Regarding your June 9 Shop Talk article, “Not Much Workers Can Do to Circumvent Union Rules”:
I’m very disappointed to see such a blatantly anti-union and in many ways misleading response to the question from a reader. Since “A.R., Fullerton” is now a member of the union, there are many options open to him or her. The first step would be to contact the union leadership, secure a copy of the agreement that is in effect, and inquire about language that probably reflects the bargaining unit’s desire for protection against unreasonable speed-up and pressure in the workplace.
While A.R. continues to enjoy being well paid and receives “great benefits,” he/she has the opportunity to become active in the union. The next time the contract is up for renegotiation, A.R. would be in a position to propose changes in contract language if he/she still believes certain working conditions should be changed to offer greater room for upward mobility.
In many companies with a collective bargaining relationship, those employees who assume constructive leadership roles in their union are among the first targeted for advancement because they have demonstrated the very qualities a progressive company seeks for its own leadership.