Skyline of Richmond, Virginia

UAW Reaches Settlement Agreement with Chrysler, Fiat


UAW Reaches Settlement Agreement with Chrysler, Fiat

by James Parks, Apr 27, 2009

Just days before a federally imposed deadline, the UAW announced last night it had reached a settlement agreement with Chrysler, Fiat and the U.S. Treasury Department.

After rejecting Chrysler’s viability plan in February, President Obama gave Chrysler workers and the company a second chance, union officials said. This concessionary agreement, while painful, takes advantage of this opportunity, the union said.

The settlement agreement, subject to ratification by UAW members at Chrysler, meets the requirements of U.S. Treasury Department loans to the company. It includes modifications to the union’s 2007 collective bargaining agreement and the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association trust.

“We recognize this has been a long ordeal for active and retired auto workers, and a time of great uncertainty,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

The patience, resolve and determination of UAW members in these difficult times is extraordinary, and has made it possible for us to reach the agreement we will present to our membership.

In the face of incredibly trying circumstances, UAW Chrysler members have risen to the occasion, day in and day out, building top quality vehicles in a productive manner.

UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who heads the union’s Chrysler Department, says the ratification process must be finished by April 29. He says every stakeholder must step up to save the company.

Once again, our active and retired members are being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices in order to help Chrysler return to viability. In order for the company to have a sustainable future, all stakeholders will have to show the same willingness to contribute to the common good that has been demonstrated repeatedly by our membership.




CONTACT: Bette Phelan (202) 224-2441


WASHINGTON (April 27, 2009) - Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement in response to news today that General Motors (GM) plans to undergo a massive restructuring of its operations and financing:

“Our Senate offices continue to monitor the GM restructuring situation as it unfolds.

“We are in contact with senior GM and UAW officials both in Delaware and in Detroit.

“Our goal is to protect, to the best of our ability, the interests of Delaware, and especially the workforce at the GM plant on Boxwood Road.

“There is a remarkable spirit of labor-management cooperation that has infused virtually everything that happened at our GM plant for many years.

“It’s largely that cooperation that has enabled the Boxwood Road plant to survive while every other auto assembly plant on the East Coast has been closed over the past two decades.

“We will continue to work closely with company and union officials as well as with local and state offices to provide full support for the employees at the GM plant, their families and our entire community.”

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Welcomes Senator Specter’s Return to the Democratic Party and Will Continue to Encourage Him To Reconsider his Decision on the Employee Free Choice Act.


Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Welcomes Senator Specter’s Return to the Democratic Party and Will Continue to Encourage Him To Reconsider his Decision on the Employee Free Choice Act.

Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Bill George said today that working men and women of Pennsylvania are pleased with Senator Arlen Specter’s decision to re-join the Democratic Party which has traditionally been the party of working Pennsylvanians. “Working people are turned off by extremist slash and burn politics and intimidation which are dominating the Republican leadership and are inconsistent with the views of the working people of Pennsylvania and with the philosophy and style of Senator Arlen Specter. The majority of working men and women support moderation and fairness in finding common sense solutions to our problems. We look forward to continuing an open and honest debate with Senator Specter about the issues that matter most to working Pennsylvanians; putting America and Pennsylvania back to work in good jobs that sustain families and communities; quality, affordable health care for all; making it easier for workers who want a union to have one; and fair trade policies that protect and promote good jobs for working families and strong communities. The politics of fear and intimidation is a failure in the political arena and is a failure in our workplaces when workers try to organize unions to bargain for a better life. We will encourage Senator Specter to reconsider his decision on the Employee Free Choice Act and the Freedom to Organize without fear and intimidation by corporations and their hired union busters. We do not evaluate candidates based upon party affiliations. Our evaluations are based upon the voting records and positions of candidates on issues that matter most to working Pennsylvanians.” We will continue to evaluate Senator Arlen Specter’s future votes.

Specter Deserves A Democratic Primary Opponent


Specter Deserves A Democratic Primary Opponent

Most Pennsylvania Democrats are Democrats for good reasons. It is not because they like the letter “D’ more than the letter “R”. They are Democrats because they support the Democratic approach on a wide array of issues more than they support the Republican policy positions on those issues.

While I welcome Specter to the Democratic Party, I am not convinced that he holds mainstream Democratic values. His record and stated policy positions remain largely Republican.

Specter has made himself a major obstacle to passing the Employee Free Choice Act. He supported almost all the Bush agenda for 8 years. Without Specter, we probably would not have Alito and Roberts on the Supreme Court.

Specter has not protected American jobs leaving the country because of unfair “free” trade deals. He has done almost nothing to help get us out of Iraq. He has opposed government provided universal healthcare. He has opposed the vast majority of Democratic policy positions during his long political career.

Pennsylvania Democrats should have a real Democrat running as the 2010 Democratic Senate candidate. Specter is an honorable man but hardly the best choice to represent mainstream Pennsylvania Democratic values in the 2010 Senate race.

It is highly unlikely that the winner of the 2010 Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Primary will lose the general election. Pennsylvania Democrats do not have to compromise their values to take this Senate seat and should not be pressured into making such a bad choice.

Pennsylvania politics has shifted dramatically in a Democratic direction. Fielding a Democratic candidate holding a majority of policy positions that are Republican Right in nature would in my opinion be a betrayal of all those Pennsylvania Democrats yearning for real change. Specter with his current policy positions cannot deliver the change those voters desire.

Organized labor and the progressive community in Pennsylvania are very strong and growing. Specter offers almost nothing to either group. Local Democratic activists are not fans of Arlen Specter. The core of the Democratic coalition in Pennsylvania deserves to have a mainstream Democratic Senate candidate who reflects their values and supports their policy positions on at least 80 to 90% of the issues. Complete political purity is not required but Specter currently fails the minimum test.

Specter needs to change his positions on a wide array of issues before he is given a clear field in the Democratic Primary. He needs to move toward the center in a major way. No candidate opposing the Employee Free Choice Act, supporting right-wing federal judges or job-destroying “free trade” deals and the like should go unopposed in any Democratic primary election.

Pennsylvania largely reflects the general values of America. While a candidate with Specter’s policy positions would be a big improvement over Senators like Corker and Alexander of Tennessee, Shelby and Sessions of Alabama or Vitter of Louisiana, he is not really at the center of the American political spectrum on a vast majority of issues. Specter is close enough to the center to shift his positions on enough issues to win a Democratic primary but has not indicated any willingness to do so!

Working class and middle class Pennsylvanians deserve a Senate candidate with values and policy positions that fully embrace the changes promised by the Obama Presidency. Nobody including the Senate Democratic leadership, the Democratic National Committee or even President Obama should attempt to keep Pennsylvania Democrats from having a choice in the 2010 Democratic Senate Primary that fully reflects Democratic values. Senator Specter should have the opportunity to compete but the field should not be cleared of major league Democratic competitors.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party would be seriously harmed by any attempt to limit the field of Democratic Senate competitors in 2010. Union activists and progressives deserve an opportunity to field serious candidates who fully reflect their views. Specter does not currently fill that need although he can do so if he so desires by merely changing his policy positions.

Specter was definitely going to lose the Republican Senate Primary in 2010. It was in his interest to switch to the Democratic Party. However, adding a “D” after your name on a ballot does not make you a mainstream Democrat.

If Specter wants to win a Senate seat from Pennsylvania as a Democrat, he needs to become a mainstream Democrat. He is highly unlikely to do so without a strong Democratic Primary opponent. Certainly, Specter can be beaten in the 2010 Democratic Senate Primary by any serious challenger holding “real” mainstream Democratic values.

Written by Stephen Crockett (host of Democratic Talk Radio and Editor of Mid-Atlantic He can be reached by email at or by phone at 443-907-2367.

Democratic Talk Radio airs Thursday mornings on WGPA SUNNY 1100AM in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The mailing address for Democratic Talk Radio is: 698 Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, Delaware 19702.

Feel free to publish or reprint in full without prior approval.

Here’s How to Buy American-made Tires


Dear Stephen S. Crockett,

Last week the United Steelworkers sent out a press release about the filing of a major trade case against the flood of imported consumer tires from China that have led to thousands of job losses and a growing number of plant closings throughout the U. S. and in Canada.

In response to this news, many of you have asked how you can be sure that you are buying union-made, American or Canadian tires. Below is the information you seek, so be sure to look at the sidewall of the tires for the DOT codes. And thank you for asking!




The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all tires sold in the United States carry a code which shows, among other things, the company and plant that made the tire. The code would look like this: DOT BE XX XXX XXX (where the X’s stand in for numbers and/or letters that are not part of the plant ID code)

The two symbols (either two letters or a letter and a number) which follow “DOT” indicate the company and the plant where a tire was manufactured. For example, the above code indicates a tire made by B. F. Goodrich in Tuscaloosa, AL. The following is a listing of U.S. unionized tire DOT codes. By comparing this list to the code on the tire you are buying, you can be certain you are getting a USW-made tire.

Look for the following codes for union-made tires made in the United States: AN, BE, BF, CC. DA, DY, D2, E3, JJ, JE, JF, JN, JT, JP, MP, PL, MC, MD, MJ, MK, MM, PJ, PY, PT, PU, TA, UP, UT, VE, W1, YE, YU, Y7, 2C, 2M, 3M, 4D, 5D, and 8B.

Codes for tires made at the Goodyear plant in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada include: JU, PC and UK.

In addition to company brands, these codes will also appear on “Associate Brand” and “Private Brand” tires manufactured at the USW-represented plants. The key, then, to being sure of getting a USW-made tire is the DOT code. Be sure and check it with this listing.

Philadelphia May Day Celebration!



Since May 1, 1886


Elmwood Park @ South 71st St. and

Buist Ave. in Southwest Philly (19142)


➢ Pat Eiding – President, Philadelphia AFL-CIO

➢ Tom Paine Cronin – Director, Comey Inst. of Industrial Relations @

St. Joe’s Univ./Pres. (Ret.) AFSCME DC 47

➢ Cathy Brady – SEIU Healthcare PA / Friends of Elmwood Park

➢ Kathy Black – President, Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW,

Philadelphia Chapter)

➢ T. J. Buonomo / Aaron Hughes – Iraq Veterans Against the War

➢ Rev. Chester Williams – President, National Alliance of Postal and

Federal Employees Local 509

➢ Royce Adams – International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA)

Local 1291

(Other Labor and Community Speakers • Music to be Announced)

Sponsored by: The Pennsylvania Labor History Society (PLHS) and the

Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH)

For more info: Contact us at 215-301-2633 or

“MAY DAY” is the Global Day to

Honor All Workers. Come and Learn

of the True American History of MAY

DAY and The Connection to The

Historic Struggle for The 8 Hour Day.

Sponsoring Organizations

PA Labor History Society


Supporting Organizations

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) D.C. 47

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1723

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2187

American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Tn-County local and the APWU Bulk Mail Center

The Battle of Homestead Foundation

Brotherhood of Maintenance and Way Employees (BMWE) Local 2910

CATA (Farm Workers Support Committee, S. Jersey, S.E. PA, DelMarVa Peninsula)

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) Phila., Chapter

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) National

Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) Phila. Chapter

Communications Workers of America (CWA) Dist 13, Phila. Area

Delaware Valley Veterans for America

Jewish Labor Committee

Kaolin Mushroom Workers Union

Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU)

League for Industrial Democracy (Johnstown Pa.)

Lehigh Valley Building Trades Council

National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees (NUHHCE/AFSCME), District 1199C

National Writers Union (NWU) Phila.

New Jersey Industrial Union Council

The Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO

Pennsylvania Federation, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division/IBT

Pennsylvania State Education Association, Southeastern Region

Pennsylvania State Education Association, Staff Association

Philadelphia AFL-CIO (Retirees Chapter)

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (Retirees Chapter)

Philadelphia New Sanctuary Movement

Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network (PRAWN)

Social Democrats USA (Johnstown Pa.)

Student League for Industrial Democracy (Johnstown Pa.)

United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers of America Local 155

United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 10-234

Young Social Democrats USA (Johnstown Pa.)

To have your organization listed, pass the MAY DAY Resolution

on our website ( and contact us