We had a nice turn out to this month’s meeting. We went over our current arbitrations and grievances and discussed any concerns accordingly. Of course, we covered a plethora of topics, but a couple stood out to me and should stand out to those of you reading this. Because I feel these were so important, I would like to focus this update on those topics.
The first topic I found important is our recent injuries here at the plant. We didn’t really focus on the individual, what they did wrong or right, or who told them to do it. We just focused on the fact that we have had two Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Recordable Injuries in about a week’s time and posed the question, “What can we do as a union to change that moving forward?”. What struck me as most disturbing was the fact that members expressed that they do not feel a job can be stopped due to safety. They felt that it is necessary that they work on, around, with, and in equipment without knowing all the hazards associated with it. This seems to be a training issue and the worst part was this was not new employees or even just one or two members that felt this way, but it was the general consensus of all present.
I would like to reiterate that safety stops all jobs. Whether we lose a unit and need to bring it back online as soon as possible or we are doing a planed job during the outage, if we feel at any time the work we are doing or the position we are in is unsafe we stop the job. This doesn’t mean we never come back to finish the job, or it can’t ever be done. This just means we need to reassess the situation and get the right piece of equipment, or maybe the job would be safer to do on an outage, or maybe it could be done with simply getting help form other departments. I should hope that nobody feels pressured from supervisors or mangers to get a job done at all cost. If that is the case remember you will not get reprimanded for stopping a job due to safety or taking a minute to step back and discuss what is happening and how to proceed safely. It would be better to stop the job and deal with a little push back than it would be to continue the job and get seriously injured or killed in the process.
The second topic that I found important was the decision to host a 304 family picnic. It was decided to have a picnic on September 15th (pending availability) for union members and their families. It will be held at the V.A. Park in Clarksburg. There will be door prizes and food. This should be a good opportunity to get to know each other outside of work. There will be R.S.V.P. sign up sheets hung up as soon as date and location are confirmed.
As always, we talked about many other things that have been going on since the last meeting. One of the items discussed was the Safety Advocate Position and where it stood. Right now, we are still waiting on word from the company to make final decisions on how they see the job being implemented. Once that is done, we can move forward with creating the position. That information will be passed along at our monthly meeting.
The next meeting will be held at Brickside Bar and Grill on September 11, 2018 at 1545. If there are any concerns or you just want to stay informed, I urge you to attend.