Why it Pays to be Union? Arbitrator Reverses Termination, Iowa IAM Local 1498 Member Made Whole

Steven Johnson, a member of Local 1498 in Oskaloosa, Iowa knows first hand the importance of a union contract and union representation. Johnson sums it up in two short sentences, “Awesome. The union’s got my job back!”

Johnson was terminated for “gross insubordination” in April 2017 for a non-qualifying offense.

The union would not stand for this injustice.

“This was about the company applying the wrong class of violation, allowing for immediate dismissal rather than a lesser, more appropriate, infraction requiring progressive discipline,” said IAM District 6 Business Representative John Herrig.

The facts told the story. Herrig points out that, “Brother Johnson did everything that he was supposed to do. He was honest with the company from the start about what had happened, and those facts never changed throughout every stage of this grievance.”

The arbitrator agreed with the union on virtually every tenet of the union’s case.

Johnson was awarded his job back with full seniority rights restored and made whole for all losses. That amounts to a little more than $42,000. The termination was expunged from his file and replaced with a lesser offense and warning (which was removed upon his return to work due to time limits).

“Congratulations to IAM Local 1498 member Steven Johnson,” said IAM District 6 Directing Business Representative Scott Webster. “This is what being union is all about – protecting workers when companies overreach, setting ground rules, and ensuring fairness and consistency across the board.”

“This is what a strong IAM contract is about – justice and fairness on the job,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Philip J. Gruber. “We in the IAM pride ourselves in the service we provide to our members and this is another great example of why it doesn’t cost to be union – it pays to be union.”