Peak Punishment

     It’s almost Peak Punishment time. It’s time for the company to use and abuse the people that have been their “humper dumpers”, The 400 Cluband “balls of fire” throughout the year.  The days are over for 8-hour requests, and option days. Beyond Thanksgiving the company can pretty much throw the Contract in the toilet, and let the drivers have it with both barrels.
     The sound of squealing “humpers” can be heard throughout the building, as the company heaps on the stops. Silliness like the “400 club”, and the “Production Club” rears it’s ugly head. Unfortunately many of the “lesser knowledgable” drivers get sucked into the lunacy. Many will be injured, and many will have accidents trying to produce up to the insane levels of expectation.
    Any driver that’s been through a few Peaks will tell you, “continue to work at a safe pace”. “Get done what you can get done, and let management worry about their insane expectations”.
     Accidents and injuries will still cost you your job, even at Peak. Even the greatest Producers have been fired during Peak for major accidents. Being injured at Peak is the cardinal “no-no”. Once you are injured, management will cop a, “you just couldn’t do it” attitude.  You will “forever after” have the reputation of being a wimp, and falling down on the job when the company needed you the most.
     It will just be another attack by the “abusive daddy”.
     Given the economic, and political climate, the push will be even greater, so prepare yourself. 
                                         Do not get sucked in!

Expecting Representation

   I Can See in Your Mind  Most drivers go through their professional life expecting the Union to represent them. The obvious thought is that, “I pay my dues, the Union should be there for me”. Every one of these drivers is absolutely right in that assumption. The problem is, the Teamsters are not mind readers. Many drivers just talk under their breath, and when they have issues, they keep the issues to themselves, never communicating with the Steward or the Business Agent assigned by their Local to represent them.
     Most of the time a simple question, or statement, can trigger the system to work in the favor of the driver. The contract provides for the rights of the driver, and sets up a formal procedure to be followed to address the driver’s issues with the company. Many drivers simply do not avail themselves of their rights. OF course when the issues build to overflowing, the drivers will often attack the Teamsters for not being there to represent them when they have problems. They will often bad mouth the Union to their fellow drivers, sending the message that the Teamsters are useless, and they are paying dues for nothing.
     All they had to do was open their mouths and ask!
Many of the drivers just think they can live a passive life, where anyone, and everyone, will simply jump forth and take care of them, without the driver having to put forth any effort at all. The driver sees everything vividly in their own mind, and they assume that the guy next to them, or the steward, or the Business Agent, sees things the same way. They project their laziness, and lack of effort onto everyone else, not taking responsibility for their actions, or lack thereof.
      When you hear another driver bad-mouthing the Union, ask them a simple question, “Who did you tell about your problems?”. Very often the answer will be management, not the Steward. Very often it will be the Supervisor that told the driver that no one could help him, and he was just out of luck. “Tough crap for having to pay his Union dues”.
     Of course they have all been listening to the pundits during the day, telling them how bad the Union is for them, and how the Union is just there to take their money. Another consequence of a lazy mind.
     The driver also knows that he or she is the most valuable person in the world, and even without the Union, they would be worth the pay and benefit package they receive. Yes, in fact, many of the drivers are just simply delusional. It goes on day after day. They are their own worst enemy.
     The Union is there for your benefit. Demand  the representation you deserve, and support the representation you get.
           Just remember, no one can read your mind, and you’re not the only person on earth!