Revitalizing the Union mentality

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Revitalizing the Union mentality

Post  CATMANDO8426 on Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:29 am

Recently, I decided to distribute some literature concerning our Union rights in the workplace. I hope to encourage my coworkers to get more involved with our Union in preparation for our contract negotiations starting in November. This literature contains information such as our Weingarten rights (thank you Joe) as well as statistics showing how Union membership is on the rise and steps to improve solidarity in our workplace. One of my coworkers has asked about why our Union doesn't provide us with educational materials when we joined the Union at the start of our employment. I know that under Weingarten it says that the Union IS obligated to educate its members on their rights before an occasion to use them arises. What exactly are they obligated to do? Would they be required to hold a formal class or would literature cover this obligation? As of right now they have done nothing more than to provide us with information other than our union card and copy or our contract. If anyone has an answer I would appreciate it.
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Re: Revitalizing the Union mentality

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:56 am

A formal class would have to be voted in at a meeting and often there is coast involved, particularly if it is mandatory. The instructor is usually some one from the apprenticeship committee that assigns an instructor.

There would have to be a showing of interest at the meeting. The Union or the company depending on the contract is obligated to give you a copy of the contract. The union is obligated to give you a copy of their constitution and by-laws.

It is critical that meetings are attended ,and the business agent get involved.
JoeC


Last edited by JoeC (McGruff) on Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Revitalizing the Union mentality

Post  Mr. Pink on Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:55 am

CATMANDO8426 wrote:Recently, I decided to distribute some literature concerning our Union rights in the workplace. I hope to encourage my coworkers to get more involved with our Union in preparation for our contract negotiations starting in November. This literature contains information such as our Weingarten rights (thank you Joe) as well as statistics showing how Union membership is on the rise and steps to improve solidarity in our workplace. One of my coworkers has asked about why our Union doesn't provide us with educational materials when we joined the Union at the start of our employment. I know that under Weingarten it says that the Union IS obligated to educate its members on their rights before an occasion to use them arises. What exactly are they obligated to do? Would they be required to hold a formal class or would literature cover this obligation? As of right now they have done nothing more than to provide us with information other than our union card and copy or our contract. If anyone has an answer I would appreciate it.

*PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE*

NLRB v. WEINGARTEN, INC., 420 U.S. 251 (1975) held that "the employer violated 8 (a) (1) of the National Labor Relations Act because it interfered with, restrained, and coerced the individual right of an employee, protected by 7, "to engage in . . . concerted activities for . . . mutual aid or protection . . .," when it denied the employee's request for the presence of her union representative at the investigatory interview that the employee reasonably believed would result in disciplinary action."

The Weingarten case did not create a legal obligation for a union to educate its members on their rights before an occasion to use them arises. It would, however, certainly be beneficial to employees to know what their rights are prior to going into an investigatory meeting with the company regarding potential disciplinary action.

Your international Union should have a significant amount of canned information in regard to Weingarten rights. Your Local may have similar information. Why not be proactive and try and educate your fellow workers in regard to their rights? Request to hold an education session during a regularly scheduled union meeting; write an article and print it in the union newsletter; post the article on the union website.

"It's YOUR union," is a mantra that I've heard used many times by unions to try and motivate employees. It is your union. If you believe that there is a lack of education and knowledge amongst employees, DO SOMETHING about it. If you wait for someone else to do it for you, it may never happen.

Mr. Pink
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Re: Revitalizing the Union mentality

Post  bears00 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:16 am

Unfortunately, literature, your contract, and by-laws are sufficient.

......................HOWEVER.........................


Indeed, as Mr. Pink pointed out, this is YOUR UNION!!! If you aren't getting what you feel you need out of this union, you should be barking up the tree of your BUSINESS AGENT!!! These types of conversations/trainings are PERFECT for union meetings.
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