W.E./Skilled Trades Update
Sorry for the
delay since my last update. As you know things have been pretty crazy,
not only at work but at home and just about every place you go. Just
when you felt we were getting back to some normalcy then the new Delta
variant hits. Hopefully this will all be over soon.
As you are all
aware of by now, the company is requiring mandatory testing for
employees who are not vaccinated. There are no parts of that policy that
the Union agrees with and we have grievances in the system covering the
violations, both group and individual. The Forge Plant has their
grievance in as well. Once we hear more you will hear more, stay tuned.
is still an ongoing issue with 324 contracting out notices as of this
writing and we still have over 2 months remaining in the year. Things
are getting a little better with the process since Scott Wade took it
over but 324 is still way too many. We continue to grieve any violations
that occur through late notification, no notification and OT violations.
We have specific language in the CBA and hold the company to that
language. The unfortunate reasons behind much of the contracting out is
lack of manpower. We are so under staffed that even during the week when
the company contracts out the contractor brings in more people than we
have on that shift and we are fully staffed. I continue to tell the
company that there is no longer any incentive for trades to want to work
at Howmet. There is no pension only the 401K retirement savings but that
is never guaranteed. We are underpaid per the Department of Labor for
trades in the greater Cleveland area. We tried addressing this at
negotiations but the company wanted nothing to do with it. So why would
someone want to come to work at Howmet? Good question, huh?
apprenticeship program is finally back up and running at full speed
again. There are quite a few apprentices that have their 8000 hours but
are just in need of the state required hours for schooling. A few will
be done this December and the majority at the end of the first semester
next year. The company’s position was that if you were not an active
employee then you were unable to attend the schooling. We argued
differently but it was like talking to the wall. Every time a job came
up, we always said there were 16 employees who would be more than happy
to work on that job but once again nothing. People may tell you the
Union wasn’t doing anything to get all of you back to work and those
individuals are wrong and have their own agenda for whatever reason.
There is also talk of another Millwright apprenticeship for next year
but nothing at this time is finalized. We are hoping that this gets
approved sooner than later.
For years now we
have been arguing and grieving the contracting out of shipping boxes
from the FMS classification. When the COVID hit hard last April 2020,
the company decided to cut all OT in the FMS classification to save
money. The problem with that was there is language in the CBA covering
OT when work is being contracted out. We grieved it and of course it was
denied all the way through the 3rd step. As you know
contacting out cannot be arbitrated. After discussion with the
Bargaining Committee and our International Rep we put the company on
notice for 5 day talks in August. We met and had several discussions
with the company to try and settle this before beginning 5 day talks. We
went back and forth with more that a few proposals and counterproposals
and finally settled the issue before the 5 day talks were to happen.
That settlement was in the amount of $26,000 to be divided for those FMS
who were denied OT and to have the OT opened back up as well. It was
unfortunate that is went as far as it did but, in the end, I believe we
did well for the membership affected by the violation.