“Take 5” Minutes To Read This

There have been reports to the Hall that frontline supervisors are spreading rumors at pre-shift meetings (which have apparently morphed into LEAN meetings) that Paul Henning has said that the Union President and National Union Representatives have agreed to the Company’s new approach to “Take 5’s”, that is that they were to be mandatory, done before every task and that failure to do so could result in discipline.

First and foremost, frontline supervisors do not and should not even attempt to speak on behalf of your Union President or National Union Reps.

The Union is opposed to Behavioral Safety tools generally (No “B.S.”), although “Take 5’s” were agreed to at the KKOHS&E level under specific conditions:

  1. No discipline would result,
  2. OHS&E Rep. present when reviewing booklets with employees and
  3. No quota on the number of Take 5’s to complete.
Moreover, what some of the areas in the plant are having our members do is nothing short of ridiculous. For example, in the Garage mechanics are being told to put a checkmark beside their names on a board to indicate that they have done a “Take 5”. Our members are being disrespected and treated like school children. This is completely unacceptable. Worker safety is compromised, not enhanced, when workers are looking over their shoulders more concerned about consequences than their own safety. Union and management representatives will be meeting shortly to clear up any misinformation and to return to the intent of what was agreed to at KKOHS&E. An update on this issue will soon follow.

Another item of concern to the Union is the fact that the Company is integrating safety issues into its LEAN program. This is frustrating to the Union and its members as the Company is effectively by-passing the Joint Health and Safety Program and the Union does not agree with this tactic.

In yet another example of disrespect to our members is where a worker in the Garage was called onto the carpet for wanting to sit, rather than stand, at a pre-shift/LEAN meeting. A meeting was called with the worker, a Shop Steward, supervisor and a Labour Relations representative to investigate why the worker sat down(!). Mechanics stand on concrete all day while they work. Standing need not be a requirement while a supervisor tells you about safety and other things happening in the plant (in fact, they probably should be saying: “you might want to sit down for this”). Such a regimental policy is an attempt by the Company to transform the workplace into a paramilitary organization.

As this bulletin is being prepared Union leadership is informing senior management that we do not expect our members to be told to stand for a pre-shift meeting or if they are and the meeting lasts more than 15 minutes we are informing our members to leave the meeting if it will not be reconvened in an area with seating. Discussions with senior management with respect to having to stand at all during a meeting are also soon to follow.

If a member gets disciplined for sitting at a meeting of all things, the Union will fight for this member and is asking for the membership to join in the fight to protect the rights of all members as an injury to one is an injury to all.

Fighting Back Makes A Difference!

Issued by CAW Local 2301 October 14th, 2010