Wants Backpay for All

I filed a grievance demanding that the company pay “all affected workers” who had been denied holiday pay. My business agent told me the grievance would only cover the members who personally signed it. I say he’s full of it. Who’s right?

–Teamster Steward

Dear Steward,

You’re right. And it’s not a close call.

If your BA was right, then management could get away with violating an employee’s rights every time, as long as they could intimidate him or her out of signing a grievance. That would make for a pretty toothless grievance procedure.

The contract is an agreement between management and our union—not between management and individual workers. The grievance procedure is a tool that gives the union the right to protest and resolve violations of the contract by management.

As a steward, it’s especially your job to police the contract and file grievances when management violates members’ rights. But any Teamster can file a grievance on behalf of themselves or other employees.

Tactically, it can be a good idea to get a large number of members to sign a grievance. Group grievances are a personal favorite of the Troublemaker. I use them to send management the message that lots of members are concerned about a problem and we want it resolved.

But even when I’m filing a group grievance, I use the language “all affected employees” to make sure that the grievance covers everyone, not just the members who signed it.

As always, the The Legal Rights of Union Stewards by labor attorney Robert Schwartz is a useful source of info on this issue. You can order a copy from TDU.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Get Advice Join TDU Donate

Recent News

UPS has 283 million reasons to delay retro pay

Ten weeks. That’s the latest word from IBT Package Director Denis Taylor on how long it will take UPS to issue retro checks–money owed to you–following the April 29 implementation of the contract. Taylor reported to officers and agents at the national grievance panel meeting that retro checks are expected in the first pay period in July. There is no report that Taylor attempted to do anything about the stretching out of “6-8 weeks” to 10-11 weeks.

The Economic Impact of Pension Cuts

Teamsters and retirees who are asking Congress to pass legislation in the house and senate to protect earned pensions can download information on your state and congressional district, using this updated detailed economic impact chart

View More News Posts