I began writing these letters almost two years ago and
I figured sooner or later our Good Old Boys would call me
down to the Work Center or Union Hall and give me the third
degree, but they haven't. I mean, why not? Management did
earlier this year, and I left the personnel director's office
telling her, "I know my rights, and I stand behind
everything I've written." Instead of calling me down
front, our Good Old Boys decided to ambush me at our September
The meeting began like any other; someone makes a motion
from a sitting position to skip the reading of the minutes
and the Recording Secretaries report. Incidentally, our
new Recording Secretary has yet to give a report, because
of motions that are made from a sitting position by supporters
of the Boys. Its bad enough she's sitting at the same table
as them, no way would they let her give a report too.
Then Darren Petty gives our financial report from the floor.
That's right, Charley Alfred's best friend and partner in
his bar. Why is Petty giving the report? Because International
Rep Alvin Lloyd is retiring in June and according to reliable
sources, Alfred was grooming Petty to fill Lloyd's position,
and the more experience Petty has the better. However, the
International informs Alfred that Petty isn't qualified
for Lloyd's position because he must at least be an elected
Alfred, being unscrupulous and resourceful, calls in a
few favors and gets Petty an appointed position as an AFL-CIO
Vice President of the Baltimore City CAP Council. I didn't
have a very high opinion of the AFL-CIO in the first place
and now its even lower. Their leadership is just like the
UAW's; they appoint people who don't have the seniority,
education or experience to function in the positions they're
appointed to by even more clueless appointers like Alfred.
No wonder Unions are losing clout and leaders are losing
the respect of their members.
Next, Chuck Miller jumps up as if he was goosed and damn
near breaks his neck. He stands at the podium all red faced,
upset and waving Observations # 13. He says the financial
report is as good a time as any to express that he is outraged
at the accusations made about them taking bribes, pay-offs
or whatever for securing Living Agreements and then at the
top of his voice he yells, "DOUG!" just incase
there was any doubt about who he was talking about.
I'm caught totally by surprise, of all the letters I've
written over the last two years accusing our Boys of hijacking
union meetings to avoid members questions about nepotism
and favoritism. Or how they railroaded the entire membership
by butchering a motion submitted by Ms. Bird to post appointed
positions, they put it through a meat grinder until it was
no longer recognizable. By the way, I have yet to see any
postings for appointed positions.
They're still abusing appointments by selecting family
and friends for the education program while members with
more seniority have expressed an interest. My most recent
accusation exposed the fact that workers compensation and
the lawyers they hired to represent us is a joke and a charade.
Anyway, of all the accusations I've made, Chuck decides
to get pissed-off about "Bonuses from $olidarity House,"
an article that was written for humor, and has a paragraph
that clearly states that in its introduction. Now I have
to wonder if Chuck has a guilty conscience, because his
getting upset over a bogus article tells me that there must
be some truth to it. (I'll reprinted it again after the
first of the year for those of you who don't remember it
and hope that it still has the same affect on Chuck.)
Meanwhile back at the meeting; Our Boys and their supporters
speak from the floor or a sitting position, so I do too.
From a sitting position, I said, "If you read that
letter as it." That was as far as I got before supporters
of our Good Old Boys shouted me down. Wow, I've never spoken
in front of that many people before and I certainly never
experienced that much negativity directed at me.
So I stand up and try again, "If you read that letter."
Damn, they shouted me down again. Amid the chaos I hear
Dorsey say, "Come up to the microphone and speak."
I yell back, "No I won't," and I begin again,
"If you." I couldn't believe it, is this a union
meeting or a little league soccer game?
I should've sat down and given up, but nooo. I walk up
to the microphone upset and flustered, and I say, "If
you read that letter as it was written you'd see that it
was written fictitiously," damn it, not what I meant
to say. The yelling is disturbing my concentration. I could
still hear our Good Old Boys supporters yelling like soccer
moms and dads, and I correct myself saying, "I mean
as humor, a joke." Damn it.
The soccer crowd wouldn't let up. One supporter, an alternate,
kept saying, "F*%# you Doug, F*%# you Doug, F*%# you
Doug." When Dorsey didn't tell the foul-mouthed alternate
that he was out of order, it dawned on me that I was ambushed.
Fed-up, I walked back to my seat and I hear Dorsey say,
"Come back so we can talk about it." Yeah right,
I don't think so. It's because of these one-sided union
meetings and our Boys selfish self-serving attitude that
I write these letters. Anyway, I sit down and watch the
rest of the circus with a better understanding of why members
don't speak up.
For the rest of the meeting, Miller went on and on about
how you can't believe anything the plant manager and personnel
director say. Whatever, we know who we can and can't believe,
CHUCK. And then Dorsey rambles on, putting the room to sleep,
talking about not tolerating anyone bringing down the moral
of the plant. The man needs a clue.
You could almost see the strings going from our Good Old
Boys to Alfred, who was sitting in the middle of the room
with a shit-eating grin on his face. If anyone's responsible
for bringing down the moral of the plant, he is. And if
Miller and Dorsey were half the leaders they think they
are, they'd cut them strings and tell Alfred to take a hike.
Then, someone makes a motion from a sitting position to
end the meeting.
The following Monday, coworkers reaffirmed my suspicions
about being ambushed. I was told that there were unsigned
flyers circulated at the Union Hall before I arrived that
publicized indiscretions of my youth, and they helped put
our Boys, their appointees and supporters in their soccer
mood. A couple days later I found one in the plant.
Since our Boys can't attack the message, they'll attack
the messenger. I questioned Dorsey about the flyers and
of course he denied any knowledge of them. I don't believe
he doesn't know what's going on in the Hall or in the Plant.
In fact I believe he knows who is behind putting out that
crap and is encouraging him. I also believe the membership
has a pretty good idea who the loser is that calls himself
the Happy Member. Hint, he's an appointee who shouldn't
On a personal note to our Good Old Boys, I will not defend
anything I've done in my past, because that is what it is,
my past. I will not let you Boys turn this around and make
it about me, because I'm not the one who allowed Alfred
to eliminate the negotiation table by manipulating the membership
into "non-expiring agreements." And I have no
say whatsoever as to who gets appointed to whatever position.
You Boys are the guilty ones in this mess, not me.
So if airing my dirty laundry makes you Boys feel better
about your own inadequacy, then by all means, air it, because
there is nothing in my past that I'm ashamed of. However,
I will say this, my past has taught me how to recognize
people with less than honorable intentions, and this union's
leadership has more than its share.
When I began these letters, I stated that I had one goal
in mind. All I wanted was fair representation, and if I
couldn't get it, I was going to keep writing these letters
until our Boys see the error of their ways, or they are
out of office. Since neither has happened yet, except for
Jachelski's double defeat, and Alfred's appointment for
being a turncoat, I'm making it my job to make the rest
of our Boys lives as miserable and unpredictable as ours.
I believe I'm succeeding, because it's obvious by their
actions at our union meetings and in the plant that our
Boys and their appointees are worried about their positions,
as they damn well should be.
I think you'll find this interesting. Around the end of
September the UAW's website had a link that directed you
to a survey on the AFL-CIO's website. The survey asks, "What
do employees think of their employers?" The majority
of respondents said they didn't trust their employers.
Not to be a wise guy, but I thought it was a stupid question.
So in the comment section I wrote the following, "Of
course employees don't trust their employers, that's why
unions were formed, duh. I would be more interested in a
survey that asks members, "What do union members think
of their leaders?" Especially what UAW members think
about the partnerships that their International leaders
have with the corporations in the disguise of Joint Funds."
Needless to say, they didn't respond, but a week later
the survey was gone from both websites. Was I responsible
for them canceling their survey after only a couple of weeks?
I doubt it, because I don't think I'm the only one who told
them it was a dumb question. However, I would like to know
the results of a survey based on my question.
I have the right according to National Labor Laws (LMRDA)
and more importantly, a Constitutional right to write my
opinions of our union officials and their actions in letters
and then distribute them in non-work areas during non-work
times. And I'm well aware that many of you don't agree with
what I say and that is your right.
However, there are supporters of the Boys who are going
out of they're way to pick up my letters and their throwing
them away. Are they afraid of the message? I do not throw
away anyone's literature, because I respect everyone's right
to free speech as long as they put their name on what they
write. I respect your rights, so please respect mine.
Agreeing with what I say isn't as important as agreeing
that I have a right to say it. Or as the old saying goes,
"I may not agree with what you say, but I'll fight
to the death for your right to say it."