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Today in Labor History

Sept. 17, 1989
The ten-month Pittston Coal strike began on this date, as 98 miners and a minister occupied the Pittston Coal Company’s Moss 3 preparation plant in Carbo, Virginia. The strike began after Pittston terminated health benefits for retirees, widows and disabled miners. State troopers were called in to arrest strikers after violent conflicts erupted, yet the struggle barely made the news the United States. Arguably the most militant strike of the time, the United Mine Workers (UMWA) engaged in a variety of actions, ranging from a nonviolent takeover to mineworkers blockading the road into the plants, leading to their arrest. The United Mine Workers (UMWA) ultimately won, and the Pittston strike became one of the few labor victories of the 1980s.
- Voices of Labor

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Stay Informed: Know Your Rights on the Job

   As union-covered employees, you have certain rights in the workplace. The following refers to specific and very important facts you should know.
   For further information or questions about these rights, contact the Union office at 410-284-5081.


WEINGARTEN RIGHTS
   The U.S. Supreme Court's 1975 decision in NLRB vs.Weingarten, Inc. held that if the employer requires an employee to submit to an investigatory interview and denies the employee's request for union representaion, the employer is in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Some important factors in Weingarte
n rights are:

 Union members have the right to a union representative at an investigatory hearing if they reasonably believe that the investigation could lead to disciplinary action.

♦ The member must request a representative. The employer has no obligation to inform the employee of his/her right to a representative.

♦ Management does not have to call the representative. Instead the employer can stop the meeting, or just issue the discipline.

♦ Once a union representative is called, he/she has the right to:

     • Know the subject of the investigatory hearing
     • Confer with the member prior to the meeting
     • Speak and participate in the hearing

However, the representative cannot argue the case, as the hearing is not a grievance meeting.

♦ An employee can not choose which union representative he/she would like to represent him/her.

     • The department representative will be called if available. If not, the nearest available representative will be called.
     • If the employer is responsible for the representative not being available, then the supervisor must end the meeting until the representative is available.
     • If the union is responsible for the representative unavailability, then another  representative or employee can be called in, unless the supervisor chooses to postpone the meeting.

YOUR RIGHT TO FAIR TREATMENT
   Your Teamster contract provides you with the right to fair treatment at work. Without your union contract, you would be employed "at will," which means that the employer could issue discipline or terminate your employment for any non-discriminatory reason – or, for no reason! The "just cause" provision in your contract protects you against unreasonable discipline. The basic elements of just cause have been reduced to seven tests. A "No" answer to one or more of the questions below means that just cause either was not satisfied, or at least was seriously weakened.

1. Notice: Did the Employer give the Employee forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible consequences of the Employee's disciplinary conduct?

2. Reasonable rule or order: Was the Employers rule or managerial order reasonably related to (a) the orderly, efficient, and safe operation of the Employer's business, and (b) the performance that the Employer might properly expect of the Employee?

3. Investigation: Did the Employer, before administering the discipline to an Employee, make an effort to discover whether the Employee did in fact violate or disobey a rule or order of management?

4. Fair investigation: Was the Employer's investigation conducted fairly and objectively?

5. Proof: At the investigation, did the 'judge' obtain substantial evidence or proof that the Employee was guilty as charged?

6. Equal treatment: Has the Employer applied its rules, orders and penalties even-handedly and without discrimination to all employees?

7. Penalty: Was the degree of discipline administered by the Employer in a particular case reasonably related to (a) the seriousness of the Employee's proven offense, and (b) the record of the Employee in his service with the Employer?






Page Last Updated: May 06, 2010 (12:26:45)
 
 
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