|The Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopter is among the rotary wing aircraft serviced by workers seeking IAM representation at Y-Tech Services at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL.|
In a desperate bid to suppress support for the IAM in an upcoming union representation election, a government contractor at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL has begun holding captive audience meetings where employees are treated to a smorgasbord of threats, misinformation and outright lies.
A majority of the nearly 100 workers at Y-Tech Services, which services Blackhawk, Chinook, Kiowa and Apache helicopters for the U.S. Army, signed authorization cards calling for a union representation election, which will be supervised and conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
With less than three weeks before the August 7 union vote, managers at Y-Tech are telling workers that union representation will prohibit workers from talking directly to supervisors; force the company to shut down or lay off workers and eliminate promotions on the basis of ability.
The managers, who acknowledge being prepped for weeks by anti-union attorneys, also make wild and inaccurate statements about strikes, dues and even gun ownership.
“This is what’s known as the kitchen sink phase of an anti-union campaign,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Managers and supervisors spread rumors about potential layoffs, pay cuts and restrictive work rules. But they always forget to mention that no changes take place unless and until the workers themselves vote to approve them.”
The managers at Y-Tech claim they are providing unbiased information but fail to mention established IAM policy that no dues will be collected until a first contract has been negotiated and ratified by the membership. Additionally, little mention is given to the benefits of union representation, including the right to elect local representatives and an end to the threat of arbitrary discipline or discharge.
“The main disadvantage of being an ‘at-will’ employee is that the employer retains virtually all control of the employer-employee relationship, from pay and benefits to working conditions and promotions,” said Blondin. “Worst of all is how the employer can change any of these terms, with or without notice to workers. I can understand why an employer might go to great lengths to preserve this one-sided advantage, but I cannot imagine why a worker might not want a better arrangement.”
Additional information about the IAM campaign at Y-Tech Services can be found at www.goiamalabama.com.