Conflict of Interest??

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by stratmanken, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. stratmanken

    stratmanken Stratman

    Ok, hope I get some feedback here. Our union steward, a real stickler for details and the bane of the company here, is also serving as the chairman of the safety committee. Occasionally the center manager gives him a "safety day" to be off road and do safety related things at the center. Recently, he and the center manager have been doubling up in the managers’ personal vehicle and spying on drivers, watching for those who aren't wearing a seatbelt, pulling their keys, etc.... One driver got a warning letter for running while delivering packages, and a couple of the drivers have ended up getting warning letters due to some of these activities. There is no trust or teamwork and the moral of the center is in the toilet. The steward/safety chairman loves the attention he gets from this and really gets a big power trip from wielding his new found authority. Of course, after the employee gets into trouble, the steward then has a responsibility to defend/represent the employee. Other employees have offered to be the safety chairman, but the steward won't budge and the manager won't make any changes. Anybody else see a problem with this? Does the union support this kind of conflict? I'm concerned and puzzled. Any help here?? Thanks
     
  2. scratch

    scratch Least Best Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    I don't see how a Shop Steward should be driving around with Center Management to spy on drivers. Your Local needs to drop him and your fellow drivers should elect someone else. You definitely need to give your Business Agent a call and see what they will do about this. Big conflict of interest.
     
  3. 3peaks

    3peaks wicked GT05

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    i'm as puzzled as you are .......here's a thought ........why dont you guy's just elect your center manager to double as your shop steward.......:ohmy:
     
  4. island1fox

    island1fox Well-Known Member

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    Looks like we are all puzzled !!
    Imagine a shop stewart that truly cares about the safety of the drivers --- spends his time making sure the safety committee operates correctly -----Drivers running ??? Drivers not wearing seat belts. Lets get a business agent to take out this shop stewart. MAYBE THEN SOME DRIVER CAN LOSE HIS LIFE OR GET SERIOUSLY HURT --- When will some people just grow up------When mgmt and union work together safe working conditions can become a reality.Would you rather a driver who is stupid enough not to care about himself or his family---refuses to wear a seatbelt ------ or gets a "dreaded warning letter"
     
  5. 3peaks

    3peaks wicked GT05

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    it's obvious that you missed the whole point here....it has nothing to do with union and management working together....it is the job of the management to give warnings to an employee who is not following the proper methods...it is the steward's job to represent the employee if he gets caught not following those methods...so how do you not see a conflict of inrest here??? I would like to know if the same steward/safty guy is working with the same manager to make sure that a driver is not over dispatched and that his truck is loaded properly...there for not having to run or or leave the keys in the truck...or not put on his seat belt.....But i think we both already know the answer to that...dont we.....and what about the pre-load guy's being burried up to their waist in packages at 5 A.M. in the morning...is the steward/safty/management team working on that too??? and by the way i have never seen a ups driver who "refuses" to wear his seat belt...but i no a few who need to cut what ever corner possible to get the job done...whether it's rite or wrong they do what ever it takes to get the job done.....only to have an extra 15-20 stop's the next day...and then if they do talk to the steward thet are just told to "suck it up" and deal with it.
     
  6. wily_old_vet

    wily_old_vet New Member

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    Talk about missing the point. No one wants to see anyone injured but the point of this post is the conflict of interest of a shop steward helping management in disciplining hourly workers. How can he adequately represent the workers in his center if he was part of the reason the driver was disciplined in the first place. I don't blame him for not wanting to drop off the safety committee. I would've loved getting days where I didn't have to go on road and still get paid my hourly rate. If the safety committee is that important to him then dropping out as shop steward should be no problem.
     
  7. Zypher22

    Zypher22 New Member

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    A shop steward is there to represent employees when they are treated unfairly or unjustly. If the employee is doing something wrong, a shop steward should be the first one there to correct the behavior.

    The steward isn't here to make sure noone gets disciplined, but rather to make sure that the discipline is consistent with the contract.

    The shop steward is not part of the reason the employee is being disciplined, the employee not following methods would be the reason they are being disciplined.
     
  8. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    This is BS, pure and simple. You need to get a bunch of the boys together and have a "talk" with this shop steward after work. Then call for an election for a new shop steward.

    What the hell is wrong with the drivers in your center. I shouldn't have to tell you this. It is a huge problem when your shop steward is in bed with your center manager. TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM!
     
  9. LKLND3380

    LKLND3380 Active Member

    How many stewards do you have in your building? YOU not UPS has the right to pick which steward represents YOU...

    The UNION has approval over who is on the safety commitee NOT UPS... The COMMITTEE MEMBERS have approval over who the Co-Chair is NOT UPS

    SECTION 20.4 SAFETY AND HEALTH COMMITTEES
    ---- SNIP ----
    Bargaining unit members who seek to serve on the Safety and Health Committee may volunteer to do so, with approval of the Local Union. The Union co-chair of the comittee(s) shall be selected by the bargaining unit members of the committee...
    ---- SNIP ----

    IF SOMEONE IS WORKING UNSAFE it is the resposibility of ANY safety commitee member to address those concerns and do observations...
     
  10. DS

    DS Fenderbender

    Re: Conflict of Intrest??

    Ok the put him in a bag was my idea,but over9`s right...thats
    just wrong.You can bet that safety is not the only reason for
    these spying episodes.This guy needs to be told.
     
  11. satellitedriver

    satellitedriver Moderator Staff Member

    Your "Stewart" is a bucket of ****e. His job is to promote safe work habits , not to enforce them. Can him as soon as you can, by whatever means.
    On the other hand, drivers should not engage in the violations of safety and work methods. I see guilt on all parties involved.
     
  12. LKLND3380

    LKLND3380 Active Member

    A resposibility of the Safety Committee is to do JHA/Observations and on the observations it ask who observers - management, safety committee, insurance agent
     
  13. atatbl

    atatbl Active Member

    This is craziness.
     
  14. evilleace

    evilleace Member

    Most defiently a conflict of interest I would see about a new steward.
     
  15. sortaisle

    sortaisle Livin the cardboard dream

    I don't see a conflict of interest here...more like you steward is an :censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2::censored2:. If the chairman/steward is there to witness the acts involved, what is there to fight? He saw the violation as both steward and safety chairman. If nothing else, he doesn't seem to be the company bane you make him out to be. And like the contract says, if the union sees fit to let him be the chair and the steward, then what can you do? I would bring it up with the steward first, and if that doesn't work, bring some guys in with you to hash it out. If that doesn't work, then bring it up with the union.
     
  16. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    I really don't see how this is any different then walking a steward around the building to observe unsafe behavior in the building. If the manager asks and the steward believes the manager will be giving discipline then the steward should go to represent the interests of his people.

    At this point you know about the guys who were observed working unsafely and given warning letters. If the guy was running or doing something unsafe then there is nothing the steward could have done to prevent that.

    You also do not know what warning letters the steward may have talked the manager out of while in that car.

    I think the steward knowing the manager intends to discipline drivers he observes working unsafely has to go to represent his people.

    And last you know the drill , do the job by the methods and you don't have to worry about who is watching.

     
  17. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    there are several things about this whole thread that stinks or is wrong.

    first off i was both a shop steward and a safety cochair, elected to both by the drivers.

    Secondly, i did gi out several times with management to follow up on drivers during the day to day operations. that is the only way for us to ever know what we need to work on when it comes to safety.

    Thirdly, while on observations it was with the blessing of the union. but it was with the understanding that if a driver was not using proper methods (with the exception of not wearing seat belts) that no disaplinary action would be taken besides being talked to both on road and followed up with the next day. no warning letters were to be given while we were both watching the drivers work.

    Fourthly, there were several times where we did catch a driver not wearing their seat belts. normally that would have been grounds for imediate dismissal. period. so that actually saved the drivers job

    Fifth, there were several times where i did observations by myself. all the information the company got was the number of drivers i observed, the number and type of "issues" that were observed. period. no names, no routes, nothing to identify the actual driver.

    now, the next day i would privately talk to the driver and ask them to please follow the safety requirements of their job. and that would be the end of it. all private records i had remained that way, private. just like private conversations between myself and someone i am representing. no management intervention.

    The company got their raw data they wanted, the safety committee had a list if what they needed to focus on. and the safety committee worked like it was designed to work. senior drivers taking interest in the safety of the newer drivers.

    case in point. i set up one morning about a half mile from the gate. 22% of the drivers on the road did not have their belts on, 65% had the bulkhead doors open, three had still not unfolded their rear view mirrors, one had not hooked the chain to the tp60, and one had the back door open. 21 of the drivers were on the phone, 4 had the diads in their hands against the steering wheels.

    No names, just fact. and as you can see, a lot of serious issues to fix

    now
    this is what really bothers me. if he seeks the attention he is the wrong person for the job. the job of cochair is not that of power, but instead service. if true, it is a violation of the trust that both the union and the company has vested in him, and he should resign from both.

    JMHO

    d
     
  18. evilleace

    evilleace Member

    Danny in my opinion what you did is acceptable but sneaking around and giving out warning letters is not right.
     
  19. stevetheupsguy

    stevetheupsguy sʇǝʌǝʇɥǝndsƃnʎ

    d! Very well spoken and I totally agree. This is the way safety observations should be done. This way is the most effective at getting the attention of the person who has obviously fallen into a bad pattern. There's room in everyone for improvement and this is the way to get the proper response from even the most hard headed individuals.

    That other sneaky way of doing this is just that, sneaky and underhanded. I would love for d to be my steward/safety guy, anytime.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  20. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    one more thing i forgot to add

    you have to be sincere in your quest to create a safer working environment. with very few exceptions, we got all safety issues brought before the committee fixed either before it was made known to the committee (ie fixing the problem yourself or immediately having someone in charge of that area fix it), or within 24 hours if it was not something serious.

    when you walk the talk, you earn the respect of those you represent. note i said earn. and you dont earn that by beating your chest on power trips. you do it by caring about your fellow employee and actually doing something about it.

    that being said, the management team also respected what the safety team has accomplished. the average safety meeting had about 20% of the drivers in attendance each meeting. there was none of the stupid candy bars passed out gimmics..........well once we had a dunk tank set up, in november, tank filled with water and 60 pounds of ice. gave each safe driver a ball for each month of safe deliveries for the year. you could also buy balls with the money going to charity. I was volunteered to be the tank man. i was surprised at the great pitching talent we have at our center. but i digress.

    point is, without a committed management staff that gives you the leeway to set goals, and to see to it you have the tools to gain those goals, is it any wonder why the program has failed so badly in so many places. where the safety co-chair is viewed as a company patsy instead of a true safety advocate? I guess i was lucky?

    but remember, tyranny runs free when good men stand by and do nothing. its your safety committee. if you let management take it away from you, shame on you.

    d