Local 190

August 2017

Great time on the 4th

BILLINGS — We had a great time at the Laurel, Montana, Fourth of July parade. (the Biggest parade in Montana). We coordinated with our brothers and sisters with the Brotherhood of Maintenance Way, and we thank them for their participation.

Now more than ever it is important that all Unions stand together and stand up for working families. A special thanks to Jim Adams for bringing up the Joint Council truck. It was a huge hit and we all had a great time.

April 2017

Take time to attend meetings

By Jim Larson

BILLINGS — I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather and is able to spend some time relaxing.

I want to take this time to remind everyone that union meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. I realize that everyone has busy lives but I would encourage everyone to try and take an hour out of your month to come to a union meeting. It is a great opportunity to meet your brothers and sisters from other Teamster shops and to realize that as union members we are all one union.

As I am sure you are aware, the attacks on working families and unions are continuing. Whether it is repealing the prevailing wage for our construction Teamsters to attacking our public sector members, we have to remain vigilant. We cannot allow corporations who are making record profits to destroy our union.

Unions are the driving force of the middle class. We all need to be proud of our union membership and the benefits that we receive from being part of the Union.

The anti-union groups want people to believe that we are a detriment to the economy. We are not. Unions have set the standard for the working class for over 100 years. We are proud members of the community. We are little league coaches, foster parents, scout leaders, church members, volunteers at the Boys and Girls Clubs. We care about our communities and we volunteer to make them a better place.

We do have a great opportunity on July 4th in Laurel to show who we are. We are going to be in the parade and I would like as many people as possible to join us and be proud to be union. If you would like to be part of the parade please call the hall and we will give you the details.

February 2017

Santa’s been here; time for winter to end

BILLINGS — I hope that everyone had a safe and enjoyable Holiday season. I think we all agree that this has been a long winter and we are looking forward to Spring. I want to thank all of our members who have worked long hours to keep our roadways and streets open.

As in years past, Santa paid a visit to the local union and you can tell from the pictures that everyone had a great time. We had great participation and the event is getting bigger every year.
As you are aware our union stewards spend countless hours ensuring that the members voices are heard on a daily basis. This year we presented Tony Palaoro with the Steward of the Year Award. Tony has been a long serving steward at UPS and has done an outstanding job of representing the members. This award could have gone to many other stewards as well as they all do a great job and put in a lot of hard work.

I also want to invite everyone to our union meetings which are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Please take the time to come and get to know your fellow brothers and sisters.

December 2016

Thanks to special workers

BILLINGS — Season’s Greetings to all Teamster members. I would like to give special recognition and thanks to all road crews this time of year. Whether it is a city street or the highway, it is because of those road crews that we are able to travel on Montana roads and be able to spend time with our loved ones.

There are many other Teamsters that also work many nights and weekends to ensure that the sidewalks in our parks are cleared of snow as well. Please remember to be safe while traveling this winter and give courtesy to those working hard to keep our roadways cleared and sanded for safe travels.
Have a wonderful holiday season.

August 2016

The seven tests for just cause

BILLINGS — The summer is more than half over already, July 4 celebrations are behind us. I hope everyone is able to enjoy the beautiful weather. Teamsters Union Local 190 would like to take this opportunity to review and remind our membership of some basic discipline guidelines. Employers are often quick to judge and discipline our members without verification of the discipline meeting just cause standards. It is important to let our members know about the seven tests of just cause. Follow these tests to see if the employer has disciplined appropriately.

The Seven Tests for Just Cause
In 1964, Arbitrator Carroll Daugherty established a single standard to determine if the discipline or discharge of an employee can be upheld as a just cause action. In the Seven Tests of Just Cause, the employer must be able to answer YES to the following seven questions:

1. Reasonable Rule or Order? Was the employer’s rule or managerial order reasonably related to the orderly, efficient and safe operation of the business? This rule or order must not be arbitrary, capricious or discriminatory and must be related to the employer’s stated goals and objectives. Even if this order is unreasonable, the member MUST obey, except in cases when doing so would jeopardize health or safety.

2. Notice. Did the employer give any warning as to any possible discipline or consequence that could result from that employee’s action or behavior? While maintaining the contractual right to manage its workforce by establishing the rules and orders necessary, the employer is responsible for informing the employees as to their meaning and application. The employer must advise the employee that any act of misconduct or disobedience would result in discipline. This statement should be clear, unambiguous and inclusive of any possible penalties.

3. Investigation prior to administering discipline. Did the employer conduct an investigation to determine whether the employee did in fact violate or disobey a rule or order? The employer’s investigation must be made BEFORE any disciplinary action is invoked. The employer is prosecutor, judge and jury in discipline cases, and must bear the full responsibility for collecting any and all facts that are relevant to the final decision.

4. Fair Investigation. Was this investigation fair and objective? The employer has the obligation to conduct a fair, timely and thorough investigation that respects the employee’s right to union representation and due process. Once gathered, all facts must be evaluated with objectivity, and without a rush to judgment.

5. Proof. Did this investigation uncover any substantial proof or evidence that the employee was guilty of violating or disobeying a direct rule or order? Although there is no requirement of being preponderant, conclusive, or “beyond a reasonable doubt,” any proof or evidence must be truly substantial. While conducting the investigation, the employer must actively seek out witnesses and search for evidence. If an offense cannot be proven, then no penalty could ever be considered just.

6. Equal Treatment. Did the employer apply all rules, orders and penalties evenhandedly and without discrimination to ALL employees? If other employees who commit the same offense are treated differently, there may be discrimination or disparate treatment, both of which would automatically violate this test.

7. Penalty. Was the degree of discipline administered reasonably related to either the seriousness of the employee’s offense or to the record of past service? A proven offense does not merit a harsh discipline unless the employee has been proven guilty of the same (or other) offenses several times in the past. Though an employee’s past record cannot be used to prove guilt in a current case, it can be used in determining the severity of discipline if guilt is established in the current case.

Should two or more employees be found guilty of the same offense, their respective records will be used to determine their individual discipline. Thus, if employee A has a better record than employees B or C, then the employer has a right to give a lighter penalty to employee A without being discriminatory. The employee’s offense may be excused through mitigating circumstances. For example, a warehouse employee found asleep on the job may be excused by the mitigating circumstance of being under medication by the company doctor. Or, an employee with domestic troubles may be proven incompetent rather than negligent, the latter indicating a willful deliberation.

Teamsters Union Local 190 has always taken the position that if the employer administers discipline it must meet the seven tests of just cause standards. If it fails to meet the standards the discipline can be grieved.

We would also like to take this moment to remind everyone of their Weingarten Rights. In 1975 the United States Supreme Court in the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc. 420 U.S. 251 (1975) upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.

During an investigatory interview, the Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply:

Rule 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.
Rule 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options:

  • Grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and (prior to the interview continuing) the representative has a chance to consult privately with the employee;
  • Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or
  • Give the employee a clear choice between having the interview without representation, or ending the interview.

Rule 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer.

The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.

Let this information be of help to our members and lets all stay united as the Teamsters Union.

June 2016

Great turnout at seminar

BILLINGS — Well, summer is upon us and I hope that everyone is enjoying the sunshine and being able to spend time with family and friends.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the stewards for attending our recent steward seminar. The turnout was great and it was very informative for all those that attended. Having well trained stewards is a great benefit to all of us. I would encourage all members to get to know their steward. They are a great resource to use for issues that come up in the workplace. They can answer your questions or guide you in the right direction for answers. I want to especially thank Illiana Flores and Bob Trappe from the IBT for great presentations.

I also want to remind everyone that union meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month and I would encourage everyone who can attend to do so. I hope everyone has a great summer.