Memorandum - Direct Dealing at the RCC
ATU and Veolia will be back at the bargaining table on February 25th at the Federal Mediator’s office.
ATU became aware today that Veolia has put out some “informational” material about a strike and the Union. Please be advised that we will be filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board, as this would be considered a violation of law. Also, the “information” contained in the 26 page packet is riddled with false information. This responds to the false information and corrects the record for you.
Preface: The comment that the employer “in no way intends to undermine the Union,” is completely false, as the communication is designed for that specific purpose. Veolia was charged with direct dealing for similar activities at the Phoenix location. Also, Veolia has stated that they provided a copy of the document to the Union “before it was issued to you.” In a phone call between Michael Cornelius, Dana Kraiza and Michael Brown, Brown admitted that he did not provide a copy to the Union or even discuss this with the Union. The Union found out about the document and requested a copy through the federal mediator.
Page 4: The ATU has been in constant contact with the Phoenix police keeping them advised of the strike authorization and all subsequent discussions. ATU is very concerned for you safety on the picket line and will not tolerate any unlawful conduct by any member of the public, Veolia or member of this Union.
Page 5: It is unlikely that Veolia will lose its contract with the City of Phoenix as a result of a strike. A strike is a work stoppage impacting private employees of Veolia, not the City. Veolia’s issues with the City are broader. For example, the former Mayor was dating a Veolia consultant. There was an investigation into that relationship and its affect on the City and Veolia. Also, Council member Thelda Williams stated in March of 2012 that she felt like the City was “being manipulated by Veolia.” [See Phoenix New Times “Phoenix Officials Slash Poor Performance Fees....”by Monica Alonzo Thursday March 15, 2012.] So, if Veolia loses any more city contracts, it will be on them and their conduct, not you and yours. As for providing service in the event of a strike, the ATU will picket any hotel used to house scabs. Also, we will address the potential safety concerns of having un-trained people operating our buses. Veolia learned the hard way when its VP of Labor Tom Hock assisted in forcing a strike at BART. During that strike, there was a terrible accident and there was two (2) lives lost. Putting people behind the controls of equipment that they are not trained to use can cause death.
Page 7: It is a blatant lie to tell you that the local law enforcement has “pledged their support.” Law enforcement is not interested in supporting the Union OR Veolia and are only interested in protecting the peace.
Page 8: Notice that Veolia makes no claim to be interested in protecting the safety of those on the picket line. Unlike Veolia, ATU has a proven history of protecting all during a strike. ATU has a true zero tolerance policy and that goes for all sides. All conduct must be in compliance with law. That also applies to those who may cross the line and their conduct towards you who stand your ground for your rights. If anyone is threatened, see your strike captain. We will not wait for 911; we have the cell phone numbers for all of the law enforcement personnel to contact them directly for immediate response. Of course you can always call 911, but reporting to your captain will ensure faster responses.
Page 9: We have turned all of the information on page 9 over to our attorney for legal action against Veolia. First and to be clear, if any member of Local 1433 crosses a legally sanctioned picket line, you are subject to charges under the International Constitution, trial boards and penalties. Those assessments can be withheld directly from your paycheck and they will. You can also have your wages garnished up to 25%. This is not to encourage or discourage, this is only to state a fact. Since we have turned the matter over to legal, I will not comment further on Page 9 except to say that the comments made may be libel. February 4, 2014
￼Page 10: Workers who strike are not “employees.” This shows Veolia’s ignorance. Of course you do not get paid while out on strike, you are striking. That is a sign to the public and the city that you are forgoing pay for a greater good. That your abuse is so significant that you are willing to go without pay to fix those abuses. The remaining comments on the Company letter are not worthy of replying to. Except to say, Arizona law is clearly anti-worker and of course you will not receive unemployment if you are on strike. A lock-out may be different.
Page 12: The answers to these comments should be self-explanatory. If a strike should occur, you will be on strike. When you are on strike, you are giving up some things to fight a just battle for mutual gain and protection. Veolia’s goal is just the contrary. They have a goal to increase profits and reduce your rights. Your strike is motivated by the improper treatment by this employer, by their unlawful conduct at the bargaining table and their desire to increase profits out of your pockets and off of your children’s dinner plates.
As for Veolia’s guidelines for safely crossing a picket line, it should be pointed out that during the last Veolia strike there was not one instance where someone was injured or harmed in any way. There will more than likely be name calling as is the case with almost every strike. ATU does not tolerate any type of unlawful act. During the last strike against Veolia, their strange attorney from St. Louis attempted to gain an injunction against the strike by making false claims. He did not succeed. If you cross the picket line, that is your choice. No one will stop you, no one will attempt to harm you. You will be permitted access safely without issue. We only ask that you remember the harm that you are causing to your fellow members who are walking to better your working conditions. Now is not the time to fight internally, just the opposite. Now is the time to lock arms and in one unified voice tell Veolia to treat you right. You should also remember, that if you cross a picket line and you attempt to threaten, harm, or assault a striking worker, then it is you who will be subject to the full force of law.
Page 17:We are not yet certain why the employer added this to a communication to you.
￼ Clearly the Company document was put out to scare you and discourage you from exercising your rights. A strike is and should always be a last resort in bargaining. We have an obligation to the public to provide the best possible service that we can. However, Veolia has an obligation to you to treat you with respect, to compensate you properly, to offer competitive benefits, to offer you a safe work environment and more. We are in this situation not because of greed, or pride. We are in this situation because a foreign multi-national corporation wants to increase profit, that is all. Your Union is the last line of defense against corporate greed and if you do not stand united, you will never be treated properly at work.
-ATU Bargaining CommitteeDownload PDF →