1/16/03

Today was a mad house! The In Plant Committee set up a work-day and we had people coming and going all day. We had volunteers from all different shifts at the motel to help straighten up our new data base and house-call. We were over packed in my hotel room, so we finally moved to the conference room. One of the IPC brought lunch for everyone! We are still gaining momentum. Had new people show up at our weekly meetings. The house-calls have been all good so far. We have hundreds more to do, but I am confident we can do it. Jeannie Shell, president of local 78 has jumped right in head first into the fray and helped with focusing the IPC on the tasks at hand.

The most successful day I have had house-calling was eight contacts in one day with Ken Parsons around three years ago. Martin Perez and Stephanie Garcia had seven in around four hours! And all positive! We had some worker meetings or they may have crushed the record. No crew has been skunked so far! Larry Adams, Jeannie, Stephanie, Martin Perez, David Herrera, Mack Bumanglag and Gerald Cawvey and myself were this weeks crew.

Here is the latest local article in the Press Enterprise on Jan. 14th:

Dart union vote affects 650 workers


By Jack Katzanek

Production, warehouse and maintenance workers at Dart Container Corp. will vote on union membership Feb. 14th, according to a federal official. But truck drivers will not be part of that vote.

Dart Container manufacturers paper cups and plates as well as other disposable eating items and is one of Corona's largest factories. The election will cover some 650 workers, said James Small, spokesman for the National Labor Relations Board.

The Western Pulp and Paper Workers had originally sought an election that included all hourly workers, union spokesman Richard Marks said. Truck drivers were withdrawn from the election petition because the union did not believe enough truckers were interested in joining.

Also, clerical employees, security guards, supervisors and professional workers will not vote in the election, Small said.

The secret ballot will be supervised by NLRB representatives. Small said the results will be announced February 18.

end



Date came out with a notice under lock and key that read:

To Dart Container Employees
From Cal Barnhart Regional Manager
And Larry Eisenhauer Plant Manager


There has been a new handout issued by the union that is very misleading, here are the facts:

The union filed a petition with the NLRB on Dec 19th leaving out reference to warehouse employees and truck drivers at the Corona plant.
If we had accepted the petition as the union as drafted it we believe that some of you would not have been eligible to vote in the election, since you would have not been in the bargaining unit.
We began working immediately on trying to understand and clarify the bargaining unit. After conversations with Dart and the NLRB agent and presumably additional input from the union to the NLRB we received a proposed election agreements that contained bargaining units, which were very different from the unions petition and contained job titles that were not applicable to the Corona plant. Again we worked with the NLRB agent to clarify the units.
No election can occur until the bargaining units are defined. Had the union been clearer or more thorough in the original petition perhaps this process could have been shortened.
We did ask for the election on Feb 14th because this is a very important decision and we want to provide you with adequate opportunity to get facts. Not only tricks and misleading information like the union is giving.

Contrary to what the union handout suggests the union has agreed to the Feb 14th election date.

Let me also re-emphasize our position on employee addresses; Dart does not recognize this union as representing anyone in the plant and for all purposes is a stranger. We do not release private information about our employees to strangers to allow them to call you at home. We will provide the government agent with your address when we are told to do so and not before. Until the government agent requires us to give out this personal information we will not release it. The government agent will give it to the union to do with it, as they want.

Please remember you are not obligated to speak with anyone at your home.

end


The company can lie, mislead and confuse everyone without fear of having to answer to anyone. I answered the above in this week's Dart newsletter Editorial (Almost every week a newsletter on the progress of the union movement is available to the workers and is handed out by workers. Employees from the plant contribute with articles also. Below is articles for this week):

Why is Dart hiding from the issues?


The AWPPW did not leave out anyone in a petition for an NLRB election filing as Cal and Larry claim. The original petition was filed on Dec. 19th and included all hourly workers as defined by the National Labor Relations Act at the 150 Maple St facility. Witnesses (workers) from your plant were present. If there is a credibility issue, please call NLRB agent John Hatem at (213) 894-5224 to find out the truth. Maybe Cal and Larry should call to find out what their Lawyers bargained. But let us ask this question, why won't Dart management address your issues? We have heard the rhetoric about card signing, dues, initiation fees and now the filing process. What moved over 400 workers to sign cards in the first place? Insurance costs, low wages, pension, favoritism, unwritten company policies, attendance program, safety concerns and of course, managements lack of true communication. The ironic thing about Dart management claims is on one hand they want you to be informed, but on the other hand they hide information behind locked glass! What are they afraid of? Makes you have to wonder.

According to THE INDUSTRY STANDARD Internet report, Dart actualized $226,600 of revenue from each employees production for the year of 2000.

Attend your Union Meeting!


Tuesdays at Midnight after swing Shift at the Dynasty Suites Hotel 6th Street & Paseo Grande.
Wednesday's 8am - Dynasty Suites.
Wednesdays 2pm & 4pm - Pizza Palace Magnolia and Rimpau.

ILLUMINATING THE TRUTH


       Dart Management ought to know that their own dark and shadowy version of "the truth" is not very illuminating!  On a stage, a single bright spotlight leaves much of the scene mysteriously hidden in scary dark shadows.  Dart says, "Look, it's lit."   But for the audience, the scene is dark and foreboding.  Dart implies that you can't understand what's going on.  It's true!  How can you know?  You're in the dark.  This is how Dart likes to illuminate "the truth".   
       The REAL TRUTH only comes out of the shadows when you have a second source of illumination from a different angle.  The AWPPW is lighting up the shadows!  Now you can see.  You have the information you need.  You've got a refreshing new perspective provided by this newsletter and your friendly union workers. 
       See the light!  Dart says you should get the facts, but without the efforts of the AWPPW would you ever see them?
Anonymous Dart worker

House-calls have been successful so far! Thanks for the Hospitality!


Workers from various AWPPW locations have been helping house-call workers from your plant. We have a group of volunteers from your plant also participating. So far we have not run across any negative reactions. This process is supposed to be informational and not confrontational. If you do not want to be House-called, tell an In Plant Organizer and we will leave you alone. Remember, we are just trying to get information to you so you can make an educated decision. We are not salesmen, just fellow manufacturing workers. If you would like to help, let us know!

Dues Information


Your plant will determine what you will pay for union dues. $15.52 a month goes to the AWPPW office to provide training, legal counsel and a defense fund. Your newly formed local will decide what amount you will need to do your daily business. No signed contract/No union dues. You will not pay initiation fees.

What is a grievance procedure?


Right now if you have a problem with management, you have no recourse. You are at the mercy of the boss.

Once you have a written contract, guidelines will be established for the workers and management. If you have a problem that is contrary to what is agreed in the contract, you will be able to first discuss the problem with your supervisor and a shop steward (A Dart co-worker). If you are not satisfied you can file a grievance and have it heard and argued by a standing committee (A group of elected Dart workers who will discuss the problem with management). If necessary binding arbitration before a third party mediator may solve the problem. Workers will have an equal voice in the workplace! The grievance procedure you use will have to negotiated.

Chilo and Tanque cont.


Tanque agrees with Chilo that it is time for a union but he still has some concerns. One of the big issues is strikes.

Tanque then asks Chilo, "What if Dart doesn't want to give in, will the union make us go on strike?" Tanque then finishes his question with," I heard about another union that told the workers they had to go on strike."

Good question says Chilo. "That is the beauty of the AWPPW, because the AWPPW allows us, the members, to vote on whether we will strike or not. And you know the last thing we want to vote for is a strike." Chilo continues, " And at the same time the last thing that Dart wants is no production."  Chilo finishes by telling Tanque, " Besides, if the union doesn't work for us we can always vote them out."

Tanque finally gets the picture and tells Chilo, " You are right, the chance for better pay, paid or reduced medical insurance, paid sick leave and all the other benefits is just what I need. What should I do now?"

Chilo says, " You can just fill out this confidential Authorization Card now, and come have some pizza at one of the weekly union meetings. You can also call Lorenzo Torres at (909) 907-9707 for more information. Lorenzo tambien habla espanol."

Tanque says "Ok, what else?" Well, Chilo says, "We also need you to encourage your fellow workers to fill out a card as well. Have them sign only at breaks and lunch or before or after work. Just make sure you are not in the production area because we have to follow certain rules."

Tanque tell Chilo, " Give me one of those cards now so I can fill it out. We need a union!"
Lorenzo Torres is available at 909-907-0707 after 5pm

end

We are less than 30 days away. Dart will try some tactic in the near future I am sure. I feel confident the workers are ready!
RM