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Monday, June 1, 2015

Chris Day still getting the run around

Trimet officials are under the impression that they can prohibit any sort of campaigning by the various ATU757 candidates anywhere on Trimet property. Needless to say this brings up freedom of speech issues. Then there is also the issue of what exactly constitutes employees 'work area'. Is that  everywhere  including such places as break rooms, pool tables, exercise areas etc.

On 05/21/2015 I sent Shelly Lomax and Randy Stedman an email asking about Posting at Street Car and WES.

Shelly Lomax replied the same day saying “WES has a designated spot for campaign materials near the ATU board. The managers sit to the right of the main door and they can direct you to the correct location.”

Randy Stedman replied the same day saying “Thank you for seeking permission. You may post at Street Car and WES. If you are referring to the City of Portland’s property for Street Car; we do not control the City’s property, and you will need to seek permission from the City.”

As you can see both responded same day to me (a candidate) and had no problems with that. Dee Williams made some comments about our freedom of speech rights and pointed out a link that made me question how our candidates are being instructed. In my research I have found that on the property there are two types of areas. The work area and the non-work area. In the non-work areas we have some protections with being permitted to talk to employees that are off the clock or on break along with distribute literature. Today I sent Randy and Shelly and email asking “To avoid confusion I am asking if candidates are permitted access to non-work areas so that they can discuss and hand out literature to employees who are off the clock or on break?” Randy Stedman replied back stating “Please contact your campaign Chair and counsel, Lane Toensmeier. TriMet prefers not to have direct communication with candidates on campaign issues. I was in contact with Lane on Friday. For information, the NLRA generally does not apply to TriMet.”

I have forwarded all of this to our election committee and I hope they will follow through and get us an answer. I find it interesting how 11 days ago TriMet had no problems answering my question about Street Car and WES yet on this last question they refer me back to the election committee and Lane.
Chris Day

4 comments:

Dawg said...

People we don't have absolute freedom of speech protection at work the company has guidelines it has provided.

Loki said...

Your right to free speech is not protected in someone home. Your place of business. The real protected right to free speech is on your property and on public land. Anytime you enter a property of any kind your free speech can be listed. Come Al you should know this. The list is very long.

Al M said...

You're missing the point. If Bruce Hanson was to walk into the Beaverton TC Break room and talk to people about his presidency is that illegal to Trimet? Well if it is why has that been allowed since the creation of the union. If Bruce can do that why can't other candidates do it?

always roaming said...

If Bruce Hanson was handing out campaign flyers while visiting the workplace, then I'm thinking that would be "illegal." However, if he is conducting "ordinary" union business in the scope of his duties as union president, he has the right to be on TriMet property while conducting such business. Union officers are allowed to meet with employees on company property to discuss workplace issues. If he starts shouting "vote for me!!!" while on their property, then I'd assume that would be violating policy and he can be asked to leave the premises.

I think a line has to be drawn between campaigning and conducting normal union business. The union officers have the right to meet with employees on TriMet property to conduct normal business.

JMO