To start off I want to welcome everyone to 2020.  It is certain to be a new year full of fun and excitement here in our Retired Workers Chapter.  I am especially looking forward to this year’s contract negotiations with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler and all the good things that will come out of them.

I want to make some comments about what is happening south of the border with the UAW.  I am sure you know that the UAW is consumed with a big corruption scandal.  Thirteen top UAW leaders have been indicted and eleven have been convicted usually of reduced charges as a result of plea bargaining.

This corruption is not a new problem.  It goes back to at least 2013 which means for at least seven years.  It is estimated that the indicted UAW leaders spent about a million dollars on golf outings, lavish dinners and $5000 a month rental of villas in places like Palm Springs, California.  UAW President, Gary Jones is reported to have spent over $13,000 at a cigar store in

Arizona.  Worst of all, many others in the UAW leadership witnessed this corruption and said nothing in response.

I mention all this because we must learn from what has happened to the UAW.  Our union and its leaders must be vigilant not to tolerate such corrupt activities if they ever occur.

About 35 years ago, we left the UAW because we did not want to be like it and we did not want to pursue policies similar to those of the UAW.  I think it is in the best interests of our membership that Unifor distance itself from the UAW until such time as American autoworkers have a clean union that is no longer in bed with the corporations.

One last thing.  I would like to remind everyone that in February we will elect two delegates to the Ontario Federation of Union Retirees convention to be held in Port Elgin in April. The nomination box for the election of these delegates will open shortly and will be here in the Retirees Center.

Fred Dougan
Retiree Chairperson