Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Mr. Macfarlane

I/We/ Us, wanted to respond to your latest Neil’s NOTES, that you posted on your blog and posted in the garages.  Titled:  “Are You A Wellness Champion?”  I/We/Me/Us wanted to know, just who were you talking about in this post?  I/We/Us/ am looking at this and scratching My/Our/Us/We head, because here You/Management are talking so casually about health and wellness as though You/Management have really been at the forefront of preaching health, wellness,  and might I/We/Us add in stress prevention to Your/Management post.
I/We/ Us am that bus operator that gets up in the morning, goes to work and put in an average day of 13+ hours in uniform (as a full-time operator).  Since I/We/Us am backed into working a 4 hour split shift with no weekends off,  I/We/Us have barely enough time to see My/Us kids due to the ridiculousness of the companies need to keep spit shifts as a way to work Your/Management’s budget.   If I/Us/We live too far to go home, eat (a proper meal, not fast food or another type of bad food) and get back to work in time to catch My/Our/Us next route, then I/Us would have to stay in the garage or go to the nearest fast food joint.  Is this another reason You/Management are moving to Your/Management “new” offices downtown?  Are You/Management not wanting to see all-the-bodies in the employee area, sleeping (where they can), trying to keep moral up in a reasonable light.  I/ We/Us do the best I/We/Us can in the hours that I/We/Us have daily, to try and maintain a healthy enough lifestyle.  When I/Us/We get on the bus for the shift I/Us/We work, I/Us/We have to be reminded of just how dirty the environment “is”.  The busses have not had regular cleaning since the beginning of 2011, it is now 2013 and winter time, where I/Us/We cannot open all the windows in order to get fresh air.  In this dirty environment My/Us/Our health “is” impacted the most, the air is “so” thick with contaminants, bacteria , exhaust and let’s not forget human cotangents that ride for all hours of My/Our shift.  If You/Management don’t know what I’m/Us/We are talking about, let’s have you sit in the driver’s seat with the Climate Control on and blowing on You/Management.  If you detect a smell of watered down bleach or biodiesel, then you are getting poisoned, now times that with a 12 hour in the seat, day? Not to Your/Managements’ liking then “who are you talking about in Your/Management Neil’s Notes?  Also, without regular cleaning, the duct work (which have never been cleaned) and the HVACs hold in “all” the contagions and changing the filter only acts like a plug.  In case You/Management wanted to forget or have forgotten this Oregonian article, let Me/Us remind you:, which includes the study by PSU that April.  And I/Us/We just how bad it has gotten now under Your/Managements’ leadership.
I/We/Me/Us, am the Maintenance worker that gets up in the morning, goes to work and put in an average day.  Often, I/We/Us have to work in, and work with sub-par conditions, such as a tool allowance that does not cover My/Our/Us needs while I/We/Us work on outdated equipment that often breaks down.  I/Us/We often work in the morning “bumping” tires, while starting the busses at the same time.  This “is” hazardous work, due to the amounts of burning exhaust (bio-diesel) that is in the air, in case You/Management don’t know what I/We/Us am talking about, it is that strong smell of burned crayons, which causes eye and lung problems.  Is that why You/Management are moving Your/Management offices downtown?  Is it that You/Management are concerned about the impact of this on Your/Managements’ health, or are You/Management not concerned about admissions around the local neighborhoods where the garages are located, or the schools and children that play in these areas, so far, You/Management “show” no concern.  I/We/Us am also the one who has to work around hazardous chemicals that get on my work clothes (of which I/Us have few, due to a clothing allowance that does not give me an adequate amount).  You/Management did not care to tell me such things as “I/Us” would have to clean these contaminated uniforms on My/Our/Us own.  Taking these things home, I/We am cross contaminating My/Our/Us home, cars and families, not to mention the possibility of blowing up My/Our/We dryer due to the chemicals such as biodiesel (that does not come off in the wash).  In case You/Management don’t understand, then let Me/We show you something about “flash-points” and dryers:  Flash Point (ASTM D93)
The flash point, as specified, is not directly related to engine performance. It is, however, of importance in connection with legal requirements and safety precautions involved in fuel handling and storage that are normally specified to meet insurance and fire regulations. The flash point for biodiesel has been set at 93°C (200°F) minimum, so biodiesel falls under the non-hazardous category under National Fie Protection Association codes. (
How Hot Does a Clothes Dryer Get?
Under normal operating conditions, the internal temperature of the air in the drum runs at an average temperature of 135°F.
More info: Technically, how hot a clothes dryer gets depends on which part of the unit you are considering. The hottest area of the clothes dryer occurs in the heating element. Air is drawn into the heater duct and heated to temperatures ranging from 200°F-300°F. Once the air reaches the inside of the drum, evaporating water cools the air to 90°F-170°F.
Factors Influencing Clothes Dryer Temperature
Several factors influence the internal operating temperature of a dryer including cycle setting, load size, dampness, room temperature, and airflow. The make and the model of the clothes dryer, as well as its age will also influence operating temperature. (
As You/Management can tell, there “is” a possibility of this happening, probably more so with older dryers, yet Your/Management’s newest contract proposal doesn’t address laundering these coveralls that We/Us ware.
I/We/Me/Us, am the Service worker that goes to work and put in an average day.  Often, I/We/Us have to work in, and work with sub-par conditions, such as getting that “dirty-bus” ready for the operators to take the next day.   I/We work hard, yet the working conditions are horrible.  The busses have not been regularly (interior) cleaned  since 2011, I/Us blow out the garbage that passengers leave on the busses, dump the garbage out of the cans, and sometimes mop the floors, then run it though the exterior washer.  Do You/Management wonder why I/Us/We would be on this type of list, well, let me ask You/Management a question?  Since, there are no real interior cleaners since 2011, the ductworks which have contaminates in them (that have never been cleaned out) and thousands and thousands of sick people riding each day and I/We blow trash around with a blower from the back to the front, all the while things that I cannot see impact my health the most, which causes eye, nose and lung irritation.  What I/We need is a breathing lung to curb the impact, and all You/Management offer is a paper mask, which does not prevent anything.  These types of masks would do far more to protect My/We/Us’ health:   (

Why wear an allergy mask or respirator?

Allergy relief masks are great for people who:

  • Are allergic to dust, mold spores or pollen
  • Have sensitivities to airborne allergens
  • Are irritated by particulates when doing yard work or household chores
  • Have trouble breathing in polluted environments
  • Have general allergies or asthma related health problems
  • Are concerned with H1N1, the Avian Flu or other types of flu viruses or bacteria

When worn properly a face mask or respirator can be your best friend. All of the masks and respirators that we offer present a physical barrier between you and allergens, and most go further and actually filter submicron particles such as pollen, air pollutants like benzene, and microorganisms like bacteria or the flu virus. Whether you are concerned with mold spores while raking leaves, soot and hydrocarbon pollution while commuting to work or simply worried about contracting H1N1 or other types of the flu, we have a respirator or mask to meet your needs.
Why don’t You/Management come down as see what We/Us go through, trying to stay healthy while at work.
Lastly, since You are a Wellness Champion as you have stated, then know this, as an employee talking to you, you are the Manager of this company, not just the non-union side, and with that responsibility comes leadership.  Leadership that recognizes of “all” sides of every issue, again not just the non-union side, if you want to talk about health and wellness then as a leader you must dictate this as a priority, with respect to the well-being of all the employees under your leadership.  I/Us/We understand that some personal responsibility is needed to aid My/Our/Us/We long-term health, yet look at the contributing factors that happen under your stewardship.  Are you tired of hearing how many union employees (who gave their lives for the company?) die, each year, or on the list of needing additional sick leave?  These are the reasons that the union employees are upset that You/Management want to reduce My/Our/Us/We health coverage in current and retired employees.  Reducing My/Our/Us/We coverage down to 96% from 100% when You/Management are 100% responsible for the contributing factors which affect Our/We/Us health while on the job.

No comments: