NLRB, Three Updates
In DA # 39 I told you, Local 239 membership, that in January of 07 I filed an unfair labor practice charge against UAW President Gettelfinger and International Rep Rick McKiddy. I filed the charge because the National Labor Relations Board ruled in a previous case that our local president, Fred Swanner, was only repeating McKiddy when he informed us we had recall rights to the Allison Transmission plant if we’re forced to the Wilmington, DE assembly plant. I figured if Swanner isn’t going to be held accountable for giving us false and misleading information, I’d file a charge against McKiddy and his boss, Gettelfinger.
When I filed the charge, I knew the likelihood of the charge sticking to Gettelfinger or McKiddy was slim at best, but damn it, somebody should be held accountable. In March of 07, the Baltimore office of the NLRB dismissed the case on the grounds that McKiddy made an inadvertent error; there was no mention of his boss and puppet master, Gettelfinger. Nine days later I filed an appeal with the Washington DC office of the NLRB, see DA # 39. The appeal was based on the fact that two UAW Reps misinformed us of our recall rights as three GM Reps silently looked on; leading us to believe there was collusion between them.
In the final analysis, it was all five GM/UAW Reps responsibility to know the UAW/GM National Agreement, and therefore their responsibility to accurately inform us of our area or extended area hire rights under said Agreement. However, despite that very important fact, on May 24, 2007, the Washington office of the NLRB denied the appeal because the evidence I presented was based on suspicion, not fact. Their Denial Letter states that, “it is a well established fact that “mere suspicion cannot substitute for proof of an unfair labor practice.”” Washington’s decision cannot be appealed.
There are two unfortunates here, first and foremost is that Gettelfinger and his puppets, McKiddy and Swanner are not held accountable for, we believe, deliberately misinforming us of our recall rights as corporate and company reps looked on. We suspect Gettelfinger, McKiddy and Swanner got a kick back from the $7,000,000 they saved General Motors when we were forced to relocate beyond the fifty mile radius. And second, that we didn’t have our own lawyer to, one, guide us through the filing of the charges and appeals process, and two, to sit in on the Baltimore and Washington NLRB hearings, because if we did, and they had, I believe the outcome would have been more favorable. I don’t blame the NLRB or its agents; I blame the American legal system that is rife with corporate influence and corruption.
On a personnel note, while we can’t vote to oust Swanner in Local 239 elections next spring, because we are now members of Wilmington’s Local 435, we can campaign against him since most of us are still living in the Baltimore region. Just a thought, nothing ventured, nothing gained. As for Gettelfinger, McKiddy and the rest of the traitor’s occupying UAW Solidarity House, they’re not only unaccountable; they’re untouchable by the membership they supposedly represent because of their dictatorial rule and the rampant corruption that is also infecting and consuming most of our local administrations. While shaking up our local administrations is a satisfying, but temporary fix because of meddling by International Reps, a more permanent solution is a coup at Solidarity House and the implementation of bottom up democracy. The likelihood of a coup shrinks with every passing year because the traitors are selling out more and more of our fellow members, so what are we waiting for?
NLRB Update II
We currently have two other NLRB cases pending. The first is derived from the original charge against local president Swanner, and involves the secrecy surrounding the Allison Transmission List. When The List was originally conceived it was posted at both gates of the Baltimore Truck plant so those on it could monitor their place in the pecking order when jobs opened at the Allison Transmission plant.
Since its inception, The List has seen its share of controversy. A Local Mandate prohibiting perdiems, temporary supervisors, from transferring to Allison unless they gave up their positions by a certain date was suspended for two chosen individuals; thereby bumping the next two on The List, who for whatever reason failed to file charges. Again, when The List was originally conceived it was made perfectly clear that under no circumstance would anyone be allowed to transfer back to the truck plant. However, about a year prior to the plant’s closing; a few chosen individuals were allowed to transfer back because of supposed hardships. Yeah right. Again, those affected didn’t file charges over Allison’s revolving door policy.
When the truck plant shut down and we were placed in the Jobs Bank, Mgt and Union Reps refused to post The List in the Job Bank facility; ignoring a precedent that was set in the truck plant. The only way we could find out our place on The List was by request. For example, when we went to the office shared by Mgt and the local’s Job Bank Coordinator, we were instructed to stand at the door while the Coordinator stuck his head in a cabinet, thereby shielding The List. He would then tell us where we stood in the pecking order for openings at the Allison plant. This was a degrading experience that reinforced our suspicions about those who administered The List.
To bolster our suspicions, in July of 2006, twenty one people were chosen to go to Allison while one hundred and fifty or so were forced to Wilmington. We demanded to see The List, if not The List, we wanted the names and seniority dates of the twenty one chosen ones posted so we could compare seniority. Mgt refused and our appointed Chairman was mute. When our newly elected Chairman was asked to looked into The List, he found that three people were conveniently overlooked. The oversight was corrected by bumping only one to Wilmington while the other two were allowed to go to Allison, more controversy.
As of this writing, the case surrounding the secrecy of The List is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on the 6th day of August 2007, in The John A. Penello Memorial Hearing Room, 103 South Gay Street, 7th Floor, Baltimore, Maryland, and on consecutive days thereafter until concluded, a hearing will be conducted before an administrative law judge of the NLRB. At the hearing, Respondent and any other party to this proceeding have the right to appear and present testimony regarding the allegations in this complaint.
The Respondent is Swanner and/or UAW Reps, any other party is you and I, and those who were assigned to the Job Bank and denied access to The List. Obviously everyone need not attend, but I encourage those of you who believe your testimonies may be significant to please attend. This looks like a case we could win. Should Swanner or the UAW capitulate by providing us with an updated and accurate copy of The List, or the hearing proponed for whatever reason, I’ll post it on this site. Baring capitulation or postponement, I’ll post the hearing’s outcome here.
NLRB Update III
The other case derived from the original case against Swanner as well and involves extending Baltimore’s area hire beyond the fifty mile radius; thereby denying us any compensation whatsoever for traveling sixty seven miles, or seventeen miles beyond the fifty mile radius. Wilmington members were also denied compensation when they were forced to Baltimore a few years ago, and supposedly because both plant’s area hire was extended beyond the fifty mile radius.
Our repeated request for a copy of the document that extended our area hire radius was denied by both Local and International UAW Reps; therefore, we filed NLRB charges against Swanner and the UAW for failing to provide us with said document. We want a copy of the document to determine when our collective area hire radius was extended. As members of the UAW, we feel it is our right to have access to copies of any and all documents, amendments, motions, minutes and/or whatever other decisions UAW Reps make that affect us, even if they’re made with a handshake, a wink and a nod, we want to know about it, otherwise we go downtown like we did with this case, which is currently being investigated. Updates will be posted.
In Solidarity, Doug Hanscom