There have been a couple of issues that came up the last few weeks that really begs the question that if you HAVE a UNION, why are you not using it as it was intended?
One employee was on a “special assignment“, one that the company wanted done and assigned him voluntarily to do, but without discussing it with the UNION, as required by the CBA.
Now, there’s a problem with that employee’s eligibility for overtime work while on the assignment and the employee has came to the union for help.
We are certainly willing to help the affected member, and the failure is not the member’s since it was the company that has the requirement to discuss such things with the union, AND that our members are being consistently lied to by management telling them, “the union agreed.”
Another isssue involves sick time, in which there are several issues.
One of the issues was discussed at the November meeting, which is that there are hidden fine print items in the company’s FMLA package that, if you sign them without reading them, you’ve just agreed to grant the company FULL and UNFETTERED access to ALL of your medical records.
Another issue is with the company’s Physicians Release (click to get the Allegheny form) that is required for an employee to return to work after an extended illness or injury. The company INSISTS that members use their 709 form, which is a part of their Absence Manangement Program. Absence Management was proposed at the bargaining table and rejected by YOUR union. This means we are still under the Allegheny (or as the company called it at negotiations, the “102 plan”) sick plan. This means NO ABSENCE MANAGEMENT, NO FIT FOR DUTY, and only minimal access to employees medical records to those pertaining to the illness and injury.
All the above are examples of things that were discussed at our Regular Monthly Meetings, but if you weren’t there, then you don’t know about it.
If you are not visiting your union’s website, then you are missing out, yet again.
Our 304 Officers are often approached at work with union questions, or someone casually asking what happened at a meeting. While most of these conversations are considered incidental, it’s not fair to your Officer or to YOU because we know, as union officers, that we can’t have extended dialogue with members on company time on union issues.
It’s not that we are unwilling.
Come to the meetings or call us at home, since most of our home phone numbers are on the 304 CONTACTS page. We are always willing to talk to members.
The more we are involved in our union, the more we act like a union, and the more effective we are as a union.
It is the responsibility and the duty of EVERY 304 member to work under and enforce the contract. You do this by KNOWING the CBA (since the CBA is on the website, many employees have it saved on their phones and handheld devices, while some access it from the company’s computers which is thier right), and then asking questions of management when you think they are operating OUTSIDE of it. If the answers you recieve are not acceptable, you have the duty to file a grievance and demand an answer.
The NEXT TIME YOU ARE TOLD THE UNION AGREED TO SOMETHING, ASK FOR IT IN WRITING!
Only the company and management wins when you forgo your rights at work and they profit by us not acting like the union that we are. It’s YOUR job, YOUR compensation, and YOUR union.
It’s NOT that any of us take our jobs or our employer for granted. It’s quite the opposite, we have a job that is good enough to FIGHT for and protect, even against our employer if we have to.
Want a job where this is not neccessary?
A former Plant Manager suggested to a concerned employee that he go work at Wal-Mart if he didn’t like what was going on at Harrion Power Station. He’s gone now (the Plant Manager), but 304 is still here.