7/17/08

Gov't workers unit organizes to oust Teamsters

Militant union faces dues hit in labor-state

A petition has been filed by Doug Insko of the Public Works Department to hold a vote to decertify their union, Teamsters Local 325.

The case is being investigated and no determination has been made at this time by the Illinois Labor Relations Board. If an election is held, notices of election will be posted giving complete details for voting. In the event of an election the Illinois Labor Relations Board wants all eligible voters to be familiar with their rights under the law if it holds an election.

Any interested labor organization may petition to intervene in this proceeding according to Illinois Relations Board rules.

Village Attorney David Kurlinkus said the village received the notice around July 1 from the Labor Relations Board.

“Because we are the employer, we had to post the notice in village hall,” Kurlinkus said.

The village was also required to send a listing of people in the bargaining unit. There are only five permanent full and part-time people in the bargaining unit. The supervisor, Rick Gibson, is excluded from the union as well as seasonal employees hired to mow and remove snow.

Kurlinkus stressed that the DPW contacted the Labor Relations Board, not the village, about the vote to decertify.

“The village is just involved in this because it is the employer. The village just complies. The Labor Relations Board asked us to post that notice and provide some information to them,” Kurlinkus said.

The next step will either be a hearing or an election to decertify. Employees with inquiries about the election can contact Phillip Kazanjian at (312)793-7247.

Insko didn't return calls by press time to explain why the petition was filed.

Earlier this year, DPW employer Mike Niedermeier was suspended for 60 days after allegedly pulling the plug on a new fingerprint time clock. There was some discussion about whether he was unfairly targeted because of his union activities. Niedermeier said the time clock incident was an accident.

After a lengthy meeting in October with Niedermeier's seven co-workers, the village board decided to suspend him for 60 days without pay and then reinstate him as an employee.

(beloitdailynews.com)

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