is not very union friendly. The I Am the UAW campaign seemed like a good way to put a face to union people.”

The first face that came to mind was that of his buddy, Wray McCalester. Molitor took advantage of the opportunity offered by the Web site to tell the retiree’s inspiring story of helping others.

“I would like to tell you about a new retiree … (who) has started a new FREE clinic in his community. He said when he retired his top goal … was to do this,” Molitor wrote online.

McCalester and the other free clinic volunteers are devoted to helping the working poor in northern Indiana with their dental infections, broken bones and high blood pressure. But they can’t wait for the day when their services are no longer needed.

“It’s shameful that a country as rich as ours doesn’t have national health care that covers everybody,” said McCalester, who’s also working to hasten the day when he can retire once more.

You can tell your story – or someone else’s – in text, audio or video. Simply click on IAmtheUAW.org.

From the president

It’s time for a change


For too long and in too many ways, working people have been getting a raw deal.

For most of his term in office, President Bush had support of a rubber-stamp Republican Congress. Together, they demonstrated in real and painful ways what happens when corporate interests control the agenda: lost jobs, lost homes, depleted resources and devastated communities.

Is this still the land of opportunity? Is this the American Dream?

It’s time to take back this country on behalf of the working people who made it great in the first place. It’s time to restore the American Dream for ourselves and our children.

UAW members from across the country hit the ground running in February at the 2008 Community Action Program (CAP) Legislative Conference. Delegates went to Capitol Hill and told legislators from both political parties that our country must tackle key issues, like putting a halt to bad trade agreements that benefit big business but hurt workers in all countries.

UAW members also insist that our nation pay immediate attention to the 47 million Americans with no health insurance. Members of our union have always believed that health care should be a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it.

We also told members of Congress that it’s time to end threats by employers against workers who are trying to form a union. It’s time to restore the National Labor Relations Act to its original purpose: protecting workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively for better jobs.

The results of the primary elections show that the vast majority of Americans agree: Our country needs a fundamental change in direction. Although our union has not yet made an endorsement in the presidential race, we have two excellent candidates to choose from.

By contrast, John McCain, the likely Republican nominee, is bad news for America and American workers. He thinks, for example, that NAFTA was a terrific idea. Instead of fighting to preserve American jobs, he bluntly says: The jobs aren’t coming back. He also says we might be in Iraq for 100 years, supports privatization of Social Security and wants to make Bush’s unfair tax cuts for the rich permanent.

His record is just as bad when it comes to workers’ rights. He has voted against the Employee Free Choice Act, which would help restore the right to organize; raising the minimum wage, which would help lift working poor out of poverty; and extending unemployment benefits, which could help laid-off workers stay in their homes and help stabilize local economies in these hard times.

The choice for change in the coming election will be clear. Our efforts will be strong and focused, because UAW activists know that every phone call we make, every door we knock on and every person we drive to the polls can make a huge difference.

Our active and retired members – and millions of working families – are counting on us. We will not let them down.

Ron Gettelfinger

Persistence pays off for Foxwoods workers; first-ever contract ratified with Mashantucket tribe

02/04/10

NORWICH, Conn. -- Having a first-ever union contract means more than a pay raise and improved health and safety and job security for Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand casino workers.

It also means members of UAW Local 2121 are now true partners in the future success of the largest U.S. gaming complex. On Jan. 29, casino workers, on a 1,053-355 vote, approved a two-year contract that establishes a model for the Native American-owned gaming industry.

It's all due to the persistence of c

UAW Local 2121 members vote on their contract.
UAW Local 2121 member Kim Jubrey casts her vote on the contract with Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise, which owns Foxwoods Resort Casino. The contract was ratified by a 3-to-1 ratio. Photo by Scott Sommer.
asino dealers who wanted a voice on the job and the union they asked to help guide them.

"We worked hard to get dealers a fair contract," said Yan Mei Shi, a six-year veteran dealer and member of the bargaining committee. "Dealers deserve job stability and fair treatment on the job, and this agreement is a great advancement."  

In the contract reached with the Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprise, workers will receive a 12 percent wage increase over two years, a more equitable distribution of tokes (tips) that is designed to lead to significant increases for the overwhelming majority of dealers, protections from second-hand smoke –- including a unique smoke-free 24-table section, among other improved benefits.

Foxwoods dealers asked the UAW for help three years ago. The road to this contract was difficult, but the UAW bargaining committee was up to the challenge.

"These workers stuck together for over three years, and it shows if you have the determination to win, it can happen, and workers united can succeed," said Bob Madore, director of UAW Region 9A, where Foxwoods is located. "The bargaining committee and dealers should be applauded for their perseverance in accomplishing a collective bargaining agreement under tribal law. This is a historic achievement.

"We will work wholeheartedly to let people know that this is a great place to come for a union-friendly, worker-friendly gaming experience," Madore added.

The agreement stops the erosion of full-time jobs with benefits by reducing the number of casual dealers, who will be promoted to regular part-time jobs with benefits. Workers also won a real and fair grievance procedure, and programs to reduce repetitive stress and a major extension of medical leave.

"We put a stop to the erosion of full-time jobs and fought to make sure more people have jobs with benefits," added Denise Gladue, a 15-year dealer. "There are a lot of safety issues like arm and shoulder injuries from dealing. This contract is the first step to address that and many other issues."

The UAW represents gaming employees at four casinos in Atlantic City, N.J., and three in Detroit, and has made a commitment to help casino workers everywhere to improve conditions at their workplaces.

"Dealers across the country have been watching this process, and we are confident that this agreement will serve as an inspiration to them," said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn, who directs the union's Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) Department.

"We look forward to working with the dealers at Foxwoods and MGM and dealers at other tribal casinos interested in improving their working conditions through a collective voice on the job."

 

 

Inside This Issue...

Features

    Union Front

      Departments

        Mar / Apr  2008

        Mar / Apr 2008

        Solidarity

        March-April 2008
        Vol. 51, No. 3-4

        International Union, UAW
        President: Ron Gettelfinger
        Secretary-treasurer: Elizabeth Bunn
        Vice presidents: General Holiefield, Bob King, Cal Rapson, Jimmy Settles, Terry Thurman
        Regional directors: Joseph Peters, 1; Rory Gamble, 1A; Duane Zuckschwerdt, 1C; Don Oetman, 1D; Lloyd Mahaffey, 2B; Maurice Davison, 3; Dennis Williams, 4; Jim Wells, 5; Gary Casteel, 8; Joe Ashton, 9; Bob Madore, 9A

        Public Relations and Publications Department
        Director: Roger Kerson
        Assistant director: Christine Moroski
        International representatives: Gwynne Marie Cobb, Sandra Davis, Emily Everett, John Hammond, Vince Piscopo, Joan Silvi, Sam Stark, and Solidarity editor Jennifer John, members of CWA/The Newspaper Guild Local 34022.
        Clerical staff: Susan Fisher, Pauline Mitchell and Shelly Restivo, members of OPEIU Local 494.


        The wit and wisdom of Doug


        “I suppose you could say I belonged to the union before I went to work because we talked about it all the time.”

        “I was a teenager in the Depression. I saw misery and despair. I was angry at the injustice of it all and it had an impact on me the rest of my life.”

        (On working in a 1930s auto factory)
        “The best way to describe it … there was no dignity. You couldn’t question any decisions and you couldn’t dissent.”

        “We’re willing to sacrifice, but only if there’s an equality of sacrifice – if every segment of the economy sacrifices equally. We’ve been saying for a long time that there is not a wage-price spiral at all now but a price-wage spiral.”

        “Workers must have a say in the corporate decision-making process that so affects their lives.”

        “Nothing's too good for the workers.”

        (In response to an economist in 1980 saying autoworkers should stop complaining about low-wage competition and take a big pay cut) “No one has a bigger stake in the fight to remain noncompetitive with foreign producers than the worker. … Competing on wages with countries that share only minimally the benefits of productivity with their workers can hardly be an appropriate national goal for America.”

        “The true spirit of our democratic society embraces the fundamental rights of workers to organize and to have safe and secure jobs in democratic workplaces.”

        (On passing the presidential gavel to Owen Bieber)
        “He had a hell of a time getting it out of my hand.”

        A daughter’s remembrances


        <p>Jeanne Fraser, center, with dad Doug and sister Judy</p>

        Jeanne Fraser, center, with dad Doug and sister Judy

        (Editor's note: Jeanne Fraser is Doug's youngest daughter. Her mother, Eva Falk, was Doug's first wife, who died in 1968. Jeanne, an OPEIU 494 member, has worked at Solidarity House, the UAW headquarters in Detroit, since 1963. Here are some fond memories of her father on various topics, as told to Jennifer John.)

        On coming to America

        He'd visited Scotland many times since coming to America when he was 6. We even had a Fraser family tartan plaid with our own crest.

        My dad remembered coming over. His mother was deathly ill the entire two-week trip on the ship. Once here he always wore knickers and kids at school teased him about them, so his mother got him pants.

        Oddly enough, dad always had a thing about tablecloths being on the table whenever we went out to eat. We never understood why until one day he told us about how he and his sister Sally used to sneak up to the ship's first class dining room, climb under the tables – covered with white tablecloths – and bring bread to their mother.

        On being in the Army

        He actually used to march my sister Judy and I into dinner. We thought he must have been a general or some big shot. Turns out he was only in the Army for nine months and he never left the states. He liked to joke that the war ended because he enlisted. He also talked about a bridge he helped build during the service. We always kidded him that we'd never, ever want to cross that bridge because frankly he wasn’t much of a handyman.

        On Walter Reuther

        To this day, dad said he dreamed about Walter, whom he considered his mentor. My father thought Walter was such a visionary, so ahead of his time. He often quoted Walter regarding the media saying, “You need to talk to the press because they never run out of ink.”

        On not becoming UAW president

        After Walter’s death, dad never politicked and never asked for a vote. He knew Leonard (Woodcock) had been there longer and was due. My dad narrowly lost the board's poll and withdrew his bid for the good of the union.

        On a possible bid for the U.S. Senate

        It's not what he wanted. His heart, his soul was the UAW.

        On becoming UAW president

        We were all in Texas for the UAW Convention. It meant the world to him to become UAW president. And, just like Walter did, he never sat down while a UAW convention was in session.

        On leadership

        He really believed that if you were secure in yourself, you should always treat people with respect no matter who they are, from janitors to heads of state. He loved people and being with them. But he never took advantage of his position, like cutting in line to get a table ahead of others. He just never did that sort of thing.

        On what she most admired about him

        His humanity. He used to say “always ask why” before you judge anyone. He taught me the importance of empathy.

        On his easy-going manner

        That was just him. When we were kids, he never raised his voice or a hand to us. He'd just raise his eyebrows. Like all of us, he had his faults, but he was a genuinely caring and loving man. He was so extraordinary.

        On retirement

        He loved teaching. Once he was lecturing at a college that was more conservative than most, and afterward several students came up to him and said he didn't fit their stereotype of a union leader: an overweight, cigar-chomping, foul-mouthed boss. Without missing a beat, dad said, “You just described Lee Iacocca.”

        On keeping life interesting

        He always looked forward to getting up every morning to read the New York Times because he said, “I knew there was always something that would p-ss me off and get my adrenalin going!”

        On his legacy

        As hard as it was and as much as he did during those Chrysler years with the strike and bailout – and he had many sleepless nights – he felt that was nothing compared to what was going on in the labor movement now, or to what Ron Gettelfinger had to deal with in the 2007 auto negotiations.

        On politics

        He loved politics and really looked forward to this year’s presidential election. In fact, at one of our last dinners together he made a toast and said he wanted to live at least until January 2009 to see a Democrat in the White House again.

        On dying

        Did he ever think about it? Yes. What did he think about it? He didn't want to.

        His example is one we all can follow

        Tributes


        The UAW president supports air traffic controllers in the PATCO strike.
        The UAW president supports air traffic controllers in the PATCO strike.

        Mr. Fraser devoted his life to improving the workplace by ensuring workers receive fair pay, enjoy job security and are in a safe environment. He believed everyone must be treated with dignity and respect at work, and his example is one we all can follow.

        Irvin D. Reid, president
        Wayne State University, Detroit

        He made you feel good merely by thrusting out his hand and greeting you with that beaming smile. The positive, uplifting impression he always conveyed, not only of himself, but also of the union he represented, will be with us forever.

        Theodore J. St. Antoine,
        UAW Public Review Board

        Doug was one of those labor leaders who transcends individual union boundaries.

        Leo W. Gerard, president
        United Steelworkers of America

        Doug’s work on behalf of our movement was extraordinary. He was a union builder who always had time to help not only the UAW, but the rest of us.

        Larry Cohen, president
        Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, CLC

        Doug was a fierce advocate for workers who certainly would strongly challenge corporations whenever he thought that was appropriate. But Doug also was a strong advocate for cooperative win-win efforts between business and labor, which was and is a UAW tradition.

        Larry Horwitz, president,
        The Economic Alliance for Michigan

        He worked to better the lives of all Americans on matters of great importance: health, working conditions, jobs, education and quality of life.

        Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.

        He was probably the most respected labor leader in America, and he had great political charm, as well as substantive commitment.

        Former Michigan Gov. James Blanchard

        Doug Fraser was a friend and a man of integrity who dedicated his heart and soul to working people. When he retired from serving his fellow UAW members, he went on to do the most noble thing: He taught others what he learned over his lifetime of service.

        Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm

        Ford Motor Co. will always owe Doug a debt of gratitude for the courage he showed during the 1982 contract negotiations in structuring an agreement that helped preserve the U.S. auto industry during tough economic times. He will be greatly missed.

        Bill Ford, chairman
        Ford Motor Co.