Discussion of the resolution "Control Our Schedules Shorten the Work Week" ranged
from factory to public-sector workplaces.
The resolution had particular meaning to Rick Mong, Local 506,
who builds locomotives in Building 10 of General Electrics Erie, Pa. complex. The
companys goal of placing the plants paint shop on continuous operation was
universally condemned in recent shop-floor meetings, he said.
"All the things spotlighted and brought to life on this is exactly
what we discussed across the floor on all three shifts," Mong said.
Deb Herman, Local 896
Deb Herman, Local 896, whose local represents teaching and
research assistants employed by the University of Iowa, encouraged the public-sector UE
members present to initiate a dialogue with their co-workers on working hours.
Teachers, social workers and other UE members who are regarded as
"professionals" should insist on their right to control their work hours, she
said. "Its not un-American to say you dont want to work 60 hours a
week," Herman declared.
Dan Kelley, Local 893
When the management of Cedar Countys care facility insisted on
12-hour shifts, it also insisted on eliminating time and one-half after eight hours. Local
893 refused and made its position stick, reported Dan Kelley. "So
were working 36 hours a week for more money than we were making before," he
said. "If I were the County Board of Supervisors, Id be scratching my head why
I hired that labor relations expert."
Kelley further reported that Local 893 members employed by the State of Iowa in the
Child Abuse Investigator/Social Worker III classification won a significant back-pay
award, as a result of the state failing to pay time and one-half. The state is refusing to
pay, "so were in the process of suing the State of Iowa for two years
back pay for every dues-paying member of the union," Kelley said.