| We now have our new clocks in place , and are expected to be at
our machines exactly when the shift starts. This we were told at our meeting
12/15/99 as we were to go over our annual increase and benefit summary.We
are also to leave the machine at the precise time breaks start and return
at the precise time that our breaks end.
Many questions were fielded on first shift by our management team , which they answered to a point.One question I asked was if this new policy would include our office staff. Bill replied that this was," none of my buisness", as they are salary and we are hourly employee's. What concerns one group doesn't concern the other. I find that strange....... After all, it was Don that said the reason he implemented the drug policy on hourly workers was because of the fact that it was mandatory for Office workers , that we were subjected to it because he wanted to be fair to everyone.........Figure that one out.
How is it fair that office personnel can take as many breaks as they want, but that we are subjected to one ten minute break and a twenty minute lunch? The Day after our meeting Bruce and his buddy took their first break at 9:15 after arriving at 8:00. They were back again at 10:15 and stayed until 10:45 only to take an hour lunch at 12:00. Of course Bruce will say it's buisness. Doesn't he have an office to conduct his buisness in? Don has a lot to learn about being fair!
The fact is that most office workers don't abuse this privelage, only Don's special "click". You all know that for the most part of 1999 Don, and of course Donna , Bruce, and his secretary would daily play the board game,"Trivial Pursuit", in the break room for more than an hour at a time on their lunch. Even now, Donna frequently takes lengthy coffee and cigarette breaks ,usually starting about 9 AM though she doesn't arrive until around 8 in the morning. Don frequently joins her of course. Her staff, as well as the plant in large find these breaks truly an abuse of power and privilege further crippling plant moral , which Don seems to have down to an art .If you ask me, they need the clocks alot worse than we do.
I also find it strange that we have two personnel managers when the other IP plants have none. They have one that services an entire region. Bruce's Secretary is far more knowledgeable about personnel issues and probably deserved the job to begin with."The click" has a lot of idle time on their hands, that is clearly obvious to us.Our management team should learn to lead by example, don't you think so?
| We have been very patient where this question is concerned.We
continue to wait for the vast majority to sign authorization
cards.We are very pleased in the amount of cards we have received, but we
want no division as we have stated before.
We continue to hope that everyone will see the need for all of us to come together as one on the issues that concern us and our families we provide for. IP has many plans they have yet to implement. Strict standards such as zero tolerance policies they have yet to put in place that we all know are coming.
Supervisors such as those on second shift have given people a glimpse of what's to come.Breathing down peoples necks, showing no diplomacy or respect for those who work under them. They have been a world of help in our efforts. This will only spill over to 3rd shift in due time, as well as first. Once people see IP and their true colors we will go in and correct this situation once and for all.
The variances in policies we have spoken of before will only continue to drive us closer in unity. They say patience is a virtue, which is one lesson we have learned from the past.
With unfair labor practice charges pending, we have no choice but to wait until the Labor Board sees these charges through before we can petition anyway.We would not want to withdraw the charges at this point to hurry the election process. If the company has violated Labor Laws, bringing forth justice will only help us to prevail in the end.
| The key to having a successful Union in our work force will
be participation by all. Attending our union meetings and voting on the issues
that will come up in these meetings. For all members to have the right to
speak their minds on ways to improve our local, and introduce new idea's
that will make our efforts a success.
We should create By-Laws within our local to hold the officers we elect responsible to the people. I feel that limiting the terms of these elected positions will control internal corruption and keep Democracy the rule in our workplace.
I have seen local unions that I would be proud to work for , and there are others that I feel fell short of what I consider was in the best interest of the people.Whether a union is successful or not depends on the strength of the people to stand together in unity. Caring about each other and looking out for each others interests will be the key to our success.I feel we have always had a workforce that could accomplish this. I believe in the people in our workforce, and know that we can make this a success.
International Paper has made it clear that we need to negotiate our future rather than leaving it in the hands of a corporation that puts money and investors above all else.We put our families interest as our top priority.We can have a voice in the changes taking place.Only by voting the Union in will we truly have a voice and make a positive difference in our future and that of our families. Please click on our links to see the difference first hand that a union can make in your future. Especially the Government links. No propaganda there, just the facts...........There is no reason that IP and our workforce can't work hand in hand to make this the best plant possible.Respect should not be one sided as it is now. As I have said before, by negotiating with the right attitude and mindset we can create a razor sharp competitive edge in this market place and provide security for our future.We can and are willing to work with International Paper for the good of the company and our workforce if given the chance.
News and information
TRUTH ABOUT VIDEO CAMERA'S IN PLANT
As we have already mentioned , management announced in meetings with various die cut operators that production was expected to increase by 50%. In outlining the many steps on how to achieve this , video taping set-ups was one of the details outlined .Since then , I was approached by a member of management and told that we had lied to the people about this topic . I was informed that the video was to be a one time procedure for Pillsbury that they had requested .
I then explained that I KNEW BETTER ! We have a copy of the agenda that was presented to the respective crews and that it not only stated that Video Camera's were to be used for set-ups , but was also signed by Bill himself! I then asked if he would like to see it . He quickly went into how the crews did need to raise production , without commenting further on my so called mistake. These antics are typical of managements campaign tactics .
If anyone would like to see the copy of this agenda to raise die cut production , feel free to contact myself or Marcus to see it for yourself . Other committee members will also have a copy to share with anyone who may be interested .
IS DON OUR SOLE PROBLEM?
No! Don has made his fair share of mistakes , granted. It is hard for me to imagine that he hasn't had the blessing of those much higher than himself though . For months we have posted comments from our co- workers , passed out flyers ,to which corporate is well aware of the content . They still refuse to deal with the issues head on , at least , the ones that truly matter to us and our families that we provide for .
Once again , those issues are :
1. At our annual meeting last year , Salary continuance , Bruce said we get to keep" FOR NOW", He wasn't sure about the future.
2.We also will share a greater cost in our insurance premiums next year and the year after. 30% this year and 50% the next.
3.Video Camera's in the plant . Announced by Bill to be coming to the Die Cut dept.
4. Zero tolerance policies management declared would be coming soon after the take over.
5.Variance in policies concerning job bidding , attendance , seniority , merit pay and many other practices in which our union free status has left us victim to.
6. Any and all policies that effect us at work and our families that depend on us ! There are many more than what we have mentioned here !
When our union buster friend comes to town , he never addresses these issues does he ? Instead he offers Dispute Resolution , to pacify us . A policy that gives us no control over any of these issues , and no hope for our future.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION PANEL MEETS
The people that management hand picked to iron out the guidelines for the dispute resolution panel have met and completed their assignment. To many , the panel would be limited to the point that any real changes in policy would remain doubtful at best . It puts us in a position to pass judgment on the fate of our own friends and co workers. Therefore , this will serve to divide our workforce to some degree if we aren't very careful.
The comparison between a grievance committee and a resolution panel , is no comparison at all . The Unions grievance committee , a group of four or five of your co workers that you democratically elect , try to make a case of your complaint , rather than pass judgment . Only after exhausting every effort to make a reasonable case on your behalf, would they table the grievance from lack of reason or evidence.
Wouldn't it be in our best interest to democratically elect the people we would feel best represent our interests, rather than draw names out of a hat ?
One question that was asked of the entire group from one of our attending committee members was " Is there anyone in this room that can tell me what the attendance policy is?" No one could answer his question , so he asked them individually, and still no one could answer him . He asked supervisors by name and they shook their heads " No".
Such proves the need to have these things in writing ,then everyone would know ! If it were in the form of a contract , it would be binding and fair to all . This is only possible by joining together and forming a united workforce !
We will have a full commentary from Marcos , who was in this meeting coming to you very soon. Be sure to check this one out , as we expose the entire process that we feel will be of interest to you all !
THANKS FOR STOPPING TO TAKE FLYERS !
I can't begin to thank you all enough for taking our flyers that we passed out at the entrance the other night ! It is the only way we can voice our concerns and get our message out to everybody .The company has the luxury of shutting down the plant and paying you to listen to them , several times a week for hours at at a time .This must cost them a fortune in lost production ! This only proves to me that it is their interest they are concerned with , though they try to convince us that it is our interest they are looking out for .
The labor law allows us to campaign on our time , which is on our breaks or after work.They campaign all day long, coming to your machines,calling many of you at home ,or even coming to your home like our union buster friend did in Saybrook. Is it any wonder why the cards are stacked against the Union in these situations ?
We promise to try to stay with the issues and facts , and not get into a mud slinging contest with the company . We will bring forth facts from sources that are neutral , rather than biased ,to best represent the facts to you during this campaign as it progresses. These sources are the U.S. Government ,CNN, the Herald leader,University research teams etc....We will though ,hold management accountable for their policies and practices ,whether on the local or corporate level.
We do not hate International Paper ! We do feel that negotiating with them is a much better way to work.We want respect and dignity and fairness for one and all.
Don , just the other day asked an employee if he could help them, then degraded this person because he could , no other reason. I think you all know who and what I am talking about as it has spread across the plant like a wild fire . This is ridiculous to have to tolerate when we would be written up for insubordination by doing the same. When do we draw the line ? We draw it at the entrance of work , and will continue to do so until this campaign is said and done! Thanks to you all once again !!!!!!We are proud to work with you !
Below is the past edition of the PACE
Information and news
Video Camera's in Die Cut Department
Management is pushing for the Die Cut department to increase production by 50% . They claim this can be achieved without the employee's working harder(?). One of the steps they plan to take is to video tape the operators set up procedure to find out if there is room for improvement in this area . They plan to "reward" the "employee's" with new equipment to help them achieve this new goal. They also mentioned splitting up teams if necessary to make it work.
What else is in it for the employee's ? That's about it from what we have heard . There was no mention of salary increase or any financial incentive . Big brother is watching you ! The next thing will probably be Video cameras throughout the plant . Let's be sure to negotiate this out , when the time comes !
Petition to be Reviewed
The petition brought forth by our plant employee's requesting the policy on wearing shorts be reviewed was taken to management with around 70 employee's signatures , corrugator and maintenance for the most part could not be approached since they do not have the same break schedules as do the other workers. The labor law requires that such activities be restricted to break times or time other than work hours.
Management accepted the petition in a very diplomatic and respectful fashion to which Bill was the recipient on behalf of the company.
A memo was posted on the board in the breakroom which stated that management would pursue the matter and get back to us in a few weeks . The memo comes from Don and also stated that the request was reasonable . I for one , would have to agree!
Saybrook Employee's Petiton I P
Employee's in Saybrook have petitioned for an election . They have been introduced to our web site by PACE organizers and we welcome them and wish them well in this endeavor. They have a majority of signed cards and a large committee of 20 workers.
This is their first election , which will make it difficult to see through the closed captioned meetings of slanderous bull the labor busters like to put on .They will surely try to scare them with false "truth" and scary stories of how the union is after their money and will take away their voice and job security. (HA!)
Most of us now know the real truth and see these type of antics to be more of a comedy show deserving only of laughs than fear. The real horror lies in believing I P will be fair to its employee's and treat them with any dignity and respect , without representation and work force unity !
Good luck Saybrook ! Don't forget the popcorn !
When Are We Going to Vote?
This question comes to us time and time again recently. Our campaign is doing very well thanks to Don and IP with help from many others as well . The bottom line is that though we have signed more than enough for a vote , however we will only go in this time with a VAST majority of support .Our goal is 85% of the cards signed .
We are confident in this measure and will continue to pursue our endeavor for as long as it takes . We will not accept losing another election. We are going in to negotiations as a whole! We want no division within our people. Please help us to recieve the support we need . Make copies of our links and stories to pass out among your friends ! Invite them to our site on your computers and print out the union card we have online to distribute to those not on our mailing list.
Random Drug Testing is Wrong
We don't advocate drug use . We do feel that what you do on your own time is of no business to your employer. This system of testing invades the privacy of Americans . It is against your constitutional rights for the Government to randomly test its citizens without just cause . Why should this be an exception in the workplace ? But because there are few laws protecting our privacy in the workplace, millions of American workers are tested yearly, sometimes several times a year– even though they aren't suspected of drug use.
Employers have the right to expect workers not to be high or drunk on the job. But they shouldn't have the right to require employees to prove their innocence by taking a drug test. That's not how America should work. Politicians aren't subjected to this humiliation , why should innocent , hard working citizens be subjected to it ? Drug testing is designed to detect and punish conduct that is usually engaged in off-duty and off the employer's premises – that is, in private. Employers who conduct random drug tests on workers who are not suspected of using drugs are policing private behavior that has no impact on job performance. Don implemented this policy , this is not a corporate wide policy ! Once again , Don has failed the people .
Last year when the age old bidding system of posting openings and allowing all employees an opportunity to bid was "reconsidered",so was recognizing seniority .
Another promise was that management would make an effort to consider our feelings on certain issues such as Merit pay . We hoped this issue would outline a fair system anyone could understand and achieve . Instead we have round table meetings that average 20 minutes in length and go no where.
With the threat of video cameras coming into the plant , isn't it time for the protection of a legal and binding contract that we can vote on and have a voice in the workplace? A grievance procedure where management no longer has the last word!
I P Survey Completed
International Paper gave us a survey to complete to determine how employee's feel about their respective work envirement . By the peoples account , the survey was vague. From the in-plant committee's survey of how the people answered , Don and company were very poorly rated . People are hoping I P will see this as a message to corporate that Management needs to improve in every category .
Many people we heard from thought it should have offered a comment section so we could provide exact detail as to what the many problems are. I 'm not so sure that they actually wanted to know the problems , but hoped this vague survey would passify the people and lead them to believe that they actually are concerned when in reality , they're not.
We are suppressed now, more than ever, under Don and IP than we ever were under Weston. They have taken full advantage of our "union-free" status to implement policies that are stifling . Policies our Weston Union plants can't be subjected to because they have a contract to protect them , but , even more importantly , they stand together in unity .
This is a Bryant & Bellamy Production