Local 1576

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After years of economic downturns in the Transit Industry, it is refreshing to see things going well once again. The Union leadership, along with a lot of our members, attended several of Emmett Heath's employee meetings regarding the future of Transit in Snohomish County. During the 3rd meeting that I attended, I took notes intending to share that information with our membership in this Newsletter article. A lot of what is happening in Snohomish County is also happening in King, Pierce and Island Counties.

APRIL CHARTER MEETINGS

April 2016 Charter Meeting Schedule: April 17th at 1:00 PM at the Everett Labor Temple. April 17th at 5:30 PM at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma, and at 5:30 Pm for Island Transit, location TBD. April 19th at 10:00 AM at the Everett Labor Temple. Please plan to attend one of these important meetings, hear the news of the local and bring your questions and ideas. All the work we do as a local is passed through these meetings so please plan to attend one, and make your voice heard!

Recently, at a Labor Management meeting at CT, one of the assistant managers came up with the idea of getting everyone on both sides of the table to say a little something about themselves just to tell something interesting that they might not talk about. We all had something to say of interest and although what I said then is not what I am going to write about, it did turn out that we all got to know each other a little better. I decided that in this end of the year article I would share something with our membership that very few people know about me.

 

We are often asked to donate for various causes, most recently the employees at CT donated over $40,000.00 to the United Way annual campaign which is very commendable. Often times we scrutinize those donations wondering how much of that actually goes to the person in need and how much goes to the CEO of the organization. While I did donate, it is hard not to question the process.

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We have grown greatly in membership this year, and with the passage of Prop one, we look forward to even more growth and new members. With total donations of $9,500.00, including $1, 00.00 from our local and $8,500.00 from the International Amalgamated Transit Union, we supported the Community Transit Now! Prop 1 campaign because we truly believe in public transit and the excellent service we can provide.

 

When the recession hit, our members were deeply affected by layoffs, reduced service hours and work that was now being created with greatly reduced break and turnaround times, what we drivers affectionately refer to as “Turn and Burn”. We found that we had very little, and sometimes no time to get out of the seat, use the restroom, have a meal, and stretch our legs. We found that our on-time performance suffered, as well. The combined pressure of these tightened up runs along with the domino effect of getting behind in the schedule, caused many members to complain that they almost never got out of the seat.

 

It’s false economy. True efficiency is not achieved when the company refuses to accommodate the need for rest periods, by creating schedules that are extremely difficult to drive, without ample turn around or break time.

 

At CT we have contract language which, in the interest of not extending our work day, waives the right to an un-paid lunch period and we also waive the right to scheduled rest breaks. Our contract basically says that we may eat and rest *as time permits*. However, we have found that the company abuses this language, as the intent of this language is not to deprive our members from any break time. I believe that with these greatly tightened schedules, the company has shown a lack of regard for their employees, who have asked time and again for relief.

 

Now that we are in a period of expansion again, it is our desire that the employer recognize the importance of ample scheduling, both for the health and welfare of their employees and the realistic fulfillment of the schedules they make. To do any less is a disservice.

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