Page 1 of 1

Company Stealing Grats, Union Doing Nothing

Posted: Sat Sep 05, 2015 11:11 pm
by LabourIntensive
I work in a restaurant that does both in-house and offsite catering. My collective agreement clearly states the procedure for distributing the associate's share of all tips and service charges (there is a 15% service charge applied to all functions).

When there is an in-house event, grats are distributed as per the agreement. When the event is offsite, the service charge (sometimes totalling in the thousands of dollars) is pocketed in full by the company. We have been trying to get this fixed since Dec 2014. It took months just to get our union to file an official grievance, and now mgmt is running circles around the union, who can't even get a meeting with them. We have gone way, way beyond the max timelines set down in our collective agreement.

Each side says the other is to blame, and neither looks trustworthy. The company says they can't change their procedure because the union has to force them to do it, and the union continually wants us (the employees) to do all the legwork, taking our concerns directly to mgmt, which does nothing because the union has exclusive bargaining rights and mgmt knows this.

Am I crazy or is the purpose of the union to provide a buffer between us and mgmt so that we don't have to try to pursue grievances ourselves, sitting eye-to-eye with the people who sign our paychecks and telling them to live up to their end of our collective agreement? Does anyone have any advice for us?

Oh, and although there are about 150 employees in my bargaining unit, we have no designated union representative.

Thoughts or suggestions would be very welcome!

Re: Company Stealing Grats, Union Doing Nothing

Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:50 am
by NC
Am I crazy or is the purpose of the union to provide a buffer between us and mgmt so that we don't have to try to pursue grievances ourselves, sitting eye-to-eye with the people who sign our paychecks and telling them to live up to their end of our collective agreement? Does anyone have any advice for us?
Yeah... the truth of the matter, which you are now learning, is that the "contract" relationship is between your union and your employer. Most people don't realize that "unionization" means you are stepping away from what rights you did have with your employer. You give all those rights to the union. The reason most people don't know this is that the unions sell members on the idea that they are getting you a contract with your employer... that's not true, the union get's that contract you get a contract with the union...

Okay, so a solution... we need more information than you can give us out here in front of God and everybody.

I am going to stop here and see if you reply to this post. If you want to engage and get started trying to fix this. I will send you an email... John Doe can see your actual email address but the rest of us can't so I am hoping it works.

Re: Company Stealing Grats, Union Doing Nothing

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:44 am
by NC
I see there are readers of this thread, so LI has hopefully read this. Let us know if there is anything still on your mind there.

Re: Company Stealing Grats, Union Doing Nothing

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 5:07 pm
by LabourIntensive
Thanks to all who read this for your attention. I'm looking forward to getting a discussion going.

Re: Company Stealing Grats, Union Doing Nothing

Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 11:51 am
by NC
He's a starting point LI. This is obviously a public forum so imagine that your employer and the union are reading this. Hopefully some of your coworkers are too. So, before you start pouring information out you may want to consider having a private room to do this, up to you. end me a PM or email me and we can set that up.

I was going to list a bunch of stuff to ask but thought better of it. Let's just deal with some basics.

What would be more to your (and your coworkers) liking, changing unions or just getting rid of the one you have? I guess the question is, do you trust your employer? I have to guess not, given they nick your tips all the time. But I will ask it anyway.

I know some more acceptable unions but getting them to take over your unit (raid) is a tough thing, depending on which one you want. It can be done though.

Let's stop there. We will see if others make any comment.

(To "others") I you want to post here you have to register. It is anonymous, you chose your online name and that's all anyone sees. John Doe can see your email address but it's buried in the bowels of the system. There are a lot of smart folks out there and we would love to hear what you have to say. Why, even an old, old friend from CUPW (postal workers) rejoined the board the other day. We banned years ago for being an idiot but let's hope he has some good opinions about a union that does not help its members who get their gratuities stolen.

Obviously, don't post any real names or contact information for anyone but yourself, if you want to. We will delete anything like that but otherwise we don;t edit or censor very much, just stuff that can hurt.

Re: Company Stealing Grats, Union Doing Nothing

Posted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:32 am
by NC
I know that there are a fair number of folks reading this but probably concerned with privacy so they don't engage. If you want to send me an email, fly at `er. Use my name "nc" at labourtalk.org. If I can't answer the question I will find someone that can.