Frequently Asked Questions by UE Drivers at Hallcon #1

Question: What is the Union contract bargaining update with Hallcon?

Answer: UE and Hallcon met in Chicago July 13 &14 for the first in person session.

Question: How is bargaining going?

Answer: So far, Hallcon has only proposed to take things from the Union contract, for example, they want to delete the on-time bonus, the minimum wage for trip into higher minimum wage area, Article 35.11, retro wages, language that limits OOA drivers being used after regular driver and more. They gave very few replies to our first proposals, we hope the next session they will begin bargaining. The Company provided only August 4 as a next date.

Question: What is the Union fighting for? I filled out my survey, but I want to know more. Can I know what is being bargained?

Answer: Yes, drivers knowing what the Union Bargaining Committee has proposed is so important. Contact a bargaining committee representative or staff member today to get the scoop. We will publish summaries once the boss actually responds to our proposals.

Question: When does the contract expire and will I get fired if it expires?

Answer: The Contract expires September 1, at 11:59pm. If the contract expires, Hallcon is legally obligated to keep things as they are, or in legal terms, ‘maintain status quo on wages, work conditions and other benefits until the parties reach an agreement, we reach impasse, the employer locks drivers out or the Union goes on strike. Drivers will not be fired if the contract expires. The Simple answer is no, you won’t automatically be fired if the contract expires.

Question: Can management change the rules if the contract is expired?

Answer: No, in fact any little change that they do not bargain with us is an unfair labor practice charge or ULP. A ULP is a charge we can file with the National Labor Relations Board or NLRB. The Union can bargain over every change possible.

Question: I have a grievance filed by my steward, what if the contract expires?

Answer: The company is legally required to process your grievance. However, if a grievance is filed after the contract expires, the arbitration procedure then becomes elective, meaning the boss can decide not to arbitrate if the Union wishes to. The Union can also make any settlements between the Company and the Union include those grievances.

Question: I heard the Union is planning to take a strike vote, what does that mean, do I have to strike?

Answer: The Union Bargaining Committee is planning to ask all members, to authorize a strike on or about August 25, 2022 if the Company continues to drag its feet in bargaining. A strike authorization is a first step by Union members to show they support the Bargaining Committees demands. If authorized, the “yes” strike vote shows the Union is united and is serious about the demands members put forth. The Union Bargaining Committee will inform the Company UE members are ready to fight for the wages and benefits they deserve. To actually go on strike, the Union will hold a second vote of the membership, likely with a final offer from the boss. The Union will host meetings via Zoom, so drivers from across the country can hear the plan, weigh in as to what they are willing to fight for and when/where a strike might take place.

Question: A rumor going around in my yard is, if the Union goes on strike, the railroad will replace Hallcon, what does the Union say about this?

Answer: We cannot control the railroad. But we can defend ourselves collectively. In areas where the railroad has flipped contractors, for example, from Hallcon to PTI, the UE went and organized at the new rail crew transport company. The end result, we remained, with many of the same benefits, seniority, pay rate as the previous contractor. Hallcon needs to go to all of its railroad clients and demands higher wages rates, that is the solution. But think about it, there is currently 2 jobs for every applicant in the US. Where would the railroad get all of this extra labor if drivers were to exercise their rights and walk, even for a day.

Question: I heard some rumors about the state of bargaining between Hallcon and UE, how do I find out if it is true?

Answer: Call your Bargaining Committee representative, Contract Support Committee member, Steward or local officer. If you don’t know any of them, call this number (312) 574-0733 and we will connect you. You can also go to the website to get updates, check current news section.