Document 28's and Things.
I am a Document 28, (D28) transplant employee. I have
worked at the Baltimore plant eleven years. That's two years
longer than my two previous plants combined. There are approximately
400 D28's in this plant and very little chance that we can
go back to our own plants or even close to our own areas.
At the Framingham D28 meeting that was held in the plant
conference room on 2-4-00 Fred Swanner said "We are
members of local 239" if that's the case, why are we
still listed as D28's on the seniority list? What is the
purpose for this if not to single us out? Since most of
us have made our homes here, it's time for the union to
integrate us into the plant. If 11 years isn't long enough
to be considered a local, then what is?
At that same D28 meeting the only thing that I came away
with was that there are a lot of disgruntled D28 members.
I don't think that it is just the Framingham members. I
spoke with members from other plants and they too feel the
same. The reason we are disgruntled is because our local
representatives treat us like second-class citizens. It's
like there is this stigma to being a D28. We don't have
any representation to speak of. Every time we put in a call
for the committeemen they make us feel like we are disturbing
them or they have this, you're not worthy of my time attitude.
You'd think they'd show a little more respect since it wasn't
that long ago that this local had employees transfer to
other plants. Our union representatives should treat us
D28's as members of this union because 400 D28's can have
a tremendous influence on the next elections. I think the
best way for us to solve this problem is to start a D28
committee and we should do this as soon as possible, preferably
at the next union meeting, which is March 12th.
Something that is really mind blowing about calling the
committeeman around here is the chain of events once you
put in a call. The first thing that happens is the committeeman
goes to the supervisor to find out what your problem is,
they then discuss this problem amongst themselves, work
out a solution and then call you in to tell you how they
are going to solve the problem. Excuse me? If I'm not mistaken,
shouldn't the committeeman see me first? Duh! I pay union
dues so that the union represents me, not, to double-team
me like they do in this plant. In the 11 years that I've
been here I know this hasn't always been the procedure.
I've talked with people who have been here over 25 years
and they too think that all of this company and union double-teaming
started with our current elected officials. Isn't this sort
of behavior counterproductive to what the union is all about?
I'm all for someone helping their kid get a job here and
that's all, anything else the kid should earn. I say this
because you may have noticed we have a few individuals who
seem to be riding their father's coat tails. How else can
you explain they're getting appointed to prime positions?
They certainly haven't been here long enough or done anything
to earn these positions. Individuals, who tried and couldn't
get elected if their lives depended on it, most of us know
who they are and there's a reason we wouldn't elect these
individuals dogcatchers never mind committeemen. However,
our elected officials appointed these individuals to prime
positions in the union. (Yea I know because they can, still
doesn't make it right.) Positions, I might add that should
have been posted. Who wouldn't love to have a chance at
applying for these positions? If we got the position or
not would be because of our qualifications, not because
of daddy or the kiss-ass factor that seems to run rampant
in this union's administration. Appointed positions, secondary
moves, supervision, local leadership, potatoes, pototoes,
tomatoes, tomotoes, man, it's so hard to tell what's what
and who's who around here.
Then there's the Allison transmission plant. When I found
out that local 239 was involved in the process my heart
just sank. I was hoping for a clean break from this local
and all of their dirty dealings. Considering what they've
done here I can only imagine what they'll do there, whatever.
Yea, I called to check it out and I got a Mr. Burkes on
the phone, talk about arrogant. When I told him that I was
a D28 he said "Oh you're the ones with the Kiss of
Death". Quote, unquote. There's that D28 stigma that
I was speaking of earlier. I'll go to the presentation,
I'll listen to what they have to say and then IÕll make
the call and hope it doesnÕt turn out the way it appears.
Rumor is, there have been over 15 hundred inquiries into
the Allison transmission plant. Of course a lot of those
inquiries have to do with the uncertain future of this plant.
I also think a lot of those inquiries are due to the living
agreement that we have here at the plant, more on that in
a second. To Allison it must look like weÕre climbing all
over each other to get out of here.
Mr. Burke's attitude is not all that surprising about D28's,
it seems to coincide with the rest of our local officials
attitude. Our leadership has the mindset that our plants
shutdown because of our local unions, that couldn't be further
from the truth. Of the two plants that I worked in one was
shutdown because of economics, the other was shut down because
of logistics. The rest of the plants that the D28's came
from I don't know about, but I'd be willing to bet that
their shutdowns also had nothing to do with the local unions.
This issue of D28's should be put to rest once and for all.
I mean come on, just do it, integrate us.
There are three reasons why I'm so pissed with our union,
hence the reason for these letters. My committeeman and
zone man for failure to give me adequate representation
on a simple problem I think would have been resolved had
I not been a D28, and of course our elected officials for
this damn contract. Don't get me wrong. I don't resent all
of our elected officials. There are some I'd vote for again
in a heartbeat and others I wouldn't give the time of day.
Anyway, I'm totally disappointed with Charlie Alfred and
his negotiating committee. It's my opinion and many, many
others that we were deceived and they sold us out. Alfred
said "The international was being run by dinosaurs",
well what Chuck and his negotiating committee accomplished
with our local agreement was disgraceful. They wiped out
over thirty years of advancements by them dinosaurs with
the stroke of a pen.
A couple of things I wrote in my last letter I feel deserve
to be repeated and that concerns the living agreement our
local leadership made with the Baltimore plant. A living
agreement that has more changes then Madonna in concert.
I absolutely and positively believe "If Alfred and
his negotiating committee had to work on the line, you can
bet your bottom dollar they would not have even considered
this contract." I also wrote that Alfred and his negotiating
committee should be taken out behind the wood shed and taught
a lesson on how not to take advantage of the people who
gave them the power to do the right thing and blew it, shame
on you guys.
I know I'm probably wasting my time writing this letter
and all of this doesn't mean much to our elected officials
or will change the way things are. However, if it ruffles
a few feathers, great, that is what it was meant to do and
it makes me feel better getting this off my chest. Our elected
officials and their behavior make an easy target, so I'm
sure you'll be hearing from me in the not to distant future.
Preferably before the next quarterly meeting, did I say
quarterly? Let me think, March 12th is coming up so the
next one is what, October? Yea that sounds about right for
our officials. See, what's up with the quarterly meetings?
You think they're avoiding us? Man, changes and questions,
so many and so little time and space. Thank you very much.
Sincerely, a Disgruntled Member