Vote to Join UE
Within a week of District Sevens 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.
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
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 companys 25 year history.
|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
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
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
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.