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Grievance Handling -- But We've Always Done It That Way!

Using past practice to win grievances

Most grievances are based on a violation of the contract, but no contract can cover every minute detail of what occurs on the job. On the job, procedures and practices are often worked out between the supervisors and the workers verbally, and nothing ever gets into the contract.

These unwritten agreements and standing policies give rise to the term "custom and practice," or what we more often call "past practice."

Reporter  V40N3

Five Steps To Winning Grievances

There's no magic bullet, but carefully following these basic steps can give you a great dvantage

1. Listen carefully to the facts from the worker. Listening is a lot harder than most people realize. It is not a passive act. You will probably need to ask questions to get the facts clear and to get important information that the worker leaves out.

Reporter  V39N5

How to argue your position

Evidence is key to winning the grievance

Collect all the evidence you can, quantify it, make it trustworthy, and present it well for maximum impact

Arguing your grievance is like arguing a court case. You must have evidence to support your claims. Your evidence should be trustworthy, quantified, and positive. Many grievances (and court cases) are lost because the evidence is there, but it is not presented well enough to carry the argument.

Reporter  V39N4

Arguing a Grievance Is Like Arguing a Court Case

If you want to win your grievance, you need to know what argument to use and how to support your claim

To be a good steward you need to be part detective and part lawyer. When you first learn of the grievance, you act like a detective. You question witnesses and gather evidence to make sure there is a grievance.

Then comes a crucial decision. You need to decide exactly what claim you are going to make and how you will argue your case. To make the right decision, you have to know something about putting together an effective formal argument.

Reporter  V39N3

Holidays Remind Us of What We've Gained Through Organized Effort

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Without unions, we wouldn't even have the ability to celebrate holidays with our families - unions earned workers paid holidays

The winter holidays are almost here, and most of us can expect to spend a little extra time with our families, to hear from those we haven't seen in a while, and perhaps to eat a little more than we should.

Reporter  V36N6

EPA's New Air Quality Standards Lack Scientific Basis

Charles W. Jones, International President Emeritus

Particle and ozone standards will damage the economy without significantly helping the environment

Nobody knows better than industrial construction workers how damaging airborne particles and chemicals can be to the human body. Hardly a Boilermaker working today hasn't lost a friend or family member to asbestosis, silicosis, or some other work-related lung disease. That's why Boilermakers and other union workers strongly supported the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. We want clean air, for ourselves and for all future generations.

Reporter  V36N5

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