I came to work the one day and my route had been split out. I was told that I could run the trash truck that was being loaded but I wouldn’t like it, or I could go home without pay. I thought this all sounded kind of heavy handed, so I went straight to the authority on such matters: my contract book. I sat down with my steward and we read through Article 3, sec. 9, parts a and b of the Central States Supplement. This article addresses Temporary Route Changes.
I discovered that I had rights. I had the right to follow my work. If 50% or more went to a lower seniority driver, I could bump that driver and he would work as directed that day. If the work went every which way but loose, I had the right to follow any part of it that went to a lower seniority driver and that driver would have to work as directed that day instead of me. Maybe they wanted to go home that day and I didn’t. A lot of drivers jump at the chance to go home, I needed to work and my seniority guaranteed me that right.
If I had not gotten my steward involved and had we not had a Teamster contract in place, I would have been at the mercy of the whims of management.
I have power, I have a contract.