Concrete truck drivers met several times during the week of September 16 to discuss their current wage rates, the lack of a medical insurance plan, and whether they should consider Joining a union. Four of seven employees signed union authorization cards after meeting a representative of the national truck drivers’ union. Seven employees presented to the company’s plant manager on Friday September 20.
The letter stated, “Today all employees wish to express a silent strike in pursuance of the right that our salaries be increased to $5. 75 per hour. We will not work today… Until an accord is reached. ” The company president meet with seven employees and told them that the company was in no position to give any wage increase; however, steps were already underway to establish a medical insurance plan by the end of the year. The seven employees met outside of the plant and decided the company’s position was unacceptable.
The board of directives met on Saturday and calculated the annual cost of the employees’ wage demand to be $108,000. The board of directors found this unacceptable and decide to replace the seven drivers rather than agree to increase ages. Later the plant manager offered driver positions to individuals of the company that had Job applications on file. Monday the seven drivers returned but remained outside of the plant entrance. The company president prepared a letter after learning that the seven drivers did not report to work at am but were instead congregating in front of the plant.
The letter referred to the walkout on the previous Friday and stated: “The circumstances of having abandoned your work without first holding a dialogue, then bringing later on some demands which we cannot face economically at this time, in addition to refusal to work if your conditions are not met exactly the way [you] stated them, we have to interpret it as a resignation from your job, learning us without alternatives and unfortunately we have to accept your decision effective today. Monday, September 23. The letter went on to state that the Friday work stoppage forced the company to fill some vacancies and curtail its operations in order to recover in part from the losses it had suffered. After receiving the letter, three of the employees returned to the plant and requested reinstatement. The company reinstated the three drivers to their former jobs. The union filed an unfair labor practice on behalf of the remaining four truck drivers, alleging that each had been unlawfully discharged in violation of the LAMAR.
The problem is seven employees went on a silent strike in pursuance of the right that their salaries be increased to S 5 per hour. The company sees this request unacceptable due to their economic condition. Since the seven employees are refusing to work the company is forced to fill their positions in order to recover losses of their strike. This problem is that a strike which began over a wage dispute was converted into an unfair labor practice strike. The company seemed to be willing to bargain with the union members but they were only interested in getting that exact wage increase.
They could have focused on getting medical insurance benefits first then moved to wage rates. Being that the company is going through economic hardship the drivers should have thought carefully about that because their might be layoffs due to the raise. How would other employees take hearing that only drivers are getting raises? This can harm the many and make all employees go on strike. The other three truck drivers got reinstated, the other four could have did the same.
Though they walked off the Job to the operation must go on, so hiring people so the company does not lose production seem reasonable. I would recommend the remaining four truck drivers get reinstated and start negotiating to build up some valid points on why they need an increase in wage rates. They should have reasons why this can make the company and the union truck driver employees better off. The union would lose this case because even though hey were on strike the company has a right to replace them.