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  • authored by siggy
  • published Tue, Aug 20, 2002

Warehouse Dispute: From the Inside

As the time runs out on 250 Loman/OFG warehouse workers, their jobs slated to end on September 28th, 2002, the workers are getting restless. Handing out innocuous leaflets to shoppers entering Overwaitea/Save-on retail stores, in an attempt to pressure the employer, has been their only legal option to muster public support.

Darryl Gehlen, vocal warehouseman, gives us a condensed version from the inside, as he and his co-workers go from being the best in North America to getting the corporate kick in the ass with a frozen boot.

At first glance this story seems like another dreary tale of corporate restructuring and lost jobs. It follows the usual script; mortgage paying jobs replaced by McJobs. 'Worker flexibility is central to maximizing shareholder value.' To question the rationale behind the script is to be backward, uninformed, a Luddite. Most workers are unaware of the script and their input seems a low priority. This despite the devastating effect it has on working people, families, communities and our country as a whole.

Read Interest and A brief History by Darryl Gehlen

If you or your producers have interest please contact Darryl Gehlen: dag@dowco.com

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Aug 21, 2002 7:34pm

Everyone fortunate enough to have a full time job that (they think) is secure should sit up and take note of this story. This is where we are all headed unless we begin to rethink our relationship with all the business community.

I am always disappointed at how the mainstream media ignores these stories of workers lives but then, the mainstream media is part of the business community and a tool of that community as well. I certainly hope to see and hear more about what's happening at Lomans and - whatever happens next month - hope that the workers who have taken such a principled and intelligent stand continue their efforts at raising awareness of: what is coming to all of us if we continue to believe in the myths of the market.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 12:41am

Mainstream media? Sharing awareness? Sounds good to me!

Problem is the union doesn't see it that way. So far one paid ad in a community weekly. One PR tour through the Kootenay region and a union sanctioned leafleting crew they left high and dry a long way from home. Thanks UFCW, that's very inspiring.

  • posted by sleK
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 12:44am

quote:


Thanks UFCW, that's very inspiring.


You forgot the " " (or the /sarcasm tag)!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 10:20am

If the media are not worth speaking to then why does the UFCW employ all these communications experts? Why does it bother sending out one media release after another? What is the point of employing media relations experts if there is no point in speaking with the media?

That these workers got led on some march through the mountains and then left to their own devices to raise public awareness is pathetic. I wonder how many media relations people the UFCW employs? If you added up their salaries, what number would you get? What kind of awareness-raising, anti-corporate campaign could be mounted with that amount of funding?

LL have you and your brothers thought of writing to the CLC and asking for direct support? I doubt that they would be enthusiastic about helping you but they just might (it may be too embarassing for them to turn you down). Why not make it an open letter with copies to local and national media? That might get some attention.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 11:07am

RV Thanks for your support and ideas. I think I know the guy that could write such an open letter. It's time to test the committment of the CLC. UFCW has made theirs very clear.

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 12:45pm

after reading the article " Govt. is not here to help you" I find that the UFCW 1518 reps are bungling fools, and that their misguided fumblings in relation to doing their members any service is laughable. It's sad that this is all the members have to rely on to help them get any justice from OFG. UFCW 1518s disservice to it's OFG members is criminal.You can be sure that the boys will still be at the trough while their members will probably not even get a severence package.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 9:35pm

In '92 when the warehouse was supposedly sold to loman's the workers did not receive any severance from ofg (there was severance language in the ofg Warehouse/ufcw CA ).

Now 250 workers are being discontinued, let go, given the perverbial boot, being cra**ed on by either ofg or loman's (still up in the air), why wouldn't they be entitled to severance? It is still part of the agreement.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 11:11pm

A question nobody has yet to ask....

If Lomans is in fact an independant company....what steps have they taken to put themselves out there on the market and secure other business? It seems to me if I owned a company and my customer[s] decided to go someplace else I'd find other customers. Yet I've not seen or heard of Lomans doing that. When Patterson screwed Aggressive Transport out of the interior runs Agressive found other business to shore up their accounts and keep most of their drivers. Why isn't this happening at Lomans?

They say it isn't a common employer yet nothing seems to have taken place to find an alternative company to supply. I'm sorry but that dog don't hunt. I find it hard to believe there arn't any records to prove Patterson somehow owns Lomans either directly or indirectly through a shadow company and if the UFCW is seriously going about trying save jobs then it seems to me they'd have people on this full time to prove it. You can't hide a paper trail but you have to be willing to look for it. Doesn't seem to me like the UFCW is looking very hard.

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 11:28pm

Oh what a tangled web.

Versacold Executive Officers

quote:


H. Brent Sugden, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer and Director. Mr. Sugden joined Versacold effective January 29, 2001. Mr. Sugden has held senior executive positions in the supply chain management, distribution and logistics businesses such as Tibbett & Britten Group North America, Overwaitea Food Group and Associated Grocers.


Versacold Investor Data

Versacold Corporate Name: Versacold Income Fund
Subsidiaries/Partners:
Versacold Holding Ltd.
Versacold Logistics Corporation (British Columbia)
Versacold Cascade Inc. (Washington)
Versacold Canada Corporation (British Columbia)
Versacold Distribution and Freezers Ltd. (British Columbia)
Versacold Group
EV Logistics

Versacold Income Fund - Company Snapshot

quote:


VERSACOLD INCOME FUND is an unincorporated, open-ended limited purpose trust. The trust was created to invest in public refrigerated warehousing, distribution and related businesses.


  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 11:30pm

Scott, RE "...put themselves out there on the market..." The question has been asked and answered in a million small ways.It adds up to getting your labour costs so high that you price yourself out of the marketplace. Then all you have to do is go through the motions and point a finger at the workforce.

Maybe it should be asked but the management has not chosen to respond to criticism and we all know the answer above.

The union is truly "mimicking" the management. They also don't seem to be trying hard at anything their positions would warrant. Ivan talks about "going to the wall" for the members. We have not seen it.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Aug 22, 2002 11:46pm

I called the union office yesterday. I asked for the officer of the day. Then I asked for a number where I could sign up for leafletting. The o/o/d said he didn't know a specific number but if I gave him mine he would call Gord's cell and have Gord call me. That was yesterday, this is tonight and no call.

Wrong wall Ivan ... equip the office staff to support the workers, the bloody least you could do.

  • posted by T S
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 7:28am

If Lomans is in fact an independant company....what steps have they
taken to put themselves out there on the market and secure other
business? It seems to me if I owned a company and my customer[s]
decided to go someplace else I'd find other customers.

The key here is Lomans OWNS no building.OFG is giving them the BOOT. No building, no warehouse. Jimmy needs the warehouse back so he can use it to house the LCB ( Privatized Liquor stores) business and do Unto Brewers ( Molson and Labbatts) dristributing what he has done to Lomans,( coIncidence that jeffery allen went to brewers after leaving Lomans, NOT) thus taking over The liquor distributing business in BC. Another question is why would they look for new business? this was all a sham from the beggining . Everytime Lomans was able to secure a new contract the OFG would put as many obstacles and hurdles in the way as possible, even to the point of ORDERING lomans to terminate contracts, and the immediate removal of their products. During the length of Time ( service) Lomans was able to provide warehousing to the few other contracts they manged to obtain, OFG collected all the rent from them storing their product in OFG 's warehouse, Not 1 cent went to loman pockets, except for the actual Moving of the product, did Loman make any money. Then when lomans was making money because of the efficiency of the warehouse staff the mighty OFG said NYET, this will not happen cease and desist IMMEDIATLEY. Or we will use force majeur and yank OUR contract from you faster than you can say sassafrass.

Boomba Laroomba all outside work Stopped faster than a Mosquito hitting a windsheild.

"I find it hard to believe there arn't any records to prove
Patterson somehow owns Lomans either directly or indirectly through a
shadow company and if the UFCW is seriously going about trying save
jobs then it seems to me they'd have people on this full time to prove it.
You can't hide a paper trail but you have to be willing to look for it.
Doesn't seem to me like the UFCW is looking very hard. "

Hit that right on the head . You cant find a paper trail THAT YOU ( UFCW ) are trying to hide. we all at lomans realize this is Ivans deal. this Is how You get to be treasurer of UFCW.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 11:48am

As the union HQ must know, we have a direct line to the Loman union/leaflet coordinators. The real question here is why they don't want you to use it. Just another example of what we're up against.

The number is 604-882-9693

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 1:59pm

It does seem very odd doesn't it TS? Has OFG been Loman's only customer for the past 10 years? That seems to defy any business logic that I can think of. You're right: If you're in business you go after customers all the time. Your mission is to maximize profit and you won't do a good job of that by sitting on your hands with one customer.

I wonder if there is anything in writing between Loman and OFG that restricts Loman's from going after other business? I assume that the UFCW lawyers will be issuing subpeonas for all kinds of documentation that will shed light on just what the relationship between the two really is.

  • posted by T S
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 5:46pm

other than a 1 month period where Nike warehoused there, the only other customer was Caulkins and Burke. who was given the heave ho On OFG'S orders. thats it. The only business lomans did was with OFG. yes it defies all business logic and makes the arguement against common employer laughable, anybody with 2 cents wrth of smarts can see clear as glass OFG is the common employer, the real joke will be the bought and paid for LRB ruling. I want to see just how obvious the bias and slant towards favouring the OFG there will be. How they will turn a glass window into a Mud wall.

Thats the real Pisser in this Is MOST people dont think this will affect them. If a company can " sell " and contract out its business. And still maintain ABSOLUTE control over the work the way its done, the how, where, what, and why its done. WHY wouldnt every company with an aging workforce and building not do the OFG/ LOMANS shell game. contract the work out maintain strict control, set up new shell co in NEW building, hire new union at working slave wages and lay off the old work force, and VOILA. This will be happening at every manufacture plant ,warehouse, printing press, Mill, foundry, car and truck dealer Repair shops etc in the province.

And The ufcw stands on the sidelines doing just enought to fight off a non representation suit Not screaming bloody murder at the attempt of fraudulently achieveing A NON UFCW warehouse. WHY?????

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 7:52pm

quote:


The key here is Lomans OWNS no building.OFG is giving them the BOOT. No building, no warehouse. Jimmy needs the warehouse back so he can use it to house the LCB


and I was under the impression that in B.C. the union contract went with the building? gee it's a good thing the UFCW is representing you eh?

  • posted by T S
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 8:32pm

I think they are getting around it with their LEASE scam the old" memo I" never seen lease deal. supposed has to sit empty 2 years , I am lead to belive willnot fly because its a lease and how can you hold a landowner hostage for something his leasee has done. could be wrong but thats what I was lead to believe

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Fri, Aug 23, 2002 11:46pm

RV: RE "I wonder if there is anything in writing between Loman and OFG that restricts Loman from going after other business? I assume that the UFCW lawyers will be issuing subpeonas for all kinds of documentation that will shed light on just what the relationship between the two really is."

Good questions. The short answer is yes there is and I doubt we will get to see it. Ivan has had the service agreement between the two since 1995.

According to LRB ruling B221/2002, also referred to as the MOU "I" decision, at paragraph 29 is this:
"Limpright agreed that he eventually received a copy of the service contract between the Employer and Overwaitea from Allen in 1995. The Union never asked an independant lawyer to review the terms of the service contract after it received a copy."

The LRB noted the failure to seek independant legal advice because this was in fact a condition, part (b), of the original memorandum. Maybe Ivan was saving some dough here.

More importantly we have never seen or heard details of the contract that has governed our fate.

So will any light be shed on this relationship? Ivan has kept this to himself for 7 years now. Like the MOU decision, I suspect we will only learn what we were never told until we read the LRB Common Employer ruling.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Sun, Aug 25, 2002 5:46pm

I wanted to say welcome to ufcwwife.

I'd really like to get your perspective on what's happening. You've obviously been affected by the events at Lomans and will continue to be affected no matter what happens. What do you think the union should be doing in this situation? What should unions be doing in general these days to protect working people and their families? Feel free to express your thoughts on these issues - that's what we're all about here.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Mon, Aug 26, 2002 8:44pm

quote:


I think they are getting around it with their LEASE scam the old" memo I"


Guys don't get caught up in this Leasing bull shit. Companies love to mess with the tax man. Take the new Save-on signs. Patterson tells the government each company he owns runs independantly of one another yet if his sign company made the new signs he's essentually paying himself to do the work and writing of a portion of the cost as reno/upkeep.

So goes it with leasing the building. He sets up a property management company that hires a realter who sets up the lease agreement between the landlord and the tennant. Sure an employer can pack up shop and leave but it's very rare the landlord can't re-lease the property. I'm a landlord and now way I'd leave a money making property empty. However, what if a Patterson owned company owns the property management company? not only could he do this but he again can write off the cost of the lease as a business expence.

I just don't believe the UFCW lawyers don't already know this.

  • posted by sleK
  • Mon, Aug 26, 2002 8:48pm

quote:


I just don't believe the UFCW lawyers don't already know this.




They probably do know that, but, I believe, they're too busy preparing for another assault on fundamental human rights to do anything about it.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Tue, Aug 27, 2002 12:21am

Lets remember one significant fact regarcing UFCW lawyers: they work for the union as a paying organization and NOT the members. So says the courts.The bottom line is that he who pays the piper calls the tune.

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Aug 27, 2002 9:23am

Well there's alot to worry about. Over at www.ufcw 1518 they seem to have forgotten the warehouse jobs being wiped out on their front doorstep. wal mart has top billing again and even it's outdated. (Aug 23, 2002)

Over here Brooke ... over here!!! 250 workers losing their job right in your neighborhood.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Aug 27, 2002 10:02am

Maybe Brooke would prefer to hand the "fighting for workers" part of his job over to MFD? He could then concentrate on tilting at windmills or Wal-Mart or whatever full time. That's the way this seems to be working out.

No, no, I'm not suggesting a partnership.

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Aug 27, 2002 11:33am

Well it seems that Tom Fawkes, ufcw pr master, is in charge as Brooke and Ivan took some real timely holidays. (anyone else think it was stupid to have booked holidays for this time? Brooke and Ivan knew this is a crucial time for the warehouse and knew that ten yrs ago and still they took 'em.). Well that leaves the warehouse dispute with Tom Fawkes, wal mart fighter, m.r. (biz-rep). The warehouse workers have to be feeling real confident here.

What the hell would possess the head of a union to leave in the middle of a crisis that effects a large part of his membership directly right now and the outcome which will impact the rest of 1518 in 2003? Gawd help us!!!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Aug 28, 2002 1:06pm

Question:

quote:


What the hell would possess the head of a union to leave in the middle of a crisis...?


Answer: Because it's not fun.

Why don't they just stay away?

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Aug 28, 2002 1:15pm

quote:


Why don't they just stay away?


Answer: 'Cause that's what the members want.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Aug 28, 2002 6:44pm

This is hilarious. Was just out lft_ing with the warehouse. What we figure is right after the ofg/loman warehouse deal was cut in '92, Brooke and Ivan went right on down and booked their holiday plans, you know 10 yrs in advance.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Wed, Aug 28, 2002 11:50pm

Ask the guys who travelled up north on a union sanctioned leafleting tour what they think of Tom Fawkes. Because they got such a great response Tony Evangelista decided to extend the tour a few days.(Tony was sent by UFCW HQ to help direct the leafleting) They ended up not having enough funds to get home from 100 Mike House. Tom Fawkes refused to advance further funds and one of the leafleters had to call a family member to wire some money up so they could get home. Gord Carter, our Chief Shop Steward, came through with some funds and reimbursed the member. Looks like Tom Fawkes went to the same school as Ivan. Another example of what we are up against after 30 years of paying into this union.The UFCW Econo-Fight continues.

PS. Everything I've heard from the guys regarding Tony E has been very positive. Good show Tony!

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 12:09am

I heard the retail up north pulled out all the stops and the warehouse got lots of support. What the hell is wrong with retail here? The machine should be on their ass to get them out. What the hell is wrong with the machine? And what's with the workers at the warehouse who won't get out there? Damn they have a chance to make the change and they are folding. What is that?

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 10:05am

quote:


Ask the guys who travelled up north on a union sanctioned leafleting tour what they think of Tom Fawkes. Because they got such a great response Tony Evangelista decided to extend the tour a few days.(Tony was sent by UFCW HQ to help direct the leafleting) They ended up not having enough funds to get home from 100 Mike House. Tom Fawkes refused to advance further funds and one of the leafleters had to call a family member to wire some money up so they could get home. Gord Carter, our Chief Shop Steward, came through with some funds and reimbursed the member. Looks like Tom Fawkes went to the same school as Ivan. Another example of what we are up against after 30 years of paying into this union.The UFCW Econo-Fight continues.


You mean they actually would have left one of the members stranded because the UFCW didn't want to cough up a few dollars to get him home?!!!

What a bunch of idiots. It's decisions like this that really demonstrate their commitment. No wonder the workers of the world aren't beating a path to the UFCW's door.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 1:39pm

"Damn they have a chance to make the change and they are folding. What is that."

The short answer is most guys are tired of fighting a union that wants to keep this quiet. Twice we had really good momentum going with the leafleting campaign and both times the union shut it down. Leaving those guys high and dry a long way from home for want of a few hundred bucks is another example. So far we have one paid ad, two t-shirts and a hat to show for our UFCW econo-fight.

None of this is meant to suggest that we just give up and there remains a solid crew of leafleters. The point is that leafleting requires cooperation, organization, professional communication,and some real money to be truly effective. We have had none of those things and have had to embarrass the UFCW into getting anything. It has had predictable consequences for participation.

When I walk into our union office and see the guys that are supposed to be coordinating this campaign reading the newspaper I see the problem in a nutshell. There has been no indication that our own stewards are prepared to challenge UFCW HQ in any way. If they show no backbone the membership get the feeling that it's pointless.

Leafleting requires HQ support to mean anything and instead we have had to fight them and OFG.

Not excuses just the way it is.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 7:31pm

quote:


Not excuses just the way it is.


You know there's 70 or 80 guys out of 250 busting their butt, whether on the lft_ing campaign or doing the paperwork like Gehlen etal.

Where are the rest of the workers? Do they think they can just walk with a severance (hopefully) to another job that can afford them the luxury of raising a family? Have they checked the help ads?

And the retail workers, well I'm just bloody embarrassed that the machine hasn't lifted one bloody finger to inform these brothers and sisters. Union my ass! There's nothing united about this.

  • posted by <Billy Bob Boxmover>
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 9:34pm

From the July 26,2002 letter from Brooke Sundin to Angie Schirra, Secretary Treasurer, BC Federation of Labour, paragraph 4:

"The decision has been made to once again escalate Local 1518's leafleting campaign against OFG's stores. Our members employed at the warehouse have begun leafleting the customers of OFG's Save-On-Foods stores in a systematic effort to bring pressure upon the employer. Moreover, as of the week of July 29, 2002, Local 1518 members employed in OFG's retail food stores, as well as our Union's members from Safeway, will join the warehouse members in further expanding our leafleting campaign".

This paragraph evokes a number of questions for Brooke from us at the warehouse. When did the first escalation occur? Was that when you decided that you would pay for our leaflets? Or was it when you gave us the t-shirts? And given that this was written over a month ago shouldn't we have seen some sign of escalation by now? And if there is a "systematic effort", exactly what system are you using? And if you are inviting retail to "...join the warehouse members in further expanding our leafleting campaign" wouldn't you have better success if you actually let retail know they are invited to do so?

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 9:35pm

Really great to see all the interesting postings on this site. Anyone have any comments regarding the supposed memo that the retail managers got saying "don' worry too much about the leafleters, they will be gone by Sept.28" Is there something in the works? Are the union boys up to something?

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 9:45pm

Re: Support from Retail
I think that when retail employees come out to you on the leaflet line and say"Are you guys still crying" really shows again what a wonderfully solid and unified front this union is encouraging. I hope that retail doesn't expect a shoulder to cry on when "JIMMY" gets through with them.

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Aug 29, 2002 10:08pm

ufcwwife ... here's an idea. All the spouses can call campaign headquarters and sign on to this lft_ing campaign. We could double the forces in a day. (double the scheduling work too but I hear they spend alot of time reading newspapers). Get the spouses together and make an issue of it.

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Fri, Aug 30, 2002 7:57pm

SIGGY:
I already offered to leaflet, I think that all family members of the guys loosing jobs should get out there, I'm not scared to do it , I've got no excuses, I'll happily support my husband.

  • posted by siggy
  • Fri, Aug 30, 2002 8:02pm

quote:


I already offered to leaflet,


It took them a week to get me on the schedule. Have they at least responded to you?

  • posted by <Jimbo>
  • Sat, Aug 31, 2002 9:03am

Sounds like the Lomans guys banner Campain went well yesterday morning. I heard reports of OWF/Save on employess protesting with 40 foot Banners at strategic points along all the major commuting routes yesterday morning on a few of the radio stations as well as BCTV morning news. Port Mann, Pitt River, Dease island and a few more points along the freeway were mentioned.
Way to get the message out to 100,000's of people!!! (All with absoulutly NO support from the UFCW at all.) They paid for, created and organized the whole campain on their own. Amazing what very few commited people can do. Just imagine the possibilities of what could be done if our UNION would actually earnestly help us????

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Aug 31, 2002 9:07am

  • posted by T S
  • Sat, Aug 31, 2002 9:45am

" It took them a week to get me on the schedule. Have they at least
responded to you?"

WHAT????? Ya that shows the smarts of the brain trust running this show. a week to get on the schedule??? with only 4 weeks of contract left. why dont they expand Hit more stores If we have waiting and willing bodies???? Ahh right I remember this isnt supposed to work, when it does we get told to lay off, a PT junior clerk MIGHT lose an hour of work. Ahh damn I am bitter again today. But thanks for the help siggy and UFCWife I would love to see someone besides just My wife out there leaflettin with us, all help is appreciated

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sat, Aug 31, 2002 6:40pm

I went to 4 different Save-ons today....where are the Loman guys? is this a rotating information line and if so what stores on the list for Sunday the 1st?

  • posted by Blackcat
  • Sun, Sep 1, 2002 2:16am

I called the Lomans number from a previous post about helping out and was able to get scheduled that same day. No problems for me...but the UFCW 1518 local should post the schedule on its website so that anyone could come down and help out. The BC Projectionists made up a picket schedule for 3 months at a time and faxed it out to all the unions in the Lower Mainland. They had firefighters, nurses, and all kinds of trades come down and help them out.

...although we all know the machine heads have obviously made a (backroom) deal with OFG for the new warehouse so they aren't gonna lift a finger...

Maybe MFD could find out what the schedule is and could post it on the front page?

  • posted by <Jimbo>
  • Sun, Sep 1, 2002 5:25am

Thanks for your support guys. Sorry you couldn't find any leafleters Scott. Problem is there are only a handfull of guys still leafleting so we are only able to get crews out to a few save-ons each day. We should have a full time crew at every store all day long, but it's a manpower thing, and with UFCW not really willing to help us at all, its not getting any better.

I think the reason the schedual isin't posted is because when it was posted at the warehouse, the supervisors were photocopying it and matching names with people who were supposed to be sick or on compo and threatening their claims, saying they shouldn't be able to leaflet if they were Suposedly sick.
I'm with you though, lets get it posted, the company ain't much of a threat anymore with less than 4 weeks left.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sun, Sep 1, 2002 7:23am

quote:


the company ain't much of a threat anymore with less than 4 weeks left


I realize there are severance pakages to think about but I also know those packages are going to be taxed up the wazoo. What do any of you really care what your employer thinks? if they fire you for a first offence your entitle to an arbitration hearing and if the union won't fight that then there are other measure to ba taken against them.

Arbitrations cost employers and union a great deal of money, can they afford to fight 250 case's?....give me a break.

Now, I'm up and it's 7 am....what store are you guys at today and from what time to what time?

  • posted by siggy
  • Sun, Sep 1, 2002 7:35am

quote:


could find out what the schedule is and could post it on the front page?


Here's the machine rhetoric. If they post the schedule, the stores will have an opportunity to cut the hours and blah blah blah.

That's just too funny because the pattern has been hitting a store a week at a time, gives the employer all the time they need to chop the hours.

Don't give me the spiel about once the hrs are posted thing either and if it's changed it can be grieved. The machine has never been able to catch that one in the past why would it cahnge now? Give me a break.

Good on the employer they out done a movement. Oh wait, there was no movement.

  • posted by T S
  • Sun, Sep 1, 2002 1:18pm

Well then lets try this Suite 800. 360 West Georgia Street Vancouver THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5TH The BCLRB. We would appreciate any and all help leafletting and In general demonstrations of support To help put a human face o this to the LRB adjudicators. What do You all think? they cant reschedule peoples hours for that! Any more we ( I ) can find out I will Post here

  • posted by <Billy Bob Boxmover>
  • Tue, Sep 3, 2002 11:55pm

Stay tuned for the RAh Rah announcements to be made at tomorrows union meeting. The union has dastroyed any faith the members had in them and they are to blame for guys giving up on leafletting. Now with only a couple of weeks to go they want to get the membership "united". Man this just keeps on getting better and better.

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Wed, Sep 4, 2002 12:05am

Billy Bob B- That's awfully cynical. You must understand that news stays in the news for a brief time only. So many tragedies and so little time. "We have a small window of opportunity and its timing must be strategically calculated for maximum effect." Brooke and the dough boys have known all along what they were doing and that's why we pay them the big money. They just felt we were too stupid to understand so they left us in the dark. Have faith!!!

  • posted by T S
  • Wed, Sep 4, 2002 7:47am

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha ohh thats the best joke i have heard in a while

  • posted by Troll
  • Wed, Sep 4, 2002 4:31pm

Tell me something. I understand that Loman Warehousing is but one of two or three companies owned by Smith. Why isn't the union going after Crawford Storage or one of the other Smith Group?

If they are interrelated enough to loan each other money aren't they ripe for a common employer action?

  • posted by <Loman Life>
  • Thu, Sep 5, 2002 12:02am

That article about the Smith Group from the tax court is an interesting read. At paragraph 15 it looks like Loman lent Crawford over $2.3 million and Crawford did not pay it back. Did it ever get paid back and if not where is $2.3 million now? Was it all used on shutting down Johnston Terminal?

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Fri, Sep 6, 2002 1:10pm

Great rally at OFG head office yesterday, too bad it never made the news, I wonder why? I guess Jimmy is flexing his muscles again with the media.

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Fri, Sep 6, 2002 1:13pm

Anybody have any info on how the LRB hearings are going?

  • posted by <Jimbo>
  • Fri, Sep 6, 2002 2:24pm

I heard News of the Rally on CKNW news 3 times yesterday..They even had a sound byte from Andy Neufield.
Way to go Andy!!!

Have no idea about the LRB hearings.They're not over untill next week.

  • posted by eagle_one
  • Fri, Sep 6, 2002 2:55pm

what did andy have to say? "pass the mustard?"

  • posted by ufcwwife
  • Fri, Sep 6, 2002 9:10pm

heard that the warehouse boys held up well under heavy grilling by Jimmy's $500 p/h lawyers at the LRB hearings.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Sat, Sep 7, 2002 12:24am

You are a warehouse worker the last 30 years and then you are called upon to provide important evidence in a hearing that has some serious consequences for you and over 200 other guys you know very well. There is a lot on the line and you know it.

You are in a very formal setting with an air of seriousness and authority. The documents are stacked high in very nice binders, hundreds and hundreds of pages,all neatly tabbed.There are about 60 people in the room most of whom are strangers. There are a lot of "suits" in the room. The corporate lawyers tell the odd joke to each other with the appropriate smug grins just to show everyone how confident and relaxed they are in this setting. You, on the other hand, have not slept all that well just thinking about all of this. There are more than a few butterflies floating around in your stomach.

Then you are called to the stand. The grin is gone from the corporate lawyer's face as he fixes his gaze on you and begins a grilling that will last for hours. He is openly not your friend and is clearly trying to trip you up as best he can. He will ask you the same question 3 times in 3 different ways over the course of his questioning in the hopes that there will be some discrepancy. This will allow him to question your expertise in the matter, your truthfulness and therefore taint your testimony.He has had his junior lawyers go over every page of that mountain of documents and look for places this might occur. "Please go to tab 175 and tell me what that paragraph means". You are under the spotlight and everyone is watching.

This is what the members from the warehouse went through and the corporate suits got something of a surprise.(Hey, I thought these were just union bonehead boxmovers)

These guys were not intimidated. They were knowledgeable and well spoken. They had a great deal of detail. They knew what they were talking about. Their testimony was not torn apart. In fact there were some embarrassing moments for the high priced corporate suits.The truth has a nasty way of empowering people.

We all owe them thanks and appreciation for going through this ordeal and coming out with heads held high. Next week its our turn.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sat, Sep 7, 2002 10:19am

who were these corporate suits and what corporation were they representing? names please I'm curious what law firm OFG used [it was OFG right? or was it lomans?]

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Sat, Sep 7, 2002 11:14am

Scott- The law firm was Harris & Company with Eric J Harris playing the man for Overwaitea Food Group. Shona Moore of Shortt,Moore, and Arsenault represented UFCW.

  • posted by <Billy Bob Boxmover>
  • Sun, Sep 8, 2002 11:29am

Thats great that the guys stood their ground. But it still might not be enough to get over Jimmys conections. I saw the thing about Gordon Cambell on the back of Jimmys boat. Then Gordo appoints a new head of the LRB. Then the head of the LRB does what he only he can do. I can hardly wait to see if the LRB is about payoff for Jimmy or the law. If this is where Jimmy gets his payoff from Cambell what can we do about it anyways?

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sun, Sep 8, 2002 3:09pm

Here's the thing, if the UFCW wanted to play hard ball to save this warehouse they couldn't made it very clear to OFG that any "questionable" decisions made by the LRB would be appealed in the courts immediately and the full wieght of their legal department [of which I know a little something about] would be brought to bare. Has that message been sent? and if not why? or does the UFCW only head to court to sue it's own members?

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Sun, Sep 8, 2002 4:27pm

We can't get a straight answer to the Supreme Court avenue ourselves. Ivan was asked if UFCW would take our Common Employer arguement to the Supreme Court if needed. He answered that "It would depend on the legal advice we recieve from UFCW legal staff."

If the MOU"I" and the overtime issues are any indication, this means that Ivan will tell them what advice to offer him, and then hide behind it as if he had no input.

The issue of if the Common Employer "would" be taken to the Supreme Court has been recently been overshadowed by the question of if it "could"
be. One of the members asked, in writing, if it was not true that the LRB has total and final jurisdiction over labour issues- that essentially the Common Employer issue does not fall within the jurisdicion of the Supreme Court.

The chief Shop Steward forwarded this question to Don Bobert of the UFCW legal staff. Bobert's answer was vague and left just as much confusion as before. The member then reproduced the appropriate code and handed it out at the workplace at his own expense. As best as I can understand the issue does not fall within the Supreme Court's jurisdiction unless there is a "mistake in law"(whatever that is) by the arbitrator. Anyone have anything to add to this question of jurisdiction? What exactly constitutes a mistake in law?

  • posted by T S
  • Sun, Sep 8, 2002 6:11pm

" What exactly constitutes a mistake in law?"

BY not following past precedence In the decision making process. or Mis interpretting the letter, or the spirit of, said law are a just couple ways to make a mistake in law. In other words about as many ways as there are to make mistakes in life. thats why there are so many appeals.Its a real can of worms! thats why, lawyers charge the big bucks, and so do arbiters for their pay offs, they have to try and cleverly hide how and why they are making the wrong decison.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sun, Sep 8, 2002 7:45pm

quote:


lawyers charge the big bucks, and so do arbiters for their pay offs, they have to try and cleverly hide how and why they are making the wrong decison.


well said...this deal is either already done or will be done long before any LRB arbiter writes some official decision on it. At least that's my humble opinion. but then what do I know?

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Mon, Sep 9, 2002 12:42pm

The exact response from the union lawyer, Don Bobert, is as follows:

"The BC Supreme Court only has the jurisdiction to deal with a common employer issue if it comes to the Court on judicial review from a decision of the LRB. For example, we could apply for reconsideration by another panel of the LRB of today's LRB decision. If the second LRB panel denies our application for reconsideration, then we could apply to the Supreme Court for judicial review of the reconsideration decision."

  • posted by Bernardus
  • Tue, Sep 10, 2002 9:21pm

[QUOTE] As best as I can understand the issue does not fall within the Supreme Court's jurisdiction unless there is a "mistake in law"(whatever that is) by the arbitrator. Anyone have anything to add to this question of jurisdiction? What exactly constitutes a mistake in law?[/QB]

The Labour Board has a privative clause. (s. 138 - "A decision or order of the board under this Code, a collective agreement or the regulations on a matter in respect of which the board has jurisdiction is final and conclusive and is not open to question or review in a court on any grounds")

This means that the court will only look at an appeal of a Board decision if the decision is patently unreasonable or there was an error of law. Patently unreasonable is when a decision is clearly irrational. However, the Board is entitled to be wrong. The Board can abdicate jurisdiction if it commits an error of law. An error of law is for instance when the Board fails to deal with an argument -or- if it considers evidence that was not part of the proceeding -or- if the Board was bias or in a position of reasonable apprehension of bias.
Hope this helps.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Wed, Sep 11, 2002 1:19am

Guess who is up at the LRB tomorrow? Yes its old tomato-face Peter. Observers should be treated to a broad spectrum facial colour as this chameleon strives to hide his true colour.

Can't wait to hear how that one goes.

mod edit: An invitation to trouble that was.

  • posted by T S
  • Wed, Sep 11, 2002 2:10pm

Well, when Ivan himself says we probbly lost the LRB case. I tend to think he is right because everything he has said would win, has Lost. I was searching the lrb site over common employer and the Only one I could find with ERIC HARRIS as councel , he lost, Is this man really the shark of sharks , Ivan tries to make himout to be? Its all over tommorrow, but the crying. Hopefully its OFG crying but I am not holding my breathe on that

  • posted by <Don Peterson>
  • Wed, Sep 11, 2002 3:46pm

After seeing Ivans lack of support for the Lomans guys first hand at the GMM last night.
And Brooke....
Godamn coward...didn't even have the balls to show up and face thses guys, I'm afraid there is only one theing to say.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Sep 11, 2002 5:26pm

quote:


posted by Loman Life:
You are a warehouse worker the last 30 years and then you are called upon to provide important evidence in a hearing that has some serious consequences for you and over 200 other guys you know very well. There is a lot on the line and you know it.

You are in a very formal setting with an air of seriousness and authority. The documents are stacked high in very nice binders, hundreds and hundreds of pages,all neatly tabbed.There are about 60 people in the room most of whom are strangers. There are a lot of "suits" in the room. The corporate lawyers tell the odd joke to each other with the appropriate smug grins just to show everyone how confident and relaxed they are in this setting. You, on the other hand, have not slept all that well just thinking about all of this. There are more than a few butterflies floating around in your stomach.

Then you are called to the stand. The grin is gone from the corporate lawyer's face as he fixes his gaze on you and begins a grilling that will last for hours. He is openly not your friend and is clearly trying to trip you up as best he can. He will ask you the same question 3 times in 3 different ways over the course of his questioning in the hopes that there will be some discrepancy. This will allow him to question your expertise in the matter, your truthfulness and therefore taint your testimony.He has had his junior lawyers go over every page of that mountain of documents and look for places this might occur. "Please go to tab 175 and tell me what that paragraph means". You are under the spotlight and everyone is watching.

This is what the members from the warehouse went through and the corporate suits got something of a surprise.(Hey, I thought these were just union bonehead boxmovers)

These guys were not intimidated. They were knowledgeable and well spoken. They had a great deal of detail. They knew what they were talking about. Their testimony was not torn apart. In fact there were some embarrassing moments for the high priced corporate suits.The truth has a nasty way of empowering people.

We all owe them thanks and appreciation for going through this ordeal and coming out with heads held high. Next week its our turn.


LL: This is a wonderful recounting of a moment that most workers don't ever get to say much about. I liked it so much I reproduced the whole thing! Even though the LRB processes result in life or death (or at least 'life or poverty') decisions that have enormous impact on their lives, few ever get to participate and when they do their participation is limited to answering very carefully framed questions. Most people who go through the experience can't wait to put it behind them. I've never heard anyone write about what it was like to be there and describe the characters the way that you have. This is great. It provides a window into these proceedings and a perspective that goes beyond the legalities. Talking about it this way is a way of bringing people into the process who have never been there or maybe are going there and are very unsure of themselves. Write some more about the experience if the urge hits you.

The process is intended to make workers feel small and insignficant. It's pretty clear that the people who testified on the day that you're describing held their heads high and didn't let the suits get the better of them. They certainly do deserve to be commended.

  • posted by T S
  • Thu, Sep 12, 2002 12:52am

It may really feel Like Us loman boys are screwed On the common employer issue. But the more I dig the more it smells. Macdonalds consolidated (safeway) followed OFG's lead On contracting out of their warehouse. seems the RWU has really sold these guys out and with added provisons NOT In the Loman fiasco for example "
"The Agreement expressly superceded the Award and
provided that all rights and claims arising out of the Award were
extinguished and replaced by the terms of the Agreement. The
Agreement was expressly stated to settle all matters, claims,
grievances or issues arising out of the transfer of the Distribution
Centre. As part of the Agreement, the Union expressly stipulated
that Summit and Safeway were not a common employer."
AND

In reaching the conclusions it did in BCLRB No. B424/99, the Board stated the
following:
In any event, the Complainant on the face of his
submissions, has not made out a prima facie violation of Section 12
with respect to whether a sale occurred; a fact which he himself
acknowledges. The Union took steps to satisfy itself a sale had
occurred, including having the sale documents reviewed by the
Union's lawyer. The Union concluded there was a valid sale and in
light of that conclusion, took a number of reasonable steps to
protect the interests of its members. The Agreement was ultimately
reached by the Union's bargaining committee and ratified by the
membership. (para. 72)
29 In addition, given that the Union had taken reasonable steps to satisfy itself that
Safeway was not the true employer, and having entered into the Agreement in 1997
which expressly provided that Safeway and Summit were not common employers,
My question Or thoughts really are safeway sure covered their ass. seems OFG has left theirs hanging out. Its just does the UFCW have the guts to kick it Or are they too near sighted to hit it

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Thu, Sep 12, 2002 1:27pm

See also BCLRB No.B39/97 in which Seaboard Advertising(Jimmy) may have provided the impetus for and background ruling needed to shake the Loman workers and their union.

As Eric Harris(legal counsel for OFG) wrote in his submission to the LRB, dated Nov.30,2001 at point 86: "In Seaboard Advertising, the Board dismissed applications similar to the UFCW's applications in virtually the same context as the present case."

Acme lawyer? Maybe. What seems apparent is this. Eric Harris had Terry Taylor and a legal secratary helping him. Shona was by herself yesterday.She had a mountain of information to digest and organize and it was clear this was more than one person could or should have to deal with.

Perhaps more important is that he who pays the piper calls the tune. As was apparent with the overtime issue and the lack of a legal assessment on the merits of the MOU"I", legal departments do as they are asked by those who pay them.

As was clear at the GMM, Ivan's refusal to commit to any real action leaves a lot of room for speculation as to if this is a done deal.

  • posted by T S
  • Thu, Sep 12, 2002 3:00pm

"See also BCLRB No.B39/97 in which Seaboard Advertising(Jimmy) may
have provided the impetus for and background ruling needed to shake
the Loman workers and their union.

As Eric Harris(legal counsel for OFG) wrote in his submission to the LRB,
dated Nov.30,2001 at point 86: "In Seaboard Advertising, the Board
dismissed applications similar to the UFCW's applications in virtually the
same context as the present case."

hey LL could ya post that here for a read or a link to a site that would have it? lrb.bc only hold files online back to 2000 thats a 97 decision. I would like to see how similar my self. My point was just that safeway went above and beyond, to have it in writing that they were not Summit's true or common employer and this was a deal reached in 97. as Has been pointed out Mr Sugden Of EV, was the man at summit also. Just seems weird that safeway would go to such lengths to cover their butts over Common employer if b39/97 was enough . And can You Imagine trying to get the loman boys to sign a deal denying common employer. That would be an IMPOSSIBLE sell . was probly a hard sell there too, what was givin Offereed to the members? they got a 5 yr deal endin mar 2003 And kept Most of the pre summit benefits. But in mar 2003 they are gonna get offered Ev's contract way to go RWU!

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Fri, Sep 13, 2002 1:31am

TS- It's frustrating that the LRB, very much the working man's court, seems unable to provide this information free of charge. It is one more indication that the "system" is not really meant for you and I but for the talking heads who feed on this system and can afford to pay.

Regarding Safeway and Summit, use the search function for Joseph Bogdavich or Summit. Seems Summit had a worker who tried to use the system even though his union didn't like it much. How much time and effort this man put into getting some justice is hard to say-it must have been immense. Like Loman he was up against his employer and his union.He didn't get very far. I would love to hear his story. Some of the ruling #'s: B18/2000, B183/2000, B232/2000, B78/2001, B82/2001, B256/2001

Wish I could provide a link for the Seaboard ruling but it's pay or no can see. Some of the relevant points:
On Jan. 21,1994, Seaboard entered into an agreement with Kiewit whereby Seaboard purported to sell to Kiewit the sign maintenance portion of its business.
Following the original decision(successorship ruling),the Painters sought to negotiate a new collective agreement with Kiewit. During the course of those negotiations, Kiewit made an offer which was subsequently withdrawn on the grounds that the wage rates were unacceptable to Seaboard.In early 1995, Kiewit advised the Painters that it was having difficulty re-negotiating its "service contract" with Seaboard. The Painters became increasingly concerned as to the identity of the true employer of the employees. On September 14, 1995 Seaboard announced that it had established a "strategic partnership" with Coast(Coast Outdoor Advertising Ltd.) for its sign maintenance business on Vancouver Isaland. This work has previously been performed by an employee within the Painters' bargaining unit and who had worked for Kiewit in the previous year.

Under Arguement and Analysis comes this:
With reasonable diligence, the Painters could have anticipated the consequence of the original successorship application from the facts of the case and the analysis of the panel.
That the wage rates paid by Kiewit should be of concern to Seaboard(given the existance of a "cost plus" contract for the sign maintenance work) is not particularly surprising. It is far from sufficient to establish a prima facie case of common control or direction. This was a foreseeable result at the time the Painters applied for successorship.

The Painters were not successful in any of their applications and Jimmy got to offload another group of what used to be his employees.

You can tell St. Peter all about it Jimmy but you'll have to do it without your lawyers.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Fri, Sep 13, 2002 11:57am

Regarding the LRB hearings I have a few more comments. A few things occur to me as I watch the proceedings. Everyone there is making a good deal more money than those whose fate they will decide. Nor is it their livilihood that will affected in any way. There is the LRB "chairman" who will ultimately write the ruling on this matter. There are the lawyers and their assistants hovering over mountains of documents. There are the corporate suits who seem free to spin their story in the current doublespeak that has grown up around the
"contracting out" or "third party logistics" craze. There are the union representatives who are also making considerably more than the workers and most of them do not have their jobs on the line either.

There is much interest in the case from the "other" union. The Retail Wholesale Union has sent 4 representatives for one simple reason: they have signed a deal that allows OFG to cancel at any time. IF the UFCW is successful in this application they will get the boot from the EV facility.Such is the race to the bottom, union versus union mentality that has resulted in a series of concessionary collective agreements. The UFCW 777 agreement seems to be the starting point for the race and it remains to be seen how low unions are prepared to go to win the next herd of dues paying cattle. Certainly the RWU EV collective agreement establishes a new base level.

Of the over 200 eye witnesses to the shell game known as Loman Warehousing only a handful of workers will be asked to testify and only on a small select group of topics. At no time are they free to openly descibe what they have seen. This would be "heresay evidence" and as such, inadmissible. Now you begin to see the value and purpose of a paper-trail and the obviousness of why the average worker is kept from contributing to it. There are really only two versions of the events: the union version and the corporate version. Despite the air of seriousness and the mountain of documents that are to "tell the story", I do not hear it being told. This is very much a legal proceeding and it would be naive to think it might be otherwise. But to the extent that workers have little knowledge of its workings and hence how to engage in it and use it for their betterment, it becomes a system they are largely excluded from. We are searching and sifting through a paper trail after the events, not for the truth, but for some legal holes that may or may not make a case.

Perhaps most striking is the fact that the lives of over 200 workers and their families will be greatly affected and decided in only four days of hearings. Such is the "system" and I get the feeling that for the majority of people in the room it is just another days work. It will soon be forgotten as the next case fills their days and pockets.

  • posted by T S
  • Fri, Sep 13, 2002 3:00pm

There is much interest in the case from the "other" union. The Retail
Wholesale Union has sent 4 representatives for one simple reason:
they have signed a deal that allows OFG to cancel at any time.

Says it all right there. Who was with shona? were any UFCW reps there or are they too busy dodging GMM meetings. Is the reason they (RWU) were there, only that they have a deal that allows OFG to cancel, or does the factor of, we gotta try and sell this EV contract to the summit boys in 6 months if this flys entering their minds. Either way the RWU has opened a can o crap and are trying to get away from the fan.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 12:35am

One other interesting detail came out. Much has been made of Brent Sugden's connections to OFG over the years through Axis, OFG itself and now EV. Guess who else was an Axis employee? Peter Schmitz, the Loman liquidator. Another coincidence? They just keep piling up.

As I have said, Shona seemed to have too much on her plate. But at the same time I was impressed by her ability to digest it and string it into a line of questioning in short order. She was very sharp through most of the day. I was also impressed with Mullaly. As far as I could tell he was a total pro in every way.

At work there was some talk that Eric Harris had destroyed our case but then I found out that the grapevine had neglected to point out that Shona had not yet given her closing statements. That Eric Harris gave a long and studious summation that "appeared" to destroy our case is not surprising.This is what any lawyer is supposed to do at this point. They butter up what they feel has made their case.

The ruling is now a few weeks away and we can only hope that all has been considered fairly and we are not looking for another long waiting period as it grinds through the Supreme Court.

  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 11:54am

Well, we have Shona Moore the UFCW Lawyer arguing for Local 1518. And you have Greg Mulally sitting as Vice-Chair. Mulally does have an understanding of the grocery industry because he was UFCW Local 777's lawyer for many years.

  • posted by <Harvey Rottweiler>
  • Sat, Sep 14, 2002 9:45pm

And we have Ivan saying that he thinks the lrb will not give us a good ruling and we will have to go to the supreme court. After all the crap we have seen for all these years that pop tart can't get a good case together?

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 12:13am

As an example of the twisted rhetoric that was pawned off as factual statement at the LRB last week. Get this gem from the "will say statement" of Brent Louth, Vice President of Operations for OFG.

"The document at Tab 135 of the UFCW's book of documents outlines Overwaitea's plans to re-design delivery routes in order to reduce store recieving costs. In order to do this, Overwaitea had to take both Loman's operational requirements and retail stores' operational requirements into account. Overwaitea did not dictate requirements to Loman, rather it asked Loman what its requirements were. As a result of the input from Loman and the subsequent changes in delivery routes, Loman altered its staffing schedule in order to provide the agreed upon services to Overwaitea."

If you work at Loman you have to laugh your ass off at that one lest you start crying. The "altered staffing schedule" meant that day shift would go from a 7 am start to 8 am. The amount of operational deficiencies this created were staggering. There was a one hour overlap of the day shift with the afternoon shift and this was mostly wasted time. OFG had to know exactly what the result would be and so did tomato face Schmitz. Then there were the download times that kept pickers idle waiting for orders to pick, loaders waiting for loads to load, and forklifts with no pickers to service.The assistant shipper could see via the computer system that they were complete but OFG refused to release them to us for printing.

Tomorrow the downloads are scheduled to start at 7:00 am, something we have been asking for for years. Why now? Because EV needs it to help with their operational requirements; they just can't get the work done and they need the extra time.

Such is the system that allows this kind of crap to take on an air of authority and truthfulness by a corporation that doesn't seem to know distribution from a hole in the ground. And they have their Axis boy Schmitz in their pretending to be a manager.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 11:15am

quote:


posted by <Harvey Rottweiler>:
And we have Ivan saying that he thinks the lrb will not give us a good ruling and we will have to go to the supreme court. After all the crap we have seen for all these years that pop tart can't get a good case together?


The LRB is part of a system that isn't geared to give people who work for a living a "good ruling."

The LRB is there to make sure that the law controls workers if their union isn't up to the job.

The LRB is there to make sure the employer is able to carry on business unimpeded.

The LRB is there to make sure that the union's "corporate activities" are impeded by employers who are too small to care about or who are too new to the game to understand the rules.

OFG isn't trying to avoid a union, so the system won't and can't do anything about what's happening.

In the eyes of the LRB, the "corporate" damage to the union is minimal and the employers aren't complaining, so the LRB doesn't give a hoot.

The LRB is not meant to protect people who work for a living. It is a court to settle differences between union bosses and company bosses (sometimes you need a program to figure out which is which).

There was a story in the Vancouver Sun the other day. Two hundred fifty non-union, immigrant women walked out of a greenhouse operation because of brutal treatment by a supervisor.

They marched out and sat on the road. They demanded that the supervisior be fired. The greenhouse operator fired the supervisor and told the women they could all come back to work, but the two women whom the operator labelled as ringleaders were told they were no longer welcome to return.

The 250 women refused to come back under those conditions. The contractor who rented the women to the greenhouse operator was besides himself. He said he hoped that a settlement could be reached soon.

By publishing time, a resolution still hadn't been reached, so I don't know how it all ended.

However, what's important here is that if they were with a union, the LRB would have ordered them back to work without any stipulations. It would have been an "illegal" strike. Because they were non-union the LRB didn't apply. The employers didn't know what the hell to do without the LRB to help them.

Now, I'm definitely not saying that they are better off without a union. Hell, they are a union. They are solidarity in action. What I'm saying is that by becoming "certified" then you become part of a system that is instrumental in oppressing workers.

They system is not freedom.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 8:31pm

Apparently there is a lack of trust happening at the warehouse. The management gave the Sunday afternoon shift the night off with pay because there was no supervisor available to cover the shift.

I didn't know we had supervisors. That must be those guys in the office pumping out the paper. Loman management- look for them at a business shutting down near you.

  • posted by <Harvey Rottweiler>
  • Sun, Sep 15, 2002 9:34pm

Loman is the last company that Buddy has left out of the Crawford Group. Does it get any plainer than that? I bet they can hardly wait to shut er down, take every nickel the courts don't make them give the Loman workers and head for the clubhouse.

  • posted by T S
  • Mon, Sep 16, 2002 3:45pm

HOW ABOUT REPOSTING THE AUDIO.

Is it important that a couple of people felt Uncomfortable? SO WHAT! I say repost it . BY caving to the few whiners You are denying the many who have come to listen to the audios rights to hear it. I had 3 members come to my house VERY intrested to hear the meeting and were very disappointed when it was not here. Is this site being Muzzled By UFCW? or has somehow a blind dogma followers objections over ruled the rights of the mass's . AS near as I can see their is nothing in the Constitution or union rules against what was done. yet for some wishy washy reason something that really annoyed the Upper echelon of ufcw has been removed. Is it because it made them look "Bad". If there is something that really annoys me, its when someone else feels they know whats better for everyone else, with out asking if thats what the people or members want. Kinda Ala gordon campbell, the old you gave me a mandate so now every wacky idea that floats thru my noggin Must be golden. I am Infallible And Know better about everything than you Possibley could. Put it to a referendum I say repost the audio AND make it easier to find

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Wed, Sep 18, 2002 1:07am

We're down to less than 400,000 cases now. It's mother hubbards cupboard in there. Most guys have less than 10 shifts left to go. There are still far more questions than answers and no meeting scheduled.

This is the only labour dispute I have ever heard of where the strategy is to wait until its over and then start fighting.

The good news? EV can't handle half the stores and they're losing staff faster than the Taliban. In fact there is not one positive report yet about any aspect of this operation. Congratulations OFG. Your distribution is a joke, most of your employees hate your guts, a good many of them are outside your stores educating the consumer, the ads and newspaper articles are getting more common and will continue to increase and you've spent well over $100 million getting there. What is you guys do in that pink palace? Does Jimmy know how bad this is or what it's cost him???

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Wed, Sep 18, 2002 6:42am

Why don't you consider getting together with the guys from EV and raising a stink collectively? They're being screwed just like you are only in a different way: You're losing what were decently-paid secure jobs because of corporate greed, they're being consigned to crappy low-paid casualized jobs by the same corporate greed. In both cases, your unions have had a role to play in the mess.

If people are leaving in droves, working conditions must leave a lot to be desired. If EV is having a staffing crunch, maybe now is the time to demand that they hire the dispossessed workers from Lomans? The UFCW can continue to fight on your behalf at the LRB and leaflet OFG stores, while you earn some money and bring your activist culture to a place that could use it. If your jobs at Lomans are reinstated, that's great. If they aren't, you can bargain yourselves the best deal you can at EV.

Just brainstorming.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Wed, Sep 18, 2002 1:23pm

Getting together with the EV guys is a good idea. We would have much to talk about. But we are merely the workers in a system that clearly puts the union reps in the drivers seat. They have been essentially fighting it out at the LRB to see who will represent the EV workplace. The common employer ruling that we are now waiting for will decide. We believe the work belongs to us for reasons that are obvious to us.

The RWU collective agreement provides for OFG to cancel it at any time and there is additional language that allows the 35% who have something worth keeping to go back to their jobs at Baker and the Valley plants without loss of seniority. Therefore the displaced are the bottom 65% who have the $10/hr no benefits, no future jobs, ie those hired after 1999.

One simple fact remains: either they do the work that we have performed for the last 30 years or we will continue on with it. This may appear to place us in conflict but you are right that we have some common ground: the actions of our respective unions have placed us in this situation and we should, as concerned unionists, be discussing what may be done to address this.

Maybe a tail-gate meeting outside EV or a meeting at a local restaurant or pub for those interested?

  • posted by <Billy Bob Boxmover>
  • Thu, Sep 19, 2002 12:52am

I would like to hear from some of the retail people as to what changes they have seen at the store as the closure date draws near.

  • posted by <Mike H>
  • Thu, Sep 19, 2002 1:31am

My name is Mike H...I work at Lomans...I'd like to vote on the Gmm audio feed, but I don't seem to be able to unless I'm registered.
Takes to long...too much info needed.

I say post it.
Ivan Lied.
He shouldn't do that.
The audio feed proves it.
it's like instant replay at the football games. The refs don't like it cuz it shows they may be wrong.
But if they are wrong, at least the right thing can be done.
You lied to us Ivan.
It's not arguable.
You lied.
Thats wrong.
Don't treat us like that.
Make it right.
Tell us what is going on.
You PROMISED you would ask Brooke to come to our warehouse and talk to us.
I have 3 shifts left.
I havent heard anything about Brooke meeting with us?
Did you ask him?
What did he say?
The UFCW E-Board said they supported us.
I asked them to formally request Brooke to meet with us.
Ivan, you told me that wasn't necisary, you would talk to Brooke yourself. I said it would be better if the E-Board requested his presence at the warehouse.
You told me that wasn't necisary.
You would ask him personally.
Ivan, I have 3 shifts left. When is Brooke coming?
I have not seen him at the warehouse in 10 years.
What about...
EI Benefits?
We were told they would meet with us..
I have 3 shifts left...
no word from EI.
What about savings bonds?
What about banked time?
what about severence?
what about RRSP?
What about Job search Help?
Resumes?
Life insurance?
Are we members in good standing after Sept 28?
Will you dump us?
No disrespect intended.
What is our status?
Can we have that in writing?
I am FUCKING worried.
I don't have a $125,000 salary to fall back on.
Can you help us???
Please don't dissrespect me.
Help me.
Help all of us.
We are worried and you seem to be hiding.
Come to our warehouse and give us some suport.
You promised.

  • posted by sleK
  • Thu, Sep 19, 2002 2:01am

quote:


Takes to long...too much info needed.


Too much info needed?

A user name and an email address is all that is required. The rest is optional.

  • posted by <Mike H,>
  • Thu, Sep 19, 2002 2:03am

OK...sorry...I saw all those open fields and became intimidated. I'll try again.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Thu, Sep 19, 2002 3:58am

Mike...[sigh] try not to worry too much k. I know from experience how hard it is to start over. I thought I dogged a bullet getting hired at IGA but I got fired over a stupid shirt. I went to Mexico for a week and came back and got a job as a store manager. Again...it didn't work out. Finally I had to swallow my pride and take a job at buy-low for $10 an hrs. until I got hired at Thrifty Foods.

It's a trying time for sure but it's just a job. It might take a while but you'll be fine. We got a new store opening in coquitlam next summer, apply for the shipper/reciever position. Your eI should take you that far. If you need help with a resume send me some info and I'll wip one up for you. Or if you want I'll e-mail you mine and you can use it as a guide line for your own.

Brooke Sundin is a Coward. I don't think anyone can dispute that. He's been busy dancing and now he expects you to pay the band. Now way he want's to face you and explain why he ran out and left you to pick up the tab. It's outright wrong. Is that leadership? of course not. But that's Brooke. He doesn't have any answers and you guys won't believe his excuse's so "he's got nothing to say to you". I'm sorry brother, this never should have happend.

  • posted by Loman Life
  • Thu, Sep 19, 2002 11:43am

Ivan also promised that an invitational letter to retail regarding leafleting would be coming out this week. So far NADA. As a result I have to wonder if Brooke's letter to the BC Fed, stating that retail had been invited, was nothing more than a lie.

Ivan also promised that more information on the pension would be made available to the members. How do I get my pension money out and what is the penalty? What is the current value? So far NADA.

For those that heard the audio or were there, you heard Ivan admit (or try to hide ) the fact that the love-in at Harrison cost over $600,000. He then goes on to deny forwarding any kind of a float to the Loman warehouse for expenses related to our battle. This echoes his inference that the members are too stupid to handle their own pension money and would simply blow it on the stock market.

Ivan, your paternalistic condescension simply disgusts me. Get off your fat ass and make good on what few promises the members were able to get from you.

Maybe Scott is right. Maybe we need to burn down the UFCW house and rebuild from the ashes. What would that look like Scott? Where does one start?

  • posted by T S
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 8:56am

Well it arrived today. after 19 years with Loman OFG I got My severance check today. It was for 0.o1 $. 1 FRAGGIN CENT.They kept all of it and added a bill for 2000$. As well as keeping all of my last weeks pay. This is supposedly illegal or so my union tells me.They have supposedly filed a grievance and a class action suit on my behalf or so I am told! Oh that makes me warm a fuzzy inside. since I cant get EI benefits because I got a severance package. I guess thats ALL that will make me feel warm in fuzzy inside. Since I cant BUY FOOD or pay a mortgage! I will be on the streets in 3- 4 months thats 4- 8 weeks before I will receive an EI check after my 22 week waiting period .Or after 19 years of working I can Jump at any job that pays to stay afloat, the beautiful 8-10 $ ones. wich pay 100$ a week less than I would make on EI But now I get to work for the money and pay expenses to get to It. While still trying to search for a job wich a person can actually make a living wage at. BECAUSE AFTER 19 years of paying dues my UNION cant even get me My severance!

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 9:18am

TS, you need to tell the people at the EI office exactly what you're severance check amounted to. I believe that it's the actual amount that you receive that they use to base their decision on the disqualification period. What's happening with your grievance and what's with this class action suit? Are other workers being deprived of their severance pay the way you've been as well?

  • posted by T S
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 10:03am

I am told I am one of about 40 whose severance has been kept by the company. Each person to a varying degree and amount . Some lost all, others a few thousand, to some a few hundred dollars. And I can only go on what the Ei person told Me.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 1:38pm

What did they put on your ROE? Did they put the severance that they owed you or the amount that they actually paid you?

  • posted by T S
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 3:47pm

I dont know. THEY WONT GIVE ME an ROE. I have had to go thru Ei to get them to get me my ROE. what a freaking gong show

  • posted by <rebelwithoutapause>
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 3:58pm

Your union is should be going to the media with this. This is disgraceful. First they throw you guys out of work, then they take your severance pay and now they won't even let you get unemployment insurance. That's corporate greed at its worst. Brooke and Ivan should be calling up the local press and issuing news releases. So should ufcw Canada.

  • posted by weiser
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 4:13pm

quote:


"The labor movement and its national leaders are ready to confront the foreign owners of Shaw's to protect the American right to have a voice at work," [United Food and Commercial Workers President Doug] Dority said.

"And we're ready to go to jail for the rights of workers. The right to a voice at work is the 21st century civil rights movement. We will take whatever action is necessary to protect workplace rights," he added. [AFL-CIO President John J.] Sweeney told Shaw's workers that they cannot be silenced by the company's "devious and underhanded action."


Would Dougie be willing to come to Canada to go to jail? Might he be willing to have Mikey fly out to BC, so he can go to jail? Might Brookie insist that he be put in jail?

Well, is Dority just a bag of wind, or is he and his pals willing to walk the walk?

C'mon Dougie, Take whatever action is necessary to protect workplace rights! Go to jail for the rights of Canadian workers!

  • posted by <rebelwithoutapause>
  • Thu, Oct 17, 2002 4:18pm

All this talk of going to jail is just a cheap publicity stunt. If Dougie ever had to do some serious time he'd crap his pants at the very thought. Better be a good boy Dougie.

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