Food for thought at my own office.......
December 7, 2016 9:59 AM   Subscribe

 
Step 1: make sure youve got a strong union behind you and your dues are paid up.
posted by at by at 10:04 AM on December 7, 2016 [27 favorites]


Step 2: there is no step 2. Step 1 is all the steps.
posted by flabdablet at 10:26 AM on December 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


Mine-owner Murray blames Obama.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:50 AM on December 7, 2016


It comes across as a cheap shot and in my own experience is untrue to imply that fighting for justice is somehow tied to whether or not dues are current. Having a union and participating in it certainly makes things easier, but no gods gave them to us, and money can't buy you a real one. Women and men fought and died for these protections and they are for everyone. The labor movement in the US has been under sustained assault since before it existed, and is on life support now precisely because of the potential power it has. Unions are as flawed as any institution, but genuine solidarity is a force to be reckoned with, full of power and love. The Mine Workers in particular have a long and proud history of standing up against seemingly insurmountable odds and winning. Harlan County U.S.A.
posted by Unioncat at 11:08 AM on December 7, 2016 [19 favorites]


where is this fantasy land where coal mining jobs still exist?

"Fairview, West Virginia"

yeah sounds totally fake
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:11 AM on December 7, 2016


I was born in a Harlan County coal camp. That movie is on YouTube.
posted by Miss Cellania at 11:14 AM on December 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Mine Workers in particular have a long and proud history of standing up against seemingly insurmountable odds and winning.

For certain values of winning.
posted by BlueHorse at 11:52 AM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Everyone should feel secure enough in labor solidarity to tell their boss to fuck off without feeling like they just wrote a resignation letter.
posted by scratch at 2:20 PM on December 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


They'd never get away with this under a Trump presidency.
posted by lhauser at 2:30 PM on December 7, 2016


The National Labor Relations Act protects workers who engage in "protected concerted activity", whether or not they are currently represented by a union.

For example, two or more employees addressing their employer about improving their pay, or two or more employees discussing work-related issues beyond pay, such as safety concerns, with each other -- that's "protected concerted activity" under Section 7 of the NLRA.

These rights exist whether or not a union exists in the workplace, and whether or not the employees are attempting to organize. (And certainly, whether or not union dues are current, or whether or not the employees in question are members of a union, should one exist.)

More information about employee rights under the NLRA is available at https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/employee-rights
posted by QuantumMeruit at 3:32 PM on December 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yaay!

I confess I am a little weary of unions because of the nature of my employment. (They tend to generate very long, complicated, and extremely pointless reports about the exact order of the call list for overtime shifts and whether not answering the phone twice is enough justification for the supervisor to go to the next person on the list, and all of this is almost always already being handled through a union grievance anyway so the only thing being accomplished by them making me cognizant of the exact details of their shift bidding process is that both of us are wasting each other's time.)

This, however, is exactly what a union is for and why I continue to support them a hundred percent in principle. The bosses aren't stupid; they knew exactly what their "bonus program" would encourage. That's why they did it. Eat shit indeed, Bob.
posted by Scattercat at 3:32 PM on December 7, 2016


They tend to generate very long, complicated, and extremely pointless reports about the exact order of the call list for overtime shifts and whether not answering the phone twice is enough justification for the supervisor to go to the next person on the list, and all of this is almost always already being handled through a union grievance anyway so the only thing being accomplished by them making me cognizant of the exact details of their shift bidding process is that both of us are wasting each other's time.

I was elected an employee representative on November 8th (yep – in France you don't have to be a member of an established union, just an organized group of employees with representation; here they're not the same thing), and it just so happens that one of the subjects everyone in general is aware of, are issues surrounding overtime. What people aren't aware of are what goes on behind closed doors during negotiations around it.

All those items you characterize as "wasting time" are in fact documentation that is absolutely necessary in order for reps to defend employees. I knew that it was touchy even without participating in management-union & representative meetings, but nonetheless, the first meeting I participated in, it was like having the scales removed from my eyes. Trust me when I say: if your union reps are asking for "very long, complicated" reports, they likely have very good reasons for it. Have you called them up to ask them about it? I bet they'd be happy to explain.

As for the OP, I was elected in large part because I kept making suggestions to improve things that were considered "frivolous" by management, and "holy fuck they seriously need to do this" by everyone else. Then, a few weeks before election day – management didn't yet know I was running for election – I had my annual review, which was based on a review never done with me, filled with lies (things like "deliveries were never on time" when I have documented records of every single one being on time), and cherry on the frosted cake, "fraula needs not to be maternal with her teams, but be a manager." That was the only line on the evaluation of my management skills. Quick background? On a project with 10 applications (2 massive ones, 8 smaller ones) and 70 people total, I was managing a team of 12 of whom half were on another site, we did the functional tests on the 8 smaller applications, each of which had 4 versions a year, and I did, in no particular order, the budget proposals, budget validation, workflow proposals and validation meetings, training proposals and follow-ups, team scheduling (some of my team members needed to be "borrowed" by other teams at times), checks of my team's strategies/designs/executions/defects, weekly team meetings, weekly client meetings (with each of my 8 client project managers and their teams), and the usual project management stuff (workloads, holidays). We were always on target, including during crises on the client side, and never had to work overtime. Bonus: I never had a single sick day on my team. In contrast... the rest of the project broke company records for overtime use and sick days, not to mention people rage-quitting. I kept making suggestions for how to improve things, which were waved off as pointless. Re the sick days, I only realized when I left the project, when they asked how I put sick days in my planning file. I was like, "uh. Never had to? Whoa." When I asked for a factual summary of that to be put on my review, my reviewer, a director, yelled at me: "I don't want to hear it!!!"

Meanwhile! Things I had suggested over the year were actually put in place on the project after I left, and it improved! You've likely guessed that I did not get credit for the proposals.

You should have seen the looks on management's faces after I was elected. Heeeheeeheeee. IN OTHER NEWS, I was hired by a much better company. It's fine re: being representative, as we always have backups, and I'd told people it was in the cards. They still wanted to vote for me... because they wanted me to be protected. They already knew I'd represent them well. (dammit every time I think of the people who've told me that, dust gets in my eyes.)

So. Employee representation? Hell yeah. Talk to each other. It's worth it. We're working on that whole overtime thing so people who do work it, actually get paid for it. Fill out those forms, listen to union reps, ask them what's behind it. Make suggestions if you think it can be improved. They're there to represent you.
posted by fraula at 3:00 AM on December 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


On his voided check for $3.22, Jesse Stolzenfels, a seven-year veteran, wrote, “Eat Shit Bob.”
I feel I would go much further if I worked somewhere for seven years and got a bonus check for $3.22.
posted by cardioid at 9:59 AM on December 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


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