Wednesday, October 22, 2014

State of the Union October 22, 2014

October 22, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

• The Bargaining Committee is accepting resolutions for upcoming national negotiations now through December 12. Forms are available from your committee person or at the Union Hall and can be turned back into same. All resolutions (except redundant ones) will be submitted to the International Union.

• The Community Services Committee is holding a raffle to level the gifts for the annual Adopt-A-Child Program. Prizes are a $200 Ameristar Gift Card, a $100 Bear Creek golf club gift card and a $50 gas card. Tickets are $5 apiece or 3 for $10 and can be purchased from any committee member. Drawing will be Oct. 29 at 8 pm in the cafeteria.

• The Civil Rights Committee is having a meeting Wednesday, Oct. 22 between shifts in the cafeteria.

• The November production schedule is out and it features daily overtime (9.6 hours off the K-line) as well as two Saturdays – Nov. 8 and 22. Remember, all production schedules are subject to change. Tuesday, Nov. 4 is a holiday (election day) and Friday, Nov. 14 is the Veterans Day observance day. The Thanksgiving holiday is Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28.

• GM will be reporting 3rd quarter earnings this Thursday, Oct. 23, beginning at 7:30 am. To date we have accumulated $1750 in profit share. The concensus among analysts for GM’s 3rd quarter earnings is for slightly better earnings than last year’s 3rd quarter, which was $2.2 billion in North America. If the analysts are correct, then we could get another $2000 in profit share. While these analysts are often wrong (though never in doubt) GM did report their highest 3rd quarter sales since 1980 and had the highest average transaction prices in the US ever, lending credence to projections of improved financial performance.

• Our pickups are now showing up in dealer inventory, and are available for purchase with your employee discount. And how much is that discount? Here’s an example: A Colorado 2-wheel drive LT crew cab with the V6, 17” aluminum wheels, backup camera, 8” touchscreen, OnStar with 4GLTE, leather tilt/telescoping steering wheel, towing package and positrack that stickers for $30,805 is employee priced at $28,283.

• From President Van Simpson: We will be conducting phone banks at the UAW Local 2250 Union Hall and Region 5 for the upcoming elections. The phone banks will be held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:00-7:00 PM and on Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM this week and next week. We would greatly appreciate your participation! Please call the hall at (636) 327-5796 to let us know when you will be available to work to help get our Labor Friendly Candidates elected on November 4, 2014! We look forward to hearing from you!

• From Edmunds.com: Special-edition models, distinctive accessories and the possibility of performance parts are part of the business plan to woo buyers to the redesigned 2015 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck. Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet's truck marketing director, told Edmunds that special-edition models, a successful formula for the Camaro over the past years, will be applied once or twice a year during the Colorado's lifecycle to keep a buzz on the truck. "A lot of the folks on my [truck] team were working on the Camaro special-edition models and that certainly applies to trucks," Piszar said during a recent interview. "We have an enthusiastic owner base, you have a lot of competitive activity going on, and special-edition models are a great way to keep what we call 'new news' going in the showroom."

Piszar said a good example is the successful Rally Edition package available on the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup. The package adds a body-color grille with a black bowtie, black mirror caps and door handles, two wide black rally stripes on the hood and other equipment. Silverado pickups equipped with that package are hot commodities, selling within 20 days of arrival at a dealership. "There is a lot of excitement around it," Piszar said. "The dealers get excited. We are going to do the exact same thing with Colorado."

Duncan Aldred, Buick-GMC sales and marketing vice president, told Edmunds the 2015 GMC Canyon will follow a similar path. "We believe that is an important part of the lifecycle management for a truck in this space," Aldred said. "We will be doing that."

Piszar said Chevrolet is considering a wide range of performance parts for the Colorado, including intake and exhaust systems, brake kits and suspension systems. "These are all things that a lot of consumers consider or add when they buy a truck so we think there is an opportunity there for us to help them with that customization, right from the showroom floor," he said. No timetable was given as to when the performance parts might be offered.

However, both the Colorado and Canyon at launch are available with about 50 accessories that are specially designed for the pickups. For example, there are four different styles of assist steps, two separate tonneau covers, plus ladder racks, fender flares, and other equipment. "This is really the first truck that we have aligned our accessory offerings right at launch," Piszar said.

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119

Friday, October 17, 2014

October 16, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

• The Bargaining Committee is accepting resolutions for upcoming national negotiations now through December 12. Forms are available from your committee person or at the Union Hall and can be turned back into same. All resolutions (except redundant ones) will be submitted to the International Union.

• Beginning today and running through Monday, Oct. 20, you can submit an entry for the flu shot lottery (form located on back). Please fill out the form entirely and drop it in one of the Suggestion boxes located at the entrances. The plan is to create a schedule from the entries and begin giving out flu shots as soon as possible. We have 450 shots available, so that number of entries will be drawn in the lottery.

• The Community Services Committee is holding a raffle to level the gifts for the annual Adopt-A-Child Program. Prizes are a $200 Ameristar Gift Card, a $100 Bear Creek golf club gift card and a $50 gas card. Tickets are $5 apiece or 3 for $10 and can be purchased from any committee member.

• Davis Vision will be the provider of vision benefits for retirees through the VEBA trust. According to a statement from Davis, retirees will have coverage that will include eye exams and eyewear. No other details were available.

• The Detroit News recently had a wide ranging interview with UAW President Dennis Williams. The following are excerpts from that interview:
o In preparation for national negotiations, “We're shaking it up a little bit. We're actually restructuring internally. We know we have a lot to do — but we don't want to put so much on our plate that we can't achieve nothing."
o Regarding negotiations on wages, "We have to be focused on bridging that gap (between tier 2 and traditional employees). The companies need to recognize the fact that the (veteran employees) haven't had a raise”….. At the same time, Williams says, the union has to be "mindful that we are in a global economy with real competition."
o Speaking about meetings with the CEOs of the Big 3, they haven't been a "deep dialogue," he says. Rather, he characterized them as sessions to get to know each other.
o Williams said a strike is not inevitable next year in contract negotiations, despite suggestions by some observers. "We don't want to have a confrontation unnecessarily. I just think there's too much at stake for any of us to pick a fight with one another," he said. "We have big issues — there's no doubt about it — but I think, realistically, companies have to know... our members have sacrificed. I think that new people coming in want a higher standard of living and I don't think that's unreasonable. We'll find out when we get to the table."
o About the upcoming option for Michigan UAW members’ ability to opt out of the Union at the end of the current agreement because of the state’s right to work status, "This is new to our members, this is new to the state of Michigan — so we'll deal with it, but it's not going to be a total focus of mine." He said that in other right-to-work states, the union has been successful in retaining the vast majority of its members. "I've always believed that if you do your job representing people, that people will be there to support you."
o On organizing efforts at foreign transplants, "We're not going to give up on organizing. In fact, actually we have more organizing going on right now than we've had for a long time — but we're going to approach it in a different way.” Williams cited parts companies, the gaming industry and higher education as potential areas for new members. "The UAW has a great opportunity to grow," he said.

Official Flu Shot Lottery Entry Form
Flu shots are for regular active hourly and salaried employees. Please fill out the form below and place it in one of the Suggestions boxes located at the entrances no later than Oct. 20. Please enter only once. Lottery winners will be notified by their department advisors/supervisors. Shots will be given in the Medical Department.
PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY

NAME________________________________________________________________
DEPARTMENT NAME/NUMBER_________________________________________
GMIN_________________________________________________________________
SHIFT ________________________________________________________________
PLEASE CHECK ONE: Salaried Employee ( ) OR Hourly Employee ( )

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119

Monday, October 13, 2014

State of the Union October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

• Beginning today and running through Monday, Oct. 20, you can submit an entry for the flu shot lottery (form located on back). Please fill out the form entirely and drop it in one of the Suggestion boxes locate at the entrances. The plan is to create a schedule from the entries and begin giving out flu shots as soon as possible. We have 450 shots available, so that number of entries will be drawn in the lottery.
• If you have questions about the Apprentice Program, the Apprentice Committee will be at the Union meetings this week to answer any questions. Meeting times are 15 minutes after the longest 2nd shift line time from Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7:15 am, 1 pm and 15 minutes after the longest 1st shift line time
• National Diversity Day is this Wednesday, Oct. 15. Anyone interested in donating items for a 1-day display (German, French, Italian and Native American) can see Denise Black – 1st shift quality at 89 repair – or Larry Mosby on 2nd shift frame line.
• The Community Services Committee is holding a raffle to support the annual Adopt-A-Child Program. Prizes are a $200 Ameristar Gift Card, a $100 Bear Creek golf club gift card and a $50 gas card. Tickets are $5 apiece or 3 for $10 and can be purchased from any committee member.
• You may recall that van sales for September showed another healthy gain year over year. Once again we topped Ford in van sales, the 4th month in a row. Here’s how the rest of the players did:
  2014 2013 Change Share
GM 7544 6055 +24.6% 39.7%
Ford Econoline 5549 8925 -37.8% 29.2%
Mercedes Sprinter 2208 2152 +2.6% 11.6%
Ram Promaster 1408 ---- ---- 7.4%
Ford Transit 1225 ---- ---- 6.4%
Nissan NV 1061 945 +12.3% 5.6%
Ford Transit connect 4132 3188 +29.6% ----
Nissan NV200 1040 475 +119% ----

• Looking at van field supplies, overall net field stock was virtually the same, going up only 27 units. As measured in days, the supply stands at 44, compared to 31 days supply at the end of August. Within those numbers, Chevy passenger vans dropped to only 566 units, a 13 day supply, while GMC cargo vans increased by 400 units. All other categories were basically flat. Looking at pickup sales, there were actually 47 deliveries of the Colorado/Canyon last month. Toyota sold 11,993 Tacomas, up 4.5% while Nissan sold 6853 Frontiers, up 47%. Both Toyota and Nissan have been more aggressive with incentives lately as we launch the pickups, and their increased sales reflect that.
• National Right to Work advocates are angered over “scab lists” that have been published both at UAW Local 31 (Fairfax, Kansas) and UAW Local 1853 (Spring Hill, Tennessee). Local 31 lists non-dues paying members on its website while a list was distributed at the Spring Hill plant, according to the Washington Free Beacon. “The following individuals are NON-dues paying workers. They have chosen to STOP paying Union Dues and still reap the rewards of your negotiated benefits,” the Tennessee “Scab Report” said. “If you work near one of these people listed please explain the importance of Solidarity and the power of collective bargaining.” Tennessee union President Tim Stannard contended that the list was meant to encourage dialogue between union members and their non-union colleagues.

Official Flu Shot Lottery Entry Form
Flu shots are for regular active hourly and salaried employees. Please fill out the form below and place it in one of the Suggestions boxes located at the entrances. Please enter only once. Lottery winners will be notified by their department advisors/supervisors. Shots will be given in the Medical Department.
PLEASE PRINT CLEARLY
NAME_________________________________________________________________
DEPARTMENT NAME/NUMBER_________________________________________
GMIN_________________________________________________________________
SHIFT ________________________________________________________________
PLEASE CHECK ONE: Salaried Employee ( ) OR Hourly Employee ( )

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119

Friday, October 3, 2014

State of the Union October 2, 2014

October 2, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

SPECIAL EDITION


FROM CHAIRMAN MIKE BULLOCK:

I am proud to announce the start of the process to indenture apprentices at Wentzville Assembly center. Wentzville will be the pilot location for the return of the apprenticeship program at GM manufacturing.
The process is governed by Federal and State law and by the UAW/GM 2011 contract. It consists of 6 separate parts.
1) ANNOUNCEMENT: A posting at all the entrances and in Personnel for 30 days that GM/UAW will be accepting “requests for information” of an apprentice program opportunity. The dates for accepting the request are in the first posting. This posting will also be sent to the outreach locations listed below in the St. Louis area for non-seniority, non-GM candidates.
2) REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: For seniority employees, including anyone who will have attained their 90 days by December 19, 2014, requests will be available at the entrances starting November 3, 2014 and will be received through November 26, 2014. There will be drop boxes at the entrances for GM/UAW seniority employees. For non-seniority/non-GM employees, requests will be available at the below listed outreach locations or the entrances and received from November 3 through November 14, 2014 by mail.
3) ORIENTATION: For all UAW/GM seniority employees and for the 100 non-seniority/ non-GM candidates selected by DDI who requested information, you will be sent a notice of an orientation session that will tentatively be between December 16-19, 2014. You must attend the orientation session on the date and time you are scheduled for. If you miss this orientation session you will have to start the process over again from the beginning. At the orientation session you will be given your testing date and time, tentatively in January 2015. Also at the orientation session you will be given the web address and password of a website that will give you further information on the apprentice program and a study guide on taking the test. This web address and password will only be accessible after you attend the orientation and your password will only be available a limited time.
4) TESTING: The testing will be conducted by DDI. No one, but DDI, has access to the test, will have seen the test or have your test scores. The test consists of two parts: “reading prints and drawings” and “work judgement, style and experience”.
5) INTERVIEW: Interviews are rigidly structured like the test. All interview questions are basically the same although some may be trade specific.
6) SELECTION: Your name will be placed on a selection list using you total score from testing and interviews as a ranking.

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE

The GM/UAW Wentzville Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program
Non-Seniority /.Non-GM Employees -
OPENS: NOVEMBER 3, 2014 CLOSES: NOVEMBER 14, 2014

For Seniority Employees -
OPENS: NOVEMBER 3, 2014 CLOSES: NOVEMBER 26, 2014
WHAT IS THE APPRENTICESHIP PROCESS?

Skilled tradespeople at General Motors are highly trained men and women who build, operate and maintain our complex machinery and plant facilities. They use precision tools, instruments, and state-of-the-art methods to produce quality products. Skilled tradespeople are vital members of the movement toward high technology in industry today. Their jobs require a wide range of knowledge, as well as maturity and independence of judgment.

The GM/UAW Wentzville skilled trades include occupations such as; Diemaker, Electrician, Millwright, Machine Repair, Pipefitter, Stationary Engineer, and Toolmaker. Each trade is unique and important to the overall success of our operation and can be achieved by completing the Apprenticeship for the trade desired. To complete the apprenticeship requires 4 years of On the Job Training totaling (7328) hours plus College Related Classroom Courses totaling (576) hours. Courses Consist of: Math, Science, Shop, Drawing (Blueprint) & Safety.

Development Dimensions International (DDI) plays a key role in assisting local plants with the actions of the Request for Information, Orientation Session, Testing Session and Interviewing guidelines to ensure the efficiency, fairness and effectiveness of the Apprenticeship Program.

The apprenticeship process differs between GM/UAW Seniority Employees and Non-Seniority/Non-GM Employees.

Request for Apprenticeship Information: Seniority Employees fill out a Request for Apprenticeship Information (RFI) to receive an invitation to an Orientation Session and are guaranteed the opportunity to test.

Non-Seniority /.Non-GM Employees must follow the instructions found on an Information Request Envelope (IRE) sheet to receive information about the GM-UAW Wentzville Standard Apprentice Plan for Skilled Trades and qualify for the first random selection process of 250 (IREs). Non-Seniority / Non-GM Employees are subject to a second random selection process of up to one hundred, selected by DDI and then they will receive an invitation to an Orientation Session.

Orientation Session: It is very important that you attend the Orientation Session. If you fail to attend the Orientation session you will have to re-apply. At the Orientation Session, a presentation about the apprenticeship program is shown and time is provided for questions. Applicants are also given a testing date and time.

Testing: The apprentice test is divided into two sections. First is the Reading Prints and Drawings.” It will ask you to use drawings and charts to solve math problems much like apprentices use each day. The second part is the “Work Judgment, Style and Experience” and will ask you questions about your reactions to common work situations and your prior experiences in actual work situations. The maximum points you can receive for testing is 36. Your test score is what qualifies you for an interview.

Interview: The interview is rigidly structured like the test. All applicants are asked the same basic questions, although trade-specific questions may vary. The maximum points you can receive for interviewing is 21.

Selection: After the interview, your name will be placed on a selection list using your total score as ranking.
You will stay on that list for ten years or until placed into the apprenticeship program. If you have a change of address, you must contact us so that we can update your contact information.
General Motors LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer (E.O.E.)

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

State of the Union September 24, 2014

September 24, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

• From the Veteran’s Committee: The 9th Annual SOS (Support our Soldiers) Poker Run is this Saturday, Sept. 27. Registration at the Union Hall begins at 10 am with last bike out by noon. Cost is $10 per bike/cage and $5 for each extra hand. All bikes and cages welcome. There will also be a 50/50 raffle. Ride ends at the Tatooed Lady in Moscow Mills. Last bike in at 7 pm. Ride will be approximately 90 miles. Proceeds benefit Operation H.E.R.O.E.S. Care. If you have any questions contact Steve Melson at 636-262-1234.

• Also: There will be a Gate Drive this Thursday, Sept. 25 before the shifts to benefit H.E.R.O.E.S. Care.

• There will be a Blood Drive at the plant Wednesday, October 1. Signups will be taken Wed. September 24 and Thur. September 25 in the cafeteria.

• The third United Way drawing will be held Thursday, Sept. 25 on first shift in the cafeteria at lunch time. You can qualify by either signing up as a new donor, increasing your donation, or changing the designation for your donations to this area. Prizes will be a Black and Decker drill and a Mega Kitchen System. Go to the Socrates home page (google “my Socrates” and click on the first result to log in) and use the United Way link to sign up or change your profile.

• The nominees for the North American Truck of the Year were announced yesterday. Both the Colorado and Canyon made the short list. The other competitors are: Audi Q3, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford F-150, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes-Benz GLA class, Nissan Murano, Porsche Macan, Subaru Outback and Toyota Highlander.

• Forbes did an article revealing which 2015 vehicles they recommended avoiding. Among them was the pseudo pickup otherwise known as the Honda Ridgeline. Said Forbes: “Not so much a pickup truck as a midsize crossover SUV with an open cargo hold; rendered irrelevant by the new Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickups.”

• First drive reviews of the Colorado and Canyon are starting to appear. We intend to cover every one of them for you. We’ll start with the Edmunds review. Here’s some of what they had to say about the Canyon (read the full review)

o No one will miss the outgoing 185-horsepower 2.9-liter four-cylinder base engine. Its 2.5-liter replacement makes 200 hp and delivers 90 percent of its peak torque at just 2,000 rpm. Better still, the unloved 3.7-liter five-cylinder that made 242 hp and a like amount of torque is stepping aside in favor of a smooth-running 3.6-liter V6 that makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
o Like the Chevrolet Colorado, the Canyon's 3.6-liter V6 comes to life with little fanfare, and it settles into a calm idle that's accompanied by a tiny amount of mechanical engine sound.
o There's plenty of grunt when we roll gently onto the gas, and it pulls strongly when we press harder. The six-speed automatic is smooth and sure as it goes up through the gears, and there isn't much wind or road noise as we settle in at 70 mph.
o The steering has enough heft and on-center definition to make straight-ahead cruising a relaxing pursuit, and it turns in accurately when corners enter the mix. The response is a little slower than we'd like, but not by much. There's less overall body roll than the last Tacoma we drove, and it leans in more gradually. We could easily spend all day behind the wheel of one of these. It's clearly better than the Canyon of old, and it feels more grown up than the competition.
o GM engineers have found the Goldilocks zone. The ride is neither too hard over bumps, nor too floaty and bouncy when the pavement gets wavy. Yes, a lone occupant hauling nothing but Grade-A air might notice a little firmness, but that's par for the course when it comes to an empty pickup. Mostly, the Canyon shrugs off bumps and potholes with little aftertaste. The stiffness of the underlying structure is clearly helping the suspension do its job more effectively. The attractive bucket seats offer good support, and they certainly take the edge off coarser road inputs.
o The cab of the new Canyon is simply a nice place to be. It feels much more up to date and manages to translate the feel and atmosphere of GMC's full-size Sierra 1500 to a smaller package. GMC's 8-inch IntelliLink screen occupies a prominent and easy-to-reach spot in the middle of the dash, and the buttons and knobs that control it are clearly separated from the climate control array that sits a respectful distance below. Convincing stainless-steel accents set the whole thing off nicely.
Though it doesn't necessarily look it from the outside, the backseat of the crew cab offers a smidge over 2 inches more legroom than a Nissan Frontier and just over 3 inches more than a Toyota Tacoma.
o All V6-powered Canyons come with a 3.42-to-1 final drive ratio. There are no optional choices, so the same truck that can tow the maximum of 7,000 pounds can also achieve the rated fuel economy when empty. If only full-size tow ratings were this simple. A 2015 Toyota Tacoma can tow 6,500 pounds. Aside from the V6 engine, the only options necessary to achieve the max are the locking rear differential and the Z82 Trailering package (hitch and integrated seven-pin wiring). On paper there's ample power and torque, and the V6 engine comes with a Tow/Haul mode switch that has proven to be very effective in past towing tests with other six-speed-equipped GM trucks. We're pretty confident that we'll like what we see when we take a Canyon to our favorite test grade.
o The bed looks good, primarily because it's so deep: 2 more inches, according to GM. A long tailgate makes for a longer platform length when it's folded down, which is how 8-foot lumber can fit in the 6-foot 2-inch bed without hanging over.
o This Canyon has enough capability for all but the most demanding tasks of the average truck owner. It's also easier to park, gets better mileage and is more likely to fit neatly into your garage than the full-size GMC Sierra.

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

State of the Union September 10, 2014

September 10, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

• This Saturday, Sept. 13, is the annual Union Picnic, to be held at the Union Hall. It will run from 1 pm to 5 pm and feature snack stations and a food buffet. Entertainment and activities will include a DJ, obstacle course, rock wall, giant slide, little bit zone and arts and crafts displays. Bring a lawn chair and your badge or Union card to get into the picnic.

• August was another big month for van sales as our vans outsold the Ford Econoline/Transit combined by over 4000 units. Here’s how the rest of the segment shook out:

2014 2013 Change Share GM 12,069 9346 +29.1% 49.0%
Ford Econoline 6,702 8631 -22.3% 27.2%
Mercedes Sprinter 1,880 1390 +35.3% 7.6%
Nissan NV 1,227 1027 +19.5% 5.0%
Ram Promaster 1,658 --- --- 6.7%
Ford Transit 1,099 --- --- 4.4%
Ford Transit connect 3,923 3925 even ---
Nissan NV200 1,223 514 +138% ---


Combined, the rest of the entire full-size van offerings only outsold GM by 497 units. In addition, we sold around 1700 passenger vans compared to Ford’s 460. Regarding field supplies, overall they were essentially flat compared with last month, staying at 31 days supply. Looking at midsize trucks, Toyota sold 14,338 Tacomas, down 5.8%. Tacoma sales are down 6.9% for the year. Nissan sold 6770 Frontiers, up 2.8%. Frontier sales are up 16.8% this year.

• Speaking of the new full-size Transit van, Ford was crowing about landing their biggest fleet order for the eurovan. According to TruckTrend, “Ford just landed its first large-volume fleet purchase of Transit vans with 800 units by Connecticut-based Charter Communications, a cable, phone, and internet provider servicing customers in 29 states across the country.” To quote Church Lady, “Well isn’t that special!” Charter’s order consists of low-roof, short-wheelbase cargo vans, meaning they’ll most likely be gas models with the 3.7L V-6 Duratec. In other words, keep your overpriced, raised-roof, ecoboost van. Kinda pales in comparison to our 10,500 unit U-Haul order….

• From Automotive News: Chevrolet dealer Mike Maheras can't wait for a dozen Colorado midsize pickups to arrive at his two stores next month, although he's disappointed he couldn't get more. "I'd have taken as many as they could give me," says Maheras, dealer principal at Phillips Chevrolet of Lansing, Ill., and general manager at the group's Frankfort store south of Chicago. "This is a market that we've been missing since the Colorado went away" in 2012. Maheras' order is one among a surge of requests from dealers for the redesigned 2015 Colorado and its sibling, the GMC Canyon, which return to showrooms in October after a two-year absence. GM says dealers ordered 28,000 Colorados and another 14,000 Canyons during the first 30 days after it began taking orders, more than five times its forecast. Dealers commonly go big on initial orders of newly launched models, when eager buyers are lined up. Still, GM views the reception as a sign that dealers believe in the market for smaller pickups, even as many skeptics question the company's strategy. The launch of the Colorado and Canyon is among the most closely watched in years for GM, and may serve as a bellwether of consumers' pickup preferences. GM is counting on the smaller trucks to give Chevy and GMC lineups that no rival can match: a midsize pickup, plus full-size offerings in the both light- and heavy-duty segments. GM last week announced EPA fuel economy ratings of 18 mpg city/26 highway/21 combined for models with the 3.6 liter V-6 engine, which should be the volume model. That should easily lead the segment, ahead of the 17 city/21 highway/19 combined rating of the Toyota Tacoma's V-6. Maheras is happy that his salespeople will be able to boast segment-leading fuel economy. He's not worried about comparisons to full-size trucks. "There are plenty of other factors the midsize buyer looks at," he says. "They'll like the smaller package and the design."

• From Nooga.com: Coordinators of an employee-created union called American Council of Employees at Volkswagen are accelerating their organizing efforts. Last week, Volkswagen worker Mike Burton, who led anti-United Auto Worker efforts during February's election, announced he was starting the new union at the local plant. The move is an effort to oppose Local 42, which is a local UAW chapter. Establishing Local 42 is another route for the UAW to be recognized by Volkswagen. On the topic of Burton's new efforts, UAW leaders told Reuters that American Council of Employees didn't have much chance at succeeding. According to the article:
Gary Casteel, secretary-treasurer of the UAW, told Reuters on Tuesday he does not see how Burton's union stands much of a chance because VW and the UAW "have a consensus" that the company will recognize Local 42. Casteel said it is up to VW whether it will recognize the new union if Burton is successful in creating one at the VW plant, which has about 1,500 hourly workers.
But American Council of Employees said via the new organization's website that UAW leaders continue to use the word "consensus," but the site notes that VW leaders haven't said anything about that. "Not once has VW acknowledged ANY relationship with the UAW," according to the site. "Curious how some twist misrepresentation until it looks like the truth." Burton said he has about 150 signatures now in support of American Council of Employees, and he needs to get 415. "We hope to announce in the next week or so that we are moving ahead with the blessing from over 30 percent of the hourly and the salaried employees," he said via the site. "That’s 30 percent each." After they do that, American Council of Employees leaders will petition the National Labor Relations Board to be recognized as an employee union, then they will ask Volkswagen officials to be "recognized and voted on by Chattanooga VW employees," according to the site.

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

State of the Union September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014 online at www.uawlocal2250.com

• Teams still needed: The Annual Women’s Committee benefit golf tournament will be held this Saturday, Sept. 6 at Country Lake golf course in Warrenton. It is a 3-person scramble with a 1:30 pm shotgun start. Cost is $210 per team/$70 per person and includes prize money for the first 3 places in 3 flights, longest drive and closest to the pin contests as well as Food and beer that will be served after the tournament. Entry forms are available at the entrances. Proceeds will benefit the St. Louis Crisis Nursery which serves children and families of St. Charles, Warren, Lincoln, Pike, Franklin and Jefferson Counties as well as St. Louis City and County and East St. Louis.

• September is going to be a busy month for Local 2250 activities. In addition to this weekend’s golf tournament, next Saturday (9/13) is the annual Union Picnic at the Union Hall. The following Saturday (9/20) is the second work day for the Habitat for Humanity home in St. Peters. And Saturday, the 27th, is the SOS ride. More details for all the activities will be forthcoming.

• From the Benefits Department: If you are 60 or older, you can receive free shingles shots. We recommend that you get this from your doctor, but if you can’t there is reimbursement for shots from a pharmacy. See your benefits representative if you have any questions.

• From Automotive News: Chevrolet dealers requested nearly 30,000 Colorado pickups in the month since General Motors began taking orders for the all-new midsize truck -- about five times more than the company had forecast. "The dealers' enthusiasm for the Colorado is off the charts," Chevrolet U.S. chief Brian Sweeney told Automotive News on Monday. GM began taking orders for the 2015 Colorado in early August. The pickup, which is being built at GM's assembly plant in Wentzville, Mo., is expected to reach showrooms in October or early November. The launch of the Colorado and its sibling, the GMC Canyon, is among the most closely watched in years for GM. Skeptics question whether the demand is there to warrant a new generation of the pickups, which were phased out in 2012. GM is counting on the smaller trucks to give Chevy and GMC truck lineups that no rival can match: Offerings in the heavy-duty and light-duty segments with the Silverado and Sierra, and the midsize Colorado and Canyon. Ford dropped its Ranger small pickup in the U.S. in 2011, while Ram discontinued the Dakota that same year. The surge in early orders is "a sign that the dealers really believe in this product," said Sweeney, who oversees sales and marketing for Chevy in the U.S. Forecasts for combined sales of the Colorado and Canyon next year, by IHS Automotive, AutoPacific and LMC Automotive, range from 73,000 to 91,400 trucks. In comparison, GM sold 664,803 Silverados and GMC Sierras last year.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) dealers delivered 272,423 vehicles in the United States in August, led by an 18 percent increase in truck sales compared to a year ago, a 10 percent increase in GMC deliveries and a 30 percent increase in commercial sales.
Total deliveries were down 1 percent compared with last August, which was GM’s best sales month of 2013. Retail deliveries, which are sales to individual consumers, declined 4 percent. Fleet deliveries were up 9 percent compared with a year ago.
On a selling day adjusted basis, GM’s total sales were up 2 percent, with retail sales essentially equal to a year ago and fleet up 13 percent.
Incentive spending as a percentage of average transaction prices (ATPs) was 10.4 percent, the lowest of all domestic automakers by a significant margin, according to J.D. Power PIN estimates. GM spending was down a full percentage point compared with both August 2013 and July 2014. “Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac had an outstanding month with trucks. Cars and crossovers like the Buick Encore and GMC Acadia, and the Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze and Traverse, were also strong,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations.
“We see a strong fall selling season ahead for GM and the industry, which sets the stage for the launches of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Car-buying fundamentals like employment and energy prices are in good shape, consumer confidence has reached a post-recession high and business investment is increasing.”
Nearly 28,000 dealer orders have been placed for the Chevrolet Colorado, along with 14,000 orders for the GMC Canyon, which both began production this week and arrive in showrooms this fall. Chevrolet and GMC will soon be the only brands offering mid-size pickups, as well as light- and heavy-duty full-size pickups.
Light vehicle sales for the year are now expected to be near the high-end of GM’s full-year outlook set in January, which was for 16.0 million – 16.5 million units.
August Sales Highlights (vs. 2013 except as noted)
  • Sales of Chevrolet and GMC large SUVs were up 38 percent.
  • Cadillac Escalade deliveries increased 64 percent, for the vehicle line’s best August since 2007.
  • Chevrolet Silverado deliveries were up 13 percent and GMC Sierra sales were up 10 percent, and ATPs improved from July, according to PIN. This was the best August for GM pickups since 2008.
  • The Chevrolet Express van had its best August sales since 2007, with deliveries up 23 percent. The GMC Savana saw a 70 percent increase. Total van sales were 12,069.
  • Chevrolet Sonic deliveries were up 13 percent for the vehicle’s best August ever.
  • Sales of the Buick Encore small crossover were up 13 percent and Regal deliveries were up 29 percent.
  • In the medium crossover segment, sales of the Chevrolet Traverse were up 11 percent and GMC Acadia deliveries were up 5 percent.
  • Retail deliveries of the Chevrolet Cruze increased 23 percent and Camaro retail deliveries were up 2 percent.

• GM’s ATPs in August were the highest in company history at about $33,750, according to PIN. ATPs were up $500 per unit compared with July, and they were up about $2,900 from a year ago. GM’s gains in the commercial segment were driven by pickup and van sales, which were up 23 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Sales to rental customers were up about 3 percent. Sales to government customers were up about 14 percent. GM’s fleet mix in August was 22 percent. Calendar year to date, GM’s fleet mix is 25 percent

Tom Brune
UAW Communications Coordinator
Wentzville Assembly
636-327-2119