Industrial Harmony

An agreement, also known as a contract or collective bargaining agreement, is a written understanding between two parties to promote industrial harmony. Usually, the first statement in an agreement is the intent to promote industrial harmony. Here’s an example from the NYSEG contract.

This agreement is made for the purpose of establishing stabilized conditions of employment, including rates of pay and working conditions, facilitating the peaceful adjustment of differences that may arise from time to time between the parties hereto, and for promoting harmony and efficiency, to the end that the Company, the Brotherhood, and the general public may musically benefit.

To this statement, we the Brotherhood, or IBEW local 10 and our employer have the responsibility to work together and settle differences in discussion and not action. The processes to settle disagreement are defined in the grievance procedure, the rules defining our discussions on disagreement of contract or discipline action. It is through the grievance process that our disagreements with our employers are resolved. The process may take some time to resolve, but ultimately a decision will be made that is binding on both parties.

We should at no point in time take a job action to resolve disputes with our employer. Job action, or subterfuge, is evading or openly acting against the agreement with our employers by withholding our best efforts to be productive employees. We can have disagreements, even heated disagreements, but job actions are never to be used to resolve contractual disputes. We use the grievance procedure to resolve our differences. Our employer also has responsibility here. They cannot use subterfuge or lock us out of our work due to disagreement. So, the playing field is equal, for both parties.

Industrial harmony is what occurs when both parties do their best to understand and follow the agreement to the best of their abilities. As a member of IBEW local 10 you have a responsibility to follow your agreement to the best of your abilities, and to promote industrial harmony. When disagreement occurs, we should never change our attitude towards following the contract or promoting industrial harmony. We use our grievance processes and continue our work productively despite our disagreement. By this, we are promoting industrial harmony and showing the value of union labor.

Dan Addy,

Business Manager