Sunday, July 11, 2010
Oh Danny Boyyyyyyyyyy The Pipes, The Pipes Are Callin...
Great meeting. Thanks to everyone who came. It was overwhelming to see and feel the support. Here are Dannys questions and the answers. Of course, we would love to see his answers to the questions we asked.......
SUGGESTED QUESTIONS BY DAN
FOR IBEW LOCAL 363
1. Why has union membership dropped to the point that more than 9 out of 10 American workers (outside of government) choose to be union free? That is not a true statement. 8 out of 10 of those workers have NOT CHOSEN OR DECIDED anything through an actual election. Most workers fear the unfair treatment companies heap on the workers while organizing - just like Dan is doing now.
2. Is it true that membership in IBEW Local 363 had dropped from over 3400 members in 2002 to less than 2300 members in 2010? What happened to all those former members? With a Local that has over 250 union electrical contractors and approximately 40 other contracts - membership constantly fluctuates. As an example there are currently 900 new telephone workers who are set to join Local 363 right now, along with the Inbev Ab workers. Some people go to work for other 363 employers and others find employment elsewhere. One of Local 363 best organizers are those former members who may have lost their membership due to company consolidations. They know who to call in to organize their new employers.
3. Why are the wages that IBEW Local 363 negotiated at the Ball Wallkill plant so much lower than the wages at MCC Newburgh? We are not negotiating with Ball here or even proposing their contract. If the Newburgh plant has higher wages - that is a great starting point. Don't forget, they may have slightly lower wages in some cases and higher wages in others but they negotiated other benefits over the years that you may not have either.
4. Is it also true that on top of having lower wages the Ball Wallkill employees are required to have union dues deducted from their paycheck? Those earning higher wages than MCC also pay $1 for every $100 earned - yes. They also ALL have retiree medical coverage.
5. How much money does the union stand to gain if it organizes the MCC Newburgh plant? Nothing if there is no contract - no dues are collected until that happens no matter how long or expensive the negotiations for a contract become. So, if you average it out with the time and money that will be spent negotiating and administering the contract over the years, it's not much really. But just to repeat - $1 for every $100.
6. If the union came in and began to negotiate with the company would our current wages and benefits be subject to bargaining? Everything is subject to bargaining but the union PROMISES we will not EVER propose lowering any benefit or wage - we will only hear that kind of negative proposal from Dan and the company -unless they will promise not to do that to the workers. Will they do that?
7. Can the union guarantee to get us a better deal? Can the union guarantee to get us the same deal? Can the union at least guarantee that we won’t lose anything that we already have? Will the company give a guarantee of a better deal, the same deal or promise not to propose to take anything away? Ask them that - the union will not propose to take anything away - EVER. Will they do the same?
8. In collective bargaining, does the company have the legal right to say no to any union proposal that it believes is bad for the business? Please give an example of three proposals that you would reject as bad for business? We probably wouldn't make a proposal that is bad for business.
9. If the company says no to a key union proposal, could the union call a strike? If the union decides not to strike, does it simply accept the company’s position? If negotiations lead to a stalemate, what happens to our wages and benefits? FIRST, THE UNION CANNOT DECIDE TO STRIKE -EVER - ONLY THE WORKERS ALONE DECIDE THAT. But anyway, what would make the company push the negotiations to a stalemate? What would they propose that the employees would not like that would cause a stalemate? Also, we do have a response to that situation that will not require us to take that action.
10. Does the Ball Wallkill contract have a management rights clause? If so, what does the management rights clause mean? Can a company still make changes when there is a union contract? Can a company make changes when a union contract expires? The company cannot make unilateral changes on their own that are not already agreed to in the contract. The company cannot make changes when the contract expires - no. They must negotiate those changes.
11. Have there ever been any layoffs at the Ball Wallkill Plant? What about other companies that have a contract with IBEW Local 363? Can the union stop layoffs from happening? How many companies that the union deals with have never had a layoff? No Ball Metal has never had a layoff either. Many companies that we deal with have never had a layoff and a great majority are in the manufacturing division. However, if a company NEEDS to lay off the union cannot and will not stop them - BUT - we will have a method in place - IN THE CONTRACT - to make sure seniority is respected and that there is a fair system in place FOR ALL WORKERS in case that ever occurs.
12. How long does bargaining take? Is it true that it can take up to a year or longer to reach a first contract? What happens to our wages and benefits if this process drags on for a long time? Contract negotiations take longer only when one party is trying to not bargain in good faith. Normal contracts are done in under 6 weeks if both parties have good intentions. Obviously and by law - nothing can be changed by the company while we are negotiating.
13. Is it true that if the union came in and we didn’t like it, we would still be stuck with the union for a minimum of one year under federal labor law? If the company and union reach a contract before the year is up, could we be stuck with the union for up to 4 years even if we didn’t like it? Good news Dan! Majority rules - glad you agree. The good news is that the majority will vote and keep the union forever at the MCC plant! If, just to play in your fantasy world because it will never happen - a majority of people did not want us there, we would not force ourselves upon them and we would confirm that and give the people what they want. Now - WILL THE COMPANY GIVE that same majority what they want and offer them the same courtesy of RECOGNIZING THE UNION? We have a MAJORITY RIGHT NOW WHO WANT YOU TO DO THAT. Riddle me that one Danman. Just be like Local 363 and give the people what they want.
14. If enough pro-union employees voted the union in, could those employees who don’t want the union simply opt out and keep things the way they are? Explain "the way they are" - nothing is in writing. So there is no ONE way things are Danny. But your answer is no, the contract covers every person. The majority will decide which way this goes for everyone.
15. If I signed a union authorization card and change my mind or am having second thoughts, would you give me my card back? If not, why not? Anyone who desires can have their card back anytime. All they have to do is ask. They don't even have to vote if they don't want to participate in the election.
WE ANSWERED YOUR CANNED QUESTIONS....so Dan - just answer number 13......Why Danny Boy, Why?