Today in Labor History: May 21
Nearly 100,000 unionized SBC Communications Inc. workers begin a 4-day strike to protest the local phone giant’s latest contract offer – 2004
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Member Tip: A Note of Caution About Insubordination
You may find yourself being told by your supervisor to do something that he or she has no right to insist on under the union contract. The natural temptation is to say, “I know my rights, I’m not doing it!” But be forewarned about the “work now, grieve later” rule. This is the generally accepted notion in the world of labor relations that you do not have the right to disobey an employer directive, even if that directive is in violation of the collective bargaining agreement. The required response is to do what the employer says, under protest, and then to pursue relief through the grievance procedure. While there are exceptions – such as for dangerous health and safety violations – think twice before risking discipline for insubordination.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer