Cognition Issue 9
Courier Follows UltraEx in Demanding Union Recognition!!
DMS couriers and management met last Monday evening to discuss scrapping the Universal Payout Grid (UPG). DMS walkers and bikers had signed a petition requesting the removal of the UPG and reinstatement of commission-based pay. This was the fourth such petition and like the ones previous, the management refused to comply with the employees' request.
The last thing DMS' representative Tom Finley expected to see on Tuesday evening was a dozen DMS bikers, two DMS drivers, and Fred Pecker of the ILWU presenting him with a formal letter, demanding the recognition the ILWU as the bargaining agent to represent all of the workers of DMS.
Finley at first refused to believe that a majority of DMS employees supported this letter and had signed ILWU union authorization cards. Those present rapidly disagreed with him. The majority of DMS employees have signed cards and know exactly want they want and are through with their demands being ignored by DMS management.
"Let me just say that tonight I am very proud of my Brothers and Sisters in the Messenger Community. Thank you," writes Marc Gunther, S-Car-Go driver and founder of UBADD.
"That's two of San Francisco's major companies served with demands for union recognition now÷Ultra Ex and DMS," writes SFBMA director Joel Metz, "Professional is just around the corner!" -A
all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes
we may or may not have made."
--Vice President Dan Quayle
STRIKE AUTHORIZATION MEETING
Striking even for a day is a serious matter. Strikes are meant to be won not put ourselves on the tube or in the paper. We in the SFBMA have called our next meeting to be at the Wall on Thursday March 4 at 6p.m. to discuss the strike issue.
It is my duty to tell you all how I feel about this issue. I will not use any powers as President to impose my strike views but I will certainly voice them as any Messenger should.
I believe we should be ready to strike on or before April 15.
Let's understand that this meeting is to vote on a Strike Authorization not a Strike Call. What's the difference?
An authorization means that we have authorized striking as a tactic of last resort. A call means we have actually decided on a day to strike. In terms of timing, an authorization usually comes first then the call comes - if necessary.
Our companies use firing as a way to have power over us. In theory they should use that power as a last resort but we see that they are very spoiled by that power. That's because we let them by not showing our power. We need to have some balance. The power to strike provides that.
Many of us believe we should strike for respect. Others believe we should do so for economic reasons. These are important motives but I believe we should do so for another reason.
It is the right thing to do.
We know tag prices are too low and we know they'll never reach anywhere near what they should be if we remain passive.
What we do could be very beneficial for everyone in the Industry. This really wouldn't be about striking our companies; it would be about striking the clients.
Most of us understand that there is a serious and growing gap between the rich and working people in our city and country as well as overseas. Our industry is an even starker reflection of this fact - not only in the gap between Messengers and Owners but especially in the chasm between the Messenger Industry and our Clients.
We have the power to change this gap for our profession and our Industry. As I see it having the power to change it means we have the duty to change it. By doing so we can do our small but vital part toward changing it in our city and beyond.
If we do authorize a strike Messengers at each company need to meet to determine how to coordinate with Messengers at other companies and to elect representatives. The month of March will be a busy one.
Those are my thoughts. Whatever yours are make sure you express them. The SFBMA motto of the month for March 1999 is: "In like a Lamb, out like a LION!! "
Your President Howard A. Williams
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." -- J. Danforth Quayle
The second annual SFBMA elections will be held at our April 1st meeting. Nominations will be accepted for Executive Director, President, Treasurer, Secretary, and the five to nine members of the Board of Directors. Anyone who has been a messenger in San Francisco in the last year is eligible for nomination. Please announce your nominations at any of the upcoming general meetings.
Our constitutional requirements of each office are as follows:
President: The President shall represent the best interests of the membership to the general public. If there are responsibilities to be delegated, it is the President's job to do so, as well as to organize and submit necessary budgets to the Board of Directors for approval.
Treasurer: The Treasurer is responsible for collecting and accounting for dues and other funds, and shall report these records at each General Meeting, as well as make these records available to any member with reasonable notice.
Secretary: The Secretary shall keep minutes of every General Meeting, make them available to any member with reasonable notice, and periodically post them in a conspicuous location.
Executive Director: The Executive Director is required to fill in for any of the above offices with reasonable notice. The Executive Director is the "Principal Officer".
Board of Directors: Our Board shall consist of either 5, 7 or 9 people. It is the Board's responsibility to approve or disapprove budgets and committees.
A hearty thank you to our elected officials that fulfilled their duties this last year! -A
that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous
impact on history."
-- Vice President Dan Quayle