General President Jimmy Hoffa really nails what our position is on trade with China. We are not against China when it comes to trade and manufacturing. We just want a level playing field. Our workers in America have proven that they can compete and win in a global economy when all things are equal. The corporatists don’t care about workers, or the environment, or the world. It’s all a Race to the Bottom Line for them. If it’s profitable then do it. Screw the world, people, Americans, anyone, or anything that gets in the way. Americans stand by and not only let this happen, but stand up and vote against their own best interests in the hope that their lives will get better as a result
Is Your Life Better Today! Know Anyone That has Lost a Job?
Thank Your Local Corporatist!
Should people who work off the clock be fired? Is working for free the same as stealing? At what point should we stop protecting workers who violate the contract and start enforcing our labor agreement?
I know that our National Contract and Regional Supplements with UPS spell out the steps and reasons for termination. They specifiy certain behaviors that the company finds unacceptable and will not tolerate. Things like stealing and being impaired by drugs or alcohol while on the job. And the Union plays the role of savior by standing up for workers who get into trouble and trying to get their jobs back.
I know the already contract addresses the potential problem of employees working before their start times or during their breaks. It says that the company does not allow it and if the problem is grieved, the remedy will be to pay the employee for all time worked. But the company does allow it. Some people believe they even encourage it. And why shouldn’t they? Everybody likes to get something for free. And managers and supervisors are assessed on their ability to get more work done for less money, so any work they can get done for free is money in the bank.
But what happens when an employee works off the clock? First off, he is stealing money from his coworkers. If a job needs to be done, then it’s a job the company will pay someone to do. If someone does it for free, then they have prevented someone else from getting paid to do it. That’s stealing. And theft is one of those behaviors that the company usually finds unacceptable.
Time that is worked but is not paid and reported as income is not taxed. Social Security taxes are not paid on it and State and National taxes are not paid. Would Social Security be hurting for money today if our culture had never condoned working for free and not paying taxes. How many dollars have been denied to Social Security over the last 50 years that could have and should have been invested?
Working off the clock gives the company a false sense of how many people it takes to get a job done. If UPS dispatches 20 drivers and half of them skip their lunch, then they get 10 hours of free work a day. That’s a whole route that is done for free. There is someone waiting in the wings for a driving job at UPS and he will never get hired (or a driver will get laid off) if the current employees do his job for free. That’s not fair when the unemployment rate is already over 7% and rising. We need to be putting people to work, not doing their work for free while they struggle.
That employee that will never get hired is also a potential Teamster who will not be paying dues. Our dues money goes to strengthen our position at the bargaining table and is returned to us in better wages and benefits. We are doing ourselves a great disservice to keep future Teamsters off the payroll by doing their work for free and showing the company we don’t need them.
Isn’t it time we finally addressed the issue of employees working off the clock? This is not a radical idea. Other Unions have done it. The language needs to be put in the contract that puts the burden of punishment not on the company but on the employee. And the union should step up and protect itself and the country from these workplace thieves. The Union isn’t doing itself any favors by not addressing the problem. People who work off the clock should be fired.
It’s the ultimate in ironies. The car companies looking to get new car loans. Now it’s their turn. Hopefully they’ll also get the idea of what it’s like to deal with their salespeople, and their service departments. The fact is, most people hate the American car companies because of the treatment they get at their dealerships. The customers have to put up with rip-off treatment by salespeople keeping their keys, holding them hostage, yelling at them, and making their general sales experience a life living hell. Then the customer in turn gets to deal with condescending service writers, work that doesn’t need to be done, exorbitant parts prices, incomplete work, and again a generally poor and expensive experience. Now in fairness the foreign cars try to follow in the same footsteps, but the teachers in the system are the American car companies. I love American manufactured cars, and will buy them whenever possible, but I won’t do business with their dealers, and I do my own mechanic work. I can rebuild an engine for what a tune-up can cost at many dealerships. I am a staunch union guy, and I support all of the efforts of the UAW to survive in this crisis. My contention is that the car companies are failing because of management bad decisions, not the cost of their labor. Anyone that tries to tell you otherwise does not live in the real world, (Richard Shelby, multi-millionaire traitor to America). If the guys wearing the ties don’t get a clue, the Detroit 3 will die like Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Yugo, etc. The first car company to live in the real world will surpass them all, (that labor union will see to it, and their people will thrive.) It’s just like the republicans failed to see, “you can deal with the people now, or you can deal with the people later, but one thing is sure, you will have to deal with the people!”
Buy American, Your Own Survival Will Depend On It!
The Unions Want the Company to Survive, The Managers Still Have No Clue, See it Here
The Chinese are knocking on your door.
Let us not forget in this day and age of Tax dodging appointees, and wheel and deal Democrats, (Burris), about the last regimes lobbyist scandals with people promoting legislation for campaign bucks. The fact is some of the people we send to represent us are dirty. Most of them fortunately are honest, and hard working and without them we could not weed out the bad. Unfortunately you are being sold by the Rush’s, and the Hannity’s, and the O’Really’s that it is rampant in the democratic party, and they continue to sell you that Obama is no better than the rest. So far none of Obama’s people have gone to jail as in the Bush administration. (Oh good!) Also Obama at least holds hope for the future as opposed to Bush’s Republican sell out to corporate America. Let’s not forget! Let’s also not stand by and allow it to happen again. Write Barack Obama and demand he hold his people accountable, and that he boot them out if they do not know how to behave. Also contact Harry Reid and demand he do the same. Let them know we’ve had enough of soul selling politicians, that we expect them to represent our best interests, not their own. Whether they be Republican or Democrat!
Tell President Obama What You Think!!
Let Harry Reid Know What You Think!!
Let Nancy Pelosi Know What You Think!!
Remember these people work for you. We elected them to save our economy, protect our jobs, and to work for us. You have every right to demand that they hear your voice. You do not have to be afraid to let them know that if they do not perform as we elected them to, we will vote them out.
We have the power. Use it
I’ve added a new page to the website. VIDEOS. There are so many great videos these days that I wanted to give everybody a place to watch them without having to search the whole world wide web. These are videos that I like; some are UPS videos, some are Union videos. And in the near future I may add my own videos, so watch for those too.
Videos at Denverbrown
I don’t know who said it first, but it’s worth repeating.
The world is divided into two groups.
There are those who know, and those who don’t know.
Those who know, they’re no problem.
Those who don’t know are also divided into two groups.
One is those who don’t know, and know they don’t know. Well, they can learn!
But then, there are those who don’t know, and don’t know they don’t know.
They become supervisors.
There is going to be a lot of debate very soon concerning the Employee Free Choice Act.
We need to be ready to argue. We will not win Card Check without a fight.
Are you ready to fight?
This video is part 1 of a 3 part debate. It will help you understand the argument.
I will publish parts 2 and 3 soon.
Thom Hartmann can be heard evenings on AM 760.
With the company’s policy of harrassing anyone that gets hurt, I am happy to be able to provide you with people that will help you. The company specifically targets people that are hurt on the job. Making an example out of them, in the hopes that their harrassment will scare off everyone else. Their idea is to persuade people into assuming injuries on their own dime and own time. These guys come highly reccomended by our local, and I have had the pleasure of working with them. Don’t let the company hurt you, then make you assume the financial consequences.
Help yourself!Don’t Get Screwed!
It’s important that we grow the company because it makes our jobs and our pensions more secure. But it’s equally important to grow the Union. Many people don’t know how to grow the Union. They think it takes a big organizing campaign to bring in new workers under the Teamster umbrella. But there are many things you can do everyday to grow the Teamsters Union. Here are a few of them.
First, take your full lunch everyday. We are requiered to take an hour for lunch each day. Every minute you don’t take and choose to work for instead is work that should have been dispatched to another car. Our building dispatches about 300 routes a day and if just 16 of those drivers skip half of their hour lunch, they have ran an entire route that should have been dispatched and run by anotherTeamster. Don’t let the company reduce our ranks and undermine our power by skipping part of your lunch. Every Teamster on the payroll is another person making our union stronger.
Use your 8-hour requests. Each driver in Denver gets three 8-hour requests per month. Our center has 45 drivers. If each one reduced their dispatch by one hour (from 9 to 8 hours), 3 times a month, that’s 135 hours a month or the equivalent of over 3 weeks of work that we could generate just by taking what’s is rightfully ours to enjoy. We could add a driver in our center if everyone used all of their 8-hour requests.
Refuse to work excessive overtime. We have strong 9.5 language in our contract. Use it. Keep your hours under control and the company will need more drivers to cover the routes that we are running ourselves right now by working 10 to 11 hours a day. Just 8 drivers working an extra hour per day are absorbing a route that another Teamster should be running. Excessive overtime weakens our union and hurts our families.
Don’t work off the clock. Every time you work off the clock you are giving the company a false impression of how long and how many people it takes to get the job done. Don’t give away precious minutes that someone should be paid for. UPS made $3 billion profit last year, you don’t have to work for free to keep them afloat.
Stop supervisors from doing our work. Go to your steward every time you see a supervisor working and have him investigate the reason for this violation. Sometimes the reasons are legitimate, sometimes not. If not, then file a grievance. Time slip grievances encourage the company to put on more people. See the next blog entry here for the steps to follow when you see a supervisor doing our work.
And finally, grow the business. The company consistently refuses to hire more people because the growth is flat. They say it would be bad management to add people when the business isn’t growing. So, grow the business and grow the Union.
None of these simple ways to grow the Union require a degree in organizing or long weekends spent talking to unorganized workers. These are things we can do everyday at work to grow our Union. Do your part, grow the union.
Supervisor working grievances are filed under two articles of our contract; Article 3, section 7 of the National Master Agreement and Article 1, section 2 of the Central States Supplement. Both state that the job of the supervisor is to supervise, not to do the work of the person he supervises. The person who files the grievance gets paid for the hours worked by the supervisor. It’s easy to win a supervisor working grievance.
You need 5 things. Who, what, when, where and why. Be ready to take notes when you see a supervisor working.
First, find out Who. When you see a supervisor working, you have the right to walk up to them and ask them who they are. They should be wearing a name tag. You do not have the right to inhibit the flow of packages in any part of the operation at any time. Be careful not to interfere, but go ahead and get their name. Tell them that they need to stop doing the work of the hourly employees.
Make note what the supervisor is doing. Is he advancing the progress of the packages? They have the right to pull packages out of the system and audit them at any time, but should return the packages to the same location they pulled them from. They have broad powers when it comes to training and can help an employee being trained in an effort to keep the trainee on schedule. Examples of the work they should not be doing includes driving tugs with packages on them, sending home hourly workers and wrapping up themselves, delivering stops to ‘help’ a driver and shuttling out packages to drivers.
Put down in your notes when the violation occurred. Note the day and time. Record how long you observed the work being done.
Be specific on where the supervisor was working. Was he pulling from a box? Which box and which boxline? What center was he in when you observed him driving a tug and dropping off packages? All of this information will be important to your winning the grievance.
Why? This is often the most important step. Most grievances are won or lost on the question of why. This is where you get your steward involved. Your steward will take the who, what, when and where and go find out the why. The company feels it has a responsibility to its customers to make service at any cost and uses this to justify supervisors working. When the Teamsters don’t show up for work and that shift is understaffed because of it, supervisors will be working and that’s a hard grievance to win. Let your steward find out why the supervisors were working. He can request staffing records and time cards. The investigation into why is the job of the steward.
It’s not hard to win a supervisor working grievance if you keep good notes. Often, supervisors don’t want to be working and (while they may be afraid to say it) will welcome a grievance to hi-lite their own concerns. Feel free to accommodate them. Contract enforcement is everyone’s responsibility.