To all those who helped us sign, collect, and deliver hundreds of signatures at the seven affected union stores, thank you so much for your time and effort. Collective actions like these are the cornerstone of NSLU and will continue to be our source of strength as we fight our way towards a strong first contract.
Despite everything we've done over the past weeks to pressure the company to implement a change that they made in the first place, the company has yet to even respond to our demand. As it stands the one-year period is still in place for union workers at Arbor Lodge, Cedar Hills, Concordia, Grant Park, Seven Corners, Slabtown and Woodstock. We are deeply disappointed that the company continues to ignore hundreds of workers who are simply asking them to apply their policy equally across stores. Every day that our attendance agreement sits unsigned on their lawyer's desk is another day that New Seasons is choosing to put our coworkers' livelihoods at risk. This belligerent inaction by the company shows us we must get ready to fight harder.
Escalating Our Demands
So what's next? Well we certainly aren't going to let New Seasons get away with their shameless union busting. In fact, we are doubling down on our demands because we believe this is an issue worth fighting for. The countless conversations we've had on the shop floor prove that we're united in frustration at what the company is doing to us. Going forward, we are demanding that the company sign our temporary agreement, and we are demanding that an attendance policy designed by workers is agreed to in our contract. We are organizing our next steps right now and we will have more news soon about actions we can take together to increase the pressure on the company.
We Demand a Policy Designed by Workers
We also want to use this communication as an opportunity to inform everyone about our vision of a new attendance policy, because although the company signing the agreement is the right thing for them to do, it still doesn't come close to fixing the fundamental problems with a policy that has been one of the biggest reasons for unnecessary turnover, confusion, and frustration at New Seasons. We believe a workable attendance policy isn't that big of an ask. It's existed at New Seasons before, but the only way to guarantee fair policy is by including real and substantial input from the workers who are directly impacted by these policies. That's why NSLU exists, and it's why bargaining is so important.
We've already presented an attendance policy to the bargaining table back in April and we expect the company to present their reply at the next bargaining sessions in July. Our proposal came from many conversations within the all-worker bargaining team and we feel good about the policy we've put forward. But before we bargain back and forth with the company over this policy, we want to get it in front of all of you to make sure that we are united behind an attendance policy that works for all of us. Presented below are the main points of our proposed attendance policy:
Separation of tardies and missed shifts
One of the biggest issues with the current policy is that tardies and missed shifts are treated as equal incidents. Someone who is 15 minutes late a couple times in a month affects their coworkers much less than someone who doesn't show up for just one shift. That's why our proposed policy separates the two into completely different tracks of progressive discipline that give more leniency to tardies than absences.
6 month rolling calendar
The 30-day periods of the current policy seems lenient on paper but in practice it can turn a brief period of attendance issues into a cluster of discipline that can easily escalate without any clear or defined expiration date. Our policy is instead based on a single 6 month rolling calendar, only incidents within the past 6 months count towards your attendance record. Not only is this much simpler to understand, but it actually encourages changes in behavior while understanding that we can all experience periods in our life that can impact our ability to attend work as reliably as we'd like.
List of excused incidents
One of the most frustrating things about the current policy is that there are little to no excused reasons for being late or missing a shift. Did your kid wake up sick and you can't arrange childcare? Did your bus never show up and you're left stranded? Did you get into an accident on the way to work? As far as New Seasons is concerned these are all your fault and shouldn't be excused. We on the other hand recognize that life happens and that's why we believe in creating a list of excused incidents that go beyond the narrow list that the company is legally mandated to accept.
Fill Out Our Survey and Let Us Know What You Think!
We want to hear what you think about these policy points to make sure we are bargaining with confidence for an attendance policy that works best for those it affects most. Check your email address for a survey link or talk to a union volunteer at your store.