Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I know by now that all of “us” have gotten the Mercer mailer.  Which President Bruce sent out a response of “cease and desist”?  It entailed the following:  “You are demanding that bargaining unit members produce documentation regarding their relationship to dependents listed on their health care coverage.  You threaten to terminate their health insurance and employment it they do not comply within 30 days.”  Most of “us” know that each year “we” receive an “update” form asking “us” if there are any changes in “our” dependents.  If “we” don’t return the form, they automatically use “our” old form, as correct information, and they move on, but “why” now?  Some of “us” have a theory concerning this issue.  “More people are getting sick”, and using their sick leave.  Have anyone noticed in the last couple of months, that there are more canceled runs, starting to show up on the sign in sheets.  And “our” Station Agents cannot fill those runs.  “We” think that it comes back to the “dirty bus” issue; the company has not gotten their act together, because they are not challenged to do anything.  It has been more than 29 months since they had moved cleaners to rail, and left one cleaner for three garages for “us”.  “We” think this has had a major impact on the increasing number of “sick calls”.  “We” think that the more “we” use “our” insurance, the more the company gets their rates increased.  Their solution is to force “us” to gather personal information (birth certificates, marriage licenses or tax returns (too much personal information on the tax returns)),  most of which they already have on file when “we” named “our” dependents.
Has anyone noticed that the buses are even worse than last year?  Have anyone noticed the dust like substance coating all bus windows?  Did you know that dust like substance goes into your lungs while you are driving?  Did anyone warn you about the risks associated with breathing it in and getting this stuff on your skin?  Did “all” drivers heed my warning to fill out the new work cards, when you come across a bus that smelled like mold/must, urine, feces, fuel, pesticide, etc. (I can go on, but the point is made).  Did “our” mechanics “return” the operators request forms, on what was done to that vehicle, so that the operator can put that form in their own personal files, just in case they have to go to the doctor?
In the past “we” have challenged “our” union heads to “do” something about this issue and “we” have gotten “NO” response, and the company appreciated that “we” were NOT united in solidarity.  “We” gotten NO support from those that “we” entrust with “our” union business, but now that the old ways, “are” done, “we” can now move forward, in complete transparency and unity, one and all.  No more divide and concur as the company wants.  No more in-fighting between operators, service workers and mechanics, enough!
“We” have contract negotiations at the end of this year, most of “us” did not like the compromise that was put on “us”.   “We” need to regain “our” strong position that “we” had prior to the compromise, but how to do that, going in to talks?  Stats. Stats that show just how things have gone downhill since the cleaner were moved to rail.  “WE” need everyone on the same page, to support “our” futures.  “We” need “our” leaders to put out a sampler questioner (via mailer, e-mail (via ATU Activist)):  that includes the following:  have you contracted; staph, rashes, lung ailments, cancer or mysterious illness that the doctor cannot explain, where do you spend most of you day (example: extra board or long runs of 11+ hour), etc.   In the negotiations, “we” can prove that “we” need “our” benefits back to their previous level due to the negligence of the company, and their culpability for not doing anything to prevent mass sickness of its work force.
Lastly, “we” already have a confidential /private and secure web page that one of “our” affected members had put together so that “we” can gather similar stories that “we” can bring to the table along with other information, to prove “our” needs.  The site is:  Check it out.  Join with “us” in Solidarity!


Max said...

My theory is that requiring that you prove that your dependents are really dependents is just another way TriMet is trying to cut costs -- they're hoping you won't return the form, or won't have the paperwork and will drop your dependents' coverage.

Another theory is that it may be retribution for not getting their way with contract.

Al M said...

No MAX-its harassment! Because that's what these mutha fuckers do now!