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You may encounter different types of problems at work which require assistance or advice. The following is meant to be a guide in resolving these situations.
What should you do if you are called into the office? If you believe that you are being called into a supervior's office for the purpose of discipline or to defend your conduct you are entitled, as a union member, to be represented.
SHOP FLOOR CONVERSATIONS
Not every discussion with management is an investigatory interview. For example, a supervisor may speak to an employee about the proper way to do a job. Even if the supervisor asks the employee questions, this is not an investigatory interview because the possibility of discipline is remote.
A routine conversation changes character if a supervisor becomes dissatisfied with an employee and takes a hostile attitude. If this happens the meeting could well result in discipline and you should ask for your Union Representative.
There are those times when a supervisor is gathering some information, but if you believe that the investigatory interview could lead to discipline, other adverse consequences, or to defend your conduct, you have a right to make a request for representation and should do so. You may feel intimidated by a supervisor or someone else trained in interrogation techniques or they may try to coerce you into confessing to a wrong-doing.
For all of these reasons you should request union representation. You must make a clear request for union representation (you cannot be punished for making this request). After you have made the request the employer must:
Grant the request and delay questioning until a Union Representative arrives, or
Deny the request and end the interview immediately, or
Offer you the choice to continue the meeting without a Union Representative. It would be best to wait until you have representation so that you have the benefit of someone trained to handle such a situation.
If the employer denies the request for union representation and continues to ask questions, he has commiteed an unfair labor practice; you have a right to refuse to answer and cannot be disciplined for such refusal. You must, however, make the request to be represented by the Union.
When a supervisor calls an employee to the office to announce a warning or issue discipline, this would not constitute an investigatory interview as the supervisor is informing the employee of a previous decision of management. However, if the supervisor asks questions that are related to the incident which resulted in the discipline, it then becomes an investigatory interview to which you are entitled to union representation upon your request.
The Union Representative or Steward can provide assistance and counsel you during the interview as well as speak up for you during the interview
BEWARE OF SIGNING ANY COMPANY DOCUMENTS
If your employer asks you to sign any document relative to a disciplinary matter or that could adversely affect your job, be careful.
Most of the time the best course of action is not to sign any document without first discussing it with your Union Representative.
The National Labor Relations (NLRB) requires that a minimum of 30 percent of the employees sign authorization cards/petitions before it will conduct an election.
Election Petition Filed
Local No. 1473 presents the cards/petitions to the NLRB with a request that it conduct an election. The employer never sees the authorization cards/petitions, and the NLRB won't even tell how many employees filled them out.
Election Date Set
The Union, an employer representative, and the NLRB meet to set an election date.
You decide by a secret ballot if you want UFCW Local No. 1473 to begin negotiations with your employer. A "Yes" vote gives you the chance to proceed.
Preparation for Negotiations
During the seven to ten days it takes for the NLRB to certify the election results, you and your fellow employees will meet to decide what specific benefits you would like to have in a first contract. Also, you will start thinking about electing a negotiating committee.
Please return your contract questionnaire.
The employees' negotiating committee, UFCW representatives, and the employer begin a series of meetings to work out differences and develop a contract offer.
Registering to Vote
The employees' will fill out a membership application, which allows you the right to vote.
You will meet to discuss and vote (by secret ballot) on the employer's offer. If rejected, we go back into negotiations. If accepted, wage rates and all new benefits begin.
For: Questions, Comments or Assistance?
Contact: UFCW Local 1473 at 1-800-472-1660
Jake first became a member of the UFCW 1473 when he started working at Seneca Foods Corporation in Janesville in 2002. He joined the staff of Local 1473 as a Union Representative in 2011. Jake currently serves as a delegate to the South Central Federation of Labor in Madison and on the Rock County Labor Council. Jake is also a member of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA).
Justin Benzschawel - Union Representative
Justin started as UFCW Member working for Nestle in the production department in 2001. In 2013 Justin was elected the Assistant Chief Union Steward at the Nestle Plant. After being involved as a Union Steward, Justin participated in the UFCW GOLD Internship Program and became a member of the UFCW Local 1473 Executive Board. In April 2015 the opportunity came about to further help workers and join UCFW as Union Representative, Justin was on board, making sure people are being treated fairly and being respected on the job.
Liza Campbell - Union Representative
Liza became a UFCW member and Union Steward for Local 1625 in 2000 while working at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. In 2002 she PARTICIPATED IN THE SPUR Program and helped more than 6000 Part-time Disney World workers achieve Union representation after 30 years with no rights. Liza was then hired on as a Union Representative and Organizer at Local 1625. She is fluent in Spanish as well as Portuguese and has her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the University of Central Florida. She served on the Executive Board for the UFCW Women’s Network and was a Region 5 Coordinator from 2013-2016 before moving to Wisconsin and joining Local 1473 as a Union Representative.
Walter Garron - Union Representative / Field Staff
Walter became a member of the UFCW Local 1473 when he started working in the Maintenance Department at Strauss Brands in Franklin, Wisconsin. While at Strauss Brands, he became a Union Steward and participated in the Special Project Union Representative Program (SPUR). Walter was hired as an Organizer and Union Representative for Local 1473 in December 2012. He is an advocate for all workers, currently serving as an Executive Board Member for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), a member of Latino United and an Event Coordinator for Our Wal-Mart in Milwaukee.
Melanie Meyer – Union Representative
Melanie is a recent graduate of UW Madison, having earned her BA in Legal Studies in May of 2015. At UW Madison she was an active member of the Student Labor Action Coalition, a labor rights student organization. She served 2 years on the university’s Labor Codes Licensing Compliance Committee, where she worked with UW faculty and staff to advise the Chancellor on issues relating to UW’s labor codes of conduct. Melanie also served on the board of directors for the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ), a faith-labor group which advocates for social justice in the Madison community. She was born into a strong union family in Saginaw, MI and has lived in Wisconsin since 2008.
Melanie was an intern with Local 1473 during the summer of 2014 and is looking forward to continuing to serve our members as a Union Representative in the Kenosha/Racine area.
Brian Romanowich – Union Representative
Brian first became a member of Local 1444 when he began working for Kohl's Food Stores in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1991. His Union Steward had made him aware of a new union program called Special Project Union Representative (SPUR). The program allows union members to receive a leave of absence employer and work for their union for a limited amount of time on organizing projects. Brian was working on the Extendicare Nursing Home project and found that he enjoyed the work so much that he applied for full-time work with the Union and he was subsequently hired on December 31, 2001.
Scott Spearo – Union Representative
Scott first became a member of UFCW in 1984 when he started working third shift, stocking shelves, at the East Capital Pick 'N Save. In 1985 Scott began working as an apprentice meat cutter and in 1989 he became a journeyman.
Scott was a member of Local 1444 in his 14 years at Pick 'N Save and then became a member of Local 73a when he started work at Jewel. Most recently Scott worked at BKT-Bayview Sentry Food Store. As a UFCW Member, Scott served on bargaining committees for Jewel Foods.
Chad Whiteside - Union Representative
Chad first became a member of the UFCW in 1987 when he went to work for Super Valu in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Chad served as Union Steward from 1990 to 1995 and during this time he volunteered for the Special Project Union Representative (SPUR) Program assisting UFCW local unions in the Chicago area during their organizing attempt of the Super Kmart Center in Vernon Hills, Illinois.
In 1996, he volunteered again for the SPUR program in Local 1444 and was hired full time in February 1997.
Ahmee Vang - Union Represenative
Ahmee became a member of the UFCW Local 1473 when she began working for People’s Food Co-op in La Crosse in 2003. In March 2013 she joined UFCW Local 1473 as an Organizer and Union Representative. Ahmee’s prior work experience includes being a member of OPEIU, where she was instrumental in helping bring financial access to underserved, underrepresented and rural communities (domestically and internationally) through a credit union movement. She has also worked as a peer advisor in educational capacities, helping to transition first generation and low income students into higher education. Ahmee is fluent in Hmong, Spanish and English.