The Union and Hallcon met for two days in Chicago on July 13 & 14. The bosses actually showed up this time. Representing Hallcon was Jason Bache and Kevin Jaycox.
For UE members that have not been through this process before, the Union and the Company develop written proposals to change parts of the contract. We start with language changes before we get to wages. Hallcon had our opening proposals for 2 weeks and failed to do their homework by giving written answers to many of the proposals we developed. They came with proposals that seek to take away rights we have fought to get.
The UE Committee did not care for their proposals nor responses. This is putting it nicely.
The Union committee knows that we need to remain united and keep up the work to get improvements for all members.
Some on the UE committee thought that Hallcon’s comments will lead us right towards a strike. “When Hallcon said that they treated us so well during Covid-19, they had the nerve to state that the raises they have given in some areas is likely all there will be coming this year. It dawned on me that we have to prepare all the members to take a strike vote and organize to carry it out come September 2, 2022,” said Jessica VanEman UE Local 1477
“We came in solidarity with all areas of the country. We are looking to create a new pay scale that creates a job you can pay your bills with the money you get. I was impressed when UE National Director of Organization Mark Meinster came and told this company that the entire Union would be uniting around our fight. Mr. Jaycox and Mr. Bache did not like what they were hearing,” said Clarence Hill, UE local 1177.
The Union heard verbal responses from Hallcon and spent the whole day Thursday, crafting our second proposal. Hallcon has not responded, other than saying “No,” to Union proposals to improve: Hours and Workweek, the 40-hour Guarantee, Road Board Rotation, Overtime, Meal and Breaks, Fatigue, Discipline and Discharge, Drivecam, Health and Safety and Van Safety, Out of Area Work, Lead Driver, and the Union’s new proposal around Driver Trainer position. The Bosses said, in response to our proposal for language to protect drivers when disrespected, “We would be interested if this was a two-way street.” Which the Union bargaining team all had to work not to react to.
“I felt totally disrespected in the meeting by management’s reactions to our proposals. They really do not value me or any of our drivers. Drivers need to hear the truth of management’s attitude,” said Diana Martinez, Local 1077.
The Union did suggest our openness to a “two-way street” approach on dignity and respect language. Perhaps UE members could discipline supervisors and managers. Hallcon was not happy with our response.
“Our members need to know that the fight has just begun. We are not rolling over, we are going to push the members agenda 100% until the end,” said Larry Hopkins, Local 1177.
Each time we meet, we exchange proposals. We discuss them, sometimes we agree or disagree with a proposal from the other side. As smaller parts of the exchanged proposals get agreed to, they are called tentative agreements (TAs). At the very end of bargaining, members of UE across the country will have the opportunity to see all of the proposed changes, debate them, and vote on them.
To hear a full report on the first round of bargaining, and to discuss next steps (including distributing thousands of buttons that we recently ordered), join your UE Bargaining Committee for a series of Zoom calls this Wednesday and Thursday (7/20 & 7/21). Contact your steward, local officers, or union rep for more information.