If I'm ever sued, this site will go up for sale for the amount of damages sought, along with posting any documents I receive. If you think you can copyright a letter you send to me, go for it.
I'm still learning about blog design and I've found a problem when viewing this blog. It does not behave properly in small browser windows and if your display resolution is less than 1280 pixels wide and/or you are viewing the blog in a window less than 980 pixels blog wide, the right side bar is pushed below any visible post. I've searched the web and looked at the code for hours but can't find the problem. My next step, when I get the time, is to recreate the blog with a new template. Advice is appreciated.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Personal Message to Local Members

This blog has been in existance for 13 days and it's actually starting to get a little notice. If you'll scroll down to the bottom of the main page, there is a "cluster" map that shows the number of people who have visited the blog and the location of their ISP.

I've created a new email account:


and once again invite anyone to email me. I assure everyone anonymity if you decide to contact me.

I have a mailing list of "important" people and I don't have any desire to intrude in their lives. I tried to include a "remove" feature but it doesn't seem to be working properly. You know who you are and if you want to be removed, email me at the above address.

I am working to generate awareness and participation. More on my efforts if they succeed.

I'm sure that some (perhaps the majority) of the people who've taken the time to read my postings consider me a fool. So be it! Everyone is entilted to their opinion. I will not violate any laws but I will exercise my rights to the fullest extent possible.

Some of you are aware that I've spent a little time at Boulder Station talking to individual drivers. I am checking on the possibility of being allowed on First Transit property and if it turns out that I have the right to access, I intend to talk to every member possible.

Besides my personal "battle" with the company and union, I have two major complaints with the local. I believe that the January 10th contract ratification vote was basically "unfair" and that the vote violated the local by-laws. I have filed a complaint with the international but I don't really expect any action. It turns out that the NLRB and DOL don't have any oversight authority when it comes to ratification elections. I am working on the theory that if the state allows forced dues collection, a state regulatory body must also have the authority to regulate the election. More on that front as I write letters and ask questions.

I have a fair understanding of the NLRA and the rights granted. We absolutly have the right to force a supervised deauthorization election by petition of 30% of the members of the bargaining unit to the NRLB. I'm guessing that there are about 400 or so drivers in the bargaining unit so we'd need about 140 signatures. I'm looking into how I go about getting the Master Seniority list to verify the numbers. Here is a portion of a reply I received (emphasis is mine):

>Perhaps more importantly, you and your fellow employees have the right to call for an immediate “deauthorization” election.

>Under the labor law, each separate bargaining unit can deauthorize on its own, with out involving the other bargaining units, so long as each unit has its own separate contract. (I assume that to be the case based upon what you’ve told me, but I can not be sure unless I see a copy of the current collective bargaining agreement that governs your employment with First Student. If you send me a copy I will be happy to review it).

>In a deauthorization election, employees can call for a special election to get rid of the “union security clause,” and thereby rid their workplace of forced unionism. The employees "deauthorize" the forced-unionism clause and remove it from the contract. A deauthorization election has only one purpose and effect: to remove the forced-unionism clause from the contract. The remainder of the contract, including all wages and benefits, remains in effect and the union continues to serve as the exclusive bargaining representative, whether or not the employees pay any dues or fees. However, unions that lose deauthorization elections often “disclaim representation” and walk away from the unit and the contract.

I think it's important to remember that the NLRB would supervise the local and the company in any election, it would be a secret ballot and it is absolutely illegal for there to be any sort of retaliation. Even if we couldn't garner the required majority, it would certainly send a message to the local that we expect to be treated fairly and get something for the dues we pay. I also think it's fair to assume that if ATU "walked" away and the drivers still wanted union representation, it would be an easy task to attract another union. I'd be happy to put that on my "to-do" list if that's what folks wanted.

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