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Glastic Workers
Vote to Join UE

JEFFERSON, Ohio

Glastic workers celebrate ...  

Within a week of District Seven’s largest manufacturing victory in recent history, Glastic Corp. workers voted 58-51 on October 30 to join UE. (See: UE Wins 112-65 at JPE Finishing)

From the beginning workers based the campaign on their demand for respect on the job and safer working conditions. UE volunteers assisted Glastic employees as they overcame the legacy of workplace abuse.

Some supervisors have not only cursed workers but have also thrown equipment and broken machinery in anger — and threatened workers that they would be out the door if they reported these incidents.

SMOKIN’

Early into the campaign the company fired a worker found smoking in the parking lot in violation of company policy. Knowing that this smelled of a company set-up, workers on day turn demanded that the company redress the situation or face the consequences. The company backed down, surprised by this newfound solidarity. The fired employee came back to work with a three day suspension. In addition, management changed the smoking policy, reducing the penalty for the first offense to suspension.

Though experienced with going through several Steelworker organizing drives Glastic workers were excited and impressed with how UE approaches organizing, from the initial investigation of the issues in the shop to the development of organizing committees that educate others and bring them on board. They especially enjoyed the company tricks handbook and laughed at how the company has already used many of them in the past.

RANK-AND-FILE VOLUNTEERS

UE volunteers Pat Campbell (Local 731) and Rich Drylie (Local 683) attended shift meetings to explain how UE functions as a democratic organization. The workers took the principles of worker democracy to heart and voted via secret ballot to commit themselves to the cause of bringing the union into their shop.

After hearing Pat Campbell talk about the gains made by women in her GE plant as a result of the union, several Glastic women decided to bid for jobs the company has never awarded to women workers. Due to the organizing and solidarity-building in the shop, Glastic management awarded a job in the set-up department to a woman, for the first time in the company’s 25 year history.

Reason to party: celebrating victory  
Reason to party: Glastic workers celebrate their UE victory.

Glastic workers knew they had a rough road ahead of them when they discovered that they could only get 60% signed up as members of UE during the card drive. Not only did the workers meet this challenge by educating themselves about the union and building solidarity in the shop, they also sought the support of their future union brothers and sisters in both UE and their sister shop union in Cleveland, OCAW Local 7-622. One form of this support came through petitions coming from the members of newly-organized UE Local 798, Cleveland Glastic workers and UE Local 731 members at Conneaut GE.

In addition, support also came from members who participated in or helped organize for the demand for recognition rally and the shop gate rally the last week of the campaign.

The UE rank-and-file volunteers during the campaign included: Dave Allen, Donna Cramer, Don Kosobucki, Randy Majewski, Denny McLaughlin and Don Way, Local 506; Betsy Potter and Lynda Leech, Local 618; Rich Drylie, Local 683; Scott Buterbaugh, Local 692; Curt Hess, Local 705; Chris Barrickman, Phil Bishop and Pat Campbell, Local 731; Ed Baran, Bill Callahan, Ed Havaich, LuAnn Robbins, Rich Tarnaski and Jan Tomich, Local 751; Bill Patterson, Local 790; and retiree Leonard King.

Glastic workers are now excited about beginning negotiations and look forward to helping to build this union. Assisting Glastic workers were Field Organizers Andrew Dinkelaker, Rachel Myers, Deb Gornall, Al Hart and Intl. Rep. Dennis Painter.

UE News - 11/98


Home -> UE News -> 1998 Archives -> Article

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