Friday, April 11, 2008

Go ask the Union.

It's been over a month since I've been able to post any information for various reasons, mostly time. I have been approached for numerous reasons and was told that management redirected them to the Union and in O.C. to me by name.

I have been told that supervision is merely following instructions. Those issues that have been brought to our attention have consumed the majority of the time I have spent since the hiatus at the bargaining table.

That's not to say that we have not discussed them with management. On our last negotiation session we agreed to address the seniority list and work with Russ to resolve any and all concerns regarding one's seniority numbers and placement on the list. On Tuesday April 8Th, Keith Denson and I met with Russ and Monica Hayes to present the names of individuals and their specific issues regarding the list and their seniority numbers.

There was a lot of names and Russ stated that he will look closely at the information we presented and hopes to have some information when we return to negotiations on the 16Th. Monica took notes and obtained a thorough explanation regarding each individuals concerns.

The list that we presented to management at the table was still error filled and I believe it may have been more erroneous than the original. In good conscience we could not go forward with that list because it would have resulted in more individuals out of order than previously. That is why we asked management to return to last years pick order until we can once and for all create a seniority list that we can all agree to. Tuesdays meeting was very productive at which time Keith and I addressed several other issues that were brought to our attention in which Russ looked into and corrected some of them as well. Not all of the concerns we sought to discuss could be raised in this meeting but instead will be raised when negotiations resume. Some issues have been resolved, and some couldn't be at this time, so status quo is recommended until an agreement or understanding otherwise.

The Buy-outs and the negotiations surrounding them were very painful and I personally detest these times. I have, along with all of you witnessed the exodus of employees from our company on many occasions and it doesn't get any easier with time. We are losing hundred of years of experience once again and relationships that will end indefinitely, that's always been the most difficult part for me personally. I do remain in contact with friends that I have met here and have since been long departed from our shops. I value those lasting friendships and I hope many of you will remain in touch with one another.

We will be back to negotiations on April 16 and 17Th, with more dates at the end of the month.
Mike Huggins is recovering from his surgery and I have sent best wishes from all of us. He is doing fine and hopes to rejoin the negotiations as quickly as possible. In his absence the International has asked International Representative Sonny Shannon to fill the void.
Sonny was originally assigned to our negotiations but fell ill himself and has since recovered and looks forward to rejoining the team.

The last thing I need to express is patience. I know that there have been situations and decisions that have been very frustrating lately but that is to be expected. That doesn't mean that they aren't being addressed, they all are. One thing I don't do is minimize any one's concerns because if it is important to you, then it is important to all of us.

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