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Armstrong worker

Ozark, MO

#62 Aug 15, 2013
letter writer wrote:
<quoted text> not trying to run anyone down but when everyone says they want a vioce how much power will that give us. we can negotiate a contract on what we want but armstrong has the final word. they can counter offer and say that,s the final offer. we either except or go on strike.
We will have a strong voice with the help of the Teamsters negotiators to back us up when dealing with Armstrong. Why do you think we couldn't negotiate a contract similar to what they have in Beverly, WV. Their contract is up this February and they will be starting negotiations soon and if we go union and start negotiations also that will be better for us and them.

Say we do go on strike, which happens in less than 2% of all contract negotiations. It would only take 1 person to go to Beverly, WV plant and hold up a picket sign and in the Beverly, WV contract it states they would not cross that picket line if they didn't want to. Then how much power do you think Armstrong would have in saying this is final offer. Also companies like UPS wouldn't cross our picket line. They would most likely get pressure from companies like Lowes or Lumber Liquidators to negotiate with us and get it resolved so they can get our product in their stores. There are a lot of avenues that can be gone down to get better negotiations from Armstrong besides going on strike.

If new Armstrong VP says they would negotiate in good faith in front of the whole group of mill employees, then what makes you doubt that. Yes they can and probably will try to get the best deal for themselves just like we will try to get the best for us. It all comes down to compromise on both sides that we can agree on. I for one don't want to strike and hope that if we vote to go union that we can reach an agreement that helps both us and the company. I think it is possible and will just take some negotiating.
Armstrong worker

Ozark, MO

#63 Aug 15, 2013
grave digger wrote:
hey,,,when your union and go on strike,,,the union will give a lucky few of you 25 bucks a day to hold a picket sign,,,and if your one of the lucky sign holders in the hot sun or cold rain you can make 5 x 25 = 125 a week then after you report that to the unemployment office as income and they deduct that,,,then every week is a week to week basis on the sign holding and your new job becomes being online or on the phone all day with the unemployment office worker,,,and getting proof from the head office of the union,,,your better off going to work everydy after saying a prayer of thanks you have a job and your back or knees or elbows dont go out on ya,,,and the construction buisness dont crash and the economy doest get any worse so people will keep buying your wood products,,,then dont forget,,,all the unions have joined the fight against obamacare,,,which means if and when the company decides to cut hours of the employees,,,the union man will go into hiding or talk real fast to confuse you like a democrat does,,,the grave digger will go away forever,,,if you employees demand the grave digger gets to sit in all the contract meetings,,,,ha haa haaa
As much as I hate to reply to you. Let me debunk something else you don't know about. Here is some information from the Teamsters.

What is strike pay and how much would I receive?

When strikers stop working, they do not receive their normal paychecks, but they will receive some money from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Strike Fund. Many local unions also maintain their own strike funds to help their workers through difficult times. Local strike benefits are determined by the local. Strike benefits from the International Union are based on the following formula:

If you earn less than $11 per hour, you will receive between $75 and $110 per week. For all other members, strike pay is equivalent to four times your monthly dues amount per week. So if you pay $35 a month in dues then you would receive $140 a week (4 x 35 = 140).

This is information from the Teamsters local 245. They are part of the Ohio Strike Fund. I am not sure how much that pays. I will try to get information on how much this is but it does supplement what you get from the Teamsters.
grave digger

Ozark, MO

#64 Aug 15, 2013
Armstrong worker wrote:
<quoted text>
As much as I hate to reply to you. Let me debunk something else you don't know about. Here is some information from the Teamsters.
What is strike pay and how much would I receive?
When strikers stop working, they do not receive their normal paychecks, but they will receive some money from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Strike Fund. Many local unions also maintain their own strike funds to help their workers through difficult times. Local strike benefits are determined by the local. Strike benefits from the International Union are based on the following formula:
If you earn less than $11 per hour, you will receive between $75 and $110 per week. For all other members, strike pay is equivalent to four times your monthly dues amount per week. So if you pay $35 a month in dues then you would receive $140 a week (4 x 35 = 140).
This is information from the Teamsters local 245. They are part of the Ohio Strike Fund. I am not sure how much that pays. I will try to get information on how much this is but it does supplement what you get from the Teamsters.
better read the small print,,,think it says after your a union member for 1 or maybe more yrs before anyone gets money from the union,,,the small print is the rules they follow,,,you do what you want,,,but aint no union can overide the right to fire state like missouri is,,,unions make sure you have toilet paper in the bathrooms and you get your breaks,,,unions are a strong arm buisness my freind,,,
BENthere

Reeds Spring, MO

#65 Aug 16, 2013
grave digger wrote:
<quoted text>better read the small print,,,think it says after your a union member for 1 or maybe more yrs before anyone gets money from the union,,,the small print is the rules they follow,,,you do what you want,,,but aint no union can overide the right to fire state like missouri is,,,unions make sure you have toilet paper in the bathrooms and you get your breaks,,,unions are a strong arm buisness my freind,,,
i work on first shift and have for longer than most of you. i want to say you all make me sick. i watch these young people on the other shifts going to and from there jobs every day. the ones that you see to that were just like you and me 15 or 20 years ago. just bought there first home and starting a family. you say it's wirth the risk is it wirth it to them and why do you have the rite to make that choice for them. tell me i don't know what i'm talking about. i have lived it for one thing. i watched my as the place my father worked go on strike for nine months. i seen him sitting at the table after they repossed our car crying. i was there when we had to move into an old house that a family member owned. don't sit there and tell me it don't happen or it won't happen.
you people wearing your little stickers around and proud of the all special union that will make it all better are no better than the people you are against. you want your bonus back you want a vioce call it what you will it all comes back to one thing MONEY. the same thing these investors are after and the same thing you are after. i know everyday i get up and thank god for all the things he has provided for me. god says to love and trust in me and i will provide all your needs but nut all your wants.
you say you have done your research then you will know that armstrong does not own the company anymore. you don't work for armstrong. these investors buy out corperations and drain them for every penny they can for three years then sell them. if you go union it will not be with armstrong it will be with them. even if armstrong buys the plant back your contract will mean nothing because you were not contracted through armstrong. but you will still be union and armstrong has the rite to replace you if they decide to not be affiliated with the union and that goes for beverly and jackson to. you say they won't do that. then why is onieda plant that has been shut down for years starting back up and is running one shift now and doing it nonunion. do your research.
now do me one favor and when your out on that picket line with your nice little union sticker on walk up to that boy that lost his home and look him straight in the eyes and with the vioce you wanted so bad and tell him go teamsters.
all i say is to trust in god and love him and he will give you all your needs. you are all in my prayers.
bliiy

Ozark, MO

#66 Aug 17, 2013
BENthere wrote:
<quoted text>i work on first shift and have for longer than most of you. i want to say you all make me sick. i watch these young people on the other shifts going to and from there jobs every day. the ones that you see to that were just like you and me 15 or 20 years ago. just bought there first home and starting a family. you say it's wirth the risk is it wirth it to them and why do you have the rite to make that choice for them. tell me i don't know what i'm talking about. i have lived it for one thing. i watched my as the place my father worked go on strike for nine months. i seen him sitting at the table after they repossed our car crying. i was there when we had to move into an old house that a family member owned. don't sit there and tell me it don't happen or it won't happen.
you people wearing your little stickers around and proud of the all special union that will make it all better are no better than the people you are against. you want your bonus back you want a vioce call it what you will it all comes back to one thing MONEY. the same thing these investors are after and the same thing you are after. i know everyday i get up and thank god for all the things he has provided for me. god says to love and trust in me and i will provide all your needs but nut all your wants.
you say you have done your research then you will know that armstrong does not own the company anymore. you don't work for armstrong. these investors buy out corperations and drain them for every penny they can for three years then sell them. if you go union it will not be with armstrong it will be with them. even if armstrong buys the plant back your contract will mean nothing because you were not contracted through armstrong. but you will still be union and armstrong has the rite to replace you if they decide to not be affiliated with the union and that goes for beverly and jackson to. you say they won't do that. then why is onieda plant that has been shut down for years starting back up and is running one shift now and doing it nonunion. do your research.
now do me one favor and when your out on that picket line with your nice little union sticker on walk up to that boy that lost his home and look him straight in the eyes and with the vioce you wanted so bad and tell him go teamsters.
all i say is to trust in god and love him and he will give you all your needs. you are all in my prayers.
your an idiot how can these kids go out and buy a home on 300 to 350 a week are you stupid I was making that 18 years ago have you ever heard of inflation just another thing back in 2008 armstrng just worked us enough we couldn't get unemployment and I made less than unemployment and lost my house and everthing I had as well I am tired of these ignorant people that doesent have a clue what the teamsters are
grave digger

Ozark, MO

#67 Aug 17, 2013
bliiy wrote:
<quoted text> your an idiot how can these kids go out and buy a home on 300 to 350 a week are you stupid I was making that 18 years ago have you ever heard of inflation just another thing back in 2008 armstrng just worked us enough we couldn't get unemployment and I made less than unemployment and lost my house and everthing I had as well I am tired of these ignorant people that doesent have a clue what the teamsters are
your right,,,it sucks,,,but if you want change in this town,,,then change the city council and the few families who run things,,,stop them from letting other big corps coming to town and the wages will change,,,then the unions can come in,,,but until then,,,either put a stop to these few or wait until they die off of old age,,,or get a hold of a voodoo lady in new orleans and she will change all these mofos who have west plains locked down,,,she can and will break them,,,ha haa haaa
Armstrong worker

Ava, MO

#68 Aug 17, 2013
@BENthere

I am sorry that happened to your father. 9 months on strike seems a little extreme and I don't doubt you for a second. I can't tell you that you won't lose your car or house but it could happen just as likely without being in the Teamsters union.

Yes I do think some of this is about money. I make less now than I did 6 or 7 years ago and I am working more hours. Are you telling me you don't? I struggle to pay my house payment, buy gas, groceries and some of the most basic things my family needs. So tell me how trying to better myself is wrong or will cause me trouble. I could be replaced at work at any time. Remember this, Missouri follow the Employment at will doctrine. This means that the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as there is no employment contract to the contrary, there is no discrimination under civil rights laws (based on race, color, age, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex, or physical/mental disability), no merit laws apply, or the state’s limited public policy exception does not apply.

If you had taken the time to read all the forum posts here then you would have seen where I posted that Armstrong was owned by TPG (Texas Pacific Group), a group of investors who are trying to drain every bit of money out of it they can with disregard for the employees. If TPG could drop out of being with the union when they bought Armstrong then why don't they do it? Maybe it's not as easy as you think and would only hurt themselves as much as it would the employees. I for one don't worry about Oneida, Tennessee being up and running. We are supposed to be the #1 plant. If you think just Beverly and Jackson are the only union plants then you are mistaken. 61% of Armstrong as a whole is union. So why hasn't TPG just gotten out of all of those union plants too?

Going on strike is not determined by the Teamsters. That is something we the employees vote on and I can't see us voting to go on strike because everything isn't 100% the way we would like it to be. It comes down to compromise. So if we do go union then you have a vote just like every other employee does to determine if we go on strike or not.

Instead of just being a no, no, no kind of guy maybe you should do some research of your own. Maybe this is God's way of telling you he wants to provide you with what you are worth. Did you ever think of it that way. Religious beliefs out of the way, maybe you could provide more for your family and have a sense of job security. Knowing when you go to work you don't make enough to just get by. That someday if your children have to work there then they to will have the same job security you do. This isn't about hurting anyone, be it me, you or Armstrong. So while you will probably still vote against forming a union, at least you should know all the facts.
letter writer

Ozark, MO

#69 Aug 18, 2013
Armstrong worker wrote:
@BENthere
I am sorry that happened to your father. 9 months on strike seems a little extreme and I don't doubt you for a second. I can't tell you that you won't lose your car or house but it could happen just as likely without being in the Teamsters union.
Yes I do think some of this is about money. I make less now than I did 6 or 7 years ago and I am working more hours. Are you telling me you don't? I struggle to pay my house payment, buy gas, groceries and some of the most basic things my family needs. So tell me how trying to better myself is wrong or will cause me trouble. I could be replaced at work at any time. Remember this, Missouri follow the Employment at will doctrine. This means that the employer can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason, as long as there is no employment contract to the contrary, there is no discrimination under civil rights laws (based on race, color, age, national origin, religion, ancestry, sex, or physical/mental disability), no merit laws apply, or the state’s limited public policy exception does not apply.
If you had taken the time to read all the forum posts here then you would have seen where I posted that Armstrong was owned by TPG (Texas Pacific Group), a group of investors who are trying to drain every bit of money out of it they can with disregard for the employees. If TPG could drop out of being with the union when they bought Armstrong then why don't they do it? Maybe it's not as easy as you think and would only hurt themselves as much as it would the employees. I for one don't worry about Oneida, Tennessee being up and running. We are supposed to be the #1 plant. If you think just Beverly and Jackson are the only union plants then you are mistaken. 61% of Armstrong as a whole is union. So why hasn't TPG just gotten out of all of those union plants too?
Going on strike is not determined by the Teamsters. That is something we the employees vote on and I can't see us voting to go on strike because everything isn't 100% the way we would like it to be. It comes down to compromise. So if we do go union then you have a vote just like every other employee does to determine if we go on strike or not.
Instead of just being a no, no, no kind of guy maybe you should do some research of your own. Maybe this is God's way of telling you he wants to provide you with what you are worth. Did you ever think of it that way. Religious beliefs out of the way, maybe you could provide more for your family and have a sense of job security. Knowing when you go to work you don't make enough to just get by. That someday if your children have to work there then they to will have the same job security you do. This isn't about hurting anyone, be it me, you or Armstrong. So while you will probably still vote against forming a union, at least you should know all the facts.
@BENthere come on get real whoever you are. labor lays protect union workers just like nonunion workers. i too am sorry for what you went through but before you get on here and talk about things way out there please use your computer.
i cannot say that i am good religious person but i do believe in god and trust in him and have told myself that if this happens it's what god wants for me.
i do have one question though. can a new owner of the company have us renegotiate a new contract or do they except what we have already and got to wait for the renewal to negotiate with us.
blaine

Ozark, MO

#71 Aug 22, 2013
letter writer wrote:
<quoted text>@BENthere come on get real whoever you are. labor lays protect union workers just like nonunion workers. i too am sorry for what you went through but before you get on here and talk about things way out there please use your computer.
i cannot say that i am good religious person but i do believe in god and trust in him and have told myself that if this happens it's what god wants for me.
i do have one question though. can a new owner of the company have us renegotiate a new contract or do they except what we have already and got to wait for the renewal to negotiate with us.
they have to accept the contract. a contract is a contract.
USA

Lees Summit, MO

#73 Aug 22, 2013
bliiy wrote:
<quoted text> your an idiot how can these kids go out and buy a home on 300 to 350 a week are you stupid I was making that 18 years ago have you ever heard of inflation just another thing back in 2008 armstrng just worked us enough we couldn't get unemployment and I made less than unemployment and lost my house and everthing I had as well I am tired of these ignorant people that doesent have a clue what the teamsters are
I was making more than that in 1973.
Armstrong worker

Ozark, MO

#74 Aug 22, 2013
blaine is correct. If a new company buys Armstrong then they agree to finish out the existing contract. After that then they negotiate a new one.

To everyone who reads this and works at Armstrong here in West Plains. I wish you would actually do some research about what the Teamsters are about. Don't just get spoon fed what Armstrong is dishing out. No all the facts then make a judgement based on those facts. We need to make a positive impact in our own lives and working conditions and by standing together we can do just that. Not just for ourselves but for future employees that come to work there.

1. They won't close if we unionize. Stated by the new VP and in a note that was posted in the glass case by Bob Brownrigg.

2. Thew will negotiate in good faith. Stated again by the new VP of Armstrong Wood Products.

3. The supervisors that are spreading lies and telling you that you will be fired threatening employees can get in trouble as that is a violation of your rights as an employee.

4. Give us employees the much needed respect and voice we need in the work place.

5. There is no union dues until we sign a contract. Also union dues are tax deductible.

6. There can only be a strike if we vote to go on strike.

7. Above all else. Just educate yourself. No matter how you plan to vote. You might just change your mind and learn something about being in Middle Class America.
biffle

Ozark, MO

#75 Sep 7, 2013
all I know is if this union don't come in you will be making around unemployment wages maybe even less with the lean program
Armstrong worker

West Plains, MO

#76 Sep 7, 2013
Well I heard that there were a few employees at the plant last night, Sept. 6th and that they did some good trying to talk to others about the Teamsters. All I can say is to those that are undecided, that you should really get out and find all available information on forming a union. Again no matter how you vote you should educate yourself.

Going lean is happening and it affects all employees. I do know that they are trying to run as much flooring as possible with even fewer employees than we have now. That is part of lean. So when you volunteer to go home or they tell you that it's your turn and have to go. Then Saturday will be straight time or if it's a no Saturday week then you only work 4 days. That is a hunk out of anyone's paycheck. Also lean isn't just about cutting out employees but is also finding ways to run more efficiently to produce more flooring. Lean is here to stay.

So unless you wish to again work more for less then you should vote no on forming a union with your fellow employees. Remember if we stand together we can have a much needed voice when it comes to dealing with Armstrong. Regardless of what management thinks. They like having total control and to put us on equal grounds is not something they want to see happen. Employees of Armstrong the choice is yours. Please try to make the decision I think is right for us and vote YES if it comes to an election.
Armstrong worker

Ava, MO

#77 Sep 7, 2013
They will keep cutting people out. Bob and John do not give a crap that everyone is killing them selves to try and produce the most flooring as we can. Keep eliminating jobs and ask for more production is going to get people hurt. Every supervisor and upper management will say safety first, unless it gets in the way of production. I say to everyone, next time you notice something unsafe refuse to start up until it is taken care of. I guarantee they will threaten to write you up or termination unless you go do your job. Any upper management want to chime in on this saying that this isn't true. You will be lying your ass off. I have seen this first hand. Management does not respect, or appreciate how hard anyone works or the sacrifices that us employees have to make every week. I say we go union.

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