I have repeatedly stressed the fact that today’s big labor bosses care little about the rank and file membership and are only interested in the dues money they can collect to line their own pockets and use for political persuasion. This has surfaced more the past several weeks and is worth highlighting as we approach the 2014 Mid-Term Elections.
First, almost a year ago, my company began negotiations with the UAW after they won a secret ballot election at a plant we clean in the south. Kudos to the UAW for honoring the secret ballot election process, after their request for a Neutrality Agreement was politely declined. Negotiations were scheduled and, after brief introductions at the first meeting, the UAW negotiators made the point they had researched my company and did not wish to engage in any animosity during the negotiations. A point to which we concurred.
Immediately following, the local president requested “good wages and benefits” for the members. Knowing the prior company had been organized by the UAW, our attorney presented a copy and asked if the wages and benefits in that agreement were acceptable. Upon receiving confirmation from them that they were, I politely made the observation that our company’s wages and benefits were comparable or better to which they agreed. When asked if they had any other demands the other negotiator requested a recognition paragraph, recognizing the UAW as the exclusive representative of the employees. We agreed to this, as they did win the election.
At that point we presented two requests. The first was that a paragraph be inserted underneath the recognition agreement explaining that the state of Tennessee had a “Right-To-Work” law and that the employees could opt out of paying union dues if they so desired. The negotiator look surprised, squirmed in his seat, and said “What else?” I explained we would not agree to a “Check Off” clause, which requires the company to deduct union dues from the employees’ paychecks and send it to the union. The eyes of the negotiator and the local’s president became as wide as saucers. The negotiator responded, “I have my marching orders that has to be in the contract.” I stated that the company would not accept such a provision as it presented potential liability, and that we were not going to be the union’s accounting firm. The negotiator closed his notebook and they both stood up and said they would schedule another meeting in the future. To date we have not met with them again. Obviously, it is all about the money. Furthermore, despite the length of time since our last meeting, the employees are happy!
A second incident involved the Operating Engineers Union Local 324 in Michigan. Evidently, the RTW law that became effective about one year ago is not setting well with them as they have announced publishing a Quarterly “Freeloaders” List of those who opt-out of union membership, including the name and place of employment of those persons. Proof once again that big …read more