To the Board of Directors of the Ecology Center:
As you are aware, the Industrial Workers of the World represents the workers at Curbside Recycling, which the Ecology Center operates. Over recent years, we have seen a pattern of behavior of your management team that betrays a strong anti-union attitude and borders on outright union busting.
• During negotiations for a new contract in December of 2007, your negotiation team sought to remove from the contract the clause that permits our members to refuse to cross a picket line. In other words, they sought the power to try to turn our members into strike breakers.
• During the negotiations for a new contract in December of 2008, Ecology Center management held a captive audience meeting with our members. This meeting, intentionally called without informing the union representatives, was an attempt to treat the Union as an unwanted “third party”. This is a standard method of professional union busters.
At present, the IWW is filing for arbitration on behalf of one of its members. We are forced to do so due to flagrant violation of the contract by the Ecology Center management. This violation concerns the disciplining of one of our members.
• Ecology Center management decided this member was guilty before they even held a hearing with him to hear his explanation of events.
• Ecology Center management illegally demoted this member, in violation of the contract, thus saving themselves $7.50 per hour for every hour this member works.
• During the mediation step, the Ecology Center management once again made statements implying that the Union was some outside force, a “third party”.
There are several different avenues that arbitration can take. The Ecology Center management has insisted on taking the most expensive avenue, knowing full well that the IWW is a small union that does not have a large treasury. While we are willing to fight the full length for our members, meaning that we will spend what is necessary, this tactic of the Ecology Center management is not lost upon us, especially in light of their previous actions. Meanwhile, the Ecology Center management team parades behind their “green” and “community oriented” banner while they trample on the rights of their workers and carry on what can only be described as an anti-union policy.