See "The 24% Survival Rate"

The current laws do not favor employees.

Employees hope and pray their representatives will effectively represent them. Employees for the most part won't press their union rep for fear that 'word' will get to the Panel and they'll be sold down the river. So there is no animosity, no arbitrariness, no discrimination. Just the usual, non-aggressive investigation.

For some employees though, it's still not enough. The Panel rules against the employee. It's no mistake that 90% of tallied votes by Union members stated they believe the Panel does not rule on merit but on 'deals'. Who to get rid of?

An unjust termination. A wrongful discharge. But companies fear not. They know they can hide behind Unions. Unions know they have a wide latitude in showing representation. A latitude so wide that they know if the employee made no protests against the union prior to or at the Panel, the employee will in most instances have no legal issue after the Panel.

The legal hurdle is almost insurmountable. Once the Panel hearing is over, the Company smiles.

In most instances, the company's financial liability ends at the Panel hearing. If, and that's a big if, the Union were to be found failing in its duty of fair representation, the bulk of the liability very well would belong to the Union.

But alas, should a lawsuit hit the Union after the Panel, they smile too. The Union reps do not have to pay for defending a lawsuit. The members do. The members (specifically, their dues monies) are the ones who bear the liability for the reps who failed or refused their fiduciary duty to represent them.

It's a vicious circle against the union member who was unjustly discharged and unfairly represented.

It even gets better for companies and unions for they know the labor law that has evolved. A discharged employee in most circumstances must prove that the union failed to represent before a company's liability can even be raised.

Does it mean that an employee cannot get justice? No. But it takes knowledge and a number of Local Unions will not empower members with that knowledge.

It would almost force a Local Union to educate their members to 'not to trust them', that is how convoluted the labor laws for employees have evolved. Sites like those below and listed in our Links page will help you learn to seek and gain justice when an injustice has ocurred.

But the 3-step key is documentation, documentation and documentation. Document everything you can with respect to the company (rules, regulation, policies and procedures,) document everything you can with respect to the union (grievances, investigations, hearing procedures, labor laws and rights) and then document everything you can with respect to yourself (where you've been, where you're at, where you're going.)

The key to either protecting your job or winning it back is planning long before it ever happens. Don't make the fatal mistake and say "It'll never happen to me." Many an employee has been heard to say, "I didn't think it'd ever happen to me!"

Knowing how the process works, the pitfalls, the time limits to respond are crucial.

For two other sources, see Gregory A. Butler's solutions in his article, "Behind The Brown Curtain", and join the National Alliance of "Brown" Employees and Retirees INC.   N.A.B.E.R..

"There is something very wrong going on here in America, where Americans are concerned with terrorism abroad yet at the very foundation of this country corporate terrorism is becoming a chronic symptom that is terrorizing men, women, children and families, wherein these companies hide behind unions, charities, social and political organizations with donations, buyouts and givebacks to protect this new kind of terrorism. These corporations have learned well it’s much cheaper to buy off at the top of the organizational level than to pay off many more and much more at the lower individual level. At this point in time in America, they well understand there is no voice for the American worker or his/her family to hear their plight or give justice to their voice."
    - Dan O'Shea

This site is dedicated to all Teamster UPSers, Union employees, working Americans and their families who have experienced situations similar to. . .The Darker Side of Brown. | The Darker Side Of Brown | Email Dan O'Shea
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