Local 1245 staff attended a meeting at the California Department of Industrial Relations office in Fremont on Sept. 30 concerning complaints filed by Asplundh Tree Expert employees who are members of Local 1245.
The employees’ complaint, filed anonymously out of fear of retribution, concerned chipping while the operator of a lift truck was in proximity to high voltage conductors. The employees claimed in their complaint that some general foremen order them to chip in violation of Title 8 of the General Industry Safety Orders.
The company maintained that its policy prohibits this activity. The union pointed out that this policy was commonly violated in the field–often at the direction of supervisors and general foremen–due to production pressure. The union pointed out that there seems to be a communications breakdown somewhere between upper management and those who perform the work.
The company agreed that they need to improve communication and made a commitment to do so.