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General Membership Meetings

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 1700.  Meetings are held at Union Office Building 220 (address is 601 West D. Avenue, Eglin AFB).  Meetings last no more then one hour.  Pizzas, subs, and BBQ are among the many different items served at each and every meeting.  Call AFGE 1897 at 882-5714 or 678-5713 for further information.

   

 

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AFGE is fighting for the jobs and future of federal employees. Here is AFGE's News Releases website; http://www.afge.org/index.cfm?page=pressreleases

   

 

AFGE Local 1897

 
 

Why Join? and How to Join AFGE Local 1897.

Clink on this Link "WHY AND HOW TO JOIN" to learn more.

 

   

 

Weingarten Rights

 
 

What every employee should know!

This is your right as an employee to have representation present if you believe disciplinary action will be taken against you.

What are your Weingarten rights?

The essence of your "Weingarten Rights" is to give you as an employee the opportunity
to have a union representative in a situation that may lead to displinary or punitive action against you as the employee. The rationale behind this right is that you as a single employee being interviewed might be intimidated and, therefore, may not raise facts in your favor during a disciplinary interview.

Union representation can make the difference between a positive and negative outcome.

When do you need to use your Weingarten rights?


Your supervisor or other management official directs you to attend an investigatory interview. An employee has a right to union representation in an interview with the employer, if you as an employee reasonably believe that the investigation can lead to disciplinary action.

When the purpose of any meeting is to obtain information or facts which may support disciplinary action.

You reasonably believe that discipline might result.

You request union representation at any time during the investigatory interview. After an employee makes the request, the employer must either:
grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee;

deny the request and end the interview immediately; or give the employee the choice of having the interview without representation or ending the interview.

Weingarten Rights Extended


The National Labor Relations Board recently extended to non-union workers the right to have a co-worker present as a witness during any questioning by management that could lead to possible discipline.Union workers have had the right to have a union representative or steward present for questioning for a couple decades. This became known as a union worker's "Weingarten Rights", because it was named for the Supreme Court case, which conferred the right on union workers.To assist non-union workers in exercising their new Weingarten Rights, the UFCW has prepared the following answers to commonly asked questions, along with examples of situations where non-union workers may assert their Weingarten Rights.

Q & A WEINGARTEN RIGHTS

Q: When do I have "Weingarten" rights to have a fellow "associate" present when speaking with a manager?


A:  Anytime you think the manager may question you about something that you feel you might be disciplined for. EXAMPLE: An assistant manager asks to talk about an accident you were involved in the week before. You think the manager is trying to find out who was responsible. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS TO BRING IN AN "ASSOCIATE" YOU TRUST. EXAMPLE: An assistant manager asks to talk to you but doesn't say about what. Your department manager warned you that he told the store manager about a customer who complained about you. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS TO BRING IN AN "ASSOCIATE" YOU TRUST. EXAMPLE: An assistant manager wants to talk to you. You've heard that the manager is talking to "associates" who were in an argument that got too loud. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS TO BRING IN AN "ASSOCIATE" YOU TRUST.

Q: What kind of "communications" does Weingarten apply to?

A: All kinds: in person, over the telephone, even e-mail. EXAMPLE: A manager telephones you from outside of the store and you think the manager may want to talk about something that happened at work that you could be disciplined for. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS. You should tell the manager that you'd rather talk in the presence of another "associate" or with another "associate" on the telephone. EXAMPLE: A manager asks you to write a report about missing merchandise. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS. EXAMPLE: A manager approaches you while you're working on the sales floor and starts to ask you questions about your tardies. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS. EXAMPLE: A manager approaches you in the breakroom or in front of the store while you're on break and starts to ask you questions about the shelves in your department that the manager has warned you about before. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS.

Q: Does the communication have to occur at work?


A: No. EXAMPLE: Your manager telephones you at home about your absences. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS. You can tell your manager that you'd rather speak at work in the presence of another "associate". EXAMPLE: Your manager attends the same Church you do and after a service, starts to talk to you about some shortages in your cash register. YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS. EXAMPLE: A manager approaches you in the parking lot as you leave work or at the nearby McDonald's and starts to ask you questions about your bad "attitude." YOU HAVE WEINGARTEN RIGHTS.

Q: When should you "invoke" your Weingarten rights?

A: As soon as you realize that the manager may be asking you questions about something you could be disciplined for. EXAMPLE: A manager tells you that he wants to talk tomorrow about a spill the manager says you should have cleaned up. You can tell the manager at that time or just as the meeting starts that you are invoking your Weingarten rights and that you want an "associate" you choose and you trust to attend. EXAMPLE: You try to invoke your Weingarten rights and the manager "guarantees" that you will not be asked any questions. Then, half-way through the meeting, the manager begins to ask you what happened. At the point during the meeting that the manager begins to ask questions, you should invoke your Weingarten rights and refuse to answer any questions until an "associate" you trust and you chose is present.

Q: Who can you chose to witness the communication?

A: Any co-worker you trust who is working. EXAMPLE: If a manager wants to question you and you pick an "associate" who is at work but busy, the manager can either choose to interrupt that "associate's" work or postpone the meeting. The manager may not choose which "associate" will sit in or force you to pick an "associate" you do not trust.

Q: What can my Weingarten witness do?

A: First, the witness will hear everything everyone says and may take notes. Second, the witness can make sure that all of the manager's questions are clear and that you have a chance to answer all questions in your own words. They can ask the manager to rephrase confusing questions or questions you don't understand. Third, they can make sure that the manager does not abuse or harass you. EXAMPLE: A manager tries to put words in your mouth by asking, "so you admit eating the potato chips before paying for them," when you already denied this. Your Weingarten witness can jump into the discussion and correct the manager. EXAMPLE: A decent manager is truly trying to find out the facts but asks a convoluted question. Your Weingarten witness can ask the manager to rephrase the question so it is clear. EXAMPLE: A manager asks, "so you admit being at work when the money was missing, that the money came out of your cash register, that the missing money was your responsibility, and that you 're the 'associate' who should be disciplined for it? Yes or no?" Your Weingarten witness can insist that the manager break up these four questions so you can answer "yes" to the first two but "no" to the last two. EXAMPLE: A manager tries to mislead or trick you into admitting something untrue. Your Weingarten witness can point out what the manager is doing and insist that the manager question you fairly. EXAMPLE: A manager gets angry, starts shouting and doesn't let you say anything. Your Weingarten witness can insist that the manager let you answer in your own words. EXAMPLE: A manager tries to ask you a trick question, like "have you stopped beating your wife?" Your Weingarten witness can point out that the manager's question assumes that you engaged in wrongdoing, and insist that the manager separately ask you whether you ever engaged in the wrongdoing before asking you whether you continue to do so.

Q: What other rights does Weingarten give me?

A: You can insist that the manager tell you what the interview is about and what kind of discipline might result. If you feel the need for a break or you want to talk things over with your Weingarten witness, you can take a private break. You also have the right to present your side and make your own defense.

Q: How can a manager respond to me invoking my Weingarten rights?

A: The manager can grant your request and continue with the interview. Or the manager can terminate the communication.

Q: Can the company retaliate against me or the "associate" I choose to witness the communication?

A: No. If the company retaliates, discriminates or treats you or your witness any differently, contact the UFCW as soon as possible. UFCW attorneys are available to file Unfair Labor Practice Charges with the National Labor Relations Board on your behalf and on behalf of your Weingarten witness at no cost.

Q: What should I do if the company denies my Weingarten rights?

A: Tell the manager that you do not want to answer any questions until your Weingarten witness is present. If your manager refuses and insists that you answer the questions anyway, inform the manager that you will answer the questions but only under protest. Tell the manager that you will file Unfair Labor Practice Charges against the manager and Wal-Mart as soon as possible. Feel free to contact us. UFCW attorneys are available to file charges on your behalf with the NLRB at no cost to you.