I am an active member in a local with do-nothing officials. There is no steward in my area for over 200 workers! I’ve decided to run for steward, but when I contacted the union about setting up an election, they won’t set one up. I am willing to serve as steward and many workers in my area already come to me with their problems. How can we get an election?
– Shut Out in Chicago
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
I’m a new steward at UPS. I’ve been encouraging members to file grievances against excessive overtime and supervisors working. My supervisor told me that I need to watch my step because I am not allowed to “solicit grievances.” Am I doing something wrong?
- Troublemaker in Training
This October, I am eligible for a 30 and out pension at age 54. But with the new pension law on the books I don’t know what to do. I’ve heard that if my fund goes into the Red Zone next year, they can cut my benefits after I’m already retired. I can’t afford to retire on less than my full benefit. Do I have to keep working to hedge my bets or what?
- 29 and Almost Out
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
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
Last April, the majority of Teamster members at Allied approved concessions on the carhaul contract. I need the updated version of the contract we work under, especially because we have lots of pay rates. It’s been eight months; still nothing in writing. What can we do?
- Losing Daily at Allied
For the last two months, I can’t get any of my grievances on excessive OT paid. My BA is waiving the penalty pay and taking a promise from the company that it won’t happen again. I think he’s trading away my grievances. Is there anything I can do?
- Not Horsing Around
Winter’s here. Dispatch has the idea that there is no such thing as road conditions too bad to drive. Am I on thin ice if I refuse to drive in dangerous conditions?
— Slipping and Sliding
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