Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Board decision to grant review

Many of you have seen the notice generated by the same National Right to Work Foundation that represents Lee Carey. This publication is bias and erroneous in it's entirety for implying that the "Officers", (dramatically referred to by the NRTW's Stephan Gleason as "Union Bosses") are attempting to force Lee Carey and others to join our union and force them to pay dues.

The information the NRTW people present is FALSE for the fact that our contract does not make membership in the union a "condition of employment" to work in our shops, nor can we request termination of a bargaining unit employee for refusing to join the union, or refusing to pay dues.

Also, anyone not interested in joining the union is given an opportunity to apply for "Agency Fee Payer" status with the International and under the law, would only be required to pay dues germane to collective bargaining and representation, that amount was determined to be $48.04 or 80.06% based on members dues of $60.00

We have not made "threats" as Lee and the NRTW people accuse our local of doing, our Secretary Treasurer mailed what we consider a standard notice of arrears similar to those sent by many institutions that is owed monies. None of the notices sent to bargaining unit employees seeking to collect dues made any reference to joining the union.

NLRB Regional Director Smalls understood the union security language in our contract and "instantly dismissed", not "bizarrely" dismissed Lee's petition for a de-authorization election based on the facts I stated. The officers of Local 140-N expect the board in Washington to reach the same conclusion.The NRTW people are tooting their own horn in this notice and is making this appear as if this story was reported by an uninterested party all the while attempting to smear the union for taking action against "free riders" that refuse to pay dues.

This decision could take some time, so we need to realistically look at the ramifications of what advantages the company would gain if Lee's attempt to de-authorize the union security language in the contract is successful and how that would effect the local's ability to take action against the company should it violate the contract in the future. Instead of trying to vilify the Union for all that is wrong currently, one needs only look where the decisions come from and the ones making those decisions.

As I said a million times before "a union is only as strong as it's members" and in order to have any chance in resolving the shortcomings of the contract, we must focus on unity.In short we must focus on what we need to accomplish in order to convince management to accept our proposals when we return to the table in April 2011, because if we don't, and the union is removed as representatives, pressroom employees must be willing to put their faith, trust and financial future back in the hands of the same people who refused to continue to pay shift differential and equal severance while asking the bankruptcy court for tens of millions of dollars to deposit into their accounts in order to empty the cookie Jar before the creditors slam it shut and Zell runs off with it!

Senior mgt. and middle mgt. have perfected the art of taking care of themselves, when will we learn to conduct ourselves in the same beneficial manner? As Keith once said, "when did we stop becoming our brothers keeper?"Don't support this effort by Lee and others that are ignorant to the concept of a brotherhood allowing them to cripple our local financially, He has his interests in mind only and needs others to help him achieve his objective in avoiding payment of dues. Lee could care less if you all paid dues as long as he doesn't have to. That takes cajones to ask the same people he steals money from in the form of overtime to rally behind his cause, but they ignorantly do. When Lee has gotten what he wants from them, he will resume screwing them over as history has proven.

Get involved and become a willing member in order to attend local meetings where your concerns can be address and resolved, as opposed to expressing anger towards the union. As a member you can vote on the direction of this local and the decisions made by it's officers. Lastly, as a member you can run for office if you feel you possess the skills and abilities to lead this local in a direction the members agree with. I recommend you don't get angry, but rather, get involved! If you must express your anger, direct it to those that are truly responsible........and ask yourself, have I done all that I could to make this union succeed? Am I willing and capable of doing more?

If you've done nothing but resist the union and complain every step of the way, never attending meetings, never asking questions, unwilling to seek and obtain the union provided information, then you've done absolutely nothing on your own behalf, and in my opinion, have no right to be angry at the Union, it's Officers or the company for that matter.

Ronnie Pineda
GCC/IBT Local 140-N

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