I would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend our Newark Airtrain Members Meeting on Thursday. We were pleased with the turn out and enjoyed answering your questions and discussing your concerns.
The lack of training continues to be an issue for us. I would like to remind everyone to submit written request for any training you may need to receive a promotion or pay increase. Please, and I cannot stress this enough, save a copy for your own records and give a copy to Local Chairman Ramone Lopez or Site Representative Tom Gray. As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement if the Company fails to provide you with the required training within one year of your request you will receive a salary increase to the next classification level. I have attached a copy of Article 16 so you can read it yourselves. This was negotiated as to insure everyone has an equal opportunity to better themselves. Unfortunately the Company has not been an effective partner when it comes to implementing the agreement. Management has admitted to us that they could do a better job training their employees, but that is all, no action has been taken to make improvements. Why? You may ask. The reason is simple. Management at the site does not want to pay you for your knowledge and skill level! Many of you perform task for which you never received the training necessary to facilitate a wage increase. Why? Because the Company does not have a record of you receiving what they deem as the "Required Training" and Management uses that as a reason not to pay you what you deserve. The Company gladly allows you to perform the work without providing you with the proper compensation! They have been taking advantage of those who do not know their contract! Get those written request in! Give a copy to Ramone Lopez or Tom Gray and tell your coworkers to do the same!
Guideway safety still remains a concern, which quite honestly astonishes me. Please remind your supervisor and notify your Union Representative if you are assigned work without anyone being designated as a lookout. We have been assured by the Company in past meetings that this is the practice. OSHA has fined the Company for the circumstances surrounding John Moore's accident. They are required to follow a specific procedure regarding guideway access and work. Let us know if that is not happening.
CARP employees should notify us if the Company changes your shift or days off. It was our understanding with former Site Manager Lisa Banks that while shift changes would be frequent within the CARP program, those shift changes would be put up for bid. We are finding out that may not be the case. Let us know if your shift gets changed!
We will be having another Newark Airtrain Members meeting again in January, date to be announced. I encourage all of you to attend and get involved. We would like to make these special meetings a regular occurrence but we need your attendance. Also as a reminder the General Membership Meetings are held the third Monday of the month at 5:30pm located at the Hibernian Hall 27 Locust Ave, Babylon NY 11702. The Hall is a 1 block walk from the Long Island Railroad's Babylon Station which makes for a convenient commute. These meetings deal with issues that affect all members of Local Union 589. I hope to see you at one!