Ask the Teamster Troublemaker

teamstertrouble-400.jpgEmployers are quick to label any Teamster who sticks up for the contract or questions management’s authority as a “troublemaker.”

 

Ask the Teamster Troublemaker is an advice column dedicated to spreading the information that “troublemakers” need to enforce members’ rights and build a stronger Teamsters Union.

Click here to submit your question.


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Bedding Down at the Red Rash Inn

I am a road driver. Some of the places we bed down are ridiculous. I wouldn’t make my dog lay in them. What rights do I have besides grieve and wait? When we find our own rooms, we get threatened with disciplinary actions. Under Article 49 in the contract, it says the company has to pay $40. Why can’t we get some relief?

- Ornery at the Road Rash Inn, Local 200, USF Holland, Milwaukee

Free Speech and My Contract?

I’m a steward and was on the bargaining committee for our contract. We reached a tentative agreement that the agent and majority of the team signed off on.

A couple of us couldn’t support it and put out a flier opposing the contract. My BA said I couldn’t oppose the agreement because the boss was claiming we had bargained in bad faith. Is that right?

— No in Northridge

How Do I Get More Support for My Grievances?

If I’m a steward, do I have the right to demand that another steward sign my grievance? Does that come under “duty of fair representation?”

Many times, I’ve asked other stewards to sign off on big grievances with me, because I think the union would be more effective if we worked together to attack difficult managers and problems at the workplace. It’s also good to have a witness at the meeting. I’m usually faced with a “do-it-yourself” attitude. Yes, I’m a steward, but I’m already in danger of retaliation from a manager that seems eager to fire me. I’m constantly wondering what will happen if I stick my neck out any further with grievances.

- Lots of grief but no support

Can Management Play Favorites?

One of my co-workers was suspended for a customer complaint. Last month, our boss let another employee skate by for the same thing with just a verbal warning, because they like his numbers. What can we do to stop management from playing favorites?

— Never the Teacher’s Pet

Can a Steward Be Fired for Yelling at the Boss?

Last week, I went to my boss’s office to ask him about an information request for a grievance I’m working on. He didn’t have the information, and I got angry and raised my voice with him. His door was open and some co-workers saw it. Right in front of them he told me that he would have me fired if I ever yell at him again. Can he get away with that?

-Stewing in Ohio

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