President’s Message

By July 2, 2018Uncategorized

Mickey Kasparian, President

Protecting YOU is our Priority!

Our union strives every day to keep all of our members safe from your employers and managers. We protect you from low wages, unfair disciplinary actions and unfair terminations. We protect your benefits and your pension and scheduling.
How do we do that?
It starts prior to collective bargaining. We send out surveys to get your input. This way, we learn what we can do to protect your interests as we head into negotiations. This way, we know what you want and what you need.
In collective bargaining we negotiate to set fair pay, benefits and workplace safety standards as well as a way to balance work and family. Workers are best protected when you stand together, because when the employers sees the strength of the union we have better bargaining power. This is the reason I preach solidarity. Sticking together gives us all power.
During bargaining, we work at solving workplace problems before they happen. It is also the best means for raising wages. Working people in unions have higher wages, better benefits and safer workplaces than their counterparts in non-union jobs. We protect your wages, which includes raises. Union employees make an average of 30% more than non-union workers. We fight to keep it that way.
We protect your health coverage and all of your benefits. Ninety two percent of union workers have job-related health coverage versus 68 percent of non-union workers. Union workers are more likely to have guaranteed pensions than non-union employees.
As an example, we are currently in Rite Aid contract negotiations. At the time of this writing, we have held three meetings with Rite Aid management. They want to take away your union health care plan and put you into a plan they control instead. This plan would require you to work 30 hours a week to simply qualify for benefits. They want cut full-time workers by 25 percent.
These demands are unacceptable and we must respond by standing together to protect our interests. Under no circumstances will we allow the company to take away health care plan. This is something management proposes all the time, and we can stop them if we stick together. We can defeat this again.
We are trying to increase wages, protect health care, increase your scheduling notice, and ensure more flexibility for part-timers. These are our goals, and if we stand united, we can achieve them.
Let’s face it, not all bosses are good and therefore, union workers have the right to file a grievance when they are unfairly disciplined or treated arbitrarily. 
Non-union workers are At-Will employees in the State of California and can be fired for nearly any reason. They have no recourse if they are fired or disciplined unfairly. In negotiations we have built into your contract a set out rules for progressive discipline and for grievance procedures.
Unions help protect employees from unjust dismissal or other discipline because they have a contract. Our union members cannot be fired without “just cause.”
That contract, the product of negotiations between union and employer, places limits on the potentially arbitrary exercise of power by employers, and empowers union members to defend themselves against abuses in the workplace.
If you have been unfairly disciplined or fired, come into our office and file a grievance. Our Union Representatives will fight for you, even if we have to go to arbitration.
Unions empower workers to protect themselves from abuse (unfair dismissal, discrimination, etc.) by employers. And so businesses, and many governments that are over-friendly to businesses, work to undermine unions.
All workers deserve a union. We set the standard to give workers the power and protection that we all need. 

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