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Another Persons Reasons These Are Unacceptable Contract Proposals

Another Persons Reasons These Are Unacceptable Contract Proposals

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Where is American Crystal Sugar's truth in their "Chosen Field" and "Faces" documentaries on us, their longtime workers now??? They make these video's then they LOCK US OUT? Shame, Shame, Shame on Crystal Sugar for lying to ALL!!!
Where is American Crystal Sugar's truth in their "Chosen Field" and "Faces" documentaries on us, their longtime workers now??? They make these video's then they LOCK US OUT? Shame, Shame, Shame on Crystal Sugar for lying to ALL!!!

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Published by: Jan Lucantonio-Bailey on Dec 15, 2011
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05/05/2012

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One Persons Reason's These Are Unacceptable Contract Proposals:
Article 1.6
:
Contracting Work
 Contrary to what the Company has SAID, this would allow a layoff, still, to happen and then contracting the work out! It wouldbe possible under this proposal. The company stated beforehand, that the existing article already written, worked just fine theway it was, but they wanted to clarify it. If it worked fine,
then why did the Company need to re-write it, to clarify it? TheCompany would find
some reason, as they have before, whether it be that they didn’t have the equipment, which they leaseall the time, like forklifts and trucks for instance, or some other…IT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED…under the Company’s
proposal, it would happen, ALL THE TIME! Our UNION has worked hard and with the Company over the years for what weALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!Article 1.8
:
Job Elimination/Wage Protection
 Employees don't ask for job eliminations, the company does it through automation or job combinations without pay changes.When a position is eliminated, other than how we USE to be grandfathered under wage protection as before, a person is nowdemoted to PT6, one of the lower pay scales. Most people would and do apply for a job at a higher pay scale and level. Underth
e Company’s language change,
if that person applied for a PT5 job, their pay would be reduced. For example, a Foremanposition of certain areas like A-side, B-
side gets eliminated…t
heir pay should remain protected until they can bid and beawarded a job of equal or higher pay. Also, they should not be placed in an open position they are not qualified for, whichwould happen under this proposal. This could lead to unsafe conditions.
That’s how wage pr
otection works and HAS WORKED!Only recently, when a position of being a Carbonator got eliminated and a person whose wage was protected failed to changedue to not qualifying for a higher pay scale and level job award, did the Company act as if their feathers got ruffled and whywould they as long as the person attempted?
Ask the Company because that’s a
ridiculous and unnecessary pressure one goesthrough on EVERY job award! Why squawk over spilled milk when the Company makes 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS right? And in Bad
Years? THE FARMERS ARE PROTECTED THROUGH SUBSIDIES THAT WE HELP FIGHT FOR! Where’s our back
-up?
What ourUNION has fought for over the years AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
So why thedrastic wants to change by the Company? GREED!!!!!
Article 2.4
:
Year-Round Employees
 
Right now at 75%, it’s been touch and go, some waiting over 10 years
to achieve year-round status!
It would be rare,
if ever
,for a campaign to last 85% of the year making attaining year-round status nearly impossible. If, by chance, one did last longenough and a person attains year-round status, they would never be able to apply for a job where their talents and knowledgewould be better suited because they would then lose their year-round status.
Articles 4.2, 4.3, 4.9 and 4.10
:
Overtime
 This gives the company the right to assign overtime to whoever they like best, not the qualified Senior person to do the job.They can't be allowed to pick and choose. Past practice has been, for example, during inter-campaign over the weekend when
sometimes, no one at times is around, we need an Electrician…you would call the most Senior person
, first, then go down the
line, whether we get hold of someone or it gets past down the line…Not who is liked more than another?!
 
It’s a matter of principles and courtesy for Seniority, which matters…
people have earned their time working here for the lengths of time putin! Our UNION has worked hard and with the Company over the years for what we ALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BYCOMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
Article 5.1
:
Seniority and How Lost
If an employee suffers a major medical problem that requires them to be out of work for more than 1 year, that employeeloses their seniority.
How can a person be penalized for falling ill or for being in Rehabilitation Therapies?! Our UNION hasworked hard and with the Company over the years for what we ALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and theUNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
 
Article 5.6
:
Benefits Accumulate
Most employees work a great number of years for the company. If they choose to retire early they should be able to continuethe medical coverage at one half 
the costs. This is an earned benefit. That’s why people wanted to work at Crystal Sugar and
why EVERYBODY stayed as they did; because of the benefits they earned to get!
Our UNION has worked hard and with theCompany over the years for what we ALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
Article 5.8
:
Seniority for Inter-Campaign Work
 Again this gives the company the
right to pick and choose regardless of seniority
. This article currently states the most senioremployee so long as they have the ability and physical qualifications. This does not apply to licensed positions such as BoilerHouse Chief/Foreman/Fireman, Electrician, Electronic Control Technician, Lab Foreman, etc.
Article 5.12
:
Promotions
 Same as Article 5.8 with a twist. Again this gives the company the
right to pick and choose regardless of seniority
. This articlecurrently states the most senior employee so long as they have the ability and physical qualifications. This does not apply tolicensed positions such as Boiler House Chief/Foreman/Fireman, Electrician, Electronic Control Technician, Lab Foreman, etc.
Licensing within the Union wouldn’t matter to the Company, but doesn’t that pertain to the American Dream in bettering
oneself wit
hin your own company of all the time you’ve put into thus far???
 
Our UNION has worked hard and with theCompany over the years for what we ALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
Article 5.13
:
Job Openings
 Again this gives the company the
right to pick and choose regardless of seniority
. This article currently states the most senioremployee so long as they have the ability and physical qualifications. This does not apply to licensed positions such as BoilerHouse Chief/Foreman/Fireman, Electrician, Electronic Control Technician, Lab Foreman, etc. In all actuality, concerningSeniority, Promotions, and Job Openings, this proposed change would give the company SOLE right to determine that
none of the employees are qualified
then hire from outside the factory. The employees must be given a chance to prove they can dothe job. Jobs are awarded on a 10-day trial.
It sounds cheeky, but, it would happen! Do NOT be fooled…many of us know
ALREADY!!!
Management must do their job to determine if an employee has the ability to do the job in the allotted trial timeperiod.
Proposed Article 5.21
:
Specialized Training Programs
 Entrance into these programs must be by seniority and then ability. This gives the company the
right to pick and chooseregardless of seniority
. This article is not current contract language.
With this proposed change it would
eliminate the StateCertified Apprenticeship Programs which require Union participation.
Another job security issue not worth worrying about,right?!
And if they didn’t like you, want you, or said,
“you’re not the right type”
or
“we think you’ll be happier elsewhere”,
 then tough???
Don’t think that hasn’t happened already, because on a personal note…I’ve seen it all already happen!!!
 
Article 9.5
:
Steps in Grievance Procedure
 This might be the worst proposal of all. This requires that grievances are filed with the company instead of the shop steward. Italso imposes a
6 month time limitation to arbitrate
.
There have been many time the company has delayed arbitrationhearings beyond that window, which would result in the grievance being withdrawn
. A person could be fired by the companyeven if the company didn't follow the disciplinary rules. A person could be fired on a first offense of a minor infraction. Thecompany could then delay arbitration beyond the 6 month window in which then, the grievance would be withdrawn.
In otherwords, the Company would almost ALWAYS, as they do now, drag their feet to have that happen!
I wouldn’t be here i
f ourGrievance P
rocedure weren’t in place…I can’t get into the ridiculous unmentionables, but for an eager go
-getter, learner,and hard worker like myself, the procedures in place are justified against some of the irrational behaviors making NO SENSE,such as you knowing the likes of OUR lock-out!!! Understand? If the Union harbored such illiterates as the Company has
 
SAID, how did we come by such off the chart numbers and profits???? The Company has NOT been forthright about this!The hard work was done off of OUR backs, time, and sweat!!!!! NOT THEIRS!
 
Article 12.3???
:
Use of Paid Time during FMLA
 
There is a current article 12.3 Leave for Union Duty
.
Does the company propose to eliminate this article?
The company'sproposal, calls for forcing use of paid time off during an FMLA absence. Upon return from this absence an employee would nothave paid time off to attend to other matters of importance such as funerals of friends or family not covered by the CBA,children's activities, personal matters, community functions, etc.
Article 13.1
:
Recognized Holidays
 
The company wants to pick and choose who will get holiday premium pay
. At times the company could force so many peopleto take the day off that it could create unsafe working conditions in the factory. We run short EVERY DAY as it is, and they wantus to run even more short??? Seriously??? Come walk through there and see for yourself 
!!! Oh, that’s right; the Companywon’t let you, unless, it’s a planned event, in which that allows them the time to “fix it enough” for the tour…Nice, huh???
 
Article 14.1: Vacation Schedule
a 6th week of vacation is not too much to ask for,
after 25 years of service.
This is somethingthat leads to the demise of Unions. If one group of employees has their ability to reach a higher level of vacation and benefitseliminated, they are more apt to eliminate benefits when it is their time to negotiate a contract for the people coming afterthem. This is more Union busting.
Our UNION has worked hard and with the Company over the years for what we ALREADYHAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
Article 14.3
:
Prorated Vacation
 Vacation must accrue during an approved leave of absence. And why not? Another way for the Company to keep
taking what’s
been so worked hard for and up to this point.
Our UNION has worked hard and with the Company over the years for what weALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
Article 15.1
:
Sick Leave, Short Term and Long Term Disability Benefits
 Currently we qualify for 80% of base pay during a short term disability leave. The company proposes lowering that to 60%. Thissomething we have paid for over many years. Before this policy we received 12 sick days per year. We gave up 7 sick days ayear to trade for this. Over the last 27 years that we have had this plan, we have given up 189 sick days each. Not many people,if any, have used 189 days of short term disability leave. Keep in mind, the company has made money on this over the years; infact, with OUR help alone, 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS! Also keep in mind, Dave Berg earned 2.5 MILLION dollars for 2011, from OURhard work, as well, so why now the drastic take a ways??? Now is NOT the time to reduce this benefit.
Our UNION has workedhard and with the Company over the years for what we ALREADY HAVE, AGREED UPON BY COMPANY and the UNION of PAST NEGOTIATIONS!
 
Article 15.2: Eligibility Limitations, Accumulation of Sick Leave and Short-Term Disability Benefits
The company is attempting to change an arbitrator's decision on a grievance filed over this article. They are also attempting toforce use of paid time off during an absence. Upon return from this absence an employee would not have paid time off toattend to other matters of importance such as funerals of friends or family not covered by the CBA, children's activities,personal matters, community functions, etc. Why all the squeezing??? CORPORATE GREED, PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!
Article 16.8
:
Comprehensive Medical and Dental Plan
 Again, this something we have paid for over many years. We have accepted smaller raises to keep this plan. For most of thepast 17 years,
WE
have received raises
smaller than the annual cost of living increases
. This has resulted in less discretionaryspending on our part towards benefitting OUR communities. Increasing the deductible from $650 dollars per person to $2400per person is too large of an increase to absorb. Despite the company's claim that with the raises proposed we would still seean increase in pay,
WE WOULD NOT
, even if an employee maxed out their deductible. Only one small group of employees(singles making over $40,000) would see an increase the 1st two years of the contract.
Everyone else would see a decrease innet pay
.
Also the company proposes that the
plan “may
change from time to time." This is unacceptable. The ink wouldn't

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