September 24, 2014
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Here to represent all members

To the Editor:

An October 13th column “Investigation of toolgate needed” was printed in the Warwick Beacon in which an anonymous emailer stated: “If anyone speaks out, there will be retaliation”. Mr. Cushman’s response to this statement was: “Where is the union leadership to protect these workers instead of protecting Mr. Naylor?”

The answer is – the leadership of Local 1651 is at all times ready to protect the rights of all of its members – something this union has demonstrated time and again throughout the years.

It is the union leadership’s obligation to represent all members in an effective and fair manner. Leadership is also required to carry out union policy and representation of its members according to the democratic standards set out in our constitution and collective bargaining agreements. The Union has a legal obligation to represent all of its members, including Mr. Naylor.

Local 1651 never received a copy of this anonymous email. Regardless, this Local has always taken action when it becomes aware of threats, retaliation or unjust treatment. To insinuate anything different is dishonest. In this case, the Union has not been made aware of any such treatment or threats, but will take appropriate action if and when any occur.

The collective bargaining process is the most desirable, democratic, and effective method to provide a voice in the workplace. Local 1651 is committed to the welfare of all of our members, so that we may continue to provide the vital public services our citizens rely on.

Jean Bouchard
Union President – Warwick Municipal Employee’s Union, Local 1651, RI Council 94, AFSCME


Comments
5 comments on this item

The fact that union leadership did not receive the letter is significant . Also did leadership know and agree with the so called tool borrowing policy? I find it difficult to believe that union leadership would not understand and support policies implemented by Mr. Picozzi and make sure the policies are not detrimental to the well being of employees or favor some over others. Employees should be comfortable reporting issues to leadership. This doesn't appear to be the case in this situation.

Bouchard, surely you jest? Are you in anyway suggesting that a "contract" somehow takes precedent over existing laws, be they civil or criminal? Further, I would suggest the whole point of a written contract is to codify in writing just what has been agreed to. "borrowing" of tools or equipment is part of your written contract? If it is not in writing, it does not exist. Further, anyone "approving" use of equipment which is owned by the taxpayers of Warwick, could be in trouble. I believe one of the charges could be misprision of a felony. Stick with the written word, the rest is bogus.

Why does a union need collective bargaining to look out for its members. Collective bargaining has led to the demise of many states and towns. It should be outlawed, just as FDR wanted.

To "Bendover"...... Misprison of a Felony would be a criminal charge brought against any person concealing a felonious act. The courts will decide whether or not the employee commited a felony or a misdemeanor once the charge by the law enforcement agency is made.In this particular case.

I certainly do not believe that Miss Bouchard is in any way attempting to conceal a criminal act as has been implied.

To "Patiemtman"........I can find nothing in the historical records on Franklin Delenor Roosevelt, indicating that he wanted collective bargaining abolished. Upon visiting his home in Hyde Park, New York and reading his memoirs and photos of he and the executive leaders of the Unions in America at that time,

the impression that I received was that he accepted union participation in the collective bargaining process with open arms.

Perhaps your grandparents and great grandparents who worked under the hidious conditions of the 1800's- early 1900's also welcomed collective bargaining. I know mine did.

For Serpico...."Misprison of a Felony would be a criminal charge brought against any person concealing a felonious act." PRECIOUSLY! Who knew what was going on and when did they know it...My understanding is this "borrowing policy" has been abused for decades. ENOUGH!

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