|Please Note: You must contact your Union representative directly if you wish to file a grievance.
Your right to file a grievance and hold your Employer accountable is one of the benefits of being a Union member. The grievance procedure is the cornerstone of any Union contract. The grievance process is used to enforce the contract and to remedy any change from the current practice. Without a grievance process, everything else in the contract would be unenforceable and thus meaningless. The right to file a grievance and hold the Employer accountable is a right only shared by a union organized facility.
The Grievance Procedure in your contract also contains an arbitration clause that calls for a final step if a grievance cannot be resolved between the parties. Arbitration is a non-formal hearing process before a neutral third party whose decision is final and binding on all parties involved. The vast majority of grievances, however, never get to that level because they are resolved in a satisfactory manner. One must consider that arbitration could go either way.
When the Union files a grievance on behalf of an employee, we ask that employee to submit a statement of all the relevant facts. In order for the Union to successfully move forward on a grievance, we need as much information as possible including potential witnesses that can be interviewed to further prove the case in favor of the grievant.
The Union’s goal is to resolve your grievances as soon as possible. Witnesses have to be found and /or interviewed, responses from your employer provide additional information, and we may need to research past cases of a similar nature. Not all grievances are resolved in a few months. A grievance heading to arbitration could take up to a year or more from the date of the initial filing to the receipt of a decision from a selected arbitrator. The quicker we receive information from the grievant and the more complete that information is, the sooner we will be able to resolve that grievance. If you want to file a grievance, you must call your Union Representative directly. The Union Representative’s names and how to contact them are on this website. You cannot file a grievance or notify the Union that you want a grievance filed through this website. Please notify them directly by calling the Union office or their cell phone.
Protect yourself! Always keep a copy of everything you turn in to your employer. For example, if you take time off because of illness, make copies of any doctor’s notes that you turn in, as well as any paperwork that you fill out for the Company when you go on a leave of absence. This includes forms that you prepare under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Hold on to all of these copies for your personal records.
If you are called into your Manager’s office and asked to write a statement about something that happened, always ask if this could lead to you being disciplined. If the answer is “no” and they ask questions about something that happened involving a co-worker, request that you be allowed to make your statement in writing. As always, keep a copy of the statement for your records.
If the meeting may lead to you being disciplined, ask that your Union Representative be present. It is your right under Federal law to have a Representative present during any investigative meeting that might lead to discipline, but you must request it. It is not your Employer’s responsibility to make sure you have a Union Representative present.
If you are being issued discipline, such as a written warning, and the discipline is determined and prepared on a write up before you arrive without any further questions, then you do not need representation.
If you are called into your Manager’s office and people who you do not know such as “security” personnel are present, you need to request a Union Representative be present before you answer any questions by security or management. This is your federal protected right as a Union member. This is called your “Weingarten Rights”. You must insist upon wanting your Union Representative present before you answer their questions and not be talked out of this request. If you give in to their attempts to have the meeting without your Union Representative, then you gave up your federal right and what you say or do will be held against you.
What Is an Investigatory Interview?
An investigatory interview is any discussion with your employer that could result in discipline — for example, when management questions an employee to obtain information or when the employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says.
Weingarten Rights were established to help secure your job and prevent management from coercing members into confessing to mistakes or wrongdoings that they did not commit.
Not every discussion with an employer is considered investigatory. If your boss wants to specify certain job requirements or announce a warning or discipline, this is not considered investigatory.
However, the discussion can become investigatory if your employer begins to question you about the matter for which discipline is administered. At that point, you may exercise your Weingarten Rights and request a Union Representative to be present throughout the conversation. If your employer denies this request, the employer is in breach of your rights and you do not have to say a word.
If you request a Union Representative’s presence at the interview, do not discuss any issues with your employer before your Union Representative arrives! It is better to go home suspended than to proceed in a meeting that could result in your termination.
Understanding your rights is just as important as having them. Weingarten Rights protect you and your valuable job.
Again, always get a copy of everything that you put in writing and give to the Company or its representatives, including security personnel, even when you are not going to be disciplined.
Weingarten Rights Statement
I refuse to submit to this interrogation because I fear that I will suffer severe discipline or termination of my employment and I demand my right to have Union Representation present on my behalf before this proceeding continues and if my demand is not acknowledged, then I refuse to participate in this process and you may take whatever action you deem appropriate.