Posted: Friday morning, September 8, 2006
Thanks to those who made it by Markers Thursday evening and thanks for the signed cards. We'll do it again next week — and set up something for the morning crew as well.
But right now I wanted to share my responses to some of the questions I've been getting.
The first one is something you've been hearing from management for years: "you're getting everything the union guys are getting, so why should you join?"
My answer: There are a couple of things are going on here.
First, I'm not sure you are getting everything the Union guys are getting. Management tells you that, but I don't think it's true.
The company can — and has— changed your health care benefit package on its own. To change the union package, they have to negotiate.
Union guys know whether they get overtime, it's in writing— not up to the manager.
There's a two-week notice required before the company can change the shift of a union guy, yours could be changed whenever— and for whatever reason— management decides.
After an initial new hire six-month "probationary" period, Union guys can't be fired without "due cause"— and there are clearly defined steps that the company has to take, offering employees an chance to correct the problem. You are what's called an "at will" employee and can be fired at any time for any reason —or no reason at all.
Wage hikes and cost of living increases for Union guys are guaranteed —written down and enforceable— for you it depends on what the company wants to give you.
Union guys have a written right to have a representative with them anytime the Company takes any action that could lead to disciplinary action— you don't. Union guys have a procedure to appeal— or take issue— with an action by their boss, you don't. The list goes on and on.
The bottom line is that in the Union you have a written contract— and someone who'll enforce it.
A second point: If Harborside is in the Union, the package you get is going to be better than the package I can get without you.
This is critical.
We've just signed up MarketWatch in Boston, Chicago, LA, San Francisco and Washington. Last time around, in bargaining IAPE had what was equivalent to a "six-pound hammer" to swing at the bargaining table, adding MarketWatch gave us a "nine-pound hammer"— adding Harborside will give us a "twelve-pound hammer."
Adding Harborside takes away the last significant non-union workforce in Dow Jones. That makes IAPE stronger— and that means the deal I can negotiate (with you in the Union) will be better than the deal I could negotiate with you on the outside.
And for the first time, you'll have input in the deal you'll get: from now on you've got a seat at the table, you're not simply depending on the efforts of someone else and the good graces of the company."
If you've got a question, let me know (609-220-5951 firstname.lastname@example.org ) and if you need one, your union card
Print it out, fill it in, sign it, fax a copy to 609-716-0626 and mail the original to IAPE, 14 Washington Road, Suite 521, Princeton Junction, New Jersey 08550
Next time we'll talk a little about that news product review being conducted by Paul Ingrassia.