Archive | July 2010

Line Title

As per Art.2.5 of the contract: when a non-bargaining unit worker (not a 503 member) is working in the IR, CST, Line or Splice classifications, all bargaining unit employees in the particular effected classification shall be offered 3 hours of overtime per week.

While the contract does not specifically mention the Line title, the article was put into effect while the Line and Splice titles were combined. Consequently, the Union believes that this protection, as originally written, extended to the Line techs and thus, still does.

Forced OT

11.5 The Company gives its assurance that when it becomes necessary to invoke mandatory overtime to meet it’s service requirements, employees may request to be excused from the mandatory overtime assignment for valid personal reasons. To the extent that service requirements will permit, the Company may accommodate the request. The Company will seek volunteers to work required overtime and in the event that none are found the Company will force by low overtime hours worked. Employees will not be forced to work on pre-scheduled vacations, floating, or fixed holidays, except in the event of emergencies as defined.

10.6 (Plant) Employees may give away scheduled overtime offered to a qualified replacement. The replacement will be furnished by the employee and the final determination of the replacement’s qualifications will be made by the Company.

10.2 The Company will make every reasonable effort to equalize, as nearly as
possible, overtime opportunities for employees within a job classification
that are qualified to perform the work.

What does all of this mean?
If you are informed that you are being forced to work overtime, you have the right to have a qualified available volunteer work that overtime for you. You, however must request to be excused from the force. While the text says that the employee must furnish the volunteer, the
company still has a responsibility to direct that work to the volunteer with the lowest total overtime hours. The most efficient way for the company to accomplish all of the above is to
poll (ask) all available qualified volunteers in order, or “run the list”. Basically, our position here is that the company should be running the list of available people before forcing anyone, but as stated above, the forced employee should make management aware that he/she is seeking a volunteer.

503 Supports Mirant Workers!!!

Local 503 is calling all members to come support our plant brothers and sisters in solidarity.
Please join the informational picket line today, July 8th, beginning at 3:30 in Haverstraw at the Bowline Plant until further notice.
Please make every attempt to attend.

Mirant continues to refuse to bargain in good faith with the Members of Local 503. This has been a long, ongoing issue. Please read the message below from President Scott: (updates can be found at

In this writing, I am addressing all Local 503 units: O&R, Frontier, Warwick and Mirant. We are in the midst of a very important and critical time in history for organized labor. At this particular point in time, it has never been more imperative for all members to gather round in support of our brothers and sisters in strife and band together in solidarity.

Today, we are experiencing dwindling numbers in the membership due to a variety of reasons. Numbers at O&R continue to grow smaller through retirement and the hiring of management positions without replacing the bargaining unit employees. Warwick and Mirant have both experienced layoffs.

It is crucial that Local 503 members come together in unity to fight off the corporate greed that is ruining this country and the lives of middle class blue collar Americans.

The blatant arrogance corporations continue to convey toward labor unions, the members and the obvious disrespect for our contracts nationwide is simply a disgrace. It is a slap in the face of the very essence of what built this great country; the back breaking labor of the middle class people.

Although we as labor may have made some great strides over the last few years in the right direction, now is not the time to give in or give up. We need to send a strong message to these companies that when they take advantage of one of us, they take advantage of all of us. When they damage the livelihood of one family, they damage the livelihood of all our families. When one of us bleeds, we all bleed. This is what unions are made of. We are one.

The Officers, Executive Board and I request that every member of this local lend their support by demonstrating the unity and solidarity we hold true to our hearts in keeping the IBEW and Local 503 strong.

United We Bargain; Divided We Beg.

Brian W. ScottPresident/Business Manager