Industrial Democracy: What does it mean? Why would I want it?

The phrase: “To Promote Industrial Democracy” was one goal of the National Labor Relations Act and allows a way for employee’s to empower themselves.

Usually they are employees who value their rights and realize they can choose not to give up their rights each time they report to their workplace.                Simplified-the idea of not having to leave your democracy at home or out in the employee parking lot. You bring that democracy right into work with you!

So, anyone with a love of democracy and rights….You may want to consider finding out more.

You might not have even realized that it was happening! I don’t know how or why it began, but somehow, it has become the norm.  People rarely stop to question it until pointed out. But you have to ask yourself how we became willing (in a country willing to wage war in defense of the same rights and freedoms) and agreed to relinquish our rights and protections just because we report to our workplace?

See the comparison below of the rights you have:

Your Rights Outside the workplace VS. Your Rights as an At-Will Employee (not under employment contract)

Constitutionally Guaranteed Rights: Outside the Workplace:

  • Right to Privacy (free from unreasonable searches and seizures unless their exists probable cause)
  • Right to Vote (A voice when creating policy that effects you)
  • Right to receive Due Process  (be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him,not be deprived of life, liberty, or property,) 6th Amendment
  • Right to Free Speech (the freedom of speech, the right to peacefully assemble, and to petition for a redress of grievances.)
  • Presumed Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Welcome to the At-Will Workplace. Come on in…..Here’s what you get:

  • At-Will Employment (free to quit and free to be fired at anytime, be it first day or after 30 years, no cause is necessary or required to be provided )
  • No right to vote (Employee’s voice/ input need not be considered when making decisions that will significantly effect them)
  • No right to receive any Due Process (Policy and rules don’t have to be fairly or equally enforced, management is free to enforce rules unjustly, play favorites when giving raises or lay offs. Work hard, but you will likely make less if they don’t like you even if performing well.)
  • No right to be presumed innocent (you could be innocent-but you do not have any right to present your defense to charges. Similar to presumed guilty unless your boss is willing to believe you. Could be highly unlikely depending on his mood.)

Part II- Response to NCR’s policy on Unions

These Questions and Answers were distributed to Employees by NCR during the election that took place in California. NCR claimed they were providing – “The Facts about Unions”

I must give credit, where credit is do. I assure you, this information was written by some of the very highest paid spin doctors out there. They are brilliant in fact, and very, very good at playing word games like this.

Allow me show you what I mean. Only my comments will be a color other than black so you can tell what they wrote and what I wrote. Okay?

NCR’s Form Said…

Question #1: If a union somehow gets in and I decide I don’t like it, can union members vote a union out?

The Answer they gave was: “Be careful.  There are several reasons why it’s almost impossible to get rid of a union: If a union comes in and negotiates a contract with NCR on your behalf, you could not get rid of the union for the term of the contract, usually 2-3 years, no matter how unhappy you are.


My turn: Okay, I will admit…. as written above, I can not say it is false.

But WAIT. HOLD ON! ! Look closer: 

First-               Stop to consider what it really is saying. It is actually saying that it’s  not impossible to get rid of a union, because it’s actually the same procedure you use to vote a Union in (minus the employer fighting you on it). So it would actually be easier.                   (You Sign cards, File with NLRB , Hold an Election, and Need 50% +1.)

Second-        If you WIN your election, and a contract is negotiated on your behalf, you will then review it, and vote again to accept or reject the contract.

It’s either Yes or No.

So, as long as you don’t vote Yes on a contract that makes you unhappy, it’s safe to assume you only voted yes, because you were happy with the terms.

Don’t you want the terms of the contract to be legal, binding, and enforceable? Otherwise what’s the point of the signed contract?

Just as you would be bound for the length of the contract, SO WOULD NCR!

AND THAT MEANS NCR CAN NOT REDUCE, CHANGE, OR CANCEL, Your PAY RATE, RAISES, OR BENEFITS DURING THE CONTRACT LENGTH.

This is the democratic process, where you get a voice, and that vote still matters.     It’s what having a union is all about.

You keep the power to Accept or Reject the contract.

I hope this helped to straighten out this mess….

I told you they were sneaky, didn’t I?

New England 125 CE Campaign files for 2nd Election   

By Michelle Teeter

Boston, Massachusetts: On Monday May 17th, the IBEW filed a petition on behalf of the New England 125 region CE’s.

This step was made possible by the CE’s themselves, perseverance, and their continued interest in being represented by the IBEW.

For more information on the election process, watch this video from the NLRB: http://www.nlrb.gov/Workplace_Rights/Conducting_an_Election.aspx

Chris Cheadle’s Last Union Busting Run at NCR

CE’s: Here’s what an Employer Education Meeting about the Union is really like:

This is a recording of Chris Cheadle during NCR’s Union Education Meetings.

He’s a smooth talker, but what he is saying, was not only meant to threaten the employees, it was actually illegal.

A week after making this public, NCR had to send him on his way and back to Australia.

Bon Voyage Chris

Mr. Cheadle: If you have to keep reminding someone that you aren’t threatening them….it probably means that you are threatening them.

You say you won’t do anything to sell out the rest of the CE’s. What do you eliminating all the CE 3’s was?

Everyone Remember his words: He doesn’t think we need a union because we’ve got management to represent us!

2:58 seconds into the audio: Finally-something that’s true.

“They (the union) will be the people representing your views. They’ll put their claims down..”  It’s correct that your union representation is about your views- what’s in your best  interests while your managers goals are much different like reducing labor, reducing overtime, pushing higher productivity.

CE’s don’t benefit from these things, but we work hard to achieve them.  Having a union means the interests of the workers have a voice.

You have everything to gain.

Follow the Lead of Workers in these respected Industries: Teachers, Cops, Firemen, Pilots, Electricians, Nurses

All Good Jobs and All Union Strong.

You Can Be Too!

IBEW Calif Election Results – CE’s Lose 65 to 72

What happened in California

The IBEW lost 65 to 72. I can’t hide my disappointment about the loss in the IBEW election. NCR remains union-free today because of just 7 votes.

7 votes that prevented the entire 771 territory of Southern California from moving towards negotiating a contract. Argh!!

However, don’t think for one damn minute that means we have to give up.

I intend to finish what has been started.  So as long as the CE’s at NCR still need of change and protection from a greedy CEO who takes million dollar bonuses while freezing raises for everyone else, I’ll be here. As long as CE’s are still telling and showing the IBEW that they want a union, the IBEW will be here.

These execs at the top who only care about remaining in complete control of NCR to assure themselves fat paychecks, raises, and bonuses really showed their true colors here in California recently. What really has become crystal clear to me, is that NCR  will say and do anything they need to,

to prevent having to negotiate a contract with you.

  How far do you think NCR will go to stop you from having a Union?  

I must admit I was in for some big surprises myself, when finding the answers to this question.

I remember telling CE’s I visted that NCR would hold anti-union meetings and the entire group would be in attendance. I knew this to be true, based on what happened back in the New England the previous year. Yet, still thinking like a CE, didn’t think it could happen. I mean, who’s going to run the calls? It was never alright to just let the customer wait before, right? We had never had a meeting when everyone attended in the time I was at NCR. Heck, I think we had one meeting in the 4 years I was there, and it happened to fall on my day off.  If I wanted to drive the 45 mins there, it would be on my own time and in my own vehicle. Well, I did attend on my own time. I really thought it would be great to meet in person the members of my own territory. It just wasn’t so important that NCR would be willing to pay me for it.

   Apparently, keeping the union out is given a much higher priority then building teamwork or raising morale. The meetings that NCR held here in California really surpassed anything that was to be expected. CE’s were either required to attend or invited to attend (along with a footnote that it was strongly recommended for you to do so) a series of 3 meetings over 3 weeks. Whether or not the meetings were seen as mandatory varied greatly upon the managers who sent the notifications out and the CE’s personal feelings about varied things such as attending meetings on scheduled days off, wanting overtime, already made up their minds, ect.

   These meetings usually lasted from 2 hours up to over 3 1/2 hrs. Employees were fed breakfast or dinner. Some had to drive great distances of almost 3 hrs just to get to them. NCR paid overtime for travel and attendance at these meetings. In some cases, that meant 6 hrs travel and lets say 3 hrs of meeting time all at overtime rates! Now multiply that by 3 meetings. OMG!!  In less dramatic cases, travel may have been only an hour, but with a 3 hr meeting, that was still 5 hrs of overtime paid and not one call closed, not one SLA made, and not one customer problem fixed.

   I have since pointed out to some CE’s, what do you think all of this could mean to you?

   Since the year end (Pay for Performance) bonus is tied to the numbers you make, and of course numbers suffered and no one was performing while attending these   meetings, won’t NCR use those numbers to keep entirely or pay a smaller bonus to you at the end of the year because you were attending meetings that they held?

   Well, I guess that’s one way NCR will be able to get back some of the costs from having all of the meetings. 

   They’ll just use the CE’s bonuses to pay for them!  

Why did they hold these meetings at all? Why so many? NCR- Do they really care?

Final round of meetings week 3: After the dust settled and the last meeting was held, it was stunning to step back and realize that NCR had attempted to convince CE’s in the 3rd round of meetings that the wages of non-union CE’s (as seemingly low as most feel they are) are significantly higher than the wages being paid to CE’s who are currently members of the Teamsters in New York or of the IBEW in Canada.

So NCR’s argument at this point was if you join the union, you’ll make less money?

(But NCR did agree that non-union CE’s did not receive a raise for the last year when the union CE’s did get raises.)   

WHAT?? IS IT TRUE?? IS IT FALSE??

 Unfortunately, since NCR wasn’t willing to provide any written copies of the charts, graphs, and diagrams they used in their presentations to anyone (even when CE’s requested copies) it’s almost impossible to verify how accurate any of the data was. Obviously, I feel was the reason nothing in writing was given out. I believe that was no accident but a plan to deliberately mislead, confuse, and lie to employees of this company and to prevent them from voting Yes for the IBEW.

I have already talked with a number of CE’s who sat in these meetings, looking at these charts about the minimum someone with their position is being paid while thinking to themselves, ” but I’m not making that much.” However, anyone proposing a question that couldn’t be answered favorably towards NCR, received answers from Vicky Rennick like,” Good question, but I’ll be covering that in detail during next weeks meeting”, or as was the case in the final round of meetings “I will be getting to that in the next couple of slides, so just hold on”. Yet the explanation never came.   

   It seems to me, all you need is logic to know figure out what’s the truth here and what NCR’s goal really was.

   NCR’s ending argument, that they spent so much time, money, and effort developing, all came down to this:

NCR is opposed to the union.

To protect YOU from the UNION, NCR has incurred all the cost of these meetings, paid OT, flew out to California from all over the country to talk to you, and are opposed to the union because….

If you vote the union in, they are afraid you will make less money.

Well bless their cold black hearts!

It’s a good thing you have people like Cheadle and Rennick to look out for your interests!!

How does that make you feel?  Snug as a bug in a rug?

Cheadle- The same guy who eliminated the CE 3’s and cut their pay by almost 25%,

Rennick who claims that NCR never intended not to pay you for all of your work. (Come on. Really? She must think that CE’s in 771J accidently attended a mandatory conference call every day of the week at 7:30 despite being paid at 8:00am?)  She doesn’t think you deserve that settlement money. You should take comfort that she writes the policies in the CE handbook,  yet couldn’t explain the very availabilty pay policy she wrote during one of these meetings.)

So stay tuned. We’re going to be revisiting the tactics that were used in California, take a much closer look at them, and find the real truth.

Because- It ain’t over. Oh No. Not by a longshot.

The NCR CE’s deserve more.

Until that happens, I still have work to do.

Sincerely,

Michelle

Settlement Checks Are Here!

It’s truly been an honor and my pleasure. Now the CE’s from every state are finally getting back what belonged to them all along. I hope they know they deserve so much more. More dignity, more respect, more of a voice. BUT MOST OF ALL- THEY DESERVE THE TRUTH !! That’s something they aren’t getting out here in California right now. Who knew that HR worked part time as magicians? One illusion after another. Not to mention the straight out lying that’s been going on. It’s absolutely shameless. But CE’s are catching on and checking the facts. They are calling the NLRB and getting some shocking answers about what NCR is telling them. How someone could possibly think they have heard both sides, when NCR has taken 10 hrs of meetings, while they gave the union 15 minutes on the front porch. My goal was to help all the CE’s to get some real changes. The lawsuit couldn’t do it. (but I hope it helped out some) The IBEW can!! (so i wrote a little poem) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CE’S: If you want the best, Put IBEW to the test. Just Vote Yes.