How does one become more involved with the union?

Discussion in 'UPS Union Issues' started by Kis124, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Kis124

    Kis124 Member

    I have noticed a severe lack of union knowledge at my center. New hires seem to not care, and are more prone to make friends with sups, so they don't want to get involved. I am trying to talk to my steward, but he is always busy doing his work unless there is disipline to be given out. I also want to see if being treated like we are in the military is common practice at hubs. We get no breaks, even during peak, they stress hydration, but God forbid you have to use the bathroom. I am in the dark...the contract seems vague to me...
  2. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    If you are not getting a break, then call your local labor dept and file charges.
  3. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Ask your steward for his phone number. Talk to him and explain your concerns. You can also call and talk to your business agent. Tell him you are ready to get involved. If he doesn't help you get involved right away be persistent. Also get a copy of the contract and learn it. Call your ba if you have questions and make him answer them. You can also throw in there that you think be is doing a good job and thank him. This will catch him off guard because no members ever tell him he is doing a good job. Now you are involved
  4. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Ask for a copy of the contract (if you don't already have one) and read it. There is a lot of dry material in there and much of the contract is devoted to drug testing. The first part of the booklet is the National Master Agreement, which covers all employees, while the second part is your local supplement, which covers operations in your area.

    You will find that most of the PTers simply want to come in, do their jobs and go home. New hires do not know about the 3.5 hour guarantee or the policy regarding paid breaks and the way layoffs are handled---all of this information is in the contract.

    Your comparison to the military is accurate, although I never worked even 1/10 as hard when I was active duty. (I do miss my 2 1/2 hour Friday lunches.:wink2:)

    Educate yourself and then work to educate others. You should expect resistance and downright apathy. You will also find that most of us don't concern ourselves with the union until we need them, whether for an injury, discipline or termination.
  5. UnsurePost

    UnsurePost making the unreadable unreadabler

    What if he's not doing a good job (lord knows there are many BAs who do not)....then aren't you reinforcing bad behavior?
  6. Anonymous 10

    Anonymous 10 Guest

    Yes if you have a bad ba that could be true but maybe just maybe if you get involved you can find out for sure and not just from word of mouth or heresy. I'm kind of like upstate in that my local is run so professional and my the book that I live in a dream world.
  7. krash

    krash Go big orange

    You definitely need to learn your contract and try to make the monthly union meetings. Learn how to fill out a grievance form so you can file against unfair discipline and contract violations. For instance, you not getting your contractually guaranteed break. And I'm sure you can find a host of supervisors working to file on.
  8. menotyou

    menotyou bella amicizia

    I can't find my new contract, but in the older one(2002-2008) Art. 59 addresses breaks. "Each employee shall be guaranteed a ten minute coffee break between the 2nd and 3rd hours."

    If you work over 6 hours in NY, DOL dictates you get one 30 minute unpaid break.
  9. union4life

    union4life Active Member

    . To be more involved is simple enough. Find out when your Local is having their "general membership meeting". Start attending the meetings on a regular basis and fill the time between meetings reading your contract and supplement. While your at the membership meeting, ask your Secretary Treasurer for a copy of your Local's By-Laws and a copy of the IBT Constitution.

    As for the comment of "no breaks", this type of abuse happens for a simple reason. The individuals allow it to happen. Someone has to speak up. Find the supervisor in charge and tell him/her that you are contractually guaranteed a break at (insert time here). For the part-timers in my area the language reads "before the completion of the 3rd hour".

    You will have to develop an "image" in your work area. That image ill be perceived in different ways by different groups. Learn your job inside and out. Once you learn the contract language and the company's SWMs, Depth of knowledge, yard control, and on and will become empowered.

    Trust me; it is a lot harder for the Management Team to do their job properly than it is for you to follow your job to the letter. Most people just don't want to get involved and really hate it when management focuses on them. I look at it in another light. I believe it makes me a better employee.

    I will give you a couple of scenarios that I have gone through in recent days. I noticed a problem with my knee while I was on my route. I followed the rule and reported it immediately. The supervisor said "do you want to go to the doctor?” I said, "The company policy is to get a quick and accurate diagnosis in order to speed healing and get back to work" so "yes, let's go to the doctor". It sounds so simple. However, we have a plenty of guys that work hurt. I ask them why and the answer always comes back the same, "I don't want to hear them" or "they are going to give me a hard time".

    Remember, earlier, what I said about knowing your methods and using them? I have no fear of having that attention on me. I do my job right and don't have to worry about the harassment that may come.

    I have been reassigned to a part-time preload shift for my TAW assignment. These poor guys need help. I heard one of the part-timers complaining about not getting a break. I asked if it was common and the answer was yes. I asked if the breaks were late or if they simply didn't get one. The response was that it was usually late. So, there I went in search of the supervisor. I wasn't rude. I simply approached him and said are you aware of the contract language regarding breaks?" He looked at his watch and said "ummm...i guess it's break time". Simple. The reason I got that response....simply the "image" the supervisors have of me. I'm not the type employee they are used to dealing with during the pre-load. I took notes while I was working and addressed them with the manager after the shift was complete. The list was long and included supervisors working, supervisors allowing members to work off the clock during break, and supervisors not following the belt lock-out procedures. Tomorrow, I expect to see some improvement. Everyone involved knows I will be following the grievance procedure. I don't expect it to reach that point.

    In my work area there is more than just a few that are willing to hold management accountable. We are always trying to get more members active. It's not easy. I commend you for wanting to help your Brothers and Sisters. Use the tools that the Union and the Company give you.

    Sorry for the rant.
  10. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    Ha, Imagine this. I just went to my union meeting, 2nd one in 27 yrs. Yes a thousand lashings for me. Here I am giving my union 77 bucks a month and letting them pee it away. There was one other woman there and she didnt seem to like me, shucks.

    I listened to the meeting, the things brought up, and said to my ownself, this is one run amuck congregation. I think I will come here more often. Only at this place Local 377 have people brought charges, decided charges, spent our money on campaigns, and been found guilty, and we still give it to them every month. And think they can ignore the members wishes. Arrogance on display. But it is our own fault. We dont pay attention, we dont come, and our company REALLY LIKES IT THAT WAY.
    And the officials like it that way.
    Guess Im going to burst some bubbles, Ill be there, Ill be dumb, But Im going to learn real fast. And then I will get my moneys worth........
    Before Im done, youll be voting for Tooner.
    And We will not be supporting OBAMA or any ilk such as he.
    (if I am found dead in the am, or never found,:surprised: send this post to my husband
  11. Do you mean the lone steward on our shift who is in bed with management, or the BA who I have saw in our building exactly 1 time in the 16 months since I've transfered to this local??
    Had I known the local here was so pathetic here I may have had some sense and stayed home in local 407, where a union is run correctly!!
  12. BTW, it's hard to attend your local's meetings when most part-timers have 2 and 3 jobs to support their families. I for one work a 2nd job and am always scheduled for Sundays.....the day of my local's meeting.
  13. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    yes that makes it tough. But that is exactly why your lone steward and your BA act that way, because we let them. It took me a while to figure it out, but its just like any powerful position. If no one is checking on them, they can do whatever they want. And one of them is not to be working for you.
  14. union4life

    union4life Active Member

    I certainly understand that point. I was in your shoes many years ago. You might want to check you Local's by-laws for language regarding "how to change meeting time and location". There is also a way to call for a "Special Meeting". If you can meet the requirements set forth in the by-laws you can have the Local come to you guys. If you don't have that opportunity in your current by-laws, find out when you can present "ammendments" to the by-laws. Make that Local work for your money.
  15. packagemandan

    packagemandan New Member

    How large is your building? Your steward should have greeted you when you filled out your sign up card, It's great that you want to get involved, our best PT steward got started this same way, call your business agent say hello, find out when the next union meeting is and attend. as for the comradery between the PT and management that happens untill they get stabbed in the back by thier "buddy", then they come running to the only protection they have THE UNION.
  16. krash

    krash Go big orange

    He asked how he could get involved which attending the meetings is one way. I know we can't all attend the meetings. I was PT for 10 years and always worked a second job that was FT. And now I work in feeder and have to go in at 23:45 and do not get off in time most Saturdays to make the meeting. I's not a requirement but I try to go as often as possible. Solidarity is the key to combating UPS.