Inclusive years: 1980-2005 [bulk 1981-1987]
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Acquisition: This collection was donated to the Genesee Historical Collections Center by donor no. 272 in February 2005.
Access: There are no restrictions on access.
Photographs: 155 positive prints are kept in the photograph boxes and will be cataloged separately.
Processed by: Paul Gifford, April, 2005.
Marshall (Mike) Westfall, a resident of Chesaning, Michigan, was employed as a truck driver by General Motors Corporation, Truck and Bus Group, Flint Assembly Plant from 1964 to 1987, the third generation in his family to work for the corporation. In the late 1970s, he became interested in the effects of automation on industrial employment. By 1981 he was chairman of United Autoworkers Local 598 25 and Out (later C.E.R.P.) Committee. "C.E.R.P." (C.O.L.A. for retirees; Early Retirement; Paid personal holidays) was the movement's demand which would result from the corporation's policies of automation, and outsourcing. To this end, Westfall wrote a monthly newsletter, wrote columns in union newspapers, and spoke at UAW conferences and conventions.
He developed audiences in other countries, as well as the United States, yet UAW officials regarded him as a maverick or gadfly. From 1985 the Westfall Awareness Committee, as it was now known, continued to publicize what they felt was a need for GM to make concessions to its workers. In 1987, Westfall organized a group called Workers Against Concessions, which sponsored a rally in Flint. This group sought to advance proposals regarding early retirement and pension improvement before imminent contract negotiations. Westfall developed further proposals concerning early retirement, a jobs bank, and personal retirement accounts for the 1990 bargaining negotiations for Flint Truck Assembly employees. He retired himself that year and moved to Presque Isle, Michigan.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of papers generated by Marshall (Mike) Westfall's activity in the United Autoworkers and in other venues. It includes his regular columns in union and general newspapers, speeches, committee newsletters, as well as files on specific events, such as rallies. The primary topic of most of the material is "C.E.R.P.," a benefits package proposed by Westfall as a response to employment losses incurred by automation. He argued that by increasing personal paid holidays, lowering the minimum number of years, and giving the full cost of living allowance (COLA) to retirees would allow earlier retirement. Westfall took an interest in industrial automation. He attended trade shows and General Motors Corporation annual meetings to learn what GM and other manufacturers were attempting to do. He became involved in the production of a film and a television production over these issues.
The files on C.E.R.P. consist primarily of newsletters and newspaper columns. Other files concern particular events, such as tax abatements for General Motors Corporation in Flint and rallies in Flint and Detroit and elsewhere. There are formal proposals for contract negotiations with General Motors concerning healthcare and overtime and early retirement. There are a number of files concerning film projects, including one by Michael Moore, which developed into "Roger and Me." The collection also includes a number of photographs, largely of committee meetings, conventions, and picket lines. The eighteen cassettes of audio recordings are mostly of television and radio interviews, largely on the same issues, with Westfall and other members of his committee, as well as the proceedings of the 1987 Flint rally and other events.
Newspaper articles written by Westfall, 1981-1986
Newspaper articles about us, 1981-1987
C.E.R.P. (Cost of living for retirees; Early Retirement; more Personal Paid holidays)
Technology newsletters, 1981-1982
Public Awareness newsletters, 1982-1984
"25 and Out" columns, 1981
Technology conferences, 1981-1984
"Worker in Crisis" papers, 1985-1986
Notes and miscellaneous, 1980-1987
Property tax assessments reduction, 1985
General Motors Corporation stockholders confrontation letters, 1985-1988
Autoworkers Against Concessions, 1987
Pension C.O.L.A. program, 1989
Detroit "Fink" rally, 1990
National health care proposal, 1990
Overtime/early out proposal, n.d.
Early out contract program proposal, 1990
Television and films
Technivision, Inc. "The World of Work" (television program), 1982
"C.E.R.P., War of Survival" (film), 1982
New Work Center, 1985
Film proposals, 1983, 1988
Films and picture, 1985
Michael Moore, 1990
Future directions, 1983
Westfall Papers website, 2005
Cassette tape recordings
1. Mike Westfall/ Ralph Nader backyard Flint rally on GM property tax reduction, July 28, 1985.
2. Westfall/Nader rally, continued; Meeting at University of Michigan-Flint over GM tax reduction, October 10, 1985; various Westfall interviews.
3. Workers Against Concessions rally, Flint, April 5, 1987 (audio from film), with speeches by Mike Westfall, Don Douglas, Dave Barber, Tom Gilbert, Rosemary, Holland, and Victor Reuther.
4. Workers Against Concessions rally, Flint, April 5, 1987 (continued), with speeches by Victor Reuther, Jerry Tucker, Mike Westfall (questions and answers, conclusion).
5. Westfall press release, UAW Local 598; WJRT-TV (Channel 12) special, Norma Hall interviewing Mike Westfall and Whitey Hale; special report, Jan. 30, 1983, with Mike Westfall and John Robbins; "Newswatch" (WEYI-TV, Channel 25), "Open Camera,"Mar. 12, 1983; WNEM-TV (Channel 5), with Tom Inon, Mike Westfall; various interviews.
6. Various UAW interviews, 1983-1985; "Open Camera," WNEM-TV, May 16, 1985, with Westfall Committee; Interview with Jim Musselman (Nader staff); "Newsmaker," WJRT (Channel 12), Feb. 2, 1986, with Westfall Committee.
7. "Newsmaker," WJRT-TV, May 17, 1987, with Westfall Awareness Committee; June 16, 1987, with Westfall Committee; "Community Concerns," WEYI-TV, with Mike Westfall and Whitey Hale, President, UAW Local 326.
8. C.E.R.P.; audio from C.E.R.P. movie produced by Mel Serow.
9. News, clips, interviews with Westfall, 1981-1982; "Newsmaker," WJRT-TV, with Ellen Welker; Erik Green, WEYI-TV, Feb. 27, 1982; John Robbins, WJRT-TV, interview with Westfall at home on blackmail contract, Apr. 9, 1982; various news clips, interviews, etc.
10. "Dave Barber Show," WEYI-TV, with Mike Westfall, June 20, 1985; "Newsmaker," with Norma Hall, WJRT-TV, interview with Mike Westfall and Jim Musselman.
11. UAW Region 1-C Technology Conference, Oct. 13, 1981, with Mike Westfall, Harley Shaiken (MIT), Bob King, vice-president, UAW; Reuben Burks, treasurer, UAW.
12. UAW Region 1-C Technology Conference, Oct. 13, 1981, with Harley Shaiken (questions and answers); Mike Westfall; Reuben Burks, treasurer, UAW International union.
13. UAW Region 1-C Technology Conference, Oct. 13, 1981, with Bob King, vice-president, UAW; Carol Haddad, Michigan State University; questions.
14. "Talk to Me," David Newman, WXYZ radio, Detroit, interview with Mike Westfall; television excerpts, 1981; audio of "C.E.R.P.: War of Survival" (film); Westfall union speech, 1981.
15. WTAC radio, Flint, interview program, Apr. 2, 1987; GM stockholders' meeting, May 22, 1987 (poor quality).
16. WNEM-TV, Westfall interview, 1984, Tom Inon; "Radio Nightline," Flint, May 20, 1987, with Tom Gilbert, Rosemary Holland (Westfall Awareness Committee); Perry Wright radio show, Flint, May 1987, interview with Terry Ford, Mike McNamara (Westfall Awareness Committee).
17. "Morning Magazine, Dave Barber, WTAC, interview with Mike Westfall, Mar. 30, 1987; "Nightline," WTRX, Steve Clawson, Victor Reuther, Mike Westfall, Apr. 1, 1987.
18. WFBE, Feb. 22, 1982, Gary Horn, Mike Westfall debate with GM official; Tom Inon, WNEM-TV, ca. 1985 (poor quality).
19. Perry Wright Show, "Nightline," WTRX, with Mike Westfall and Ralph Nader, over GM tax fight, July 3, 1985; "Nightline," WTRX, interview with Mike Westfall, Jim Musselman, over GM taxes, Oct. 9, 1985.