Okay I'm putting this up top to save some people from having to read the preaching to the choir. Coworkers want to know, BEFORE a vote, just what the union will put into our contract. What are they shooting for? What will they insist upon? Before we jump - What are we getting into? Maybe we need a paper on that?
I briefly mentioned that work had distributed papers at the Employee Quarterly Meeting. The single sheet of paper listed reasons not to join the UAW. "A failed union" and "has lost 2/3 of its members" in the past decade or so. "Ask them if they will give you a written and signed guarantee of their promises".
But, confusingly enough, they also distributed a 3 page flyer that tells the reader that the reason the UAW has lost its members is because of plants closing and jobs being shipped overseas. WTH? Are they trying to tell me that the jobs would have been saved if there were no union? Because they wouldn't. Without the union salaries would have been slashed down to 3rd world country standards. Why would we want that?
And I've already mentioned that we have the Tribe's written and signed guarantee that they can and will change any and all polices and promises whenever they want without any warning. Yay.
The next day, these papers were being distributed all over the place. Then on the way out I saw the "reasons" paper had been made into a big poster and plastered on the employee exit door.
Now, they have this poster on the way into the cafeteria AND they've plastered big copies of news stories on the UAW on the walls around the cafeteria.
But, again, these news stories are about the UAW fighting for their workers salaries, retirement benefits and JOBS. So...exactly how is this supposed to deter me?
On the other hand, I happened to be eating dinner and overheard a young asian gentlemen getting into a debate on this issue with the people around him. I was surprised, nay shocked, to hear a woman there complaining LOUDLY and passionately against the union. For they will force you to strike. They can make no guarantee that we won't lose ALL of our benefits and wages. That if the rest of the employees vote for a union and you don't you'll be forced to join and you'll lose money (to the dues) and all the other employees will HATE YOU FOREVER.
But my friend and I tried to just gently say "Hey, all it means is that if you are promised a raise - you'll get a raise." "They can't guarantee that!" "If it is in the contract they can." "They can't guarantee it!" "If it is in the contract with management that we will get a raise then we will get a raise. Management can not break that contract. Unlike promising us 5% and then not giving us 5%" "grrr"
and I said, "The union is us. It isn't the automotive people. You won't be making cars. If they strike, we don't have to strike. It's us here."
I don't know. I feel like I talk too much and don't communicate well. I wanted to say "If you don't vote for it and you don't sign a card - we're not going to treat you differently" which seemed to be a big concern for him, but I couldn't tell if he was more worried about the reaction of the management OR his fellow workers. I dunno.
You know. Try to be gentle. Try to answer questions. My friend was much lower key and "hey, if you have any questions I'll try to answer them." and he left it at that. I'm not so good.
Oh yeah and I kinda stuck my foot in it at lunch when I put forth my speculation that the Tribe has been part of the problem since Skip left. You know, thinking back, we weren't too bothered by him leaving. Some felt it was a good move as he'd become a bit, well...EGO driven. But I was saying that the new people were not as good not knowing that someone at the table is friend of a friend with Tribe and knows some of the inner workings that we don't. He said that the current leader has been the leader for a decade (which he hasn't cuz I've been watching those pictures on the wall. But he has been for maybe longer than this fiasco). He did say that he is afraid maybe the Tribe hasn't really been paying attention to what is going on down the hill.
Now this I can believe. Because my first reaction to this year and a half of crap was that the management MUST be doing all these changes and telling the Tribe "See? We closed all this stuff and fired all these employees and /saved you money/! Give us a bonus!"
"Okay! But um...productivity is down?"
"Oh your employees are slacking. They suck. Bad employees. See? Here are our reports."
*whump of 10 tons of paper*
*eyes papers and eyes immediately cross* "Um...okay."
I somehow feel better at heart thinking the Tribe are only being hoodwinked by slick number-players - rather than being too driven with getting new toys to care whether they are wringing the blood from the stone.
Oh and overheard at lunch regarding the false promise of a 5% raise. "that was the dot on top of the i" :>
I love slang.