Friday, May 2, 2008

What Can You Expect From Management?

Now that we’re joining together, here’s what we can expect to hear from management...

When workers form a union, they gain a voice in decisions that affect their jobs, their future and their families. Unfortunately, management doesn’t always like the idea of sharing the decision making with employees. So management’s first reaction may be to make a lot of misleading statements to try to convince you not to join together.

Knowing what to expect from management will help you stay focused on your real goal—winning a voice on the job and a say in your future.

This is what managers often say when workers form a union:

Management: “A union is a third party that will come between us.”

Fact: Our union is a democratic, member-run organization. When you form a union, you’ll work together to govern your own organization. And every contract will be reviewed and approved by a majority of the employees where you work.

Management: “The union will make you go on strike.”

Fact: Strikes are a rare last resort in contract negotiations—more than 95 percent of Teamster contracts are negotiated without a strike. And no strike will happen unless a majority of workers vote to call one.

Management: “If you form a union, you risk losing the benefits and pay raises you already have.

Fact: It is illegal for a company to freeze or cut previously scheduled raises to discourage you from forming a union. Once you’re organized, you’ll lock in our current wages and benefits and then negotiate improvements from there. All of you will get an opportunity to review your proposed contract before you vote to approve it. Obviously, you’re not going to approve a contract that cuts our wages or benefits.

Management: “The union just wants your dues money.”

Fact: As newly organized Teamsters, you won’t pay dues until you’ve negotiated and voted to approve your first contract—and decided for yourselves whether it’s worth it. (Teamster pilot groups are the exception; in 1998, pilots requested that their dues begin the month after voting to become Teamsters.) Every serious organization—churches, clubs, sporting leagues, and similar organizations—has to have some kind of funding, and unions are no different. Dues pay for the costs of having an organization—contract negotiations, grievances and arbitrations, training for members, legal fees, and other things so no one has to go it alone.

Management: “With a union, you won’t be allowed to talk to your supervisor—you’ll have to go through the union.”

Fact: Teamsters have found that having a union strengthens communication between employees and supervisors. Direct relationships with immediate supervisors continue and you can negotiate to retain any good policy and procedures already in place. The advantage of joining together in a union is that you’re able to make your voices heard at the upper levels of management, where key decisions are made.

Management: “The improvements we’re willing to make right now show that you don’t need a union.”

Fact: It’s great that management is responding to your concerns. It shows that when you join together, your voices are heard. By forming a union, you can make sure this progress is not just short term—you’ll build an ongoing dialogue with management on all your issues. You'll also have peace of mind with a union—since the improvements you agree on will be guaranteed in your union contract.

Keep in mind that it’s normal for some tension to arise when workers start to build a union. But the tension is temporary. After you vote to form a union, management gets used to the idea of you having a voice on the job.

No matter what management says, stay focused on your shared goals—to make your workplace the best possible place to work.


Anonymous said...

A past practice means things that happen in the past, some employees got disciplinary action and terminated and some don’t get disciplinary action or terminated.
Example at FedEx Frt west, there is been drivers that got fired for a D.U.I after court conviction has been giving, and now there is a driver that got one and didn’t get fired especially being a role model, but place in a different group and service center.
Now if those drivers that got fired for their D.U.I conviction got word of this and file Labor Board charge against FedEx, the Arbitrator would rule on a past practice and those drivers would file a law suit after.
Managers gotten fired for taking bribes in return of not firing a favoritism employee or now is call a prefer employee, that’s also a past practice.
There is word that this is happening is the southern region, once we have proof of this we are not taking this to human resource, but to the Labor Board and the Equal Employees, Opportunity Commission, because is this justice or Quid Pro Quo?

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is while we have been organizing to form a better worplace company management and supervision have constantly harassed us with attacks on our personal lives and insults on our character when the fact of the matter is we are not the ones who are lying and deceiving the workers. Unions are put in place to help the workers. Unions brought us the weekend which we all enjoy and a Union would help us get free of the tryanny of the Fedex management. With a binding Union contract we would get more money per hour, retiree medical, a vastly better pension, and eliminate the favortism from Fedex management hiring their families and giving special positions to their friends outside of work that they hang with on the weekends. I feel very insulted that we were all promised a better pension and now we are going to get less from this so-called new pension. As far as I am concerned this is just another smokescreen set up by Fedex to try and deceive us and make us satisfied with the crap they are trying to feed us. Union pensions are the best and management you say Fedex is a good company, but I think we need to make it a better company with all those Union benefits and go Union. Don't go mad just go Teamster!!!