Saturday, March 10, 2007

Jones was gone but his memory lingered on. One of Gil's reasons for locating in Waitsburg was the fact that he could recruit a crew who worked several months each year in farm work and then were available in the fall and winter to build inventory during the busy season. Welding tanks required the most minimum level of welding skills.

Jones ignored this tradition and when the crew thinned he called the union hiring hall in the Tri Cities to stay at full operating level. This led to a union contract.

When BB&S took over WWW had over twenty steel workers many of whom were paid mileage from and to the Tri Cities hiring hall.

A new building was built allowing the workers to work indoors and such inovations as a break room and indoor plumbing were installed.

Uncle Dave hit the ceiling when a union inspector sent a report deploring the horrible working conditions and inadequate compensation. Not used to the usual ploys, he called the men together and told them his opinion of that particular union.

The response from the union was a lawsuit including a request for a new contract plus a request for a $25,000.00 fine for ignoring the Taft-Hartley Act by talking directly to employees rather than through the union.

An arbitration hearing was arranged. Our case was DOA when it was noticed that the "ïmpartial" Federal Labor Board man had hitched a ride from the coast in the car of the union reps.

The case went to trial this time before a judge in the farming community of Pomeroy, Washington. The decision was quick. A $2500.00 fine was assessed on the Taft-Hartley violation. I don't remember the logic but the judge gave WWW the right to boot the union.

The employee roster went down to twelve and production increased.


Blogger Mike Barer said...

Once again a great posts. I would suggest writing a book.

2:28 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home