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“Just What Can The Union Do For Me?”

We hear this question a lot. It’s a perfectly natural question for a Lucky driver to ask.

So what’s the answer?

A lot! The Union can do a lot for you!

Here’s a quick list of just some of the things having a union at Lucky Cab Company will do for you.

1. First, the Union will negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) on your behalf with the owner and managers of Lucky Cab.

And what benefits do you get with a CBA? Just about everything and anything that might make your worklife better.  It was through collective bargaining that employees in America first received guaranteed benefits like health insurance, paid vacation days, holidays, sick days and retirement plans.  Prior to that, you were on your own.

2. Second, after the CBA is negotiated and signed, the union ensures the Company complies with all the terms of the CBA on a day-by-day basis. This will be accomplished primarily through informal contact between the Company and union representatives and shop stewards.  But when there’s any conflict, if the two sides can’t agree on what the contract actually means, more formal action can be taken through the Grievance Procedures spelled out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Full details of how this process works will be covered in a later post.  The Grievance Procedure is one of the most important rights a union secures for you and your fellow drivers.  The Grievance Procedure ensures the Company keeps its word and treats every employee fairly, according to the terms of the CBA.

3. Third, the Union will represent indivdual employees facing discipline or termination. Backed by your fellow drivers, standing together as a union, you can be certain you will be treated fairly if you ever must face your employer over a disciplinary matter.  You are not alone.

4. Fourth, the ITPE union will represent you and your best interests before the Taxicab Authority and the Taxicab Authority Board.  We already do this now for the drivers at YCS and Henderson Taxi, and the USW represents the drivers at Frias and Whittlesea-Bell.  It’s the T.A. which regulates the taxi industry and its decisions directly affect you every day. Therefore, the Union’s representation before the Board directly affects you. And the ITPE has a 100% attendance record before the Board, appearing every month and intervening in every matter that affects taxi drivers.

5. Fifth, the union will represent you, when necessary, before other government agencies, such as the county commission, the Convention Center, the Airport Authority and even the state legislature. We’ll be going into more detail on this union benefit in another posting but in the meantime, let’s just say it’s because of the union that the gentlemen’s clubs are legally allowed to tip drivers for bringing customers.  Without the union’s fight before the County Commission three years ago, not a single club in town would be tipping drivers.

6. Sixth, the union can represent you, when necessary, before local businesses. For example, if a union member/driver is kicked off a hotel property, this union will intercede for him with the hotel and help him get back on.  We don’t guarantee success, but we do our best.

7. Last on this list, but certainly not least, the ITPE Union maintains a full-time office staff of two representatives. That means when you call this office during normal business hours (and many times after normal hours!) with any issue you need help with, a live human being is probably going to answer the phone. But even if you have to leave a message, someone is going to return your call very quickly.

Not bad for $4.62 a week, wouldn’t you say?

But this list isn’t exhaustive. In fact, it’s only the beginning.  Very shortly we’ll have articles posted about all the extra benefits union members receive by being members of The Alliance.  These benefits include discounts on major medical services, hospitalization (possibly in addition to union-negotiated health insurance), dental services, prescriptions and eye care.  In fact, The Alliance offers discounts on hundreds and hundreds of goods and services you use every day, saving you money month after month.  As I said, we’ll cover those benefits in later posts.

In the meantime, tell us what you think.  Drop us a comment and we’ll get back to you.

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