When a major snowstorm rolled through West Tennessee last year, company officials at Medegen Medical Products disciplined dozens of workers who were unable to make it to work or got there late because of the weather.
SEIU filed a grievance asserting that the discipline was unreasonable because of severe weather conditions. The case was set for arbitration but the company agreed to settle the grievance. In the end, 22 members had their discipline reduced or thrown out while 4 other members received a cash settlement.
Clockwise from top left: Lonnie Winston, Jackie Seaberry, Forrestine Lee, Deborah Winston.
Local 205 reached a new three-year contract with Medegen Medical Products, which is based in Gallaway, TN. The agreement was overwhelmingly approved by the membership.
“We got some of the biggest raises in our history,” said chief steward Lonnie Winston. “On top of that, we got our raises negotiated now instead of having to go back to the table each year for wage re-openers.”
The company came after employee PTO (paid time off), wanting to cut the amount of hours employees get each year and restrict its use. “There was no way we were going to let them take our PTO, and the company knew that,” Winston said. In the end, Medegen dropped their idea to cut hours, and backed off many of their other proposals on PTO. The contract also includes improved contract language, a new pay scale for forklift drivers, and reduced insurance premiums for employees participating in wellness checks.
SEIU Local 205 members voted to accept a new contract at Medical Action Inc., a medical supply company in Galloway, TN.
The new contract is a three-year agreement that included improvements in wages, health benefits, and vacation time. The members negotiated a 2.5% salary increase in the first year of the contract with wage openers scheduled to happen in years 2 and 3. There will be no increase in the employees’ health insurance premium over the term of the contract. Workers are now also not required to work on weekends if they had already scheduled vacation time prior to that weekend. Also, SEIU members will sit on a joint committee to negotiate a gain-sharing program in which workers will be able to participate in profit sharing.
The union’s Bargaining Committee was made up of Forestine Lee, Lonnie Winston, Deborah Winston, and Dallas Douglas.
Inclement weather affected our brothers and sisters in the private sector at Medical Action Industries in West Tennessee. When a supervisor told employees that they had to use paid time off (PTO) after a snowstorm, the workers wanted to have the right to choose between PTO, vacation leave, or unpaid leave. Union stewards heard the workers complaints and delivered the concerns to Management. The next day, the policy was reversed.