Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 49 > Page 91 - Part One of a Two-Part Story: We Worked for General Instruments

Page 91 - Part One of a Two-Part Story: We Worked for General Instruments

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1988/8/1 (135 reads)

ning to the washroom too much, and the foreman would be trying to get production out. Mind you, we started work at 8 in the morning. You were allowed one washroom break before 10. You had your break at 10. You were allowed a washroom break before 12. At 12 you had your dinner. A washroom break before 2. But some tried to do more than this. (Who would make the complaint?) The fore? man. (And he would complain to the union.) Yeah. "You've got to watch this one-- she's.... T'm not going to talk to her all day." (So that's the kind of foreman com? plaint- -they ' re not showing up, they're us? ing the washroom too much.) See, when they've got a line going like this, and this one here maybe's a heavy smoker, like myself-7she might be going to the bathroom and staying for a half hour, instead of-- the thing was, you'd get in the?bathroom, you'd get in conversations. Myself, I'd go to the bathroom: "I'm just going in for a puff--I'11 be right out." But you'd get in, and somebody would start, "Why are they do? ing this?" Or, "Why did they change this?' And you're there for a half hour, and you don't realize it. "I got to go." But she's off of the line, too. You understand what I mean? (Yes, I do. So these are the kind of grie? vances the foremen were bringing to the un? ion.) Right. Actually, they never brought grievances. They'd just come and say, "For God's sake, get that woman to smarten up!" They were mostly Cape Bretoners, the fore? men. Very reasonable. Not too much pres? sure. Bob Liebke wasn't from here, but he knew his good workers and he knew his fall- off workers. (What about the union members themselves? Did they have any problems that they'd bring to the union?) Yes. Lots would get warnings for absenteeism. They'd come to us with them. (What else?) Well, the key line would come for ap? rons , and then they'd come for gloves. Then--maybe the tuner lines would see them with aprons, and they'd want aprons. But a study of their work--and the union would have to be in? volved- -they didn't warrant aprons. Where? as the key line was just filth, grease, keys. They were entitled to them. Then another problem. The key line was right there. The stockroom was right there. The big trucks would be coming in, opening the doors, piling all the stuff, all the materials in. The draft was coming in. They were frozen all the time. We went after management--it took quite awhile, maybe 3 or 4 months, but they put a big thing up (a barrier) to keep the draft off the key line. Management were more than reasonable. (Did they ever strike?) Never struck for any? thing. Never. (Are you sure?) Positive. Certain. They walked out one day. They didn't go in to work one day, because.... We were in Lo? cal 1818. Local 1852 was on strike. They were building those houses, townhouses be- Overlooking the Margaree Valley t the Junction of Route 19 and the Cabot Trail A full-accommodation Lodge featuring: DINING ROOM LOUNGE SWIMMING POOL SPACIOUS ROOMS Take advantage of nearby recreation: BEACHES GOLF FAIRWAYS CAMPING FRESH AND SALT WATER FISHING HIKING 'The best of Nova Scotian musicians entertain in our' I lounge every weekend. Check with us to see who is ' playing, and drop in for an enjoyable evening. P.O. Box 550 MARGAREE FORKS Nova Scotia BOE 2A0 Phone (902) 238-2193, William F. Maclsaac, Manager RELAX IN THE BEAUTIFUL MARGAREE VALLEY For Troubled Employees There is help available for your troubled employee through an Employee Assistance Program. Some of the major per? sonal problems that may affect performance are: • Alcoholism and other drug dependencies; • Marital difficulties; • Financial/legal problems. Scope of the Problem 5 to 10% of the workforce in any business or industry have employees with health behavioral problems that adversely affect their job performance. These employees: • Have 3 to 4 times the number of accidents on and off the job. • Their absenteeism is above normal. • Their productivity is unpredictable. • AND at least 25% is added to the cost of operations as a result of the above factors. The Nova Scotia Commission on Drug Dependency, through its Employees Assistance Program Division, can offer help to management and labour in establishing an Employee Assistance Program at the worksite to provide employees with a proven and effective method of getting assistance for their problem. FOR MORE INFORMATION PHONE 424-4270 Commission on Drug Dependency
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download