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Union misrepresentation

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Mississippi
A number of union members in our local are dissatisfied with the lack of representation being provided by our union. Some of the issues are as follows
  1. Employees have been suspended or terminated with no investigation being done or no grievances filed on their behalf.
  2. Employees have filed sexual harassment complaints with the company only to be disciplined and terminated with no grievance being filed.
  3. Another employee have been suspended for three days for leaving the work station without permission. This employee became dizzy on the line, stepped down, and went to the nurses' station. The nurse took the employee's blood pressure and it was 186/126. This employee was still suspended with no grievance being filed on her behalf.
  4. This same employee just received a 5 day suspension for leaving the work area without permission after requesting permission from the supervisor to go to the bathroom and being denied. The employees's sinuses were draining and she had mucus running from her nose into her mouth and dripping from her chin. The employee stepped down, walked approx. 6ft and blew her nose. The union did not invistigate or file a grievance. Also, this employee had just filed a racial discrimination complaint against this supervisor three days earlier.
    These are just a few of many complaints that we have as union members. We are paying union dues while receiving no representation. Do we have a valid claim for violation of the Duty of Fair Representation?


Does your contract contain a "Grievance Procedure" article?
Did the members in question go to the union and ask for representation and were then denied?
Typically, a grievance committee or executive committee will determine if a grievance is arbitrable. But, if the language suggests that either the union OR the individual can grieve, then the member can bring a grievance to management without the approval of its executive or grievance committee. Even though either of these two entities must decide if they could win in court, and therefore continue to pursue the grievance beyond levels I or II, many times the member, manager, and representative can manage to work something out, before it reaches that far.

Under Definitions in our Grievance Article, it reads and is interpreted:
"Grievance - A grievance is an allegation by "your union here" or an aggrieved employee that there has been a violation, misapplication, or misinterpretation of this Agreement; or unfair or inequitable treatment by "your employer here" under the express terms of this Agreement."

I'd be interested to know how your contract defines the parameters of the grievance/grievant.

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