On Monday, July 25th contract negotiations began at WFAA-TV for our brothers and sisters. As negotiations unfold at the station we will keep our membership informed. On Friday, July 8th the Union and Company met for the second quarter meeting. Ross McAuley, Charlie Jackson, Rodney Deleon, Ronnie Killion, Justin Snyder, Don Gray, and Bobby Reed represented the Union. Barbara Gibson, Paul Folger, Tim Burk, Tony Flores, Mark Moore, Mitch Cooley, and Damien Wharton represented the Company. A safety presentation for Distribution was given by Mitch Cooley, followed by a safety presentation for Measurement by Damien Wharton. The safety presentation is the number of employee injuries, vehicle accidents, and opportunities (at risk). Given the circumstances everyone is working under, (long hours, heat, irate customers, etc, etc,) you guys are doing a great job. Keep up the good work, stay focused so we go home at the end of the day to our loved ones. The Union asked what OSHA regulation required utility employees to wear face shields. The Company did not know what OSHA regulation required face shields but, they would find out and let us know. The Union then asked if employees would not be required to wear a face shield when the heat index reached a particular temperature. The Company response was, “we have not discussed that”. Barbara Gibson stated the Company will research for any temperature relief for the face shields. Brothers and sisters if Company representatives have not discussed temperature relief for wearing face shields in the Texas heat by July 8th, how do they look you in the eye and tell you they are concerned for your safety? The Union stated if we had instantaneous on all feeders we would not need face shields. The Company response was that we have 20% of our feeders equipped with instantaneous now.
Members of the Union Committee stated there are office personnel riding around after storms creating work orders. Creating distribution work orders is bargaining unit work. If you are aware of office personnel creating distribution work orders notify the Union Hall with the facts i.e. employee’s name, vehicle number, location, and any other facts you can obtain.
The next topic of discussion was Staffing. According to the Company there are 848 Management employees, 677 Bargaining Unit employees, and 2,113 Non Bargaining Unit employees. On January 28, 2008, Kyle Davis - Director of Employee & Labor Relations - wrote a letter to the Union stating “it is not the Company’s goal to replace bargaining unit employees with non-bargaining unit work groups”. “It is our goal to have a productive and effective work force without regard to whether they are bargaining unit or non bargaining unit employees”. The Staffing numbers provided by the Company on May 15, 2008, were 726 Management employees, 682 Bargaining Unit employees, and 2, 068 Non Bargaining Unit employees. Numbers do not lie!
We do not have any new information on the sale of Oncor. We hope and pray the new owners and their management does not have a problem working with organized labor. Only you can organize the workforce. Talk to the DOTs and Crew Supervisors at your service center to gain representation before the Company is sold. They need to go on line to our web site at www.ibewlocal69.com and fill out the Representation Form.
Until next time may God bless you, your family, and our Local Union.