On Saturday October 21, 2006, GM Wilmington management disciplined me for allegedly violating Plant Rule #29, “The making or publishing of false, vicious, or malicious statements concerning any employee, Advisor, the Company or its products.” I was put on the street for the remainder of the shift and had to demand a grievance upon my return to work the following Monday.
To follow the grievance from when it was written, and through to the UAW Public Review Board’s decision to deny my appeal of the International Executive Board’s decision to abide by the Third Step Rep’s decision to withdraw the grievance, visit my DisgruntledAutoworker website. The ‘Free Speech Violation’ paragraph on my homepage will guide you through all seven newsletters (beginning with DA#35) that cover my twenty six month journey that ends with this newsletter and
my precedent setting victory.
Past experiences in Baltimore have taught me that I can’t depend on my Union Reps to adequately represent me; hence, six months after filing the grievance, and within the National Labor Relations Board’s guidelines, I filed an unfair labor practice charge against GM Wilmington for violating my free speech rights in relation to the October 2006 discipline.
My main argument in many letters to all my Union Reps at the IEB and PRB was that Plant Rule #29 violates the US and UAW Constitutions, and that my grievance was withdrawn for personal reasons that I believe violate Ethical Practice Codes, but they did not see it that way. Their argument was that it is not their Job to dictate how Mgt words their plant rules, and they stand by the Third Reps decision, which they claim was not personal. If I had put all my eggs in my Union Rep’s basket, I’d be one newsletter away from being fired, because prior disciplines, which should have been removed from my record, were still being held against me. I believe the IEB, PRB and Local Union Reps were allowing Mgt to stack expired disciplines like cordwood. They were obviously not on my side.
Fortunately I had the NLRB charge. In as little as sixteen months the NLRB got the discipline withdrawn and removed from my record, and I was paid for all lost wages, including overtime; however, the NLRB didn’t stop there. They also demanded that Plant Rule #29 be revised to comply with section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which can be found at the following link on the NLRB’s website at; EmployeeRights.
On August 14, 2008, the NLRB, GM and I signed a Settlement Agreement and a Notice To Employees, both of which are attached to newsletter DA#52 on my website. The SA also stipulates that GM must post said Notice for sixty days beginning September 8th, and also publish in the GM Wilmington plant newsletter, The Bee Line, a revised edition of Plant Rule #29. This NLRB victory is not only a slap in the face of the IEB and PRB, it is a major free speech victory for the entire GM UAW membership, because according to the December 5th Bee Line newsletter, Plant Rule #29 isn’t just a Plant Rule, it’s a Corporate wide Shop Rule, which makes this precedent setting victory, and closure of this case, even sweeter.
PREVIOUS END OF SEVEN PART SERIES
In Solidarity, Doug Hanscom
Soldiers Of Solidarity
The following is from GM Wilmington’s 12.05.08 ‘The Bee Line’ newsletter;
Revision of Corporate Shop Rule #29
As a result of a recent National Labor Relations Board Decision, Corporate Shop Rule #29 has been changed to read as follows:
"The making or publishing of false, vicious or malicious statements concerning any employee, supervisor, the company or its products that are not otherwise protected by section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. A false statement otherwise protected by the NLRB will not subject employees to discipline unless it is maliciously false."