Archived Letters from the Editor
UFCW-1099 is not currently, nor have they ever been,
looking out for the best interests of bargaining unit members at Meijer Stores Limited Partnership, Tipp City Distribution.
Doing nothing will keep these lovely folks in charge
of our contract ratification process; collecting our union dues and providing less than nothing in return (each of our first
three contracts has resulted in net losses to our membership in both wages, benefits, and no concessions for working conditions
unless you count “gentleman’s agreements”). Allright! Send a Union Steward to a contract ratification and
he comes back with a “gentleman’s agreement and thinks he really accomplished something! Now that is what 1099
calls rep-a zen-ta-shun!
The only benefit to keeping these folks as our representation is that we keep the
“right” to complain bitterly about wages and benefits and working conditions (is this really a benefit?).
In the first contract ratification process (before
my employment with this sterling organization began) a grand total of roughly twenty people voted UFCW-1099 in as the bargaining
unit representation at the Distribution Center (only that many had their 90 days in and were able to vote). Apparently, the
National Labor Relations Board in Cincinnati, Ohio, determined that it was in “everyone’s best interests”
that 1099 be the exclusive representation for our employer, ere, I mean our bargaining unit. The teamsters were “out”
and 1099 was “in”. And every union dues paying member has paid for this decision since its inception.
The second contract ratification was “approved” by our membership after
1099 decided to “add” the Troy Store personnel to our existing bargaining unit in order to “acquire”
a majority of “yes” votes. Almost every D.C. member voted “against” that contract but it was “approved”
over our “overwhelming rejection” because the folks at 1099 “sweetened the pot” for the Troy people
with added monies for hourly wage personnel. This happened with an unemployment rate of around 3%, I believe. There
could not have been a more perfect time to strike for better wages and benefits! So 1099 agreed really quickly! Take the leverage
away from the bargaining unit, quick!
The last contract ratification vote generated a
total membership participation rate of 38%. Whatever we have here it can never be confused as being a union. We don’t
even have 50% of our membership voting on their own paychecks, how much time off they get, or how much their Doctor’s
office co-payments will be!
Q: What can we do about it?
A: Join REALUNION (then we can throw 1099 out and represent ourselves).
Q: Can we do that?
Yes! There is no law against belonging to two labor unions at the same time.
Q: Doesn’t 1099 have exclusive bargaining unit
rights as agreed under our existing contract throughout the duration of our contract?
A: Yes they do. But that does not mean that we cannot represent ourselves once this contract expires! Remember,
the maximum length any labor contract can be (and be recognized by the NLRB) is a maximum duration of just THREE YEARS! That
means we can be on the way to self representation in less than two years people! We can shuck this stinky contract and renegotiate!
Q: What if someone “finds out” I joined REALUNION? Could
that mean that I would experience retaliation in the form of getting “bad job assignments” and put in a position
to work unwanted overtime, etc.?
A: Only if you tell someone
about joining REALUNION. At REALUNION we value your anonymity precisely because of the possible negative consequences you
may experience. The only way anyone will ever find out that you joined will be “after the fact” because we will
have secured more than 50% of existing 1099 bargaining unit membership in the alternative union. This occurrence will result
in a “petition to represent” petition being filed with the NLRB and that will force a vote. Should we receive
a simple majority of ballots (of the people who vote) then we are automatically in and 1099 is automatically out as the voice
for our bargaining unit. This will necessitate contract re-negotiations.
Q: I’m afraid. Could somebody hold my hand while 1099 leads me
to the executioner’s table?
A: You’ll have to
go it alone chicken little. If only 38% of the MORONS are voting for contract ratification, then they sure aren’t about
helping you out in any way. But if you contact me, I’ll hold your hand while you sign up for REALUNION (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q: I have additional questions, is there somewhere
I can go to have them answered?
A: YES! E-mail them to email@example.com !! We’ll be glad to answer all questions.