Sunday, January 25, 2015

NOF Will be Victorious!

WE ARE the UNION,WE ARE the workforce,WE ARE the heart and soul of conway with confidence,courage and without fear we will prevail keep the faith.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Lenghty Piece for our Fellow Conway Employees

Hello fellow Conway employees Let me start by saying thank you for taking the time to read this document.  What I have written in this document has taken many long hours of research to accumulate.  My hope is that by reading this that it will help you become a more educated on what we will be voting for or against on February 5th in Orlando, Florida (NOF).  Unfortunately, Conway will spend literally hundreds of thousands dollars in the next four weeks on convincing you to vote NO towards forming a Union.  With all that money spent, Conway will NOT spend a single penny towards giving you the full story of what happens when you join a Union.  They will only tell you their side and nothing of what could be positive and helpful by being a member of a Union.  We are all grown men and I respect that all of you can decide for yourself which way you would like to vote.  The voting process is entirely secret and nobody has to fear anything from the company or the Union on which way you decide to vote.   

          For starters let's explain what the "Union" is and is not.  The Teamsters Union is the largest Union in the United States today.  There are around 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union.  The members of the Teamsters Union are workers like you and me from all over the country from many various occupations that have decided to stand together as a group to gain barging power with their respective employers.  This action is called Collective Bargaining.  So here at NOF if we decide to join the Teamsters Union our group will be all of the Driver Sales Representatives and all of the Dock Workers who are permanent employees of Conway.  Each Union or group of workers will deal only with their own employers.  For instance Union members from UPS or YRC, etc. will NOT have anything to do with us here at Conway as far as contract negotiation and so on.  If and when the Union is voted in here at NOF the Union will be lead by the workers of NOF for NOF.  So you see the Teamsters Union is NOT a third party company that we pay to decide everything for us.  When we vote the Union in and it comes time to negotiate terms of a contract with Conway  A small group of us the workers that are chosen and voted on by us the workers will sit down at the negotiation table with one maybe two representatives from the Teamsters and however many people from Conway corporate they deem necessary to be there.  You see the actual Union is us the workers!  The reason we pay the Teamsters dues is to represent us legally.  It is much like going to court.  For example you have to appear in court it is the law.  In court you have the right to choose however which way you want to plead and defend yourself or accuse someone else of wrong doing.  Most people choose to hire a lawyer to represent them in court.  Why?  Because a lawyer knows the law and is educated in court rules and procedures, when the ordinary person may not be so much.  Your chances of winning in court are much higher when you hire a lawyer to represent you, everybody knows that.  Still it is your court case and you are in charge of instructing the lawyer on what you want to happen in court, and it is the lawyers responsibility to do his or her very best to carry out your instructions.  This is how the Teamsters Union operates.  WE THE WORKERS  decide the terms of our contract and employment NOT the Teamsters Union.  The Teamsters are only there to represent us with their extensive knowledge and legal expertise to get US what WE want.  The Teamsters are there to dot the I's and cross the T's in our contract and to make sure that it is drafted and filed with the government so that is 100% legally binding.

          Conway has made is extremely clear to us that they do not want to have to negotiate with US the workers.  Conway wants to retain all and absolute power over us.  Conway wants to have full control of our future and have 0% accountability for their actions towards us.  Don't get me wrong, I love working at Conway and my dream is for this to be the last job that I ever have to get, as I'm sure many of you my fellow workers feel the same, but it is a gamble for all of us.  Management is forever changing people and policies whenever they see fit.  There is absolutely no accountability for anything that any manager does to any of us.  If something unfair or bad happens to one of us the workers, it is a total craps shoot on whether action will be taken by management to correct the situation, or whether they just decide that you are the problem for complaining.  The way things are now they can do anything they want to you at anytime and not have to answer to anybody about it.  WE HAVE NO JOB SECURITY AT CONWAY!  IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME FLIP TO THE LAST PAGE OF THIS DOCUMENT AND SEE FOR YOURSELF!  The only thing that comes close to Job Security at Conway is whether your FOS, FOM, and SCM like you and believe that you do a good job while at work.  If any of them does not like you they will find a way to terminate you any way that they can.  Here at NOF I believe we have outstanding management figures right now.  I like all of them very much.  Although I do not always agree with everything that happens at work, I cannot say a bad word about any of them, and they do a damn fine job.  I even liked Bill Fender quite a bit too, and I miss him now that he is gone.  HERE LIES THE PROBLEM!  Conway is constantly changing terminal managers.  Anyone that has worked for Conway for an extended period of time will agree.  You never know what your going to get in a new terminal manager.  Some can be great and others can be a living nightmare like the former manager was down in Miami.  This former manager down in Miami treated the workers there worse than slaves.  For a very long time Conway did nothing about it.  Greg Lehmkuhl claims that they knew nothing about how bad she was to those workers.  I don't believe that for a second!  Not only until the threat of the Union did Conway decide to terminate her.  Unfortunately, not every terminal manager or future terminal manger can be a stand up honest guy like Patrick is here at NOF.  Conway if full of poor and unfit people who call themselves managers, you can read about it almost every day on  I would feel very secure here in Orlando, if I knew Patrick was going to be the SCM forever, but he will not. One day he will leave.  Hopefully to Ann Arbor.  They need more people like him up there!  What and who will replace him?  We don't know!  We never know what is going to change here at Conway!  If we get some unqualified unfit leader like many other terminals have, what happened to out job security?

          The meetings with the Union Busters or "consultants" as they like to be called have begun here at NOF.  I have compiled a list of facts and fictions that you need to be aware of when you are attending these meetings.  Educate yourself! Arm yourself with knowledge and Truth!  Know your rights!  Please take the time to seriously ponder your decision when it comes time to vote.  It could be life changing!

Your supervisor, other company officials, and most assuredly "consultants" may tell you that the Union will force you out on strike whether you want to or not.  They will tell you that during a strike you can lose your job forever.  They will ask you how your family will survive if you are forced out on strike.

When the company threatens that the Union will force you out on strike, they are breaking the law!  The Union does NOT  force you to strike.  A strike is a decision voted on by you and your co-workers.  If a majority of you do NOT want a strike there will NOT be one!

99% of all Teamsters Union contracts are settled WITHOUT strikes.

The company and/or it's "consultants" will tell you that the Union just wants you money.  They may lie about the amount of dues you will pay as a member of the Teamsters.

FACT #2:
The improvement in pay, benefits, and fair treatment you win through the Union are far greater than the cost of dues.  For example, The set rate of dues for a Conway DSR or Dockworker are Two and One half times your hourly rate per month.  So if you make $20 and hour then your Union dues would be $50 per month.  Think about this for a second!  UPS, YRC, and ABF are all LTL trucking companies.  All three of these company's employees are represented by the Teamsters Union.  In all three of these companies the Teamsters Union has negotiated a contract for the employees in which health insurance premium costs are 100% covered by the company.  In my case personally, I will pay $67.20 per month in health insurance premiums in 2015.  When we win this election and we DO negotiate and ratify a contract with Conway, my personal Union dues will be around $57 per month.  I am not promising that we at Conway will receive 100% free health insurance like the other employees of the companies I mentioned earlier, but it is extremely likely that it will be a part of our first contract.  DO THE MATH!  My proposed Union dues will be less than my current health insurance premiums.  Already I will be bringing home more money by being a member of the Teamsters Union.  Not to mention the other things that UPS, YRC, and ABF have in their contracts that are highly likely to be in ours as well.  Over time after 8 hours every day!  REAL sick days (so if you call in sick you get paid and it does NOT come out of you vacation pay.  IMAGINE THAT! Not getting punished for calling in sick).  By far the greatest benefit that these Teamsters Union represented employees have over us here at Conway is JOB SECURITY!  As a member of the Teamsters Union we will no longer be an "At Will Employee".  We will be contractual employees meaning that we can NOT be fired without proof of just cause, and if that one of us is fired without proof of just cause, the Teamsters Union will represent you to the absolute best of their ability (which they are extremely good at)  to save your job. 

All of this for $57 per month!

Any organization that works for you and your best interest is worth paying for.  Lastly, remember, you will not pay a single penny in Union dues until you win legally binding Teamsters Union contract with Conway.

Conway and or it's "consultants" may try to scare you by saying that the Teamsters Union will bring violence and conflict.  Near election time the company may cause problems or conflicts then blame it on the Teamsters Union.  Example!  The company letter handed out at NOF last week blaming the breach of our privacy rights on the Teamsters Union.  This same letter also claims that officials from the Teamsters Union will come to your homes unannounced and unwanted and try to bully you and to force you to join them.

FACT #3:
The Teamsters Union and all other labor unions functioning in the United States of America today exist to solve problems peacefully.  With the Teamsters Union, workers and management sit down at a table as equals and discuss problems that come up and solutions on how to fix these problems.  This does not create violence, but avoids it.  The recent letter handed out at NOF is full of exaggerations and lies.  By federal law, the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) requires that Conway release the names and addresses of employees pending and election.  This information is shared with and only with the NLRB and the Teamsters Union to determine voter eligibility and NOTHING more.  You will NOT be visited or harassed by any member of the Teamsters Union without your consent or permission.  Remember this fact!  We the employees here at NOF went to the Teamsters Union for help.  The Teamsters did not come to us.

Throughout history companies have a long and illustrious record of using violence and conflict to restrain their employees from organizing.  In the early 1900's companies hire Union Busters or "consultants" as they like to be called now days, to break up worker organization movements.  In those days, there were very little if any laws to protect workers.  Men, Women, and Children, in order to survive were forced to work in the worst imaginable conditions.  There were no safety laws and standards, no benefits, only a paycheck and nothing else.  There was no such things as overtime, weekends, adequate rest between shifts, etc.  These ancestors of ours would sometimes put in over 80 hours per week on the job and take home less than $2 for their hard work.  These people were often victims of horrific and tragic accidents in the workplace, sometimes ending in disfigurement and even death.  When these accidents happened the companies they worked for were NOT held accountable or responsible.  While all of this was going on the owners and heads of these companies were making millions, YES you heard me MILLIONS of dollars!  This era was the beginning of the rise of labor unions in America.  Workers began to organize and join and form Unions to negotiate for fair treatment, safety, and rights in the workplace.  These companies, much like Conway, did not like this at all.  Organizations of the workers threatened their maximum profits they were accustomed to receiving.  So these companies, much like Conway, hired Union Busters/"consultants" to break up and smash Union organization efforts.  Back in those days the Union Busters were slightly different in their methods of scaring workers.  They broke many laws to bring down Union movements, much like our visitors here at NOF will do in the next few weeks leading up to the election.  But instead of using lies, manipulations, and twisted facts like the Union Busters of today use, the Union Busters of old used FORCE as well.  They used guns, knifes, clubs, and fists, to break up Union movements.  Men, women, and children were threatened, beaten with fists, skulls bashed in with clubs, shot, hung, families burned alive in their houses all because they wanted fair treatment in the workplace.  Yes it was a sad and dark time in American history, but through all of this these brave and courageous workers never gave up.  They took a stand together and formed Unions and eventually won their rights and changed the world for the better.  Next time you are enjoying your weekend off of work, or a vacation, a sick day, overtime pay, and many other workplace rights, be thankful for our ancestors and their sacrifices for what they accomplished for us through organizing Unions.  Fortunately for us the Union Busters/"consultants" we will be dealing with are not able to use FORCE anymore.  Instead they use FEAR, LIES, MANIPULATIONS, and TWISTED FACTS to discourage us from organizing a Union.  These "consultants" visiting us are seasoned professionals at what they do.  Their one goal or mission is to win the election in favor of Conway.  NOTHNG ELSE!!  These "consultants" are here at NOF now and as I just said they are professionals.  Each one of these "consultants" will be paid MORE money from Conway over the next four weeks than any single DSR or Dockworker will make in an entire year.  These "consultants" will use any means necessary (legal or illegal) to convince you to vote NO to Union representation.  These "consultants" will try to bribe you with food and gifts, they will want to be your best friend, they will try to make you fear the Union, they will lie to you, they will give you false statistics, they will stop at nothing to complete their mission and win the election in Conway's favor.  Remember Ricardo the "consultant" who came to visit us a while back?  He was our friend, he bought doughnuts and such.  He said that he was going to take our concerns that we voiced to him straight to the top of Conway management.  What changed?  NOTHING CHANGED!  DO NOT BE FOOLED!  These "consultants"/Union Busters are strangers.  They do not know you or your families, and they could care less about it!  When the election is over win or lose these "consultants" will be gone forever, along with the food and gifts, and all the pleasantries they brought with them.  You see although the methods of these "consultants" of today may be a little more restricted than the Union Busters of old, they are the same evil and malicious men.  These men profit and thrive off of lies and deceit, off of convincing the weak and poor to give up their rights and their voice.  In my own spiritual sense, these "consultants" operate in the same methods as the father of all lies Satan himself, and they are much like him in many ways.  On the other hand Jesus Christ taught us to love one another, take care of each other, stand up with one another against tyranny, help those who stand alone, and Unite in goodness and kindness.  Lastly, whether you are religious or not ask yourself this:  If Jesus Christ was allowed to into the voting booth with you on election day, how would he consult you?  Would Jesus want you to make a decision out of fear of what could happen or would Jesus want you to make a decision on faith and courage for a better future?  I know the answer already, as do all of you

Conway and/or the "consultants" will tell you that the Union will take your dues money to pay the high salaries of Union bosses.  They will say that you will never benefit from any of this money.

FACT #4:
All Union expenses, including salaries of Union officials are voted on and approved by Union members.  All Union money is spent solely for the benefits of members.  Your dues can only be increased if you the members vote to increase them.  It is Union members who decide how Union money is spent.  Recently in a captive meeting held by one of Conway's "consultants", the statistic came out that current President of the Teamsters Union Jim Hoffa has a salary upwards of $300,000 per year.  WOW!  That is some serious coin!  At $50,000 per year working for Conway that would take me 6 years to earn that much.  Mr. Hoffa's salary comes from the dues of the members of the Teamsters Union.  The Teamsters Union has roughly 1.4 million members.  If you do some simple math, that breaks down that every Teamsters Union member contributes 22 cents (yes less than a dollar $.22) a year towards Mr. Hoffa's salary.  BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!  Let's put a comparison against Mr. Hoffa's Salary.  According to Forbes magazine, Mr. Gregory Lehmkuhl, President of Conway Freight earned $1,649,655.00 in total compensation for the year 2013.  WOW!  That is more than 5 times Mr. Hoffa's salary.  This salary coming from a company of around 16,600 employees.  Let's do some more math!  Every employee at Conway contributed $99.38 towards Mr. Lehmkuhl's salary in 2013.  At $50,000 per year working at Conway, that would take me almost 33 years to earn that much.  Looks like I'm going to be working well into my 70's to keep up with you Mr. Lehmkuhl.  HOLD THE PHONE!  Just when you think it possibly couldn't get any worse!  Again according to Forbes magazine Mr. Douglas Stotlar, CEO of Conway Inc. earned $3,790,125.00 in total compensation for year 2013.  HOLY CRAP!  That is more than 12 times Mr. Hoffa's salary.  Mr. Stotlar has more employees under him than Mr. Lehmkulh because he is over Menlo and Conway Truckload as well.  These other employees added with the employees of Conway Freight totals around 29,500.  Math Time!!  Every employee at Conway Inc. contributed $128.48 to Mr. Stotlar's salary in 2013.  At $50,00 per year working at Conway that would take me almost 76 years to earn that much. 

Truthfully, these numbers make me feel sick to my stomach about how unbalanced the distribution of wealth has become in America.  Mr. Stotlar and Mr. Lehmkuhl say that we the employees of Conway do not deserve overtime after 8 hours, a pension, good health insurance, and JOB SECURITY through a legally binding contract.  I ask myself how is it right and just for them to feel this way?  When in one year Mr. Lehmkuhl made more than I or any other Conway DSR or Dockworker will make in 33 years of service.  When in one year Mr. Stotlar made more than I or any other Conway DSR or Dockworker will make in our ENTIRE LIFETIME!

  Mr. Lehmkuhl, you make videos and in them you tell us that you can do a better job taking care of us than the Teamsters Union, but when you visited Orlando and you were asked face to face if overtime after 8 hours was in the future plans for us, you Mr. Lehmkuhl and Mr. Dave Warta  your guys' first response was to look at each other and start laughing.  Then the two of you proceeded to tell us that is does NOT make business sense to pay overtime after 8 hours when no other non-Union carriers in the region are either.  SERIOUSLY?  Is that taking care of us?  Mr. Lehmkuhl, we were not asking for a whole pie, or even a nice slice, but a mere sliver to help us and our families progress.  NOT EVEN A CRUMB FROM THE PIE YOU ARE ENJOYING! 

President Hoffa of the Teamsters Union.  I will gladly give you 22 cents a year if you can help me and my family.

The company and/or "consultants" will tell you that they will NOT ever sign a contract even if you vote YES for Teamsters Union representation.  (Since it is 100% illegal for the company to say this directly, they may say "Remember we don't have to agree to what you want in a contract").

FACT #5:
FEDERAL LAW requires any and every company to negotiate in "good faith"  with any and every labor Union to reach an agreeable contract.  If a company is found not to be exercising "good faith" charges can a will be filed and penalties can and will be imposed on the company by the United States government.  Nearly every company talks tough before workers organize, but its in the company's best interest to keep its employees satisfied and keep the work flowing.  After a company is presented a reasonable contract proposal a settlement usually occurs quickly.

I distinctly remember our "consultant" friend Ricardo telling a group of us in one of our captive meetings that Conway will never have to negotiate or sign a contract.  First hand proof that the Union Busters/"consultants" have no respect for the laws of this country and disregard them at any time they see fit.

The company and the "consultants"/Union Busters will tell you than when you negotiate a contract you start from nothing and you will lose wages and benefits that you already have. (Again, although it is 100% illegal the company will say you will be bargaining from scratch).

FACT #6:
Not just once, but how many times have we here at NOF heard this in our morning Driver's meeting?  I worry for the FOS that keeps saying this.  I am 100% positive that the company has given this certain FOS this false information in hopes that he will spread it.  Further proof that Conway has no respect for the law.  It also shows that Conway is willing to  use middle management as pawns in their mission to win the election.  If charges get filed with the NLRB, Conway can blame in on this individual FOS.  You see FOS are expendable just like us.  Don't think so?  Ask Bill Fender.

Nothing is further from the truth.  Bargaining from scratch is NOT what the law dictates.  When you negotiate your first contract you start with the pay and benefits you have now and build on them.  You will decide what you want to ask for in your contract, and then vote on it.  The strength of you contract will depend on the strength and participation of you and your          co-workers in YOUR UNION.

Your President may make a video and ask for another chance to change problems on the job.  The company may tell you that they didn't know you and your co-workers were dissatisfied.  Your supervisor will start treating you better and show new concern for your well being.

FACT #7:
When the workers give the company a 2nd chance they are ALWAYS disappointed.  If the company wins NOTHING changes.  When this happens many workers as the Union for a 2nd chance to vote YES.  In most cases, you only get one chance to vote from a petition.  DON'T BE TRICKED OUT OF IT!

A couple of months ago, three terminals in southern California petitioned the NLRB for an election to determine if they could be represented by the Teamsters Union.  One terminal won their election and the other two lost by an extremely narrow margin. (it's rumored UFV lost by only 1 vote.)  ULA was the other losing terminal.  At ULA Conway and it's Union Busters/"consultants"  came in before the election and made many promises to treat the workers better.  They pleaded with the workers to give them a 2nd chance.  Conway and it's Union Busters succeeded.  They convinced enough of the workers to vote NO to he Union, and Conway won the election.  Month's have passed since the election, and nothing has changed for the better at ULA.  Many of the workers who voted NO have posted blogs on how they were lied to, and how they wish they could go back and change their vote to YES. 

It has been posted on a blog that recently in a show of power, ULA's terminal manager (SCM), fired 6 Dockworkers just days before Christmas.  It is rumored that the SCM's reason for terminating these employees is that they had their tattoos exposed during work on company time.  If this truly is a company policy I would venture to guess that over 50% of Conway employees could be terminated at any time for the same reason.  Whether the 6 Dockworkers were Union supporters or not it doesn't matter.  Their jobs with Conway are gone forever, and there is absolutely NOTHING they can do about it.  This is what being and "At Will Employee" dictated by Conway policy gets you.  On the other hand if ULA had won their election and gained Teamsters Union representation, those 6 Dockworkers would have been protected by the Teamsters Union even without having a first contract and paying any dues yet.  You see the minute you win your election and sign your card, you are a certified Teamsters Union member.  Even without a contract or paying any dues.  If you are unjustly terminated you have the full power of the Teamsters Union's legal department to fight to save your job. 


Your supervisor or manager will suggest to you that you can get a promotion or better pay if you support the company in the upcoming election.  The company will give you special treatment and favors if turn against the Union.

FACT #8:
The special treatment will end on election day.  As soon as the election is over you will be just as expendable as the people who supported the Union.

Nobody likes a snitch or a traitor.  If you are tricked or bribed into voting against the Union by the company.  The company will know first hand that you cannot be trusted.  Don't be surprised if you are one of the first after the election to be unemployed.

Before the election a so-called "Vote NO Committee" may mysteriously appear.  The Anti-Union committee will do the company's dirty work.  They may pass out literature filled with the company's lies about the Union, or they may spread rumors and insult co-workers who support the Union.  The "Vote NO Committee" members may be recruited from friends and relatives of someone in management.  Usually they are promised special treatment or a promotion for their dirty work.

The company knows that if you and your co-workers are united, you can stand up and win your rights.  The aim of the Anti-Union Committee is to divide people and create hatred. 




Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's Time for the Reckoning

Here we go again Ladies and Gentlemen.  Don't you people get it? Conway is full of lies. They make worthless promises. They tell you one thing and then when it's all over and they say they're sorry because of the union they can’t give you anything. Conway knew that this was coming and it was long overdue. It's about time that we stand up and fight for our rights. We have a voice to fight back against this corporate monster. They want to keep us union-free so that they can keep doing what they want, when they want. They want to keep us poor and scared. To the brothers in Orlando and Bakersfield that are fighting for those rights, we stand with you!  It's is about time for the reckoning! Don't let your guard, down don't be misled and don't be deceived! Let's do this right, we only have one chance. If we fail, you can count on them trying to clean house. To all the dock workers that are being promised CDL’s, don’t believe these liars. They are lying to your face! GOOD LUCK CONWAY ORLANDO AND BAKERSFIELD! YOU GOT THIS LET'S BRING IT HOME!  VOTE YESSSSSSS!



Friday, January 2, 2015

Conway's Forced Generosity

Here's another bribe from Conway, this time to the mechanics. After years of asking the company for shift differential, the mechanics are finally getting it. Conway had previously denied them this as it was not something Conway did. In fact, they made it clear that the mechanics weren't an important part of the company. Now they're offering the shift differential on top of a .32 cent an hour raise. Don't be fooled, they aren't giving this out because they feel generous. They're starting to feel the union movement breath down their necks. The more terminals we organize, the more they will begin to give back in order to pacify us. Let's stand strong and remember why we are organizing. We need the shops to go Union as well! The mechanics all deserve a better future!