Monday, May 05, 2008

Strike 2!

But since we're not talking about baseball, we're out!

Rather than explain it all, a link.

For weeks now I've watched people that were entitled to move to another job be stonewalled by excuse after excuse; people who have seniority and needed or wanted to go to dayshift being held on nights while temps and transfers filled the openings on the opposite shift. A friend, a single mother who has to leave her 3 year old at the sitter overnight because we are working 'til 3:30 AM building Malibus, spends her part of the morning and afternoon with him before dropping him back at the sitters. She was told by him in the middle of a Sunday afternoon the other week that he wanted to go home now...to the sitters! Yet she can't go days with 10 years seniority while someone off the street comes in on dayshift...

We've given up benefits, we've given up language in our local agreements (like the "hardship" language that would have guaranteed my friend a slot on days) these last 2 contracts; we've given up absentee protections, we've given up holidays and raises and bonuses. We are not trying to gain anything in this local agreement, only trying to keep what we have!

So, for the 2nd time in my 30 years, and the 2nd time in 6 months, we are on strike. The last was only a couple of days last fall to get our National Agreement; I've never worked this long without a local agreement, ever. Somehow knowing that it's the right thing to do regardless of the consequences makes it easier. Our seniority is the last thing we have; if management can disregard it and place us wherever they like for however long they like then we have no protection at all! I've done too many jobs through the years that I should have bid off of, paying the consequences with carpal tunnel and screwed up rotaters, bad knees, etc.. There are jobs that you get "too old" (more accurately too "used up") to do; not having the right to move when you need to will actually cost them more than they will save through the course of a contract!

Let's hope they pull their heads out of "the sand" and see the light soon!

alan

7 comments:

fineartist said...

That is absolutely appalling that your friend cannot be moved to days, and they let new high ons right up on days. That's a load of horse dung.

I hope this wont affect your retirement!

xx

fineartist said...

new employees is what that should say, I'm not sure what high ons is.

I have a friend who has worked for amera gas for thirty two years and he gets paid less per hour than new employees, and they are constantly having him train the new employees and when something goes wrong he's the man they call. Sure would be nice to see justice operating in the work places of America!

xx

ryssee said...

Jeepers, I hope it doesn't affect your time in!
Sounds like you're having a tough week between this and the storms. Chin up! and fingers crossed.
You guys are the heart and soul of labor in the USA. Bless you and good luck!

robin andrea said...

That's just not fair, none of it. It's not like you're asking for something outrageous, only what should be routinely due to someone who has paid their dues. Please keep us posted, alan. I'm with you in spirit on that picket line.

CrackerLilo said...

Oh, Alan. I'm sorry about this. When I saw there was another strike, I thought of you. I'll be paying close attention. I really hope this won't affect your retirement, too! But it looks like you really need to fight, and how awful that it's simply to keep what you have!

You know I support the Gibbs team because of Tony and *not* because of Toyota, right? Felt I should remind you.

And with the storm and the power outage...wow. Just...wow. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Green tea said...

How sad things have become in our country.
My son goes through this every time a contract comes up at Coca Cola.
They keep chipping a way at their
benefits.
He has had knee and rotator cup surgery..but he has at least 10 or more years before he can even look at
retirement.
But the "big guys" walk away from these companies with mega buck every time
Thomas Jefferson must be rolling in his grave..
Good luck to you and your friends..

ZILLA said...

Alan!

Not to ignore the larger picture, which IS important, but how does this effect your situation?

Are YOU still good to go, or are you screwed???

Please update soon!