Tuesday, 2 August 2016

£6400 attendance bonus win today....

A factory I deal with pays a £200 attendance allowance each quarter, provided there has been no "absence".

A manager decided to interpret the word "absence" differently.  This quarter, thirty-two workers have been denied the payment, despite having had no sickness.

The workers had not been paid for a variety of reasons, eg

Bereavement leave
Attending a funeral
Pregnancy related reason
Emergency carer leave
Emergency parental leave

The Senior Steward spoke to me yesterday about this. I said that the attendance allowance is an "agreement" with Unite. A manager cannot change an "agreement" without our consent - the clue is in the name! I asked the Rep to speak to senior HR and get it sorted himself.  A "failure to agree" could trigger my involvement if that didn't work....

Fast forward to today, and it's been agreed that all thirty two workers will be paid in full, at a total cost to the employer of £6400.

Imagine if the Union wasn't there.......the workers would each have had to fight this through individual grievances.

If you look at this from the senior management perspective, we have really helped them out.  The business has made "an unfortunate error". Without the union, it would have taken far longer to realise the full extent of the bricks middle management had dropped...including potential exposure to discrimination claims.

Without the union, people would have become more upset and it could have become a resented wider issue within the workplace. Thanks to the union, senior management only needed to speak to our Rep and the problem was sorted in a flash. None of the thirty-two people needed to do anything. No tempers frayed, no difficult conversations, no stress. Payment by BACS for all this Friday. No legal letters, no grievances, no hassle. Just common-sense.

This is a typical Trade Union bread n butter win, the likes of which are secured daily across the country.

The most anti-union employers are the ones who have never dealt with us.  They genuinely have no idea how good for business we are.

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