Unemployed list Bylaw

Good day Union Family

The Business Agents and I have received calls regarding when a person is laid off from a job with having worked only limited hours, there is a belief that there is a bylaws that states they can be placed back on the unemployed list in the same location as prior to being dispatched.

In the early 1980’s Local 110 had a Bylaw for a short time, that a Member could work up to 14 days on a project and if laid off would retain their original spot on the unemployed list. When work slowed in the 1980’s it was found that this Bylaw caused a number of issues for Local 110 Members. First this process was abused by the Members to the point that when they took a dispatch, they would start requesting a layoff so they could be laid off before the 14 days and go back to the top of the list. Then when another call came in, usually for the same project, they would take the call and repeat the process. This resulted in the Unemployed list being incredibly stagnant with most Members not having an opportunity to take calls. The next abuse of this Bylaw came from the contractors. On short calls that would normally have layoffs around the 14 day point, they would lay off certain Members early so they could retain their spot on the list and then keep other Members until day 15, so that they would be on the bottom of the list.

This Bylaw allowed for an increase in the “buddy system” and nepotism in our Local and did not protect the majority of the Membership. In 2018, at the last Bylaws meeting a similar Bylaw was introduced and was voted down by the Members in attendance, mostly due to the issues the previous Bylaw caused. The only two current Bylaws that address Members being laid off outside of the normal layoff process are 7.9 and 7.13 and in both cases the Members is still required to sign the bottom of the Unemployed list.

7.9 Members who are legitimately laid off from a project due to medical issues can be recalled to the contractor once the Member is medically cleared for dispatch. However, a new work order from the Contractor must be placed with the Union Hall, and a new referral is needed, before the Member returns to work.

7.13 If a Member has been laid off or fired by an employer for refusing to perform work that the Member felt was unsafe, or for making complaints about safe working conditions and/or noncompliance with the Collective Agreements, or for any other unjust reasons; That Member may request in writing to the Business Manager that he investigate; and after investigation, if the Business Manager deems that the Member was unjustly laid off or fired, the Business Manager may send the Member back to the same employer upon the placing of the next call for manpower at that job site by the employer.

Since late 2019 early 2020 there has been a number of Members that have been laid off directly after orientation or a few days into their first shift. As a result of this Business Agent Derek Stock and I have been working to develop wording to be presented at the next Bylaws Meeting that will help address the issues, but not allow the orderly dispatch system to be undermined.

In solidarity

Kevin Lecht                                                                          

Business Manager