October 24, 2006 E-MAIL PRINT

Harborside: The Questions Continue

Friends,

The questions from your colleagues continue... here's one of the latest:

Question—

"Steve, I was on the fence until I saw the company's amazingly condescending e-mail. Their efforts to treat employees like 4-year-olds certainly swayed me... but I'm still disappointed with your comments on layoffs. Are you trying to tell me you can prevent layoffs at Harborside?"

Answer—

No. I can't prevent layoffs at Harborside. What I can do is make sure that the company follows the rules of a written contract when and if any layoffs are made. As a member of the union, you'll know exactly what the rules are — and you'll know exactly what benefits you'll receive if you're laid off. And since IAPE will be stronger with Harborside in the fold, we'll have a much better shot at improving those benefits and strengthening those job security guidelines.

Beyond that, you'll also be afforded the important protection of "due cause." In short, after your first six months on the job, the company will have to demonstrate "due cause" for dismissal— and follow the contract's written procedures for progressive discipline— giving you the opportunity to correct whatever problem might exist and appeal any bogus company allegations.

The company will not be able to simply fire someone on a whim.

Question—

"To be honest about it, I've got a problem with "seniority protection." Isn't that just protecting the job of people who aren't qualified simply because they've been here for a long time?"

Answer—

No. It's not my job— nor the job of the union— to protect the incompetent or the lazy.

In the case of economic layoffs, the contract provides the company the option of not following seniority if it can prove that a more senior employee can't perform— or be retrained to perform— the job that remains. As far as firing an incompetent employee, the company has to prove it— and has to make a good faith effort to give that employee an opportunity to "turn it around."

This contract is all about protecting employees on their merit— and doing all that can be done to protect good hard-working employees from the whims of managers.

There's no "feather-bedding" under this contract.

The IAPE contract is designed to protect the hard-working employees at Dow Jones— and under that contract, throughout the company, the efforts of the best and brightest are recognized and rewarded. You need the same written protections.

Sign a union card and send it in.

If you have any questions, I'll be around Harborside on Thursday— or you can send me note or give me a call.

Steve Yount
President
IAPE CWA-1096
609-220-5951


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