Memo Concerning Contract Minimums

October 5, 2021

Brothers and Sisters,

It has recently come to my attention that there are still some misconceptions or misinformation when it comes to the language found within the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement AKA “the contract”). This memo is an attempt to clarify and educate everyone on the benefit and implementation of the language. Please give the following information your careful consideration and contact me for further clarification, if needed.
Firstly, the language found within the CBA defines the minimum requirements. The company, at their discretion, can go above and beyond the contract without the consent of the Union so long as no other portion of the contract is being violated. The company and their management team are fully aware of this fact. Any attempt to say otherwise is false and negligent. One item that has been specifically mentioned is the allowance of promotions before anniversary dates. It is permissible to advance someone before their date with the consent of the Business Manager. The reasons for getting Union consent are:

A. To ensure the apprentice in question is prepared to advance safely and understands the expectations coming with the promotion.
B. To ensure favoritism is not being shown to individuals due to their relationship with management; and,
C. To ensure no other areas of the contract are being violated.

Secondly, it is incorrect that the Union is stopping the company from elevating people to Senior/System. Not only is this FALSE, but it is insulting to everything for which organized labor stands. The goal for all organized labor is to be a voice for and improve the life of all working people. This is the significance of my prior point on how the rules laid out in the contract are a minimum. The company could elevate everyone to Senior pay, and the Union would be thrilled. The Union steps in only to ensure the company is promoting in the appropriate way. Should you hear a manager falsely making such claims, please recognize them as a way to divide us and give more strength to the company. These actions are classic union-busting techniques which have proven hurtful to the working men and women who have decided to join their voices.
Now, more than any other time in the last 100 years, labor is primed and ready for a renaissance. COVID-19 has highlighted the truth we have always known: the only way we can keep the American economy afloat is through the skill and dedication of the working class. This is the time to take our place at the table and demand fair treatment for our service to a company proving time and again its primary – and almost singular – goal is to increase its stock price. The only way to do that is through solidarity. If you know anyone who is not a member, urge them to join us in showing we can be just as powerful, if not more so, than corporate America.

Brian Erwin

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