Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Trimet/ATU progress report

Bruce Hansen (and his associates) have been allegedly working with Trimet officials to "improve the working environment" for Trimet bus operators. Below the break are the supposed 'accomplishments'.
I've talked to quite a few people, and again most the people I know that continue to work at Trimet are all veteran drivers but the handful I know that are not 10+ years also agree with this hypothesis.

Bruce wants to be the 'nice guy' and wants Trimet and the union to get along. To further that goal Bruce (and his associates) are conceding to Trimet demands. They are doing this in the hope that in the future Trimet will be 'kinder and gentler' to union employees. What Bruce seems to ignore is that he has conceded to virtually every single one of Trimet's demands and has gotten nothing in exchange. 

It is 'our' theory that he (and the union) have been outfoxed yet again by a very savvy and highly sophisticated Trimet executive culture. And if you look over time you see that our union has been outfoxed by Trimet over and over again. 

When the union voluntarily gave up the right to strike they were fooled. Our union officers were under the impression that the gains that were made over 20 years would remain solidly. Trimet executives knew damn well they were going to abrogate the promises they made to union employees. That's why Fred Hansen got out of town as fast as he could and turned the dirty work over to Mcfarlane. So the union gave away the right to strike for nothing.
Union members were never consulted when this decision was made. (Jon Hunt)

Jonathan Hunt however was not cooperating with Trimet executives by not allowing them to approve a contract that he saw as damaging to Trimet union employees. Jonathan Hunt wanted Trimet to live up to the bargains they made in the past. 

Bruce campaigned against the "Heinztman/Hunt machine"   and was able to pull off the victory. After 2 years of arguing he decided that he would capitulate to Trimet's demands and sent Heintzman packing. (he had been a consultant)

Many of us were fooled by Bruce Hansen, myself included. We had no idea that he would capitulate totally to Trimet's demands. 

Bruce understood that Trimet right now consists of a majority of union workers who are not vested, basically brand new (under 5 years).

Trimet set up some kind of ultimatum that said if he didn't take this deal they were going to put all employees hired after 2012 on the 'new deal'. (no defined benefit, no post employment health care).
Since the majority of trimet union employees are new they voted for themselves, can't totally blame them for that of course.

(The retirees were thrown under the bus because they have no vote at all. Not sure why retirees are paying union dues to be honest. We have no vote on contracts that affect our futures!  How wrong is that? I went to a union meeting to vote on bylaws change and was told retirees don't have a vote on that either! What the fuck!)

So what else has Bruce done? 
He agreed to the Hours of Service terms without asking for any input.

This hours of service was a joint venture between the mainstream media and Trimet. Joe Rose using his bully pulpit made it sound like there were constant crashes due to drivers working long hours. The facts did not support that theory. Bruce, rather than defending operators capitulated to the media and Trimet frenzy. That hit Trimet operators in the pocket book hard. Dozens of years of past practice were given away without any discussion under the guise of 'safety'. (this is a common con for the American public now)

Then there was the 'block signup' which basically stripped away drivers right to choose their own work on weekends. This was a good thing for low seniority operators and it benefits the company because they were losing to many drivers due to the seniority rules. With seniority gone maybe the turnover will lessen. Trimet gets all the benefits of the block sign ups, there is no benefit to operators that have accumulated seniority.

Bruce is obviously counting on the low seniority union employees to propel him into a second term as ATU757 president.  I can't imagine even one retiree voting for him (if we can vote, who knows, so far we are locked out of everything)

To sum up, Bruce Hansen has given Trimet everything they wanted. He's thinking that Trimet will somehow treat its union employees better. So far I have seen no evidence of that being true.
(the union officers  look to be doing pretty well for themselves however)

Trimet officials have proven over and over they are not to be trusted. They have successfully herded our union leadership to the exact place they want them to be.

It is our belief that once again, our union has been fooled by a much more sophisticated, much more intelligent, Trimet executive force. Union leadership is basically bus drivers that have won popularity contests. Trimet executives on the other hand are highly educated, highly skilled,  and are paid handsomely because of their superior skills in the art of lying . No executive reaches the top in any governmental organization without being able to lie with a straight face.
Every governmental agency at this point in our history as a country is now controlled by a culture of sociopaths. People who will do anything to further their goals without a hint of morality or care about the people that are affected by their actions. 

Lets look at these 'accomplishments'
Adjusted hours of service for operators (benefits company)
Reduced maximum split to 13 hours (still ridiculous)
Introduced 4x10 work week for full time drivers (this is something but all those shits are splits)
Reduced the number of FT splits (good for drivers why did Trimet wait this long)
Introduced 'block sign up" (bad for drivers with seniority)
Continue to look for ways blah blah blah (means nothing)

Look at the very last chart below, you will see how Trimet will save in overtime costs by spring 2015. The entire restructuring helps Trimet at the expense of bus drivers

Say what you will about the "Heintzman/Hunt machine", they were fighters for sure!


Unknown said...

Nice guys get their ass kicked!!!

Al M said...

YUP, my point totally.

Unknown said...

John Goodman once said you got your ASS kicked by NERDS..NERDS. We are Tri-mets Nerds until we stand up to the Bully we will always be Tri-mets Nerds

Max said...

Don't forget - Hunt lost too. The only difference was that it was drawn out for several years and cost the union tons more money.

Seems like president of ATU 757 is a pretty thankless job - no matter who gets elected, you'll still have people attacking you, preferring of charges, filing ULPs, etc. I can't believe anyone actually wants to run! Maybe they believe things will be different when they're in charge. LOL.