Friday, October 03, 2008

Negotiation Update

Your Negotiation Committee is again pleased to report that negotiations were very, very productive. Tentative agreements were reached in Articles pertaining to Discretionary Leave, Military leave, FMLA, and Miscellaneous Articles such as Parking, Drug and Alcohol Testing Program, Security Cameras, Uniforms and Protective Equipment, Security Time and Record Cards. (No time clocks are involved in security time and record cards)

Both sides have exhibited mutual interest in keeping the negotiations moving forward and we have now moved much closer to negotiating the economics of our contract. The negotiations are now moving at a very progressive pace considering first time contracts require much more work than re-negotiating an expiring contract. At this pace, in my opinion, we have the potential to complete a contract to present to the bargaining unit for ratication before years end.

Since the beginning of our negotiations we have spent a considerable amount of time addressing what we refer to at the table as "housekeeping issues" These issues have been very diverse in their subject matter and the majority of these issues have emanated from the Los Angeles shop.
Some of these issues will remain to be of concern to the bargaining committee as they involve what we view to be questionable leadership and questionable working conditions of our peers in L.A. The most compelling evidence that there will continue to be problems in L.A. is the overwhelming differences in the way our two shops are operated and especially how employees are supervised.

We have successfully resolved many of our concerns either at the table, by filing (U)nfair (L)abor (P)ractices with the NLRB and on a couple of occassions by talking directly with Russ Newton. Going forward we have agreed to address any in house issues immediately with Russ and reserve our time at the table to negotiate the collective bargaining agreement. We have also, in the interest of continued progress, agreed to withdraw the ULP that was filed concerning an event that took place in L.A. on September 18th. This incident would be viewed as a management right by the NLRB based on managements explanation of why a crew was held back (not held over) to clean pipes .

The committee is asking that any issues that require assistance from the committee be documented on an incident report and submitted to Keith Denson or myself. On a couple of occasions at the table, I have presented information disclosed to me which was either incomplete in detail, vague and on one occassion, completely inaccurate. For that reason the committee will no longer present any issues to management without written, factual information from the individual(s) seeking assistance.

It should be no surprise to any one that by willfully disregarding safety procedures you are jeopardizing your health and future with the company by not taking safes and speed washing. Consistently transposing plates is another spotlight you place upon yourself. These practices are the main ways to appear on management's radar and should not be happening . Knowing that these are areas that supervision monitors and documents (NTF), diligence and safety must be a priority at all times.

(REVISION) Negotiations resume today October 7th & 8th and again next week on the 14th and 15th.

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