How Does Management Really View You. . .

Disclaimer:  Although this true story is from a union perspective, this blog is neither pro union nor anti-union.  This story’s sole purpose is to illustrate how you are just a number. In this instance, it is from a union’s percepective.

 

As a union steward I get to see many things.  I get to see how management really treats and values their employees.  Many times, it is just the opinion of the employee that management doesn’t care or doesn’t value them.  Although this can bear itself out in any interaction with any member of management, I truly got to hear it firsthand this past year.

It was April 2017, and our National Contract was just completed and ratified back in February.  Our National Contract allows for the local branches of the Union to meet with local management and address certain issues at the local level.  Of the topics that can be discussed at the local level is the way overtime works. Currently, overtime is strictly on a volunteer basis. Employees sign up just before the quarter begins and they are eligible to work before shift, after shift, and off day overtime.  Employees can also “write out” of overtime as they see fit. For instance, if they have a medical appointment or just want to take the day off. Mid-way through our local negotiations, management proposed a new rule limiting the number of times an employee could “write out” of overtime in a given quarter.  Once, they reach that number, they are removed from the overtime list for the rest of the quarter. This is not unprecedented. I had the ability the review other chapter’s local contracts and that is a provision that many have in them. I understand management’s point of view on this as it makes no sense to have volunteers on the overtime list to have them “write out” all the time.  However, 90% of the local contracts that I viewed also had a provision that would allow employees to “write out” of overtime without it counting as a strike against them. Whether it be for fatigue, illness, or personal reasons. Therefore, I countered management’s request with a line about making sure that we allow employees to “write out” of overtime for certain reasons. I proposed 3 times a quarter.  I even stated “that professional basketball players now take days off to rest their bodies and they are finely tuned and are in impeccable health, not to mention much younger than our general workforce.” At this point the head of the local labor management turned to me and said “that will not work. I pay a premium to work you overtime.  As far as I’m concerned, once you sign up on the overtime list, I own your ass for up to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.”  Needless to say, I, along with other members of the union, were shocked to hear someone from management say what they did.

This just proved to the union that management doesn’t get it.  It just proved to the union that management doesn’t care. Ultimately, it just proved management thinks “U R Just A Number!”

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