Moving Forward Safely

apwubadgerOn August 17th we met with District Management to discuss our future involvement in the district safety programs. Of major concern for the APWU was the acknowledgement that our safety advocates must be able to act without fear of retaliation. We agreed that to alleviate any concern on the part of the APWU, all advocates would be provided with the personal cell phone number and email address of the District Manager. In the future if a safety advocate after attempting to resolve an issue is not satisfied with the response of local supervisors, they may contact the District Manager directly. The discipline that was issued to the APWU Safety Advocate has been rescinded by the District Senior Plant Manager and coaching has been provided to the responsible supervisors.

We also discussed the impediment that issuing discipline to employees for safety related accidents has on improving the overall safety and health program. We agreed to a moratorium on all safety related discipline until a policy could be developed and disseminated to management personnel. The core agreement was that prior to any supervisor conducting an investigative interview that may lead to discipline that supervisors must receive concurrence to conduct the investigation from the Manager of Human Resources. The APWU will also make it a permanent agenda item at future JLMSH meetings to review all investigative interviews and discipline that result from accidents/injuries or safety related activities.

We discussed but reached no firm resolution regarding conflict resolution training for supervisors and jointly addressing APWU Safety Advocates. Regarding the conflict resolution training the APWU has seen an increase in supervisors resorting to giving direct orders and contributing too instead of reducing conflict. We will continue to explore these issues further.

The APWU raised the outstanding job that our custodians and the important job that they do in protecting us from hazardous materials. Immediately and without reservation District Senior Plant Manager Flores and District Manager Williams suggested that we recognize these individuals for their efforts. We agreed to hold a function in September.

We concluded our meeting by conducting a walkthrough of the plant to review some of the new safety initiatives that have been put in place recently.

With these agreements in place and commitments to continue meeting, the APWU after consultation with the NALC and NPMHU will renew our participation in the Joint Labor Management Safety and Health programs.