To: TRAX Employees at Yuma Proving Ground
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 – Today, TRAX attorneys notified the IAM that TRAX will appeal the decision by the NLRB to allow the “micro-unit” union election in the Ammunition Recovery Section as opposed to in a contract-wide determination of unionization. While TRAX respects the rights of all its employees to decide unionization, including those who voted in favor of the IAM, TRAX will not further complicate matters by negotiating a separate, Section-specific contract during the appeals process. Instead, TRAX will await a final determination from the NLRB or appropriate court before proceeding. In the meantime, TRAX will continue to work with all of its employees to provide the best service to the customer and a safe and rewarding professional environment for all of us.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 – Yesterday, the NLRB issued an order vacating the Notice of Hearing previously issued regarding the petition filed by TRAX requesting a contract-wide vote at YPG on the issue of unionization. At the same time, the NLRB issued a Decision and Direction of Election authorizing elections in Sections 79 and 96 for August 25, 2015. In short, the NLRB has endorsed the IAM’s efforts to divide the TRAX workforce and conduct elections on a section-by-section, “micro-unit” basis. While TRAX intends to fully comply with applicable law and NLRB orders, TRAX is also committed to appeal the NLRB’s unprecedented reliance on “micro units” to the full extent of the law. TRAX will continue to fight for the right of all its employees to determine whether we remain Union free. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. In the meantime, continue to focus on safely providing the best available service to our customers.
Thursday, August 14, 2015 – TRAX has been critical of the approach taken by the IAM in its organizing campaign. We firmly believe that all YPG employees should be able to vote on the important question of whether unionization is the right choice here at YPG. The IAM is trying to deny many employees this fundamental right, by filing election petitions in relatively small sections of our workforce. In our opinion, the IAM’s strategy is to hope that the Company will eventually concede and recognize the union across the whole contract, if enough small groups vote for unionization. We think that’s both undemocratic and an abuse of the NLRB process.
So, in order to give all employees the right to vote on this question, the Company today filed an election petition with the NLRB in Phoenix. It seeks an election among the entire TRAX YPG workforce like the last time the IAM tried to organize the eligible hourly employees in 2008, when union representation was defeated by an overwhelming majority. Federal labor law permits an employer to file a petition for an election in certain circumstances. We think this is such a situation. The question of whether unionization is a good idea should be important to all of us, and we think everyone ought to have a chance to express their opinion on this issue.
Please know that by filing this petition, TRAX continues to believe that unionization is not the right choice for the YPG workforce. We simply think it’s better to let everyone have a vote.
The NLRB will review this petition over the next few days. The NLRB should schedule a hearing on this matter, unless the IAM agrees with TRAX that an election among the entire workforce is appropriate. We will keep you updated on developments in this proceeding.
Please let us know if you have any questions about the Company’s position.
1) You have the RIGHT to refuse to sign a union authorization card
2) You also have the RIGHT to revoke any authorization card you may have signed.
3) As an employee, you have the RIGHT to voice your opinion against unionization, including expressing your opinion about whether everyone should have the right to vote.
Thursday, August 14, 2015 – Since the IAM began its section-by-section organizing campaign at YPG, three separate petitions for election have been filed on behalf of 38 employees in Sections 77, 79, and 96. A few of you working in these sections have approached us for the purpose of discussing or suggesting changes to the terms and conditions of employment at TRAX. Others of you have openly questioned why management may not have resolved the issues raised. Let us assure all of you that management maintains its strong tradition of an open door policy and a willingness to hear, consider, and respond to employee issues and concerns. However, federal law significantly restricts TRAX from making any promises or materially changing the terms of conditions of employment for any employees in sections for which a petition for election has been filed.
TRAX will continue to manage the entirety of YPG for the best interest of the customer, our organization and our employees. For those of you in Sections 77, 79 and 96, we ask for your continued patience and understanding while the legal process takes its course. Despite the distractions of the ongoing IAM campaign, TRAX remains steadfastly focused on partnering with all of you to continue providing industry-leading service and a safe and rewarding professional environment. Regardless of any legal restrictions, our door remains open and we are always willing to listen to your concerns and answer your questions.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 – As many of you may have heard, the employees in Section 77 – Ammo Recovery voted by a narrow majority today to make the IAM their certified representative. While TRAX is committed to fully complying with applicable law, TRAX remains frustrated with the apparent unwillingness of the IAM to allow all of the employees at TRAX to decide whether or not TRAX remains union free. As a result, TRAX intends to contest the NLRB decision and direction of election for Section 77. In addition, TRAX will continue to lawfully contest any efforts by the IAM or any other organization to further divide our workforce and seek section-by-section determinations regarding unionization.
As the IAM continues to meet with TRAX employees, remember:
1) You have the RIGHT to refuse to sign a union authorization card
2) You also have the RIGHT to revoke any authorization card you may have signed.
As an employee, you have the RIGHT to voice your opinion against unionization.
Thursday, August 06, 2015 – Some of you have asked how a union might impact TRAX’s business.
As you know, Government test customers, range users, and commercial vendors come here because of TRAX’s “can-do” attitude and its willingness to do whatever it takes within the bounds of safety and security to get the job done. We have heard these comments repeatedly from visitors and customers. Right now, the Company has the flexibility to meet unique customer demands by altering work schedules, and through cross-utilization. Some of that flexibility might be lost if we had to adhere to some of the restrictions that are typically found in a union contract.
Also, customers often become concerned when their suppliers become unionized because they fear the potential for union induced work stoppages. Ultimately, we don’t know how the Government test customers, range users, and commercial vendors would react if the union was voted in. TRAX certainly would hope that they would continue to come here and test with us regardless of the outcome of the election, but it is possible that some might look elsewhere. We think it’s safe to say that anything that reduces TRAX’s ability to be extremely responsive and flexible would reduce the desirability to test here at YPG. There are no guarantees, particularly in this difficult business climate with reducing budgets.
While none of us know what would happen if the union was voted in, we thought it was important for you to consider at least some of the possibilities. In our opinion, having a union here could increase the chances of a negative response by some of our customers.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015 – TRAX has heard some employees signed authorization cards to improve job security and wages in the event the YPG contract is awarded to another company. In our opinion, this is not a wise strategy. The IAM CANNOT GUARANTEE job security or wage levels. First, while TRAX would be required to negotiate in good faith with the IAM regarding the terms and conditions of employment for the employees in bargaining units that elect to be represented by the IAM, employees would not automatically receive better wages and benefits. Wages and benefits could be higher, could remain the same or could be as low as the area wage determination. All terms and conditions would be on the table and the IAM may trade away benefits you already have for things the IAM wants (like automatic deduction of dues money). TRAX would not be required to sign any contract or agree to any offer that it thought was unreasonable. In addition, while a successor company may be required to honor wage rates previously negotiated by TRAX and the IAM for one year, the IAM would not be able to prevent a successor company from laying off employees to decrease labor costs or from renegotiating wage rates after the first year. In short, the IAM CANNOT guarantee that your wages and benefits will improve as a result of unionization and the IAM CANNOT guarantee your job security even if another contractor is awarded the YPG contract. TRAX believes that the best bet for long-term, job security is the continued ability of TRAX to meet the unique demands of our customer. For example, we currently enjoy the flexibility to alter work schedules, make work assignments across job classifications and adjust shifts in order to provide the best service possible to our customer. Some of this flexibility could be lost if TRAX (or any subsequent employer) is forced to comply with some of the restrictions typically found in union contracts. TRAX believes that a UNION FREE WORKPLACE IS THE BEST GUARANTEE FOR LONG-TERM JOB SECURITY.
Wednesday, August 05, 2015 – Notice of Release of Personal Information
The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) Final Rule on representation elections went into effect on April 14, 2015. A number of significant changes in representation rules are part of the new Final Rule, including the fact that the company is required to provide the union with all employees’ personal information.
Within two business days after the issuance of the Decision and Direction of Election (“DDE”) or the approval of a Stipulated Election Agreement, the employer is required to electronically file with the NLRB and serve on the union a list of all eligible voters. Under the new rules, TRAX is now REQUIRED BY LAW to provide the following information with its list of eligible voters: the employee’s name, address, available personal cell and home telephone numbers and personal email addresses, work location, shift, and job classification.
We want you to know that TRAX must comply with the NLRB’s Final Rule and applicable law by providing personal contact information even though it could be viewed by some as an invasion of privacy. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Brian Thompson (Desk: 928-328-4706, Cell: 928-920-2797).
Tuesday, August 04, 2015 – Many of you have asked about the petition postings from the NRLB and the IAM. Therefore, TRAX would like to clarify a few things based on questions that we are receiving.
1. What does the NOTICE OF PETITION FOR ELECTION mean?
Answer: TRAX is required by law to notify employees whenever a union petitions the National Labor Relations Board for the right to hold an election to become certified as the representative for TRAX employees. Since July 15, TRAX has received two petitions for election from the IAM.
2. Why is there more than one notice?
Answer: Rather than file a petition for election decided by all eligible TRAX employees, the IAM has apparently elected to hold elections for select groups of TRAX employees. As a result, the IAM has filed separate petitions for election. The IAM filed one petition for the eighteen employees in Section 77 and another petition for seven employees in Section 96. No determination has been made regarding the employees identified in either petition. While TRAX believes that a decision to unionize should be up to all, eligible employees, the law requires that TRAX issue notices for both petitions filed by the IAM.
3. Will we see more NLRB notices?
Answer: Notices are required whenever a petition is filed. The IAM is able to file a petition only if it can show that 30% of the employees in a specific group support the filing of a petition. This is typically accomplished through card signing. If the IAM is unable to show that at least 30% of employees in a prospective unit support the filing of a petition, then a “Notice of Petition for Election” will not be issued.
4. What does TRAX think about union elections?
Answer: TRAX respects the rights of employees and it honors their wishes, whether they want union representation or not. However, TRAX does not believe that a union is required to represent the best interests of employees. Moreover, employees need to remember that (1) you have the RIGHT not to sign a union authorization card; (2) you have the RIGHT to revoke a card that you previously signed; and (3) you have the RIGHT to voice your opinion against unionization.
5. How does this affect other sections?
Answer: If the NLRB issues a determination in favor of an election, the appropriate bargaining unit(s) and eligible voters will be identified by the NLRB. If the IAM wins an election in any employee bargaining unit identified by the NLRB, the IAM will be the certified representative for only the employees in that employee unit. However, TRAX strongly believes the outcome of the election(s) may negatively affect other sections – even sections not identified as part of a bargaining unit by the NLRB. If successful, the IAM will essentially create a workforce divided on union lines. TRAX believes this may damage morale, create excessive administrative burdens and severely hamper our responsiveness and flexibility in providing services to our customers. The success of TRAX is a direct result of the tremendous service provided by the employees that make up the TRAX team. This is why TRAX believes that every eligible employee on the contract should have the opportunity to determine whether the IAM will become the certified representative of all, eligible TRAX employees.
We urge you to stand up for your RIGHT to speak out against unionization at TRAX.
Tuesday, August 04, 2015 – TRAX is informed that the IAM may be conducting a card signing campaign at YPG. Before you sign anything, remember that the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the RIGHT to refrain from any and all union activities. You have the RIGHT to refuse to sign a union authorization card. You also have the RIGHT to revoke any authorization card you may have signed. As an employee, you have the RIGHT to voice your opinion against unionization. It is against the law to threaten, coerce or otherwise retaliate against employees for exercising their rights, whether employees support or oppose unionization. Do not allow the IAM or anyone else to intimidate you or discourage you from speaking your mind. We at TRAX feel that a union-free workplace is in all of our best interests and we are confident that many of you feel the same way. We urge you to learn the facts about unionization and the IAM and make your feelings known to others.
Monday, August 03, 2015 – We received notice that another petition has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This petition asks the NLRB to conduct an election to determine whether a small number of TRAX employees, 7 Technicians in Section 96 Telecommunications at YPG, wish to be represented by the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers for purposes of collective bargaining.
As with the prior one, the NLRB will investigate this petition over the next several days to determine whether the petition satisfies applicable legal requirements. The NLRB also will decide whether it is appropriate to conduct an election for the identified group.
While TRAX still believes that employees do not need a union to be treated fairly, we respect the wishes of our employees and their right to invoke the NLRB’s process. We will continue to keep you informed of developments as they occur.
For your convenience, please see attached notification. This will be posted in common areas like all other required postings and notifications.
If there are questions or concerns please contact your lead, manager, HR, or Brian Thompson.
Friday, July 31, 2015 – As many of you may know, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (“IAM”) attempted to unionize TRAX as recently as 2008. At that time, all TRAX hourly employees were included in the bargaining unit proposed by the IAM and TRAX employees convincingly voted to remain union free. On July 14, 2015, the IAM filed another petition for election of union representation.
In its most recent petition, however, the IAM identified only the seventeen, full-time employees in Section 77 as the proposed bargaining unit. On Monday and Tuesday, TRAX participated in a hearing with the IAM. That hearing was intended to determine whether the 17 person “micro-unit” proposed by the IAM is an appropriate unit. Like the IAM, TRAX retained legal counsel for the hearing. TRAX argued that the issue of unionization should be decided, once again, by all of its hourly employees. The law regarding micro-units has changed in recent years and continues to be challenged and clarified. Accordingly, TRAX is not able to predict the ultimate outcome of the hearing. Once we get the NLRB decision, we will know which employees will be eligible to vote. That group will decide on whether TRAX remains union free.