On Wednesday, May 31, 2017, management sends a modified letter concerning its intentions of abolishing full-time duty assignments in the Plant. The new notification identifies the following sections and number of duty assignments to be abolished, while the total number of duty assignments is 47, the sections and number affected have changed;
Letter Automation Tour 2 = 12
Letter Automation Tour 3 = 15
AFSM Tour 1 = 10
Pouch Rack Tour 1 = 6
Mailing Division = 4
After more than five hours of meeting concerning this impact and discussing management’s contractual obligations to minimize the impact. Management has provided no plan moving forward which complies with the Contract. Nonetheless, management intends to arbitrarily and capriciously move forward in defiance of the contractual rights of the members we represent. The Union has zero agreement in what management has proposed and they intend to move forward.
According to the timeline, management intends to meet with employees in sections affected starting on June 7th-9th, 2017. Those employees who are abolished will be assigned to any available residuals or become unassigned regulars subject to assignment by management in August 2017.
Customer Service Function 4 process
Management has provided the Union with half of the City Stations and Branches plan for downsizing the full-time duty assignments. We anticipate in the near future to have all the Function 4 proposals at which time we will have a meeting concerning the proposals. After this initial meeting, we will communicate with you the impact management intends to implement in Customer Service. A review of the already supplied proposals indicates management has no intention of complying with the direction of Arbitrator Fletcher in a local case concerning station staffing. We are concerned the same disregard to the contract will be implemented in Customer Service as management is pursuing in the Plant. This process has occurred on a handful of occasion since the Arbitration and management have not moved forward with its proposals. Considering what is happening on a nationwide basis, this time management will implement its plans. The threat is real to full-time duty assignments. Pay attention to Flash bulletins to get the most up to date information management has provided to the Union.
Threat of Discipline for “Unsafe Acts” Coming Soon
Northland District Management held a teleconference this week with Labor Unions to inform them management needs to address the issue of 1262 accidents in the Northland District so far this fiscal year. Management intends to provide a service talk to all employees on their obligations to work safely and putting employees on notice if they chose not to management will implement Article 16.7 and put employees on immediate off duty status called Emergency Placement. During this service talk, management intends to coerce its employees to sign a document acknowledging they attended the service talk and understand the failure to work safe will result in immediate action to place the individual on Emergency Placement. This document will then be used to justify the employee was put on notice of what will happen when a safety rule is violated. The Union disagrees with this bullying type of behavior by management to provide a safe workplace. There is not requirement contractually for an employee to sign this acknowledgement. If you refuse to sign which we recommend and management issues you a direct order. Sign the form and add the following statement to your signature. “Management is coercing this signature through a direct order.” Ask for a copy of the coerced document and ask for a steward for so the Union can properly address this issue. Remember to protect yourself and work the rules to prevent loss of income due to being placed in Emergency Placement. You always have the right to refuse an order to work unsafely. The Union believes the employer has an obligation to provide a safe work environment and ask an employee to work safely. The Union also believes if someone is observed working unsafely, the employee should receive direction on how to modify their actions to be safe. The Union believes the threat of discipline is a bullying tactic and cannot be condoned. Also, if there is an unsafe situation in your work area make sure you take the time to fill out a 1767 Safety Hazard Report Form to report the issue. Management is required to abate the issue immediately and provide a written response to the report you make during this work shift. If they do not abate the safety issue, contact the Union so a safety grievance can be initiated. Thanks for your commitment to a safe work environment.
APWU St. Paul, MN Area Local APWU
Todd Elkerton , President 5/17/17