Friday, March 4, 2011
ATU 757 PRESIDENT JON HUNT RESPONDS TO CHRIS DAY
I am in receipt of the email you sent to a number of ATU members. In response, I am not going to engage in a he-said-he-said debate. I do note that your email failed to inform the recipients of the following:
1. The Union offered mediation between yourself and Sister Fox. The Union even went as far as contacting a well-respected mediator, while he was on his vacation, to get his agreement to perform the mediation. Unfortunately, mediation is a voluntary process and both parties did not agree to mediate.
2. The disputes between you and Ms. Fox have persisted for years. Each of you has charged the other with wrongdoing. Each of you has published those charges of wrongdoing to the Union, distributed them in the workplace and posted them on publically-read internet blogs. The word “charges” was used in its general sense, “To make a claim of wrongdoing against; accuse or blame.”
3. The Union NEVER gives a member’s address to another member. Had you asked and, you did not, the Union would have mailed your charges to Sister Fox.
Your most recent charge, which was filed too late for the March membership meeting, will be heard by the membership in April. The person against whom the allegations are being levied, as well as the membership, are entitled to receive all of the material you submitted not just those pages you identified (3 pages out of 7 total). If you do not want the entirety of your submission circulated to Sister Fox and the membership you must withdraw it and re-submit only those pages you do want circulated.
I stand by my letter of February 2, 2011. I believe it is an inappropriate use of my time, the Union’s resources and the memberships’ energy to deal with disputes between members–particularly when we are in the middle of contentious negotiations. Where does it stop? At any one time, we have members involved in personality disputes, divorces, custody battles and other conflicts which involve charges and counter-charges of wrongdoing. The Union cannot and, should not, involve itself in these types of disputes except in the context of providing representation to both parties to insure fairness should the employer elect to involve itself by threatening discipline.
Finally, your dispute with Ms. Fox arose because you both work in the same place. As such, the matter is more appropriately settled by the workplace human resources mechanisms or through a personal lawsuit. And, as stated previously, federal law prohibits the use of union resources to reprimand or punish a member for exercising his or her free speech rights.