Know Your Rights
When I joined, the first thing I did (I always read everything so I know my rights), so I had read my rights and everything and, I was still on my 90 day probation, and it came to overtime and the contract said to notify you 45 minutes before your end tour. If they don’t notify you 45 minutes before your end tour, than they can’t make you stay for the overtime. So, remember, I’m just brand new in the Post Office, so the guy didn’t give me my 45 minutes before my end tour, so he told the MDO that he didn’t notify me in time, and he said, ‘I don’t care, she has to stay.’ I said I wasn’t notified in time. He said I had to stay; I was working the LSM. At that time they were still giving us wash-ups so at 11:25 (I was scheduled to get off at 11:30) I got up from the LSM, I went to wash my hands, went to the time clock and the Supervisor, he had gone and gotten the MDO. I went on and I ended my tour and when I ended my tour they came running behind me and he was like, ‘Brown, Brown, you have mandatory overtime.’ I said no, you didn’t notify me in time.’ He said, ‘well, I’m giving you a direct order to go back to work.’ I said I had already clocked out. I said, I’ll do what I have to do, and you do what you have to do, and I walked out the back door. The next day I came to work and I could not find my time card. I went to the office and they told me they had my time card there, they had the supervisor there, and they took me in the office and they told me they were giving me a notice of proposed removal. This girl was doing my case, and I wasn’t a Shop Steward or anything, but I knew what the contract said. I just kept fighting it and I even wrote the grievance up for her and it went to arbitration. When we got over there, they were all sitting there and the MDO was sitting there because he told me that I had to stay and they wrote me up saying that I intentionally delayed so many hundred thousand pieces of mail because I left and wasn’t there to key it. So when they got to talking, they asked me if I had anything to say, and I said yes. I said let me say this, let me go on record as saying that when I came into the Post Office, there were 17 that came in my group. Out of the 17 that came in with my group, there were 13 of us that were married. I said out of the 13 of us that were married, there is only one of us that is still married, and that was me. I said I will not be a statistic of this Post Office as ruining my marriage, and they I just started crying. They threw it out and everything and from that day on, the guy that was over the MDO, the plant manager, everyday he would come and find me and say, ‘Brown, how are you doing, are you ok, are they treating you ok?’ I said I was good and after he would leave, the MDO would come running down to me and ask what he said. I just took a stand and the employees that were there that had been there forever, ever since I took that stand, they had the utmost respect for me.
AUTHOR NAME: Rita Brown