OUR FIGHT HAS JUST BEGUN
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Dear Sisters and Brothers

We would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratuate those of you who supported the defeat of this most recent contract ratification vote. Our message was loud and clear!

WHAT IS THE NEXT MOVE

Many of you have asked, "now that we have defeated the contract, what next?". Please understand that our fight for justice has just begun and that it is not the Authority who presents the biggest threat to our contract concerns. The same Union who did everything in their power to force a sell out contract down our throats are the same ones who will be representing us in the Arbitration process. It would be very easy to sell us out through poor representation and inadequate preparation. The Union has openly stated that the Arbiter would rule in favor of management based on the facts presented before him. If this is in fact true, we must force the Union to file a complaint with the American Arbitration Association and have this Arbiter removed for violating his oath of impartiality. Secondly, we must force the Union to aquire Legal Counsel other than Mr Fickman as he is the International`s local Attorney and has been involved in every receivership this local has been placed under. This should be done at the next Union meeting in the form of motions being placed on the floor and voted on, so please be present at our next meeting.

WE CAN WIN

With proper preparation and representation we can be successful in the arbitration process. All across the Nation, Unions have been making great strives through arbitration over the past couple of years. Information and documentation is readily available from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics which support the fact that our Wages and Benefits fall below the National average. In the news article on the reverse side you will note that the Arbiter agreed with the Union that they should be compared on a National level and not local as the Authority continually argues. Such awards too are readily available to the Union for their defense and arguments. Since 1978 when Metro was first established through a voter referendum, inflation has ranged from 2% to as high as 14%, averaging out over 4% per year while our wages have only averaged out to 2% per year. This clearly represents a reduction in our present spending power since the 1979 pay rates of our first contract with the Authority. In short, you are worse off now than you were then. Believe me, any first year Econimist could draft a report comparing the consumer price index to our wage and benefits received over the past twenty years to support this. Our success in Arbitration all comes down to one thing, proper representation. There will be no justification for failure if the proper documentation, preparation and testimony is presented, but it will be up to us to ensure that the Union does everything necessary to protect our interest. It is not the pretext of failure which has detered the Union from arbitrating this contract, but rather their reluctance to confront those who they have been supporting in this endevor. How do you put up a fight against those whom you are in agreement with? This is why it is important that we force them to act in our interest and not that of Managements.

Please attend the next Union meeting so we can place these motions on the floor and get them passed. It will be up to each of us to ensure that the Union does the right thing.

OUR FUTURE GOALS

An all time record in the history of this Local was established in the number of members voting on this contract. There can be no doubt that this membership has had its fill of regressive contracts and inadequate representation. It is our hope that this is also an indication of your willingness to unite together in the common goal of preserving what little we have left and begin on a path to recover that which we have loss through years of poor representation and dictatorships.

A renewed interest in the plight of the membership has been ignited and many of you have expressed a willingness to become active in the movement to gain back the respect and dignity this body so rightly deserves. Many of us have different ideas how this can be done, yet we all share a common belief. We all believe that the time has come to rid ourselves of TWU and aquire Representation from another entity who will truly work toward the will of this membership. Because of the various factions within this membership it will be difficult to obtain a concensus as to which direction we should take as a whole. With this in mind we intend to call a meeting of all members and interested parties in order to assertain what the true will of the majority is. We will then establish a committee of those members who wish to take an active role in working toward that goal.

A few of us are researching the viability of obtaining representation other than TWU while ensuring our continued right to collective bargaining. Once we have confirmed the means in which to achieve this goal we will present this information to the membership. It is imperative that no action is taken until such time as we receive assurances from the Federal Goverment of our continued right to collective bargaining. We can not afford to be mislead by those who have good intentions but lack knowledge. We can succeed, but must follow the correct procedures. It is time for all of us to set aside our differences and personal feelings or agendas and work together for the common good. With that said, we will keep you informed of our progress and notify you of our first meeting.

In Unity,