Union Busting

Even though we already have a union,  many of the tactics below are being used daily. Please read the article below carefully and recognize what is going on in your workplace and union functions. They put the workers against each other with the old theory of

” divide and conquer”.

 

What to Expect from your Employer when you Organize

What will my Employer do?

Most employers don’t want their employees to be in a union. Think about it: employers go from having total control to having to share power with workers who stand together. From their perspective, organized workers will cost more money and require that they follow a legally-binding contract, when before they could do it however they wanted.

Usually when employees show interest in organizing a Union, the company responds with an anti-union program. They may begin group meetings to try to scare workers out of signing authorization cards or talking to union representatives. They may also start a “nice” campaign and suddenly become interested in workplace problems and even offer “quick fix” solutions, like raises or improved benefits. Where does their new found concern come from? Their only hope is to discourage you from Union representation.

Prepare yourself!
If you and your co-workers know WHAT TO EXPECT, the employer’s tactics will shine through as what they really are: desperate attempts to keep things the way they are by trying to crush the power of workers unified in the workplace.

Employers will often hire union-busting firms who specialize in scaring workers with misinformation and fear tactics. Here’s what they’ll tell your employer to do. If you anticipate these actions and talk with your co-workers about them before they happen, the employer’s power to scare workers is significantly less.

Union-busting: What’s Legal and What’s Not 
Employers can legally run anti-union campaigns, but there are some things they CANNOT do (see Illegal Employer Behaviors). If your employer takes part in these activities, the union can file an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

Most employers rely on union-busting consultants to run a campaign to convince you not to form a union. These consultants have a standard “playbook” of tactics they pull out and run time and again. These include:

LETTERS, LETTERS AND MORE LETTERS: The “Union Busters” will write lots of letters during the campaign. Only, they will be signed not by the “Union busters,” but by the company president, facility/company administrators and some well-liked managers and supervisors.

LOVE LETTERSSome letters will say how much the management/administration really appreciates the work employees have done for the facility/company. Some might even admit past mistakes.

THE UGLY UNION LETTERS: Most of the letters will paint an ugly picture of the Union. They want you to think the Union has a lot to hide. They will never give the Union credit for anything it has achieved at other facilities.

SUPERVISOR PRESSURE: The “Union busters” will use supervisors as the front line troops against the Union — delivering letters, informal chats and even speeches prepared by the “Union busters.”

LOVE OFFERINGS: The “Union busters” will tell management to hand out larger than expected wage increases and/or improved benefits. They might even restore lost health insurance benefits, wages, differentials, etc. They might establish or revise employee participation committees. They want to show you that you don’t need a Union to get things done. The point is to convince you that the boss is really a good guy who can be trusted in the future.

A HELPING HAND: The “Union busters” will tell the facility to start correcting problems: Big things and nagging little things will now be fixed. Management will solicit and settle grievances.

LET’S BE PALS: Administrators/Supervisors will be everywhere, walking the floors day and night, setting up spur-of-the-moment meetings so that they can fix what’s on your mind. You might even be invited to lunch!

ONE-ON-ONES: The “Union busters” will have supervisors call employees in for face-to-face discussions about the Union. The supervisors will have been told exactly what to say by the “Union busters.”

MANDATORY MEETINGS: Employees will be required – on paid time while your normal work is piling up – to attend meetings where the administrators/Managers will deliver a speech prepared by the “Union busters.” These meetings will not be intended to be a free and open debate.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER: The “Union busters” will try to play one group of employees against another – “disloyal” Union supporters against “loyal pro-company” Union opponents. One department against another, men versus women, etc.

“VOTE NO” COMMITTEE: A committee of concerned employees might be set up to “stand up for” the facility and “against the bullying” tactics of the Union. The committee members will want to save the facility/company from the Union and give management another chance.

SO LONG, IT’S BEEN GOOD TO KNOW YOU: If all else fails, the administrators, personnel director or some other big management type will be forced to resign or be fired. Then, the facility will try to persuade you to give the new administrator/Manager “another chance” to make things better.

Don’t be fooled by these “Union Busting” tactics.
Having a Union at work is YOUR RIGHT!

The definition of “divide and conquer”

Also, divide and govern or rule. Win by getting one’s opponents to fight among themselves. For example, Divide and conquer was once a very successful policy in sub-Saharan Africa. This expression is a translation of the Latin maxim, Divide et impera (“divide and rule”), and began to appear in English about 1600.

Casual Benefits

During the month of January, the employer will calculate the total hours casuals have worked for the year of 2015.

There are two reasons for this. One is to see the casuals who have achieved the 1300 hours and 5 years of service to be eligible for casual benefits. tHE SECOND REASON THEY ARE CALCULATING TOTAL HOURS IS TO REVIEW THE pvr (PERMANENT VACANCY REVIEW)

Recently,  notice has been sent to all stores with the names of the casuals who have qualified for benefits. The employer will ask you if you want to opt in for the benefits or not. Once you sign that you would like the benefits, they will then send out a form to the stores so you can fill in all your personal information, including beneficiaries.oNCE YOU OPT IN, YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR MIND UNTIL JANUARY 2017.

Here is the article in the collective agreement that speaks of casual benefits.

32.13 Casual Benefit Plan Effective April 1, 2014 casual employees who have worked 1300 hours in the previous calendar year and who have five (5) years of casual seniority may opt into the Casual Benefit Plans under the same benefit plans as full time employees, subject to the following limitations:

Basic Life Insurance- For employees only, in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) shall be provided to Casual employees as defined above.

Dental- for employees and their family, routine (Basic) services as provided under the Manulife Policy # 10055, or its equivalent up to a maximum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) per year per covered person.

Supplementary Health and Hospitalization- only the prescription drug plan will apply.

For the purposes of the Casual Benefit Plan, it is understood that the following articles do not apply to casual employees: 21.1, 21.2 (a) (b) (c)(iii) (d) (e) and (f), 21.3 in its entirety, 21.4 in its entirety, 21.5 in its entirety, 21.7(a) major treatment and three thousand dollars ($3,000) maximum coverage does not apply, and 21.8

 

If this is the first year you qualified, your benefits will begin April 2016.

Before you opt in, there are some things you should think about.

The first thing you should think about is “what will I be covered for?”

Casual benefits are very limited. They are not the same as full time benefits. As you can see above , in the article that speaks of benefits, the COLLECTIVE agreement names many articles that casuals are NOT covered UNDER. It is easier to understand what casuals ARE covered UNDER.

There are 3 things that casual benefits cover for the employee and their DEPENDENTS.

  • $10, 000 basic life insurance (this is if you die your estate or DEPENDENTS will RECEIVE $10, 000)

  • Basic dental of $1000 per year (covers casual employee and dependents of the casual employee)

  • prescription drug plan with some limitations. (FOR CASUALS AND DEPENDENTS)

The other thing to consider is what you will NOT be getting.

If you opt in for the casual benefits, you will loose your 4% pay in lieu of benefits.

Here is the clause in the collective agreement that speaks of the pay in lieu of benefits

32. (b) A casual employee shall receive eight percent (8%) of gross pay, not including vacation pay, which shall be added to his/her regular pay, to compensate for the paid holidays in Article 8 and in lieu of benefits under Article 21. Where, however, a casual employee is in receipt of benefits under Article 32.13, the casual employee shall receive four percent (4%) of gross pay, not including vacation pay, which shall be added to his/her regular pay, to compensate for the paid holidays in Article 8 and will not receive any amount in lieu of benefits under Article 21.

4% pay in lieu of is calculated on your gross pay.

BEFORE YOU OPT IN FOR THE BENEFITS, PLEASE CONSIDER HOW MUCH PAY IN LIEU OF YOU MAY LOOSE. IT MAY BE BENEFICIAL TO NOT OPT IN FOR THE BENEFITS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE NO  OR DO NOT USE MANY PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS.

FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOUR GROSS PAY IS $40, 000 TIMES 4 % . YOU WILL LOOSE $1600 PAY IN LIEU.

EVERY YEAR IN JANUARY,  THE NOTICE WILL GO OUT AGAIN. EVERY YEAR YOU WILL HAVE TO QUALIFY WITH THE 1300 HOURS AND 5 YEARS OF SERVICE.  AT THAT POINT, YOU CAN EITHER OPT IN OR OUT OF THE BENEFITS, IF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGED.

IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY ON THE PLAN, YOUR DENTAL BENEFITS RENEW IN JANUARY. THIS MEANS, YOUR $1000 DENTAL WILL START AGAIN IN JANUARY AND NOT APRIL.

IF YOU WERE IN THE PLAN IN 2014, AND DO NOT RENEW THE INSURANCE OR DO NOT QUALIFY IN 2015, YOUR $1000 DENTAL WILL RENEW IN JANUARY 2015 AT $1000 AGAIN, BUT WILL EXPIRE APRIL 2015. THEREFORE YOU WILL HAVE FROM JANUARY UNTIL APRIL 2016 TO USE THE BASIC $1000 DENTAL .

WE HOPE THIS HELPS. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL OR EMAIL US.

IN SOLIDARITY,

MARIA BAUER

PRESIDENT LOCAL 376