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As a union member, you have the right to ask for a union representative in any disciplinary meeting with management.

Weingarten Rights refers to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that an employee has a right to a union representative during an investigatory interview which might lead to disciplinary action. The employee must ASK for representation!

Rule 1. The employee must make a clear request for a union steward before or during the interview and cannot be punished for making this request.

a. This includes phone calls from the boss. 
b. This covers any line of questioning which you believe may lead to discipline.
c. The company can bring in any union steward. You can not request a specific person such as the business agent. 
d. The boss is under no obligation to tell you about the right to have a steward present. You have to know your right and ask to use it. 

Rule 2. After the employee makes the request, management must: 

a. Grant the request and stop questioning until the union steward arrives and has a chance to talk privately with the employee; or 
b. Deny the request and end the interview; or 
c. Give the employee a choice of: (1) continuing the interview without representation or (2) ending the interview. 

Rule 3. If management denies the request for a union steward, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. Management may not discipline the employee for such a refusal. 

Rule 4. Once management grants the request and a union representative is present, the employee must then answer the questions truthfully.

Role of union steward 
What should you do if you are the union steward called into a disciplinary meeting?

You should first ask to speak privately with the member to find out as much as you can about the situation.

As soon as the meeting resumes and before management starts asking questions, you should try to get as much information from management as possible. Ask management what the meeting is all about, why they are questioning the member, what kind of discipline might be involved, etc.

When management asks a question which could get the member in trouble, you should interrupt and ask the member if they understand the question. You could rephrase the question so the member knows exactly what it means.

If the member starts to say too much, gets angry, or begins to lose their selfcontrol, you should interrupt and ask for a private talk with the member.

You should take detailed notes of everything said by both management and the member.

Where to get help, who to call when you lose your job

ILWU union contracts provide important rights and benefits to members in the event of an extended or permanent layoff. Depending on your contract, some of these rights and benefits include:

• Layoff in order of seniority; 
• Bumping rights or displacing less senior workers in a layoff; 
• Recall rights by seniority when the company needs to rehire workers; 
• Severance or separation pay; 
• Cash out of saved vacation; 
• Vesting of pension benefits.

Whenever a company informs the union about a layoff, the ILWU will automatically call meetings to inform members of their rights. If the layoff involves only a few people, the company may not tell the union. In these cases, you should inform your unit officers ILWU or business agent as soon as possible.

Help is available 
The ILWU will also inform you about help available from the government and private agencies.

Following are some of the benefits available from the state, federal, and county governments: 
• 60 days advance notice if the layoff involves 50 or more workers; 
• Unemployment insurance up to 26 weeks;  
• Extended unemployment, retraining; moving and relocation allowance; and health care credit may be available under Trade Adjustment Assistance; 
• Income subsidy for older workers may be available under Alternate Trade Adjustment Assistance; 
• Continued medical coverage under COBRA (but you pay the full cost); 
• Medical coverage for your children (there is an income eligibility requirement but no asset test); 
• Help with job search and placement; 
• Retraining for a new job and adult basic education; 
• Financial assistance and food stamps.

Social Agencies 
Non-government social agencies also provide assistance to laid off workers. 

• Labor’s Community Services in partnership with the United Way; 
• Consumer credit counseling. 
• Food Bank; 
• 211 information and referral service; 
• Red Cross; 
• Alu Like. 
• Catholic Charities.

Booklet Available These benefits and services are described in a “useful information” booklet produced by the ILWU. You can get a copy by calling your Division Office or Joanne Kealoha at 808-949-4161.

Examples of employment and training services available on Maui

Employment and Training 
Worksource Maui (phone 984-2091)—These are State run one stop centers for employment and training in each Division. Learn job search skills, get job training, job placement, and on-the-job training. Services are free to workers who are laid off. 
Maui Economic Opportunity (phone 249-2970)—This is a nonprofit organization which offers employment and training services to low-income residents, immigrants, farmworkers, and the elderly.

Unemployment Insurance 
State unemployment insurance provides up to 26 weeks of financial assistance to qualified, unemployed workers. You must actively look for work to receive a weekly payment. This usually means applying for at least 3 jobs each week. It’s to your benefit to take a part-time or temporary job. If you are denied benefits or have any problem, call the ILWU for help.

Maui Community School for Adults (phone 873-3082)—Earn your high school diploma, get basic literacy skills, learn English or how to use a computer. 
Maui Community College—credit and noncredit courses.

Medical Coverage 
Spouse—If your spouse is employed, try to get covered by your spouse’s plan. You may have to pay an additional charge. 
COBRA —Federal law requires your former employer to offer a medical plan for up to 18 months or 36 months for your dependents. However, you must pay the full cost of the plan and an additional 2% for administration costs. 
Med-Quest and State Children’s Health Insurance—The State provides a health insurance plan for children if your family income is within the federal guidelines for your family size.

Financial help & Food Stamps
 Welfare and food stamps are available from the State Department of Human Services based on family income and assets.

Consumer Credit Counseling 
This nonprofit organization (phone 242-8399) helps you budget and manage your finances. They can help consolidate your debts and work out a payment plan with your creditors.

Call the ILWU for help or more information.