As many of you already know, I’m retiring at the beginning of June, and so this will be my last column for The Worker. I’d like to take this time to give you all some advice.
Check your pay stubs every payday
Only you know if your paychecks are correct. If they are not, go to your store manager or your bookkeeper and if they can’t work it out for you, call your union representative and he or she will work it out for you.
Stay or become active in your union
The labor movement is a cause, and there truly is strength in numbers. When we stick together, we get what we need and what we want. We see a great deal of activism during contract negotiations, but it’s important to come out to rallies and actions for others as well. If you do, they will come out for you when you need help, as they showed you during the 2003 – 2004 strike.
Know your rights
Your contract gives you rights. The most important one is your Weingarten Rights. It is the workplace equivalent to your Miranda rights. You have the right to remain silent, which is the same as saying you have a right against self incrimination. If your manager is going to discipline you, tell them you want to have your union representative present. You have that right. Use it.
Always check identification when selling cigarettes and alcohol. Memorial Day weekend is coming up, as well as other summertime holidays, and people are out buying beer or other types of alcohol. Checkout lines will become longer, and a busy checker might unintentionally forget to check the ID of someone who doesn’t appear to be over the age of 35.
This could cost you your job. State regulators are aggressive in the efforts to crack down on the sale of alcohol to minors.
Don’t gossip. Don’t listen to gossip
Every time we negotiate a contract, rumors start flying. If you hear something and need clarification, ask your union representative. They are up-to-date on all issues regarding negotiations.
If you don’t hear anything from us, it’s because there is nothing to report. We understand that you may get nervous. This, after all, is your job, your livlihood. Trust your union. Negotiators really do have your best interests at heart.
Keep in mind that this is your union. It’s not our union. We are here to serve you.
Register to vote and vote in all elections
It is important for working families that we all vote. We have a stringent endorsement process for candidates we believe will support us in making laws to support workers. See pages 3, 8 and 9.
I want to thank you all for a wonderful career. You members have become my friends. And I’m appreciative of everyone who’s been involved all of these years.
I will also miss the staff at the local, and I want to thank President Mickey Kasparian for being a good friend and for being supportive as a boss. We really worked well together.
My future is very bright now. I’m moving to Georgia and I can do whatever I want! I’m looking forward to whatever the future brings!
Good luck to all of you.