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
(NOF). Unfortunately, Orlando,
Florida will spend literally hundreds of
thousands dollars in the next four weeks on convincing you to vote NO towards
forming a Conway Union. With all that money spent, will NOT spend a single penny towards giving
you the full story of what happens when you join a Conway 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 "
is and is not. The Teamsters Union is
the largest Union in the
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 United States . Each Conway 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 as far as contract negotiation and so
on. If and when the Conway 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.
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!
FICTION #1: STRIKE TALK
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
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.
FICTION #2: UNION DUES
The company and/or it's "consultants" will tell you that the
just wants you money. They may lie about
the amount of dues you will pay as a member of the Teamsters.
The improvement in pay, benefits, and fair treatment you win through the
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 , 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. Conway
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
FICTION #3: VIOLENCE AND CONFLICT
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.
The Teamsters Union and all other labor unions functioning in the
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 United States of America 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. Conway
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
. Workers began to organize and join and form Unions
to negotiate for fair treatment, safety, and rights in the workplace. These companies, much like America , 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 Conway 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 . 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
"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
Conway and/or the "consultants" will tell you that the
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.
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
"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. Conway
Truthfully, these numbers make me feel sick to my stomach about how unbalanced the distribution of wealth has become in
. Mr. Stotlar and Mr. Lehmkuhl say that we the
employees of America
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! Conway
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.
FICTION #5: WE WON'T NEGOTIATE
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").
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
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. United States
I distinctly remember our "consultant" friend Ricardo telling a group of us in one of our captive meetings that
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. Conway
FICTION #6: BARGAINING FROM SCRATCH
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).
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
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. Conway
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.
FICTION #7: A 2ND CHANCE
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.
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
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 California Union, and 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. Conway
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
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. Conway
A 2ND CHANCE, BECAUSE THEY SURE AS
HELL WON'T GIVE YOU ONE! CONWAY
FICTION #8: PROMISES
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
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
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.
FICTION #9: ANTI-UNION COMMITTEE
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
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
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.
THE COMPANY TRIES TO DIVIDE US!
BRINGS US TOGETHER!