|Welcome to Local 308||
January 24, 2018
I’ll start by regrettably reporting the passing of Keith Nagle. Please remember brother Nagle and his family in your thoughts and prayers. His obituary is posted on the bulletin boards for those interested in attending services.
As was posted on the bright pink stationery, the prime vacation bidding process has changed. The PO will no longer be mailing the forms to your homes. You can get your bid sheets either in the Union office or in the supervisors’ office. After filling out your form, deposit it in the green box by the main time clocks. Bidding for people with seniority numbers 1-68 will be conducted from January 16-31. The people with seniority numbers 69-145 and the eligible MHAs will bid from February 5-20.
Management has undertaken the process of building walls in the MDO office and this is really a representation of what is taking place on the workfloor. The managers can’t communicate or get along with each other and therefore need to be separated by walls. Likewise, they can’t communicate with the employees and would like to be kept segregated from the work force. I will, however, give credit to the Plant Manager for meeting with me to try and resolve some of the issues that his underlings are causing. Mr. Hanson is committed to trying to turn the morale in the building around despite the attitudes of some of his charges. He also said that the crackdown on attendance is imminent and there will be some procedural changes in how the attendance is handled. As I have preached for years, attendance is the hardest thing for the Union to defend. There is no gray area; you are either here or you’re not. Mr. Hanson may have some changes to the way the discipline is handled, but I believe some of those changes will actually help improve what is considered to be an out of control attendance problem. The Plant Manager also said that breaks will be addressed, and again that is within management’s rights if the breaks are being abused. I do not want to lose any benefits that we have as a whole because some people are deciding to stretch the limitations on things. As is the case with just about everything in this building, though, the monsters that management complains about are the monsters that they helped create.
The Union has been notified that the Function 1 Scheduler has now reversed course on our facility and thinks that we are OVERSTAFFED. This just goes to show how ridiculous this thing is and how the misguided people up the totem pole follow along like sheep. One month we need 17 jobs filled and wind up converting people; two months later we need to lose 10 jobs. It makes perfect sense if you are into nonsense.
One of the things that the absurd F-1 relies on is our scanning. No wonder we wind up losing jobs in this plant then because we are too lax in scanning. A big reason for that is the fact that we don’t have enough scanners and don’t get access to the ones that we do have, not to mention the fact that there aren’t enough people in certain areas to do the scanning. If management does not give us the tools or personnel to do our jobs, then how do they expect our facility to succeed? If you are charged with scanning in your work area though, please make sure that you are scanning everything that you are supposed to; jobs depend on it.
One of the latest rallying cries from some of the bosses here seems to be, “They are going to close this place because of all of the grievances and the overtime and the attendance.” Let’s deconstruct this sentence a bit. First off, grievances; grievances are the result of managers either doing our work or putting clerks into our jobs. That seems like an issue that management could prevent; stop breaking the contract and the grievances would stop, simple. Next up is overtime, which is a product of not staffing the building properly or managing the people that are here. Well let’s see, the last I checked it is upper management that keeps our number of employees fluctuating and hasn’t let us realize our actual authorized optimal staffing in years, so again a situation that management could rectify. Lastly is attendance; admittedly there is some crappy attendance in this building, but guess what. Management has let it be that way, and as with anything if you’re going to let some people do what they want then they are going to push the envelope as far as they can. Again though, it is within management’s rights to correct people’s deficiencies if they follow corrective procedures. So in the latest words of warning from some of the work floor supervisors here is the real message, “They are going to close this place because we can’t manage efficiently and effectively.” When managers start being held accountable, then the employees can be held accountable. The supervisors here want no accountability or responsibility, though, just compensation.
Our Union is dedicated to protecting the rights guaranteed to us by the CBA, and we are also dedicated to protecting and preserving our jobs here at the Lehigh Valley P&DC. Everyone should be doing their part to perform their job diligently and to prove that in spite of the ridiculous suggestions of the F-1 and in the absence of work floor leadership, the Mail Handlers still care about and can perform their jobs efficiently and effectively. We can thrive better without a supervisor and by just being left alone to do our jobs without the harassment and micromanaging by some of the radio-toting staff looking over our shoulder.
We have filed grievances in an attempt to get all of the jobs that have not been posted put up for bid and we will continue to challenge all of the poor decisions made from the gurus on high. Help will be on the way as there is new steward training next week and I am sending three people to be trained. There are witness statement templates in the Union office for violations involving clerks doing our work (art. 7.2) and for bosses doing our work (art. 1.6). Please stop in and pick some up so that if you see any of these violations then you can fill out a form and turn it in to a steward. Help protect our jobs by reporting violations of our contract.
Stay United, Stay Strong-
Branch President Sean Craig