Line clearance tree trimming report
We have been following up on leads of non-union Line Clearance Tree Trimming companies on PG&E property. Some of these leads have resulted in getting the non-union companies off the property and in one case having the company become signatory. Interest in becoming signatory has been expressed by some others; at least they say they are interested.
The work outlook for all companies has slowed considerably, with the tree companies frequently having only one or two days of work on hand. This is an issue of great concern for our members after watching a sizable number of their co-workers laid off recently.
Asplundh Tree Expert/Utility Tree Service
Asplundh is no longer doing work in California. All regions remain intact with the same management team. All contracts have been issued to the affiliate-Utility Tree Service from Redding CA. This change does not impact the members. The municipal contracts will stay under the Asplundh name until the contracts expire: City of Palo Alto, City of Lodi, and the City of Roseville.
In the South Bay the company has continued to add crews since the first of the year. The company has continued using Rolling Green Service on PG&E. We have notified PG&E about this concern, and have requested certified payroll records in regards to the utilization of this contractor. We are expecting to set the next Grievance Review Committee meeting in April to finalize the remaining open grievances.
The company had informed us of a planned layoff due to the cut forecast by PG&E. The company is having serious problems getting work from PG&E. In San Joaquin some work groups only have enough work for one day. Some crews even have to piggy back with another crew to be productive.
On another note: An employee was terminated for taking an automotive front grill. The only problem with this story is that the pick-up grill was company property. The employee tried to say he found it on the ground. The only problem with that story was the company had a pick-up in the same yard with a missing grill. After a full investigation it was found the employee had taken the grill and had it on the company vehicle for several days prior to taking it to his personal vehicle. The company had been tipped off by a fellow employee. Stealing is unacceptable and not tolerated by any means.
We are preparing to file a grievance in regards to the recent layoffs in San Joaquin since the company has failed to acknowledge they made a blunder subject to the Demotion & Layoff procedure. We are expecting to set the next GRC in April.
So far, no layoffs in Fresno and TID. We did have an employee terminated at TID for burning down a 12KV primary line. The employee came in contact with the knuckle of the boom truck, landing on the boom and ground. No one was hurt.
Davey Tree Surgery
The Lineco Medical Training via Webcast on March 9 went very well. We had a very good-sized crowd. We still have several members receiving notices about the lack of hours towards medical coverage. We believe this is now being addressed by the company.
We provided updated Paid Time Off (PTO) tally sheets to show the members how much is in everyone’s account. We have almost completed passing out this information.
Davey Tree Surgery has laid off between 10-15% of their work force system wide due to a lack of work. They are also pushing their employees to obtain commercial driver’s licenses under threat of discipline. The commercial driver’s licenses have played a role in the layoffs. Those who have them are bumping more senior employees who do not have the licenses, as is contractually allowed. We have, for several years, done our best to inform our members this could happen but quite a few did not believe it would. Davey Tree Surgery is making a big push to get their employees to obtain commercial driver’s licenses; the company has sent letters threatening disciplinary action if the employee does not start the process of getting a license.
We are dealing with seniority issues due to layoffs in Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Monterey and Felton. There was a safety meeting with Davey in Paso Tiempo which went very well, along with a very good training seminar. We have been tracking Whit’s Turn Tree Service, which is non-union and working in Los Padres Davey Tree area.
Our two new Units, Eureka and Lake County are doing well with a good core group attending Unit Meetings.
Mario’s Tree Service
Mario’s is on board with a soccer team!
Osmose Pole, Test & Treat
A crew member called and stated that the foreman was not allowing them to have lunch breaks nor their 10 minute breaks; and, not providing water. We called and informed the supervisor that state law and the contract require employers to provide employees with such breaks. The supervisor talked to the foremen and now they are allowed the breaks and water is being provided.
The Peer to Peer Safety Summit is set for May 1 and 2 at Weakley Hall in Vacaville.