My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: Michigan.
The union I am a member of does not represent all employees equally.
Recently, I've had enough of this.
I began employment with the Company in Nov 2009, as a temp employee (union). HR told me when they made the job offer (and this is per Company / Union agreement) that I could work up to a single 89 day period or up to two 89 day temp periods. I worked the first 89 days and my supervisor told me he was breaking my service on a Sat, the next Mon I began my second 89 day temp period. Got to the end of the second 89 day period and my service was once again broken, but this time I started an 89 day period as a permanent probationary employee. Got to the end of this third 89 day period and was terminated (without cause.) I was told that there were 3 choices: the Company could hire me permanently, the Company and Union could agree to extend my probation, or the Company would terminate me. I was also informed that I couldn't be rehired for a min period of 30 days (or I'd be a perm employee.) About 50 days went by and my super called and offered my same job as a temp again. So began my forth 89 day period, this time as a temp again. 89 days went by and my service was again broken. I began a fifth 89 day period. On Feb 28, 2011 I was hired permanently again, I'm within days of the end of my current probation. I expect that I'll finally make it beyond probation.
Here's where my problem is (aside from being screwed over in the past.) Late 2010 a job was posted that I am more than interested in (the job is the entire motivation for my working here - it's my dream job.) The job was posted (12 postings company-wide for the same job title, at different locations) when I was in a temp status. Unfortunately, in order to be considered an "eligible bidder" for any internal job posting a person has to have 6 months of permanent continuous service in his current dept. That made me an ineligible bidder. That didn't, however, stop me from applying. This job is highly selective and includes a pass/fail orientation class that must be passed in order to be offered one of the job postings. I also know that in the past, after all eligible bidders have been exhausted, the Company has gone through ineligible bidders and given them equal opportunity for the job.
It looked as though they would do that same thing this time. They went through the entire list of eligible bidders, but didnít get 12 to pass orientation in order to fill the openings. They invited me to orientation. I passed. Thatís as far as Iíve gotten.
The next step would be for the Company to make a formal offer of the job to each candidate based on seniority. After that, those who accept attend an initial 3 week school. The school began on Monday. I wasnít offered a job or invited to the school. I know one of the guys in management at the school and heís always been all about me getting this job and helping me, but said this was out of his hands Ė itís above him.
I know of another employee whoís in a similar boat to me. He hasnít worked for the company as long as I have, but has passed orientation and was not offered a job.
The company hasnít filled the 12 openings from within the company and they are planning to get the additional people for those openings from a college training program.
There is an agreement (additional to the normal working agreement) between the company and union that allows the company to even hire anyone from the college program in the first place. The idea of the agreement is that the company would exhaust all possible internal candidates for the job before hiring externally. This is obviously not whatís being done here.
Iíve talked to my local union president, but he tells me the company is only following the agreement. He claims to have talked, at length, to the union state council president. The answer seems to remain that the company is only following the agreement.
So if the union would have done more when I worked 5 89 day periods to make the company hire me, then I wouldnít be in this situation now. I would be an eligible bidder, I would have had a job offer, and I would have my dream job.
The union isnít even doing anything for me now. They waste their time telling me ďthe company is within their right,Ē instead of fighting for me. Theyíre doing the companyís job for them, and that isnít what Iíve paid union dues for Ė union dues Iíve paid since my first day of temp employment. Just as a defense attorneyís job isnít to tell his client, ďwell, you did kill the guy so you should go to prison.Ē My union representativesí jobs are not to tell me what the company can do, but fight for my rights, fight for the future of the union, and find a way to make something work.
fyi: This isnít the only problem with the union or this company, but it is the one that Iíve been focused on recently and irks me the most.