6 months in, first warning letter, question for non-union

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by SplitSecond, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. SplitSecond

    SplitSecond New Member

    I've been at the Jacskonville FL Hub for just over 6 months now, but I'm not a union member. I figure if it looks like I'll be here a while I'll join but we will see how it goes...I'll give some background after my question if anyone wants more details.

    Just this past Saturday I received a warning letter for "excessive tardiness". The steward came and basically asked if i wanted to sign the warning letter, said I didnt have to and that he'd "take care of it" if I didnt want to. So I said I didn't because I felt it was unwarranted getting a warning letter. So he brings me a greivance form to fill out, says to get it back to him within 5 days. But my question is, since I'm not a union member can I even file this? Isn't that the point of being in the union? The steward didnt even ask if I was in the union, just acted like everything was cool and goin through the steps? Is there any point in filing a protest to a warning letter? The sup kept saying "its not going to matter, we cant take the letter back" etc etc. Just wondering what/how this works with me not being a member?

    Background...I have to use either my mom or my brothers car to get to work, they both work typical 8-5 jobs, and i work twilight. When I got hired I told them this and they seemed to be cool about it. When we start at 5:45 theres no problem, 5:30 might be 5 min late....but on friday we start at 5:15 so im always 15-20 min late. My sup when I started there was cool about it, no problem, etc. About a month ago we got a new sup and full timer and now it all changed. Now its a big deal,we gotta have everyone on time, can't play "favoritism"? etc...so the past few weeks every friday ive had to talk to someone about why im late, explained everything but now its culminated in this warning letter. Any advice besides switch to a different sort? Join up and start filing for harassment maybe?
  2. rocket man

    rocket man Well-Known Member

  3. Funfact

    Funfact Well-Known Member

    Just show up to work on time and you won't have a problem. Else start looking for another job.
  4. PT Stewie

    PT Stewie "Big Fella"

    Be on time and join the union. Your lucky to have a job in this economy. Act like a grown up and be responsible. Do not be late !!!!
  5. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Yes, you can file a grievance, or protest a Warning Letter by submitting your explanation of your lateness, just like a union member.

    The Union asked the Government, specifically the National Labor Relations Board, to declare it our exclusive representative. Whenever a Union asks the Government to prohibit other Unions from competing with it for a period of time, the Union must, in exchange, agree to represent all members of the Bargaining Unit, regardless of their status as Union members, non-members, or Agency Fee Payers. It's the Union's choice.

    As a non-member the Contract applies to you fully. You get the same representation, health insurance, pension, grievance processing etc. But you can't attend Union Meetings, vote in Union elections, run for Union office, or vote on Contract ratifications or strike votes.
  6. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Jon, the OP may get the same basic representation but I doubt if the union would go above and beyond for him as they would for a dues paying member.
  7. Inthegame

    Inthegame Well-Known Member

    A fairs days work for a fair days pay can be applied in different venues. Mr Split Second will get his moneys worth of representation. Brother Split second will get the above and beyond representation you speak of. Either way his chances are better of winning a lottery than of a successful outcome to grievance claiming harassment in this case.

    I appreciate your view that union reps go above and beyond for their members. That seems to be a too well kept secret.
  8. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    Many dues-paying members complain that the Union just does the legal minimum even for them, so I've concluded that the non-member may not be at so much of a disadvantage. Especially since The Law requires the Union to represent all equally. (I know, enforcing the law is another matter.)

    Besides, if this grievance is a Protest of a Warning Letter, the strength of the effort is in the words the OP writes to justify, or at least explain, his tardiness. His explanation goes in his file and becomes a part of the record, even if his Union representation is practically non-existant.
  9. Funfact

    Funfact Well-Known Member

    The OP needs to grow up and show up to work on time or start looking for an other job where they don't mind if you are late.....
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  10. rocket man

    rocket man Well-Known Member

    dont file let it ride
  11. whiskers

    whiskers Member

    Different start times almost every day of the week? They used to do that around here until our main building steward stepped in and took care of it. Now we have the same start time every day.
  12. Inthegame

    Inthegame Well-Known Member

    Suggesting "many" members complain the Union does the legal minimum doesn't make it so. Remember many people thought the world was flat. How many of these complainers have ever walked in the shoes of a BA? The grievance/panel system at UPS hinders all representatives' abilities to produce satisfying settlements much moreso than any failing from the union. Unfortunately having non members or right to work laws only exacerbate the problem by reducing the locals ability to afford costly arbitrations.

    The strength of his effort if he filed a grievance, which is always a protest of something, is a mute point. He could write War and Peace and not succeed in removal of a warning letter. The companies attitude is the only determinate in this case. They don't need to prove intent, only that he was late, and our poster has admitted that. Try getting that one past a panel, and arbitration would be a colossal waste of resources.

    The best advice is what other posters have given. Be on time.
  13. Upser843

    Upser843 New Member

    Best advice I can give you dude, and by the way Im a Shop Steward, start looking for a new JOB! Not being mean but dude you can't be late daily and work for this company. Real talk for you...
  14. JonFrum

    JonFrum Member

    From what I hear on Browncafe, and elsewhere, many people find Teamster officials take care of their workers like absentee landlords take care of their tenants. However, the OP appears to be fortunate that his Steward is one of the good ones.

    This case, as presented so far, isn't going to arbitration. The OP said, in effect, that he is technically guilty, BUT with an explanation. He apparently had no trouble being on time when UPS kept its part of the bargain. He only had a tardiness problem when UPS changed his start time. His full explanation needs to be in the same case folder as the Warning Letter.

    Management may take Progressive Discipline to the next step and suspend him if he is tardy again. And they might even try to fire him if his tardiness continues. Having his written defense on file may not get the Warning Letter revoked, but it will be worth its weight in gold if push comes to shove down the road, as it will establish that he has at least a semi-valid excuse. As opposed to being late because of laziness, or lack of commitment.
  15. SplitSecond

    SplitSecond New Member

    I appreciate the constructive replys. For anyone saying "just be on time" like I stated before, I was told that my situation would not be a problem when I was hired, and was not a problem until my supervisors changed. I cannot physically get to work before a certain time as I dont have a ride. The whole reason for this post was the 180 degree turn from what was accepted to being no longer OK.

    After talking to my steward, I was told he would take care of everything, to file the grievance even though I'm not union. All it does is put in the file that I protest the warning letter as being excessive given there were no documented talks prior to the warning letter and a reasonable effort was not made to remedy the situation. He would also talk to management about the situation, what I was told when hired, and how it was handled prior to the new supervisor taking over. Tomorrow is friday which is the problem day so we shall see.

    Yes, monday is usually 530, tuesday, 545, wed/thur 530 and friday 515. Thats been a pretty steady thing lately. Even talking to people in the yard, (shifters?) they say their start times change too.
  16. SplitSecond

    SplitSecond New Member

    A personal thank you for being very direct with your response. Being a new person in ups this is all foreign for me, though I know some people take very personally the union/non-union issue, especially when you watch the news (wisconsin), so I didnt want to rock my local boat by bringing all this up. Thank you.
  17. Inthegame

    Inthegame Well-Known Member

    The landlord analogy is more fitting than you imagine, as I have spent the last six weeks refurbishing a rental property nearly destroyed by a tenant who was also quite dissatisfied with me for not understanding why she couldn't pay rent on time, couldn't keep the place marginally clean, why she couldn't paint without permission, why I'd be upset when she broke leaded glass windows (unreported), etc. I had thousands in damages to the premices from her tenancy (and charged her nothing). But most people aren't landlords so they really have no idea how that process works. Even fewer are BA's so again have, in many cases, an unreasonable expectation of duty.

    BrownCafe is a wonderful forum for exchanges but you must agree most satisfied members don't bother posting so therefore aren't included in the "sample". There are also many pro union posts. Of course any organization needs improvement or failure is inevitable.

    I agree having a written record will certainly aid if a future issue escalates to suspension/termination.

    Jon, You post with precise information which tells me you care. I'm confused that you feel your reps aren't up to the task. There really are reps that work hard behind the scenes everyday, "fixing" issues and putting out fires before they spread, mostly unnoticed by the membership. Unfortunately most reps don't advertise their wins but receive all the blame for losses even though they're often jousting at windmills.
  18. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt You can call me Chappy Staff Member

    Been there, done that, don't do it anymore.

    I came to the conclusion that only married couple at least age 35 would be the only people I would rent to.
  19. rocket man

    rocket man Well-Known Member