Tony Bellamy's Commentaries 

International Paper   Lexington, Kentucky

                                                                                                             

Updated : 08-13-07

 

Posted 2007

1 Billion = A Staggering Number

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend, but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of its
releases.

a. A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

b. A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

c. A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

d. A billion days ago no one walked on the earth on two feet.

 Most of us were pleased to hear that we were going to be granted a 2% raise as opposed to a one-time bonus of 600 dollars, or possibly no raise at all. I can see that…. but….

 If we ran 1,000,000,000 sq. feet of paper, and we made only 3 cents a foot, that still comes to 30,000,000 dollars. Great year for only one location, wouldn’t you say?

 If you were on social security you would have received a 3.3% this year. The government adjusts this increase based on inflation.

 Here we are in a situation where we have to work six and seven days a week and still fall short getting orders out on time. Those who attend church regularly are just out of luck. Paper comes first! Customers come first! We have to cover for other shifts as well, sometimes putting in as much as sixty plus hours a week. They butchered our vacation policy to their liking. If your 5 minutes late for work you are charged half an occurrence.

 They could afford to change these policies I bet  if they had to make a choice between shutting down the plant and losing customers or changing these policies, what do you think they would do? Which is more cost effective?

 Nobody wants to strike. I don’t want to shoot anyone either, but I do own several guns. If someone were to break in my house and I aimed the gun on them, chances are they would stop.

It’s time to take aim, as you are being robbed. Instead of a gun though, take aim with the power to negotiate your future with union representation. This is the only alternative, and one that will be offered to you in 2007.

  We wish you all a happy new year, with the hope that you resolve to take control of your future in the year ahead.

Tony B.

 

9-11-2006 

WHO'S IN CHARGE OF THIS MESS?

Well, here we go again. Mike tells us if we give him a little more footage we can get out of working the weekend. How many times have we heard this one? Is there anyone who hasn't heard the age old story of "The boy who cried wolf?"

  We gave him the numbers he originally told us would get us out of weekend work! That is a forgotten promise as he asks for more. Why does he keep asking for more? Is it because Don constantly puts us in a position of no hope? I believe it has a lot to do with it.

  You see, Don takes any and all orders he can get his hands on. Big orders, small orders, orders that cost us money as well as those we make money on. He continues to try and dictate production, telling supervisors what to run and when to run them. We are hopelessly over booked. He doesn't tell our customers this though. At the last minute he pushes orders out. Yes we are constantly late with orders. Just this weekend, we see orders coming down the line for Monday, when we haven't met the demand for orders due out for Saturday.  If you look at the large production board posted outside the break room, you see that shipping gets out around 95% of these orders on time. This is bogus. If we ship just part of an order to a customer, then the company doesn't consider that order missed. What a joke huh?

  Much like our scrap rate that is well penciled in. Fact is that we send out at least a truckload of bad paper a week to a recycling company, which goes unrecorded on the scrap rate. Just look at all the returns we have received, which we supposedly will eventually sort. More than likely it will end up as loose scrap on a trailer.

  Little maintenance can be done on machines due to the fact we never stop running them long enough. This means the machines will eventually break down and we get even further behind. Make sense?

  I think Don is Mike Soelke's boss. Yes, Mr.Soelke is supposed to be over our entire region. He is supposed to visit this week in fact. I am told he will bark a little bit then be on his way. Nothing will change. Don will ignore him as always. He will leave, and Don and Donna will go have a smoke and a laugh.

  After all, wasn't Don supposed to be given an office outside the plant? It just didn't happen though now did it? Now look at the mess we're in. We work seven days a week with broken down machinery, and a work schedule that's impossible at best.

  The thing that stings the most is that Mike and Don can receive 30 to 60% of their base pay in bonuses for your efforts while you are on track to receive a $600 bonus at the end of the year instead of a salary increase. If you do get an increase in salary you can bet it will be nowhere near the national average. It never is with IP, now is it? You can also bet your insurance will increase again. So who gains the most from these astronomic production numbers? Those with the bonuses of course.  The same ones who don't have to work six and seven days a week.

  Remember though, management says you don't need a Union. Trust them to be fair and honest. They know what's best for this company and your future. Just look around you!

  I ask you, who runs this mess. I think it goes something like this. Here is the chain of command...

 #1- Don

#2- Donna (Don's favorite)

#3- Mike Soelke

#4- Mike Delaney

 and last and least in the minds of these leaders would be Denny.

  See why we're in such a mess? The answer is # 1 and # 2 you may guess. I think the answer is that we work without a Union Contract to protect us from all the above!

 

 In the hopes of enlightening our management team on the seriousness of smoke detectors in the workplace and using proper equipment and procedures when warranted, I offer these headlines...

 

Tissue Maker Faces $166K in OSHA Fines

OSHA is proposing a total of $166,700 in fines against Cellu Tissue Corporation after inspecting the company's Gouverneur, New York, paper mill following a September 2005 fire.

The agency cited the tissue maker for a total of 20 alleged willful, serious, and repeat violations of workplace safety standards. The company is contesting the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA says that the company expected employees to combat fires, but it had not established an in-house fire brigade and failed to provide workers with required training, personal protective equipment, self-contained breathing apparatus, and medical evaluations. OSHA issued a willful citation and fined the company $70,000.

"If you're going to have your employees fight fires, then you must provide them with the training and equipment to do it correctly and safely," says Chris Adams, OSHA's Syracuse area director.

NIST WILL LEAD STUDY ON DANGERS OF FIRE SMOKE

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Fire Protection Research Foundation announced a research initiative to study how smoke and heat impede escape and survival in fires.

The research is designed to aid policy makers in determining whether, when and how to incorporate the sublethal effects of hot fire smoke in their safety decisions. Sublethal effects are those that do not result in instantaneous or nearly instantaneous death.

The announcement was made by Jack Snell, acting director of the NIST Building and Fire Research Laboratory, and Rick Mulhaupt, president of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

Fire smoke consists of fine particles and hundreds of gases—some toxic, some harmless. Data analyses from the National Fire Protection Association have shown that most fire-related deaths are due to smoke inhalation, rather than the burns from the flames. Much already is known about how the inhalation of smoke leads directly to the deaths of building occupants and fire fighters. However, very little solid information exists about the more subtle effects of sub lethal exposures to smoke. These effects include mental disorientation, eye irritation and coughing, which make it more difficult or impossible for someone to escape a building fire.

In closing...

 What amazes me is that our management team disabled the smoke detectors in our facility, sounded no fire alarms, and didn't evacuate the building to protect workers from the smoke produced by the fire. The fire dept. was not called.

  How can they justify their position as leaders of our work force? How do you justify Management Incentive Plan bonuses and salary increases to a management team that can't even follow common sense procedures in a situation like this? How did they get the vote of confidence of a slight majority in our last election?

  I think they could use some help with their lack of ability to make common sense decisions... How about you?

 

 

WHAT HAS GOTTEN BETTER ?

 With 2006 arriving it is now time to take a look at the past year under our new management team. Mr. Delaney asked us to give him a chance to improve things and I feel we have done just that. I ask you... What has changed for the better?

 Well let's take a look... We have seen one peer review case management lost only to deny Wes a chance at the next peer review submission, thus turning that policy into a farce.

  Next we see ourselves working almost every Saturday of 2005. Also note that management refused to allow several employee's who had vacations already approved, to honor their own definition of this policy according to the handbook they wrote! Yes they told them that they couldn't take their already approved vacations. Sorry about your luck guys. Thanks for your vote of confidence in the last election!  They had the policy rewritten in 2006 though. Now it states they can cancel a vacation at any time whether approved or not. So much for making plans with your family. Of course you're aware of the fact they changed the amount of single days you can take as well as how you can schedule weekly time off. All to make life easier for Management. 

 We did get a raise this year as opposed to last year. They gave us 2 %. The CEO received a 14% pay increase last year when we got nothing. Take a look at the chart below to see how this increase will work out for you this year. 

  Now let's reflect on our new 2006 change in our attendance policy. Keep in mind we already had one of the more strict attendance policies in the corporation according to Tom Curran.

 Now, every day you miss is one occurrence. You can pay $30 and get a note from your doctor to make 3 consecutive absences only one occurrence. What if your child, mother, father etc, falls ill? What if some other tragedy occurs other than illness that demands you to take time off? What this amounts to is a way for management to create an inflated turn over rate. They don't want you to make a career of this job. They want to keep costs down by not having to invest in 5 weeks of vacation for employees, holding down the costs of pensions, Health care etc….

  I ask you one more thing... How does Delaney manage this facility when he is seldom here? The answer I received from various sources is that he seldom does. Don makes the bulk of decisions that take place here. The same old ball and chain we have always had.

  The reason management doesn't respect the fact the majority of people gave them a victory in the last election is they know that most people did so out of fear. They convinced people to fear the Union. To fear Management. Remember... The school yard bully will never respect the kids who keep handing over their lunch money without a fight. They will never respect us until we stand up to them and show NO FEAR.

  Right now management has fears of their own. We have several customers on the bubble as they put it. Yes quality issues and poor management concepts have us in trouble with some big accounts. They fear a Union in this facility could strike and cost them a fortune, though nobody wants a strike, I know. I don't want to shoot anybody, but I own several guns!

  They know an employee with such power is a threat to lackluster management capabilities. If we were Union, management would have to roll up their sleeves and address the customer's issues, and the employee issues. They couldn’t change policies at will. They couldn’t just put all the blame on the workers when customers complain. They would have to schedule C-6 more effectively rather than constantly be late with orders and work everyone to death with overtime to solve late issues.

  I will wrap this up by saying to you one thing, as I said last year. THEY ARE NOT DONE!

More negative changes are in store for us. Continue without a contract and you will lose more and more. The choice is yours. Remember….. The school yard bully will never respect the kids who keep handing over their lunch money without a fight. They will never respect us until we stand up to them and show NO FEAR. The choice is yours to make... Just as it was last year.

DON STAYS! MANAGEMENT CAN LIE DURING A CAMPAIGN!

What was it our union buster friend told you? I can’t lie to you during this campaign?

 Well, didn’t Tom Curran say that Don would no longer be in charge of production? Didn’t he also say that Don would be getting an office off company property? Oh, I’m sure he will twist those words of his once again to his liking and try to convince you he didn’t actually say that. You know better though now don’t you?

  Tom was not alone in making this promise; his boss and Stephanie were all in on the joke. Anything to win, especially when it looks like you’re about to lose and lose big. There is little doubt that the Union would have been victorious had they not pulled that trump card, which was to announce Don would no longer be in charge, that he would no longer even have an office on plant grounds.

  Not only is Don not leaving the building, he still gets to keep his office! The new GM gets a small office that our former safety manager resided in.

 Word from much of our salaried workers as well as supervisors and Team leaders is that nothing has changed. Don is still in control. He still directs what runs when, who does what, and how it is to be done. I notice he is in the plant every Saturday. If Don is only over sales, why is he here on Saturday? Sales doesn’t come in on Saturday. Except Donna on occasion…

How often have you seen Greg in here on Saturday?

   I am also amazed at the amount of time he spends in Lexington. Far more time than he spends in Mason. What really amazes me is how he can spend so much time smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee with Donna in the parking lot and get anything done relating to work. 

 How much improvement have you seen since the last election? Here we are working virtually every Saturday, Don continues scheduling us way over capacity, as we work six to seven days a week for less money than we did a year ago.

   Remember when Don told us that a $600 one-time bonus was the best the company could do? Then two months later our CEO received a big fat 14% pay raise. Don’t forget that our President of IP also knocked down a fat 12% raise! You honestly think Corporate deserves your trust? Surely by now, the writing is clear for all to see…They will say anything to keep the union out and hold you back. 2006 will be here soon. Just not soon enough!.

   Mike Delaney asked us to give him a chance to make a difference during his reign as the new GM. We told him we would give him that opportunity. We never agreed to extend Don that opportunity. We have had all the Don we can stomach, and all the lies we care to hear from Corporate.

 

Union 43 / IP 46

I want to thank all those who supported this campaign. Voters and committee alike. We gave our all and have nothing to regret other than the loss itself. In spite of the loss, it is my sincere hope that management will take a serious look at the numbers of this vote and the response of those who stayed for the count. It was total silence. Those who supported the company didn’t cheer for the company’s victory. It was silent. This alone speaks volumes.

 We all know there are problems here at this facility that must be addressed. Our new GM, Mike Delaney has promised to do his best to turn things around. I hope IP corporate will take a similar path with this facility and the good people who work here. Time will tell.

 Once again, Thanks and God bless all at our facility.

 Tony Bellamy

 2/19/2005

 

HALF TRUTH or LIES?

 Tom is a Union Buster. He makes a lot of Money to convince you that a Union will only make matters worse for you.

  IP corporate, Tom and Don haven’t shown much concern for you and your family until now though have they? IP has continuously raised your insurance, as well as your co pay, given you no raise this year and allowed Don complete control over you and this facility. Don seldom follows the handbook before making decisions and as you have seen in his recent posting even makes lite of your raise, or should I say, lack of a raise. Tom even gives Don his full support. He thinks Don is doing a fantastic job we were told!

  We have seen Don and Tom manipulate the Peer review process. We have seen Don bend and break the rules in the handbook to suit his whims as well. Tom told one employee ( According to the employee himself) who was fired that he couldn’t file peer review because he no longer worked here. That’s not how he said the process worked now is it? A union Grievance procedure doesn’t work that way! Many employees have gotten their jobs back through this process when the company stepped out of the contracts boundaries.

  Tom told us during the last campaign that Don would change his ways as well. Has he?

Tom told us how we would have round table meetings with Don to address employee concerns and issues. We did for a while…. Did it change anything? They are now all but forgotten…. The attendance committee formed recently had all their suggestions shot down by Don. He said he would post those suggestions for us to see during 1st shifts last meeting. I don’t see them posted…do you? Don does what he wants though, he probably changed his mind at Tom’s suggestion.

  We know that IP doesn’t have our best interest at heart by their past actions. We know there has to be a reason Tom and IP don’t want a union…. Is it our interest he is looking out for or that of the company?

  As we have said before, give the union a chance to make a change for the better. YOU CAN VOTE THEM OUT BY LAW if it doesn’t work out. Pay no UNION DUES until you accept the contract. Don’t take Tom’s word on Unions. Try it and see for yourself. To vote for the company sends a message to corporate that all is well and that you give them your blessing to continue along the course we are on. Is this wise? Where will Tom be after the vote? He won’t be concerned with us, that’s for sure!

  We have only one choice to make a stand and have a voice in our future. That is by standing together and vote Yes for Union representation. Or vote No and allow Don and Company to decide our fate. Don’t believe the lies and half-truths from those who have deceived you all along. Give change a chance! 

IP SHOWS TRUE GREED

Well we weren’t all that surprised to learn that we would receive a 0% increase in our hourly wages during our recent meeting with the Don. A six hundred dollar one time check before taxes followed by merit pay being taken away from those who had it didn’t come as much of a surprise either to our union committee. What’s next? Probably our salary continuance pay.

  During our last union campaign, Tom Curran assured you that the company had your best interest at heart. He said Don would change his ways as well. He said that Peer review would be a fair process, and that the rules in the hand book would be followed by management. He asked for your trust.

 Recently I filed peer review because Don had once again not followed the hand book. I filed this because he refused to follow the guidelines in this book that stated “ when overtime can be achieved with only two shifts it would be done by rotation of the shifts.” The only problem was he wouldn’t recognize first shift in rotation. 

  If a peer review form is to be denied it is supposed to be denied at step one, according to the way the process was drawn up. Mine was denied at step 3. The only peer review ever to be dropped at this step. He lied to us again. Just one of many examples of his lack of honesty and ethics.

  The Don can receive up to 60% of his base pay in bonuses. He enjoys a 153,000 dollar base pay. That averages out to 91,000+ dollars in bonuses in one year. More than all of our 600$ checks combined. Our sweat and overtime equals his reward.

  Then we can’t forget the story we posted earlier this year, where corporate settled a lawsuit for ripping off their own customers. A massive 23 million dollars. They want us to trust them? Our customers can’t why should we?

 Then there was reported to us a certain female who came to the plant one day . Several people witnessed this . She was seen beating on the Dons window outside. She was screaming , “ I know your in there!” This was about four weeks ago. Don was gone to Louisville that day with Greg. She must not trust him either. I wonder who she was?……and why she couldn’t trust him? Well, I think I can imagine really, how about you? Maybe his clique knows why? Ya think? You know, the gruesome two some. HR watches out for Dons back! So does the office manager. That’s for sure!

  Reflect on Dons actions and those of IP corporate as we enter this campaign. All we want is a legal binding contract with these people who can’t be trusted. Forming a union is the only way to achieve this. Vote Yes! 

DON IGNORES HANDBOOK POLICIES

Don is at it again. Ignoring the handbook which Tom Curran swore was so much better than any union contract. Yes Tom (Union Buster) Curran swore that our handbook was better than any union contract. He told us that management would comply to these rules Management wrote the rules and Don signed off on them.  He was supposed to read them before signing off of course.

Don doesn’t even reflect on this book before making decisions. He has show us proof  recently when he denied first shift rotation concerning the overtime policy. This policy  states that when weekend overtime is needed and production goals can be achieved with only two shifts, it would be done by rotation allowing each shift to have a weekend off. Don refuses to allow first shift to be included in this rotation. When confronted with this policy, he had the audacity to suggest  (though the policy is clearly stated where any small child could understand it) that was not the intent of the policy.

This past Saturday, an employee who agreed to cover a co- worker's overtime, had finished all the work in his assigned department. He decided he would go home, Don tried to force reassignment on this employee to another Dept. The handbook clearly states that this employee has the option to go home.   Don denied the policies existence at first!  After reading it for himself, Don decided it was true just as the employee had stated. Even after reading it Don insisted on referring to his notes before standing behind the policy. Then he wanted to call Monica to make sure….WOW!!….This is our leader….scary huh?

 The Don finally admitted his mistake and released the employee to go home. But before the employee left, Don was sure to inform him that the policy would need to be changed to better suit The Don He again initially stated that was not the intent of the policy. Once again, Don proved he cannot be trusted. The hand book (according to The Don) should only consist of one line. What Don says goes…..Is this better than a Union Contract? Can anyone trust this Don? Don’t you have to question his integrity and honesty? Give me the contract!  A Union Contract is legal and binding and offers you recourse when management refuses you one of your rights.

 Two Don (Duh!)  instances in three days. Union is a better way. Union is the only way to deal with a company and a man you can’t trust.

  Oh yes…..After this incident with the employee who wished to go home, Don went to N- 15 to apologize to an employee that had to work without a partner. Don, you had several other employee’s working on machines alone. Why didn’t you apologize to them? You constantly work machine operators without partners. Are you aware of anything outside of your clique of three?

 

11-12-04

 

ANOTHER DON EPISODE

Here we go again. Don infuriating the work force. He has a great knack for upsetting us doesn’t he? Here is a man preaching something he doesn’t practice himself. He’s only threatening people because he wants the truth?

 Nobody can tell you what you may or may not have seen. How many times have you looked right at something or somebody, but your mind was a hundred miles away? NOBODY can honestly accuse you of seeing something. That is preposterous to suggest. Only you know what you have and haven’t seen. Don could never honestly make that call about anyone now could he? Or will he? He wouldn’t dare try that in a Union Plant!

 Don himself has a hard time with the truth as we all have seen. As stated in the recent posting on the Pace Setter link to our page, he fabricated the truth when it came to his safety violation in the investigation that followed.

 He also refused to take his drug test when his name came up in the random drawing in the last election. Well, he finally went ten days later. He was busy…Though I found it strange he and Donna were taking about 6 breaks a day together during that time in our smoking break room.

 Don didn’t give the results of the gallop survey I noticed in that last meeting, though we were told they would be sharing that information with us. I guess by past results we know He failed it again. And he will again, and again.

 Don told Marcus during a meeting not long ago that he would check on how much money our plant had made and let us know in the following meeting. Several meetings later, Don changed his mind and refused to share that information with us.

  Well Don, let me help you there. We were projected to earn a net 1.5 million this year. We surpassed that…. We are at 2.7 million net for the year so far and are on track to close the year at almost 3 million net. It’s public information Don. IP has to disclose their profit margin by law…. Maybe he just feels guilty about the Insurance increase and pathetic raises with no bonuses he lays on us year after year. Maybe he feels guilty raking in his huge bonus check and leaving us hanging out to dry.

 I will wrap this up by answering a question posed to me by a friend and co-worker, who asked, “ Why was Donna in our meeting? She didn’t speak and her staff didn’t attend. Well, I guess she was being awarded another lengthy break. She attended 1st and 2nd shift meetings, but I noticed she didn’t attend 3rd shifts. Perhaps she needed her beauty sleep.

 

7-26-04

Update: To this date, no one that is enrolled at the gym has been reimbursed a single dime! So the whole $20 dollars has become the responsibility of the employees!

Another Banner Year for profits!

According to our sources, we had a great month in June! C-6 ran an all time record of 81 million sq. feet for the month! We raked in 315, 000 dollars in profit, after expenses were met for the month of June. We are on track to exceed last year, which was our best year so far. We have made IP a busting $1,500,000 in profit for the year so far.

  To reward your efforts Don took away two of your 20 dollar safety incentives (Wal-Mart gift Certificates) which that money was supposed to go toward a reduction in the cost of a Gold’s Gym membership for us. Gold’s offered us a $20 a month cost. Our management team suggested picking up $10 of that to the DON. He initially agreed to the $10 but (after some people had already signed up.) he backed out and only put out $5. All the people that signed up  learned that they are now paying $15 a month instead of the $10  Don agreed to. When mgmt. was asked why they had no answer. So often we have to question this mans integrity and honesty. Why doesn’t corporate? What did Don do with this money?

 Corporate rewards Don with an incentive for the work we do. Yes, 30% to 50 % of this man's base pay in bonuses. Look at the amount of time he spent in the Break room with Donna over the years. He wines and Dines customers and delegates to others who actually do the work. We lost one major customer because he was selling a weaker test paper to this customer than they had paid for. He gets the bacon we get the shaft. As did this customer.

  Soon you will get an opportunity for change. We hope that you will reflect on Don’s lack of leadership in the up coming months and sign the petition for Union representation as it circulates. Our last signing was at 50%. That isn’t enough! Unity is all for one and one for all. Let’s bring it home this time! Sign the petition and make a statement that we deserve better and won’t accept less! 

 5-27-04

Hello to all!

 While I was off work for a while I received numerous phone calls about Dons lack of leadership at the plant. I understand that while you have made the company quite pleased in getting closer to their wish of 30% increase in production in 3 years, people are very discontent with the fact that Don decided to lavish the office with new furniture while you once again receive nothing for your efforts. Though to be honest, I hear the majority of the office staff received nothing special. Management got the good stuff. Only Dons favorites.

 

 

 As I have heard from other plants, that is even non-union plants, they receive incentives that we do not. This is Dons call. Don has always felt like we should just be grateful to have a job. That's incentive enough.

 

 Other members of management have told us that they constantly try to push Don to give us these incentives but that he refuses. He often gets angry and will lash out at them like a small child would if you were to try to take its candy away.  

Perhaps he learned this from his days of playing basketball at Indiana. Well, we all know what Indiana did to resolve their problem with that coach. Unfortunately a lot of damage was done before they wised up.

 

 IP won't wise up. Corporate is blind to the needs and wishes of the hourly workers in Lexington. They will let Don continue to demoralize this work force until we do something about it. That’s right, until WE DO SOMETHING. The choice is ours. It's time we stand together and negotiate the changes we deserve!

 

 Meanwhile, Don gets the bacon and we get the shaft. It is our call.

 

  Keep in mind, IP just purchased Box USA . One of the largest Corrugated facilities in the country. It was a cash option. IP is shifting its business back to corrugated because that's where the money is now.  This plant makes a boatload of money! Especially compared to other plants in our region. We have more on this coming soon. Stay tuned!

 

  4-05-04

Once again Don decides to write the rules as he goes. 

 As many of you know, I was involved in an accident at C-6 , which involved what was supposed to be an empty caustic tank at the machine. I was instructed to pick up 2 containers marked empty and transport them to shipping in which a driver was waiting to take them away. What they didn’t tell me is that the one stacked on top of the full tank was still connected though marked empty. An investigation followed, and I was told by mgmt. that I was not at fault, because mgmt. had no procedure in place. I was told I was in no trouble for the incident. I was not written up for the incident.

   Then Don must have decided during one of his many smoke and coffee breaks, with no other than Donna (always Donna, constantly Donna), that I was to be drug tested. This coming from the same man who during our last election waited ten days to take his test after his name came up in the random testing process we were told (A true leader, don’t ya think?).

   O.K. I will take my medicine like a man. The strange thing is that if I’m not at fault, why test me? What about the person responsible for unhooking the tank and seeing that it is was ready for shipment? Oh yeah, that was a supervisor’s responsibility. They look out for their own now don’t they? We don’t need a Union, we can trust Don to make professional judgment calls right? WRONG.

  Corporate refuses to hold Don accountable for anything it seems. Here is a man who has been known to curse employees, or demean them at will. I won’t mention names, I don’t need too.

  Though people talk about how much time he and Donna spend in the break room, doing nothing more than smoking and chatting away from their desks, he continues to conduct himself as if he were at a social club rather than work, he continues in spite of the rumor mill. Here are a few other things worth mentioning. 

  1. Don was responsible for purchasing the Emba. A Costly blunder indeed.
  2. Don was sent home for a major safety violation, as was several of his Mgmt. team. He denied his incident initially.
  3. He doesn’t follow the rules in the handbook. Many Peer review cases have been overturned because he doesn’t follow corporate guidelines.
  4. Constantly tells customers he can meet their ship dates, though he knows we sometimes can’t possibly meet it. We constantly receive complaints from customers due to his actions.
  5. During the last job cuts, he dismissed many seasoned supervisors while keeping, Donna, who we were told that her position doesn’t even exist in other plants. Go figure.
  6. Recently he had an hourly worker tested, several days after an incident. Who drove this employee to the test site? Another hourly worker. Bad call Don.
  7. He continues to pick and choose who will be written up for mistakes concerning production. You have seen for yourself, how one person is held accountable while another is not.
  8.  He is famous for passing the buck. Never his fault! No, No!
  9. How many times have you seen an order coming down the line dated out 2 weeks or more while we wait for an order that is late for shipment? Talk to any hourly employee in shipping. They can confirm this.

  Supervisors have told Corporate and employee’s that Don is our biggest problem. Which in my opinion is why we can’t count on corporate either.

   Oh well, we get what the majority votes for. Thanks to all for letting me vent. No wonder IP just got kicked from the DOW 30.  

 

12-15-03

 

Once again, it appears that management has fallen victim to it's own harsh safety disciplines.
   Now our production manager and General manager have both violated safety procedures and supposedly , after serving 2 weeks in the street , are serving a 3 year probation sentence on behalf of our managements discipline structure.
 
  Bill didn't see his mishap as a safety violation I was told. Go figure... Actually neither did Don at the time. Don denied his mishap from the very start, though it was more than obvious he was in violation. Hourly workers had to point it out to the Safety committee for them. They decide to Punish Marcus by drug testing him the minute he turned Don in. Don still has it out for Marcus as he recently banned him from the Break room and shipping office. The first employee in our plants history to receive such a Ban.
 
   The management team has had more serious violations than hourly workers it seems. 2 Supervisors  as well as Don and Bill have been in violation since this whole VPP deal started.
  All along we have stated that these policies are to harsh. So harsh that even those who came up with these policies are falling victim to it. To error is human, to forgive divine.
 
  We who support unionization of this plant see these policies as a way to weed people out over time, to save the company from investing capital in its workforce. Employee's of seniority cost the company more in retirement costs and vacation pay as well as add to the cost of health insurance etc.... It's the big picture they are concerned with. Keeping costs down by creating an environment that has a high turn over rate. The fact that management can't comply to this strict policy regimen only proves our point.
  We need to work safe, no doubt. We also must protect our families by negotiating a change in these policies to ensure you have a job, when you make a human error. We know there is only one way to do this now don't we? We have to negotiate change, and we must be union to have any prayer of accomplishing this. As often as we are exposed to these safety policies, can you honestly say that you will have a job next year? Can Don or Bill?

 

12-01-03

 

 Has any member of our committee made you any promises? Is there a petition going around at the moment? Has anyone asked you to sign anything? Could management find their way out of a paper bag if one end was left open? Tom Rauch wants you to get the facts from management? Sounds like they are way short on facts now doesn’t it?

   Tom challenged you to come to them with your questions! Here are a few suggestions.

   Why did they recently settle a lawsuit to the tune of 25,000,000 dollars for burning our own customers?

   *Why do they write people up for quality issues they approved to sell to begin with?

   *Why have they asked people to run machines in violation of Matrix diagrams and /or written policies concerning safety? Block fire extinguishers, and not following up on violations when management is accused of a violation. This we have seen since the last election, now haven’t we?

  *Why did they promise to form committees to help with policy changes, when once formed, NONE of the attendance committees ideas were approved in their last session. The committee refused to sign the document after learning this.

  *Why do they offer other NON UNION facilities bonuses for reaching various performance achievements, but allow Don not to offer it to us?  Keep in mind these are plants we have out performed for years. Oh, and yes…. This is Don’s call.

  *Why is our attendance policy more harsh than any other plant we have researched within IP?

  The turn over rate at this facility is astronomical compared to our sister Union plants. Another reason for concern. What good is a 401K and pension plan if the average employee is gone in 5 years.

    Ask them why they have failed their own gallop survey every year since they took over this plant. Tom, let me enlighten you where Don has failed to. It’s because we find management deceitful and totally unprofessional as well as unethical. Which I guess is why corporate embraces them so… As long as we make The Corporation money, there can be no wrong by this management team.

   Let’s toss out the rulebook and management's whims for a legal binding contract. Get involved in this campaign and together we can secure a brighter future for our families.

                                                                                                   Tony Bellamy

 

I have been employed at our facility for almost twenty years. I was here when we were Weston Paper. During this time with Weston the lowest raise we received was 3.2 percent. IP has yet to match even our lowest raise under Weston.

   The turn over rate of employee’s under IP is hideous. Over 10,000 jobs have been eliminated corporate wide since IP took over this facility. People here are written up or worse for simple human error. If a Superintendent decides to violate the Matrix by asking employee’s to run an order violating safety procedures he doesn’t get in trouble. YOU DO  If you run it!

   If you should run part of an order wrong, you get written up. If the GM decides to send 3 truckloads of a certain order to a customer that is a weaker test strength than that customer orders and they send it all back, that’s o.k. with corporate I suppose.

   If the newly appointed Superintendent is rude, or doesn’t know how to run a machine, or troubleshoot a problem with a run, that’s o.k. too. They will look out for his best interest. NOT YOURS! Keep in mind this gentleman was promoted though he violated labor laws in the last election. He is noted for violent anger at times before his promotion, to the point he has threatened employees in the past. Ask those who have been here a few years. Don gave his blessing to this move.

   Our Insurance rates have continued to increase, as well as our deductibles. Our S&A benefits are much weaker considering the first 40 hours are no longer paid as they used to be under Weston. Now it may be 30 days or longer before you see a dime of your S&A benefits. Management told us during the IP takeover of Weston that our salary continuance pay would probably end as well in the near future.

    Recently, management decided they wanted to search an employee’s car though they had no evidence at all of criminal activity. NO EVIDENCE AT ALL. After a discussion with police they reconsidered. Thus proving they have little respect for individual’s constitutional rights. Not to mention their lack of respect for your rights under the existing labor laws, which they were found in violation in our last election.

   Tom Curran (Union Buster) spoke of the cost of Union dues, which with PACE UNION is 2 hours wages a month. We have lost MUCH more financially trusting this man than we would have paid in dues. Just do the math. Tom is in on the MIP bonus plan for Management by his own admission. He lives very well indeed on others misery.

   We had one employee who was terminated. This employee wished to appeal to peer review. Tom Curran told this employee that he/she couldn’t file a Peer review because he/she no longer worked here. That’s not how he said it worked now is it? From his lips to our ears, remember?

   Why do some employees have to cover over time while others don’t? Though they work in the same department? Is this safe? Is it fair?

    I could go on and on.

   Folks, it’s our call. We can continue down this road and never regain the success we as employee’s received under Weston. Or we can make a positive change by negotiating the terms of our employment. Crying wolf won’t work any longer. I urge you to band together for a greater cause, your security and that of your family. Keep an open mind to change. In this case, I don’t see where we have a choice any longer.  

Tony Bellamy        

e-mail to Tony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This network is created and managed by Marcus Bryant & Tony Bellamy   with the sole intentions of exercising their  legal right to organize for the  purpose of collective bargaining. 
Your in-plant organizing committee is: Tony Bellamy,  Roger "3 O'clock" Clark,  Roy "Daddy" Cates,  Dennis "The Enforcer" Brannock,  James Davenport,  Greg Pelfrey,  Jim Rohr,  Shane Nolan,   Quentin Gay,  Tommy Wells,  Brian Hill,  Rodney Clem,  Hugh Reed, Emery "The Big E" Addison,  Derek Webb And Marcus Bryant.  

We serve notice to all that, under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, we are participating in a Federally Protected Activity to organize the workforce of International Paper Lexington for the purpose of collective bargaining.   Any and all of the contents of this website is used, exclusively,  for that stated purpose. No other meaning should be assigned or implied to said content. By Federal Law, any misrepresentation or alteration of the original copyrighted material  contained in this website is forbidden.  

 

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Last modified: August 12, 2007.