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Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 04:22 PM
Jefferson County Metro, Kentucky, forbids tobacco smoking in the workplace. About three weeks ago I complained to my union representative about a couple of production supervisors who chew tobacco and constantly spit on the floor where hourly employees must work.

Last Thursday, on a (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://1)6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://1) morning of 65 F dew point and 76 F an hourly employee who works in the same repair/inspection workspace as me (there are three of us) went completely ballistic over the fact that I turned on a fan. I went to the union bargaining representative and explained that I did not believe I needed to deal with such over-the-top confrontational and provocative behavior. He agreed and assured me he would speak to the other hourly employee.


The rest of Thursday passed without any problems. Friday went by with no problem.


Today I arrived at work at 5:40 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://2). The assembly line starts at 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://3). The temp inside the plant was near 80 F. The dewpoint was 66%. The hourly employee with whom I had a problem with the previous Thursday had yet to show up. I turned on a fan that blew where I was about to begin pulling torque readings at 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://4).


A production supervisor, not my supervisor but one of those who I had complained about spitting on the floor some three weeks before, asked me, "Now why are you doing that? You know it will piss off XXX." I replied, "Because it is hot and humid." He answered back, "You are simply attempting to provoke a fight." I replied, There is no reason for a fight. You don't need to be concerned. This was dealt with last Thursday. And if it does result in a fight Labor Relations will straighten it out."


The production supervisor then said, "You are the one going to Labor Relations. Now. Return your equipment to your office and tell your supervisor (who is in Europe and will return tomorrow) that you are going to Labor Relations for a disciplinary hearing."


I was stunned and responded with a laugh and said, "Because I turned on a fan?"


The production supervisor said, "Because you have a bad attitude and are provoking fights." I was stunned and did not immediate move. The production supervisor said, "if you don't start for Labor Relations immediately I will discipline you for failure to follow instructions." I said, "It is not yet 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://6) and so I am not yet on the clock. I am going to my toolbox to get my cup of coffee and then I'll head to Labor Relations."


I retrieved my coffee. I then stepped into the aisle and started walking. After about ten feet I encountered the other inspector who shares our workspace. Sharon said, "Good morning Tom. Where are you going?" I replied, "To Labor Relations." "Why?" Sharon asked. "Because I turned on a fan", I replied. "You're kidding!" Sharon replied. At that point the production Supervisor stepped in and threatened, "If you don't start walking immediately toward Labor Relations I will call Security and have you escorted out of the plant." It was not yet 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://7).


To make a long story short, the production supervisor showed up in Labor Relations, told a number of lies impunning my character and behavior, repeated those lies in the hearing, told the me and my union representative to "shut up" when he didn't like hearing my side of the story, the union representative briefly left the room to get a union bargaining Committeman, the union bargaining Committeman entered the room and shortly thereafter forcefully objected to the production supervisor's disrespectful behavior (among other things he tore the disciplinary paperwork in half and tossed it at the production supervisor), the production supervisor claimed he had better things to do with his time and left the room, and I filed a formal written complaint about the entire situation. Labor Relations, not yet involved, will now conduct an investigation. Good.


I've worked there for over 35 years. Who needs to put up with this kind of silly nonsense?

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
06-11-2012, 04:36 PM
Be glad you're in a Union Tom.
I've been fired for less.

John Smith
06-11-2012, 04:42 PM
I can't tell you how many times, as Chief Steward I've said to management, "There is nothing in this man's job description that includes taking verbal abuse."

We all know that power corrupts, Making someont a supvervisor gives that someone power. It needs to have a system to check it.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 04:42 PM
You bet, Kevin.

delecta has no idea. Obviously he'd prefer that punks be prosecutor, judge, and jury.

wardd
06-11-2012, 04:45 PM
don't worry things will improve when romney is prez

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
06-11-2012, 04:56 PM
At Least you're in a good union Tom.
What really sucks is paying union dues to a do nothing union for 10 years and getting fired for something petty, without any help from the union.
As a 35 year employee you deserve more respect.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 04:56 PM
Many corporations forbid nepotism.

Ford Motor Company is all about nepotism. Both hourly and salaried.

This particular supervisor with whom I am having a problem was initially hired as an hourly employee because his father (who hired into the company as an hourly employee with me) ran Material Handling at KTP. As an hourly employee he was fired TWICE for absenteeism and unsuitability for industrial employment (in other words he was sorry and refused to pull his weight). Both times he was re-hired because of his father. He eventually earned an online degree and was hired as a salaried production supervisor.

His father is retired and operating a local Ford low-cost supplier handling material handling work that used to be done by UAW labor.

A fellow long-time employee told me today that senior is now a clergyman. No surprise. There is money in that. Senior was successfully sued about 15 years ago for assaulting an hourly employee. Evidently he has repented.

Paul Pless
06-11-2012, 05:03 PM
Ford Motor Company is all about nepotism.

Well duh. . .

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/05/Bill_Ford_2011.jpg

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 05:19 PM
I'm 58 years old with almost 36 years with Ford Motor Company.

I could retire tomorrow. But, unlike many at my age working in manufacturing, I am healthy and hope to work until age 65.

I don't think, at this point, I need to deal with the sort of workplace pettiness stirred up by youngsters in supervision hoping to rise quickly through the ranks.

Screw them. I will stand up for myself regardless of who is harassing me. I am an employee of Ford Motor Company just as is any salaried employee. At this point the SOBs would have to go through Dearborn to fire me.

McMike
06-11-2012, 05:19 PM
Many corporations forbid nepotism.

Ford Motor Company is all about nepotism.

This particular supervisor with whom I am having a problem was initially hired as an hourly employee because his father (who hired into the company with me) ran Material Handling at KTP. As an hourly employee he was fired TWICE for absenteeism and unsuitability for industrial employment (in other words he was sorry and refused to pull his weight). Both times he was re-hired because of his father. He eventually earned an online degree and was hired as a salaried production supervisor.

His father is retired and operating a local Ford low-cost supplier handling material handling work that used to be done by UAW labor.

A fellow long-time employee told me today that senior is now a clergyman. No surprise. There is money in that. Senior was successfully sued about 15 years ago for assaulting an hourly employee. Evidently he has repented.

In a non-union company this supervisor would not have been Hired back once. For being habitually late or absent he would have been fired and told not to come back.



While it is true that I have seen friends and relatives get special treatment and even promotion in smaller non-union shops; in the end money talks and if that person is not proving valuable, they don't usually last long.


Jerks are everywhere, there has never been a company without at least one. Part of me is sympathetic of your situation with this guy and am glad you have a mechanism to feel as if you are protected from the likes of him. Then there is a part of me that is wondering if you might need to be the bigger man and let the baby have his way. After all, he is a human being as well and gets hot under the same conditions as you, eventually he would have broken, probably sooner if you had simply let the altercation go without making it bigger than it needed to be.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 05:31 PM
In a non-union company this supervisor would not have been Hired back once. For being habitually late or absent he would have been fired and told not to come back.
Ah... If only that we're true at Ford Motor Company!


Jerks are everywhere, there has never been a company without at least one. Part of me is sympathetic of your situation with this guy and am glad you have a mechanism to feel as if you are protected from the likes of him. Then there is a part of me that is wondering if you might need to be the bigger man and let the baby have his way. After all, he is a human being as well and gets hot under the same conditions as you, eventually he would have broken, probably sooner if you had simply let the altercation go without making it bigger than it needed to be.
Ford/KTP is like a small village. There are over 3,000 people working here. We have the same problems of any small community including criminality and psychopaths.

I have run head-on into a young salaried employee who is not only despised by hourly employees but also most of his salaried companions. But protected by people very high up in KTP supervision because of his father.

Nicholas Scheuer
06-11-2012, 05:41 PM
I wish you well, Tom.

The Union is the ONLY power the rank & file has.

McMike
06-11-2012, 05:43 PM
Ah... If only that we're true at Ford Motor Company!


Ford/KTP is like a small village. There are over 3,000 people working here. We have the same problems of any small community including criminality and psychopaths.

I have run head-on into a salaried employee who is not only despised by hourly employees but also most of his salaried companions. But protected by people very high up in KTP supervision because of his father.


I think, while you might have landed on the winning side this time, it's almost always better to deal with such characters subversively.

I do acknowledge your analogy to your plant being a small village. Psychopaths require that you deal with them without you putting yourself in their sights. I have honestly delt with some crazy mo-fos, it's not safe or wise to deal with them head on. However, there is an advantage for you in them being nutso, you can play on their paranoia if you are smart and clever, although you don't want to insite a postal situation, you can use such psychosis to your favor. Think about it...

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 05:49 PM
Sounds to me like there are way to many union representatives involved. Sounds like a good reason to not have a union.

What an ignorant joke. I suppose your idea of the ideal number of union representatives involved would be zero.

It also sounds like they hate you, wonder why that is?
They don't hate me, troll. I have a good relationship with many salaried supervisors at KTP including my immediate supervisor and one or two up the line including the plant manager.

But there is no need to go that far up the ladder to resolve this problem. The top managers have more important things to deal with. This silly dispute is over a fan and a couple of low-level employees both hourly and salaried.

That is not to say I would not pull rank and go straight to the top if necessary. But I trust Labor Relations to sort out this problem. In my experience they have always been fair.

pefjr
06-11-2012, 05:52 PM
I don't see why this would make unions necessary. Some employee protections yes, but as you said a supervisor saw the nonsense, and took care of the problems, so you didn't need union support, ....so far. We had a TC on the tennis court once and we had to force the player to not spit on the court. A year later and he is still bitching about it. We will not let him chew on the court now.

This brings up a question that bugs me. Why do smokers not consider thumping a cigarette butt away as littering? Kinda like your tobacco chewers.
A couple days ago I was leaving the CVS drug store and a guy in his car next to mine was dumping his ash tray on parking lot pavement. I pointed a trash can 30/ 40 feet away, but he ignored me.

Hank Rearden
06-11-2012, 06:01 PM
Jefferson County Metro, Kentucky, forbids tobacco smoking in the workplace. About three weeks ago I complained to my union representative about a couple of production supervisors who chew tobacco and constantly spit on the floor where hourly employees must work.

Last Thursday, on a (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://1)6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://1) morning of 65 F dew point and 76 F an hourly employee who works in the same repair/inspection workspace as me (there are three of us) went completely ballistic over the fact that I turned on a fan. I went to the union bargaining representative and explained that I did not believe I needed to deal with such over-the-top confrontational and provocative behavior. He agreed and assured me he would speak to the other hourly employee.

The rest of Thursday passed without any problems. Friday went by with no problem.

Today I arrived at work at 5:40 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://2). The assembly line starts at 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://3). The temp inside the plant was near 80 F. The dewpoint was 66%. The hourly employee with whom I had a problem with the previous Thursday had yet to show up. I turned on a fan that blew where I was about to begin pulling torque readings at 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://4).

A production supervisor, not my supervisor but one of those who I had complained about spitting on the floor some three weeks before, asked me, "Now why are you doing that? You know it will piss off XXX." I replied, "Because it is hot and humid." He answered back, "You are simply attempting to provoke a fight." I replied, There is no reason for a fight. You don't need to be concerned. This was dealt with last Thursday. And if it does result in a fight Labor Relations will straighten it out."

The production supervisor then said, "You are the one going to Labor Relations. Now. Return your equipment to your office and tell your supervisor (who is in Europe and will return tomorrow) that you are going to Labor Relations for a disciplinary hearing."

I was stunned and responded with a laugh and said, "Because I turned on a fan?"

The production supervisor said, "Because you have a bad attitude and are provoking fights." I was stunned and did not immediate move. The production supervisor said, "if you don't start for Labor Relations immediately I will discipline you for failure to follow instructions." I said, "It is not yet 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://6) and so I am not yet on the clock. I am going to my toolbox to get my cup of coffee and then I'll head to Labor Relations."

I retrieved my coffee. I then stepped into the aisle and started walking. After about ten feet I encountered the other inspector who shares our workspace. Sharon said, "Good morning Tom. Where are you going?" I replied, "To Labor Relations." "Why?" Sharon asked. "Because I turned on a fan", I replied. "You're kidding!" Sharon replied. At that point the production Supervisor stepped in and threatened, "If you don't start walking immediately toward Labor Relations I will call Security and have you escorted out of the plant." It was not yet 6:00 AM (http://forum.woodenboat.com/x-apple-data-detectors://7).

To make a long story short, the production supervisor showed up in Labor Relations, told a number of lies impunning my character and behavior, repeated those lies in the hearing, told the me and my union representative to "shut up" when he didn't like hearing my side of the story, the union representative briefly left the room to get a union bargaining Committeman, the union bargaining Committeman entered the room and shortly thereafter forcefully objected to the production supervisor's disrespectful behavior (among other things he tore the disciplinary paperwork in half and tossed it at the production supervisor), the production supervisor claimed he had better things to do with his time and left the room, and I filed a formal written complaint about the entire situation. Labor Relations, not yet involved, will now conduct an investigation. Good.

I've worked there for over 35 years. Who needs to put up with this kind of silly nonsense?

You sound like a rotten employee. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in a work environment. Your story is a good example of how unions prevent people from being fired when they so richly deserve it.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 06:03 PM
I don't see why this would make unions necessary. Some employee protections yes, but as you said a supervisor saw the nonsense, and took care of the problems, so you didn't need union support, ....so far.
I said no such thing.

I'd like some of what you're smoking.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 06:08 PM
You sound like a rotten employee. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in a work environment. Your story is a good example of how unions prevent people from being fired when they so richly deserve it.

You sound like a rotten employer. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in the workplace. Your response is a clear example of how some would happily suppress humanity, decency, and repect in the workplace.

pefjr
06-11-2012, 06:23 PM
I said no such thing.

I'd like some of what you're smoking.Sorry, I read it wrong, maybe I'll have to cut back on that smoke a little.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 06:32 PM
Sorry, I read it wrong, maybe I'll have to cut back on that smoke a little.

No problemo. Thanks. :)

Phillip Allen
06-11-2012, 06:49 PM
I think working for a union which then rents you out to a manufacturer is a better way to say it and closer to the truth

Other than that, you seem to be working in an adversarial atmosphere… that’s more stress than I would put with. I would take my craft and move on down the road just like any other self-respecting mason. The people whom I’ve worked for needed me worse than I needed them.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 06:59 PM
I think working for a union which then rents you out to a manufacturer is a better way to say it and closer to the truth

That is completely backwards.


Other than that, you seem to be working in an adversarial atmosphere… that’s more stress than I would put with. I would take my craft and move on down the road just like any other self-respecting mason. The people whom I’ve worked for needed me worse than I needed them.
Gotcha. But I am not a craftsman who can gather his tools and move on to the next job. I am an hourly employee of Ford Motor Company since 8/23/76.

The working environment at Ford Motor Company today is FAR LESS adversarial than it was 30 years ago.

My point is that self-important, arrogant, salaried SOBs who owe their employment to nepotism still exist in Ford Motor Company assembly plants.

And so union protection for hourly employees is still necessary.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 07:09 PM
So... Ford/KTP Labor Relations is now committed to conducting an investigation of my written complaint.

Good. I like Ford Motor Company and I am confident this matter will be fairly straightened out.

bobbys
06-11-2012, 07:22 PM
Although we rarely see eye to eye Im on your side .

You do seem a bit stubborn from your writings here but hey you Should have a Fan without a bunch of BS.

If you do not stick up for yourself you will become someones beech..

I do think Unions have good points and bad points but in all the years i have been working union and non union i think most things are settled with good Supervisors.

Course I worked Construction but did see the most petty stuff imaginable when i did a remodel of a plywood mill.

Different lunch tables with groups of people that could not talk to other people.

Peter Malcolm Jardine
06-11-2012, 07:29 PM
You sound like a rotten employee. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in a work environment. Your story is a good example of how unions prevent people from being fired when they so richly deserve it.

You sound like a antagonistic troll. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in an internet forum environment. Your comments are a good example of how rude people drive away more considerate posters when the troll so richly deserves to be banned for life.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 07:38 PM
Thank you, bobby's.

I enjoy forcefully stating and defending my opinions here in the Bilge.

But in real life I am an easygoing guy who gets along with almost everyone.

Having said that... I have spent 35 years of my adult life working in a male-dominated manufacturing environment where weakness is often exploited by both managers and fellow hourly employees. Those who are not assertive in protecting themselves often become victims of repetitive-use injuries, among other problems.

McMike
06-11-2012, 07:56 PM
Thank you, bobby's.

I enjoy forcefully stating and defending my opinions here in the Bilge.

But in real life I am an easygoing guy who gets along with almost everyone.

Having said that... I have spent 35 years of my adult life working in a male-dominated manufacturing environment where weakness is often exploited by both managers and fellow hourly employees. Those who are not assertive in protecting themselves often become victims of repetitive-use injuries, among other problems.

Tom, have you ever worked a non-union job? My point in asking may be the very thing as to why I am ill-equipped to argue the subject. I have never worked for a union shop. I have worked with ex-union and they have generally painted a poor picture of unions for me; admittedly, I am biased.

I will say that I wish there was a mechanism other than brawling and blustering to solve problems in the environments I've worked in. Half the guys I've worked with in the manufacturing industry were the playground bullies as children and never grew out of it. I didn't tolerate it then and I won't now. Although I am much more passive as an adult then I was as a child, I would have no problem dislocating joints and breaking bones in order to defend myself. I wish I didn't have to be on my guard day in and day out, it would be nice if all the immature sh17 heads would grow the heck up but that is a silly dream, reality dictates, corse of action.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 08:30 PM
Tom, have you ever worked a non-union job? My point in asking may be the very thing as to why I am ill-equipped to argue the subject. I have never worked for a union shop. I have worked with ex-union and they have generally painted a poor picture of unions for me; admittedly, I am biased.

I will say that I wish there was a mechanism other than brawling and blustering to solve problems in the environments I've worked in. Half the guys I've worked with in the manufacturing industry were the playground bullies as children and never grew out of it.

No, I have never worked in a non-union shop. I have worked for Ford Motor Company my entire adult life beginning as a temporary employee in the summer of 1972.

I could tell you plenty of stories that reflect badly on both company and union over the last 40 years.

A few points I woud like to emphasize:

1) I love Ford Motor Company. Regardless of good or bad times and experiences I feel a profound loyalty to this company.

2) I thank Divine Providence for the UAW. The union was absolutely essential in the early years of my employment and is now a partner with Ford Motor Company in a manner incomprehensible to those outside of the industry.

3) There are still problems on the factory floor that require the UAW as an intermediary to resolve. And this is because, as McMike stated, "Half the guys I've worked with in the manufacturing industry were the playground bullies as children and never grew out of it." This is still sometimes the reality on the factory floor. Just as much a problem as 30 years ago but for different reasons. 30 years ago many of the shop-level supervision were rough-necks who rose from the assembly line. They were SOBs but could take over any assembly job if necessary. Today all the salaried supervision have college degrees. They have lots of arrogance and attitude but would dissolve into tears if they had to take over an assembly job for more than an hour. Yet they feel free to tell us we could work harder.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 08:49 PM
You sound like a antagonistic troll. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in an internet forum environment. Your comments are a good example of Half the guys I've worked with in the manufacturing industry were the playground bullies as children and never grew out of it.how rude people drive away more considerate posters when the troll so richly deserves to be banned for life.
Hi Pete. Don't be such a stranger.

Another Forumite referred to this troll as "Henry Rearend."

Made sense to me. ;)

Phillip Allen
06-11-2012, 09:03 PM
That is completely backwards.


Gotcha. But I am not a craftsman who can gather his tools and move on to the next job. I am an hourly employee of Ford Motor Company since 8/23/76.

The working environment at Ford Motor Company today is FAR LESS adversarial than it was 30 years ago.

My point is that self-important, arrogant, salaried SOBs who owe their employment to nepotism still exist in Ford Motor Company assembly plants.

And so union protection for hourly employees is still necessary.

Okay, Tom... I'll buy that

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 09:10 PM
Thank you, Phillip. ;)

hokiefan
06-11-2012, 09:12 PM
That is completely backwards.


Gotcha. But I am not a craftsman who can gather his tools and move on to the next job. I am an hourly employee of Ford Motor Company since 8/23/76.

The working environment at Ford Motor Company today is FAR LESS adversarial than it was 30 years ago.

My point is that self-important, arrogant, salaried SOBs who owe their employment to nepotism still exist in Ford Motor Company assembly plants.

And so union protection for hourly employees is still necessary.

I had a long argument with a former boss about this. It really pissed me off that the recent contract (at that time) allowed the maintenance mechanics to learn a second trade and get a raise that had them earning over $3 more per hour than our lead operators. The operators had significant responsibility, most of the time worked steadier through the day, and actually made money for the company. I always argued that the operators making the product were the only ones making money for the company, all of the rest of us were there to support them. After awhile, he agreed with everything I said but commented, "A journeyman mechanic is portable so the market feels the need to pay to keep them." Such is the facts...

Cheers,

Bobby

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 09:20 PM
I like working with my hands. If I were able to do over my life and education I would train as a plumber.

hokiefan
06-11-2012, 09:40 PM
I like working with my hands. If I were able to do over my life and education I would train as a plumber.

Oh man, no way could I be a plumber. I hate working on plumbing! I could be a pretty good pipefitter or a millwright, I was actually pretty at both of those for a flunky, summer help, "dumb a$$ schoolboy". :d Three great summers, doing actual work, making good money, and learning super valuable lessons for a plant-type engineer.

Cheers,

Bobby

Canoez
06-11-2012, 09:45 PM
No disrespect intended, but there's good things about Unions and bad, too.

My first job out of college was in a union shop. The union had done some good things for the employees - there were decent wages and benefits, working conditions were fair and the management didn't run rough-shod over the employees. It was a decent situation. Mostly. As a process engineer at the company, it was my job to write process sheets for the employees for new operations. (New tools, new product, new equipment) As the "new" process engineer, the maintenance department reported to me. Even though the union rules in the shop allowed me to do the set-up work necessary to write the process sheets, the maintenance employees repeatedly wrote grievances up even though the shop steward told them that they had no standing. Took months for them to basically stop harassing me. Once we came to the understanding that I didn't want their job and they didn't want mine, things were fine.

Right up until the time that the company made the decision to close the shop. The maintenance personnel were entitled to safety shoes - at the company's expense - twice a year or as required if they were damaged in the course of normal duties. The youngest member of the maintenance department had purchased a new pair of boots a week before the announcement that the company was moving the whole operation to Mexico, lock, stock and barrel. He had not yet worn them to work. The day after the announcement of the closure, he wore a pair of sneakers to work. (Not allowed, as steel-toed footwear was required of all people on the shop floor.) He was told to clock-out, go home and go get his new boots. He first refused and was then told by the Human Resources director that he would be fired if he didn't do so. He clocked out, went home and got his old boots which were no longer considered safe. When asked where the new boots were, he said that he was wearing them - which I knew was not true. They were not the same brand as the new ones. He kept playing games (basically trying to get the company to buy another new pair of boots and trying to hide behind some of the union rules and agreements. Later that afternoon, he was let go.

Once the shop was closing, we didn't see any local union reps (other than the shop steward) or hear of the union helping with job placement or other assistance. Believe me when I tell you that the company management worked very hard to find the employees new jobs - working with job placement agencies and other local manufacturing operations. Oh - and just so you don't think that "management was taken care of", the only employee to keep a job was the plant manager. Everyone else - union or non-union lost their job. Seemed to me that the folks in the union had been paying dues for years and got little out of the union when times were tough.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 10:20 PM
Yep. This is why I have always supported the UAW CAP. The fact is any gain made by collective bargaining can be undone in the State and Federal legislatures.

I relate strongly to your story, Canoez. But I blame most of this sort of manufacturing relocation to NAFTA. This is why I never voted for Bill Clinton and instead supported Ross Perot.

The American public needs to wake up. But I'm not confident they can see beyond their immediate needs.

The Bigfella
06-11-2012, 10:49 PM
Good luck with it Tom. Sounds like the makings of a victimisation action if they don't back off.

Nicholas Carey
06-11-2012, 10:55 PM
In a non-union company this supervisor would not have been Hired back once. For being habitually late or absent he would have been fired and told not to come back.

While it is true that I have seen friends and relatives get special treatment and even promotion in smaller non-union shops; in the end money talks and if that person is not proving valuable, they don't usually last long.

I've never worked in a union shop (building software isn't, generally speaking, a unionized trade—they like to classify us a exempt management). I can assure you that that is manifestly not the case in places I've worked. Somebody with clout having your back matters.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 10:55 PM
Thanks, Bigfella. I'm confident this will come to a happy resolution. Either way I will let ya'll know.

Tom Montgomery
06-11-2012, 11:01 PM
Somebody with clout having your back matters.

Absolutely! In this instance I not only have several powerful pissed-off union officials on my side but also 35 years of good-will and relationships with several people in upper management.

This entire incident revolves around a silly dispute.

McMike
06-12-2012, 05:00 AM
Either way, good luck Tom. It certainly sucks to work with jerks intent on making your life miserable. Been there, am there.

I should hope that if I were ever to start my own business, people like that wouldn't last long. I think many owners and managers feel the same way. Unfortunately, I've also noticed that these toxic employees are many time some of the most talented. Making it a hard choice for the powers that be.

Peerie Maa
06-12-2012, 06:47 AM
Absolutely! In this instance I not only have several powerful pissed-off union officials on my side but also 35 years of good-will and relationships with several people in upper management.

This entire incident revolves around a silly dispute.

It occurs to me that the Union Reps organisation need to be encouraging your HR team to be thinking about Ethics training for management and supervision, to be rolled out through the work force. This has certainly happened in my company world wide.
Look here: http://intranet.ent.baesystems.com/howwework/codeofconduct/Pages/default.aspx

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
06-12-2012, 06:56 AM
I spent a dozen years working for an American multi national where everybody had a mandatory annual ethics awareness course - more by way of a box-ticking exercise than for any practical purpose.

You get good and bad in companies of every stripe.

skuthorp
06-12-2012, 07:30 AM
I've been in a few courses like that. Fads and distractions 'cause when cases come to cases the rules don't apply to management.
That was always my first question, "Does this setup apply to the MD and the board, because if it doesn't then it's a waste of my time and company money". They never liked that but I'd been through the mill before.

Canoez
06-12-2012, 07:52 AM
Yep. This is why I have always supported the UAW CAP. The fact is any gain made by collective bargaining can be undone in the State and Federal legislatures.

I relate strongly to your story, Canoez. But I blame most of this sort of manufacturing relocation to NAFTA. This is why I never voted for Bill Clinton and instead supported Ross Perot.

The American public needs to wake up. But I'm not confident they can see beyond their immediate needs.

Well, for good or bad, you can't blame NAFTA here as this happened in 1992 - well before the first NAFTA treaty. It was the parent company trying to reduce the labor costs and escape the unionization of the facility. The thing is truly a tale of woe. Over 180 people lost their jobs at this particular facility (as I said, union and non-union - like me). There were layoffs at one of our sister plants where the plastic was compounded and the wire that we used in our products was made. The new Mexican subsidiary had great difficulty in dealing with the antiquated equipment that was already running on a prayer in our facility before it got moved. Product quality was low as was the production volume - mostly because there was "tribal knowledge" about some of the product among our union set-up folks. (Part of my job was to document that and I had just started. In hindsight, the reason the company hired me was to keep the antiquated machinery running and prepare documentation that they would ultimately use in the move.) This caused problems for the downstream customers (Still manufacturing in the US at the time) because they couldn't deliver their products. When all was said and done, after trying for 8 months, the company pulled the plug on the Mexican facility and those people lost their jobs, too. I don't know if production was ever picked up anywhere else.

Since then, I've worked at non-union manufacturing shops with mixed results. Generally, I'd have to say that out of the last four companies I've worked for, only one didn't treat employees well and it didn't matter where in the company you worked - it was a family owned business with the second generation running the place and trying to milk it for all it was worth. However, the other three companies had better working conditions, benefits and pay than the union employees had at the shop I mention above.

BrianW
06-12-2012, 08:07 AM
I couldn't imagine being stuck in one job my whole life, depending on others to fight my battles. I was looking for new and better jobs before the ink dried on my current contract.

Someone who managed to turn a fan into a pissing contest, would last about 30 seconds in the jobs I've had in the civilian sector.

Now in the federal system, the same character would never get fired, move into a middle class position, and throw what little stroke he had around, meanwhile making life for those around him difficult.

I guess it works the same way in a union shop.

Flying Orca
06-12-2012, 09:45 AM
You sound like a rotten employee. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in a work environment. Your story is a good example of how unions prevent people from being fired when they so richly deserve it.

Rut-roh - it's Rank Rearend!

Phillip Allen
06-12-2012, 12:31 PM
I couldn't imagine being stuck in one job my whole life, depending on others to fight my battles. I was looking for new and better jobs before the ink dried on my current contract.

Someone who managed to turn a fan into a pissing contest, would last about 30 seconds in the jobs I've had in the civilian sector.

Now in the federal system, the same character would never get fired, move into a middle class position, and throw what little stroke he had around, meanwhile making life for those around him difficult.

I guess it works the same way in a union shop.

yep... orifice politics every day

Lew Barrett
06-12-2012, 05:45 PM
I have no doubt that you will be victorious Tom.

Some of the posters here are "perfect" specimens.
They are easy to identify as they post without names and have no vested connection to any conversation. What they say or think is as irrelevant and light in weight as their handles are.

Lew Barrett
06-12-2012, 05:50 PM
I couldn't imagine being stuck in one job my whole life...........

I clipped it there because I feel exactly the same. I could never work (or work )out in a place where I couldn't (reasonably) express myself (whatever that means) in any number of ways. I have had to make my own way for 35 years as a result and I like it that way. But that doesn't mean others should feel as I do. Going it on your own can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be equally tough.

Reinvention is something I like though, especially when it works out!

hanleyclifford
06-12-2012, 06:55 PM
You sound like a rotten employee. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in a work environment. Your story is a good example of how unions prevent people from being fired when they so richly deserve it. There is absolutely no basis for this kind of reaction on Mr. Reardon's part and he should avail himself of more information before even suggesting such a thing. Tom, you and I don't see eye to eye on much but from what I can see your position in this matter is justified and I hope it works out well for you.

Glen Longino
06-12-2012, 07:03 PM
You sound like a rotten employee. Bad attitudes like yours are absolute poison in a work environment. Your story is a good example of how unions prevent people from being fired when they so richly deserve it.

Oh look, the snivelling, angry, nameless brat shows up to judge a real adult, Tom Montgomery!
How typically nasty and mean spirited of "Hank"!

Paul Girouard
06-16-2012, 04:37 PM
So Tom how did this finish up? Or is it still in process?

bobbys
06-16-2012, 05:00 PM
So Tom how did this finish up? Or is it still in process?.

I think he is still mad at Hank.

Course Hank DID deliver a cheap shot

Paul Girouard
06-17-2012, 11:03 AM
So Tom how did this finish up? Or is it still in process?

Bump, seeing Tom's on the forum right now.

Tom Montgomery
06-17-2012, 11:34 AM
So, to review:
I butted heads on a hot humid Thursday morning with a fellow hourly employee over the use of a fan. My compatriot flipped out and embarked on an over-the-top, insult-shouting, tirade. Wanting to by-pass management and possible penalties, while wanting to prevent this sort of stupid scene in the future, I went to my union representative rather than the supervisor (who was not present). My union representative spoke to the other guy that morning. The rest of that Thursday passed without incident. The following Friday passed without incident.

The next Monday, 10 minutes before the shift began, a production supervisor (not my boss) objected when I turned on a fan, claimed I was trying to start a fight, ordered me to report to Labor Relations for a disciplinary hearing, and threatened to call security and have me escorted out of the plant if I didn't proceed to Labor Relations quickly enough.

During the hearing (involving me, the supervisor, and my union rep) when it was my turn to speak and state my side of the story, the supervisor told both me and my union rep to "shut up!" At that point my union rep left the room to fetch the a bargaining committeeman for back-up. The bargaining committeeman subsequently blew up at the supervisor's disrespectful behavior and ripped the paperwork in half. The supervisor then left the hearing. I then filed a formal written complaint with Labor Relations which compelled them to conduct an investigation. Obviously the supervisor had made up his mind that I was the bad guy. I wanted to avoid an on-going problem with this supervisor.

Good news:
We had a second hearing the following Thursday involving a Labor Relations rep, my union rep, the production supervisor, and myself. The supervisor essentially admitted he acted on insufficient information and over-reacted.

The Labor rep said that such incidents (between hourly employees) can be avoided by behaving like adults and speaking reasonably to each other rather than by physical confrontation, shouting, and insults. I agreed and asked if the same lecture would be given to the other hourly employee. They assured me it would happen immediately after our meeting. I then said I was satisfied and thanked everyone.

All's well that ends well.

Paul Girouard
06-17-2012, 11:45 AM
Good to hear!

If you had summed up in another post earlier in the thread I missed it.

Thanks.

Tom Montgomery
06-17-2012, 12:17 PM
Thanks, Paul.

I appreciate all the good wishes that have been expressed. ;)

bobbys
06-17-2012, 12:44 PM
I would let the air outta his tires anyways!:D

Tom Montgomery
06-17-2012, 01:24 PM
Hee, hee, hee.... ;)

Peerie Maa
06-17-2012, 04:03 PM
Good result. The plonker gets training in how to behave nice in company and no one loses their job.

the_gr8t_waldo
06-17-2012, 04:46 PM
tom i wish you well... it's hard enought to earn a living without a clown making it harder than it has to be. i am glad that you at least have the brothers speaking up for you

Kevin T
06-17-2012, 05:20 PM
Glad to hear it worked out Tom.
Every time I see that KTP sticker on F Series PU, I think to myself, hey I know of a guy at the WBF that works there.;)
Makes the world seem slightly smaller and less impersonal.

The Bigfella
06-17-2012, 06:41 PM
Good result.