Biased Quebecor rules
Memphis, Tenn.óThey have a rule at the Quebecor publishing plant that we have to call in sick two hours before our shift starts. If we donít we get written up. But they only have to tell us in the last 30 minutes of the shift that we have to hold over and work overtime.
If they have a two-hour range on us to call in, we should have a two-hour range on them. Maybe youíve talked to your wife and made plans already and they come out in the last 30 minutes and say you have to hold over. If you donít, itís a "refusal" and you get written up for that. Itís not fair to do that to us.
There was a fire on first shift in the baling room where they recycle all the paper (see October N&L). They wouldnít let anyone leave the building. They allow people to smoke in the press room where you have paper, flammable liquids, and all kinds of chemicals. One time we had a fire there that came from cigarettes. If they know itís a safety hazard, why do they let it happen?
Favoritism is a problem in this "right-to-work" state. If a union worker put in for a job and a guy that they liked put in for the same job and if they had the same qualifications, or the union guy was more qualified for the job, they might give the job to the union guy to keep the peace. They tried favoritism against a Black guy. He put in for a job and heíd been here longer and knew more about the job than the other guy. They moved the white guy up.
The Black man knew that wasnít right and went to human resources. After they looked at his qualifications, they had to move the white guy down and him up. They had done that out of favoritism, or it might have been racism, I donít know.
When you have solidarity itís one for all and all for one. Most of the people will sign things, and we do have strong members who step out, but others are scared to step out. The people say they want this and they want that, but when we asked them to stand out and help us support the union they donít always come.
If 30 or 40 employees helped us demonstrate at one time, what would the company do? Theyíd have a fit. But some workers donít see that. They say, well if I stand out theyíre going to give me a hassle and Iíll lose my job. But as long as you do your job, they canít hassle you.
They did fire one union activist before her 90-day probation period was up, saying she didnít get along with the crew. She had no write-ups, no problems whatsoever. Another girl, sheís white, started working at the same time and has had six write-ups, but they havenít fired her.
When my son grows up and goes to work here, itís worth it to fight for him to have a better place to go to work, where heís going to come home without losing a finger, or slipping and hurting his back, or having to deal with people hassling him. I look at it that way.
óQuebecor worker, Covington, Tenn.
Published by News and Letters Committees