Why It’s Important To Vote Yes for Our Union

 

Below is a letter from security officer John Vinje to suburban security officers in the Twin Cities area.
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To My Fellow Suburban Security Officers:

Hope you all had a safe & Happy Holiday Season!

Now that we are past this very busy time of the year, we can start thinking about why it’s important to vote yes for our union. Here’s why I voted yes for our union:

When my parents were still in the work-force, my mother worked for some fairly well-known, large companies here in the metro area, but was not a member of a union. My father, on the other hand, worked for a large hardware company and he was a member of a union. I can remember the problems my mother had with her employers regarding time off, discipline matters, job openings, and many other things. That company always seemed to win those disputes, and my mother usually didn’t have anybody else to stick-up for her in those matters. On the other-hand, whenever my father had problems at work, all he needed to do was contact one of the union stewards, and they would help resolve whatever the problem was. Problems always seemed much easier to overcome where he worked.

So why do I think it’s important to vote yes for our union? Let me tell you the important issues to me:

  • Training: will make it easier to obtain any training that is related to my career.
  • Wages: will give a better wage scale, one that will be more competitive in the current market; one that will allow me to “survive” in this economy, rather than having to decide which bills to pay on paydays vs. the opportunity to be able to eat.
  • Holiday pay: If you had to work any of the recent Holidays, did you receive any extra pay for doing it? Doubtful, ‘because I know I didn’t. That really isn’t fair, even if those days might be a “normal” work day for you.
  • Been sick lately? Did you get paid for the days you were out sick? Not sure about your company, but I know the company that I currently work for, does not have paid sick days. Can you afford to stay home, even if you’re sick? I know I can’t: so then, the choice is go to work, and spread around the germs so everyone else can get sick, or stay home without pay, and then try to figure out how to pay bills that you already can’t pay.
  • Have you been unfortunate and had a death in the family lately? Does your company even have a funeral leave policy? If it does, are those days off with pay? I know in my company they are not paid. Why should you be forced to take unpaid time off for a family member’s funeral? Most large companies have paid-time off for funerals.
  • Health / Dental / Eyes: Can you afford to go to the doctor or dentist currently? Or get new glasses or contact lenses? Most private insurance plans are cost prohibitive; we simply can’t afford them. Or, the plans offered by a Company cover so very little that the cost of the plan just isn’t with it.
  • Shift / Job openings: If a permanent shift opens up at your current site, do you get to bid on it? If a permanent position opens up within your company, do you get to bid on it? I know at my company, it seems like there are “favored” employees out there, who get first chance at these types of openings. I know recently, at the site I am at, there was a shift opening: as soon as I heard about it, I applied for it, only to find out that it had already been filled. Also, there was a job opening with better pay; within a day of seeing the posting, I called our main office to “apply” for the position, only to find out it had been filled.

There are many other reasons that we should vote yes for our union, and I hope to hear from you about what you think is important.

Again, hoping that you all had a great Holiday Season, and have a very Happy New Year!!

J.L. Vinje

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