Social Justice Action Alert
Kim or Ray Goforth
goforth86 at home.com
Sat Feb 12 21:06:58 PST 2000
COUNTY BUILDING DEPARTMENT PROSECUTES UNION-BUSTING CAMPAIGN
Seattle Washington is one of the most desirable places to live in the
United States. Pretty, clean and progressive is the reputation of the
region which recently saw WTO protests that stunned the world. Seattle
sits in the heart of King County (named for Martin Luther King Jr.).
King County Executive Ron Sims is popular and enjoys widespread support
from the labor community.
In this context, the King County government seems an unlikely place to
find a vicious union-busting campaign. The employees of King County's
Department of Development and Environmental Services will tell you
The federal Family and Medical Leave Act allows an employer to request
medical certification forms from disabled employees. The Act provides
that employees have a minimum of 15 days to comply with the request.
After three incidents where IFPTE Local 17 shop stewards were given less
than the required 15 days, the Union performed a records search. That
search proved that all of the FMLA medical certification requests issued
by Manager Lynn Baugh targeted Shop Stewards with deadlines that
violated federal law while rank-and-file employees were given the
required 15 days, a longer deadline, or no deadline at all.
After one of the incidents noted above, Union Representative Ray Goforth
called to request documents needed to advise and defend Shop Steward
Sheri McKee against threatened discipline. Management refused to timely
respond to the inquiry because Manager Lynn Baugh took offense at the
"tone of voice" used by the Union Representative.
After refusing orders from his manager to bypass environmental
regulations that he is charged with enforcing, supervisor Jeff O'Neill
was told that management would find someone more compliant to assume his
duties. Shortly thereafter Jeff's position was "reorganized" to reduce
his power. Other duties were also stripped from him. Jeff is one of
the few supervisors at DDES who is a union member. Management has made
it clear to him that his life would be easier if he was not in the
Ken Grubbs is a shop steward, negotiating team member and former chapter
vice-president. Two days after Ken testified before the King County
Council about problems at DDES, he was notified that his automobile
allowance was being terminated. A check of the records uncovered an
e-mail proving that DDES management had contacted Ken's insurance
company providing information they believed would increase Ken's
When the Union learned that some of its members were to be ordered to
work on a hazardous waste site (this not being part of their job), the
Union demanded to bargain the effects of this change. DDES management
acknowledged their legal duty to engage in these negotiations but have
refused to sit down for negotiations for the past 8 months.
WHAT TO DO:
IFPTE Local 17 is calling upon all supporters of the social justice and
labor movements to help end this union-busting campaign. Please send
polite e-mails to the following individuals requesting that they STOP
THE UNION-BUSTING AT DDES.
King County Executive Ron Sims exec.sims at metrokc.gov
County Councilmember Kent Pullen kent.pullen at metrokc.gov
DDES Director Greg Kipp greg.kipp at metrokc.gov
Please CC your e-mails to: goforth at ifpte17.org
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