Monday, September 22, 2008

Targeted for Discipline

I have spent the weekend listening to stories from our brothers and sisters in Los Angeles describing the way Walker and Supervision are on a mission to find any reason to write people up. This has resulted in NTF's (note to file) which have again become an issue. Why is it that supervision can stick notes in your file and not discuss the content of these notes with the employees. These are put in your file without your knowledge denying you the opportunity to respond and challenge if wrongly accused.

When discussed with Management, it was stated that we are supposed to be notified that we were observed breaking a rule, what that rule was, and that it was going to be noted and inserted into our file. This procedure appears to not happen as many discovered when they asked to see their files or when receiving their evaluation.

These NTF's are used when preparing evaluations and in most of the stories I listened to, individuals were told they would not receive a wage increase. Is that the true reason, to save a buck and deny a raise or because they are concerned about procedures and safety? At this rate no one in Los Angeles will ever get a raise or maintain employment for that matter.

Two Operators have recently been pulled from their crews for alleged poor performance, again being held responsible for what are most likely mechanical or electrical problems with the equipment. There are so many variables when problems occur and I believe the percentage that are a result of human error are far lower than all others, but that don't matter because they can't write up and discipline the presses. For the longest time operators have argued that smaller runs result in higher waste percentages and some goals they are expected to meet are unrealistic, yet they are accountable for the waste.

The one resounding message that came from the conversations I had with our brothers and sisters in L.A. was that Walker creates a hostile environment in their shop. They feel like they are being harassed by supervision at the hand of Walker. I have been told that even his supervisors question his leadership, but they don't dare cross him or they will be subject to his disciplinary tactics as well. His tactics aren't new, they are reminiscent of his behavior at the San Diego Tribune. When at a rally in San Diego I had the opportunity to speak to some of our brothers in the pressroom and they said they were sorry that we ended up with "STUMPY" His style of management still leaves a bad taste in their mouths just talking about him, they said.

The issues I was made aware of this weekend have been forwarded to our Representatives and we will seek answers and where necessary, resolution. Until then all of you have to be diligent and work as though your job depends on it, because it does!

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