Alleged mistreatment no excuse for safety violation
Maintenance Utility Man Jess Hargreaves felt that his supervisor, Maintenance Foreman Cliff Thorne, was giving him a disproportionate amount of the undesirable assignments because his boss had a grudge against him.
Maintenance Utility Man Jess Hargreaves felt that his supervisor, Maintenance Foreman Cliff Thorne, was giving him a disproportionate amount of the undesirable assignments because his boss had a grudge against him. One day, he appeared at Thorne's desk to complain about it.
"What's the problem, Hargreaves?''
"This is the third time in a row you stuck me on cleaning out the sludge tanks. It's the dirtiest job in the plant. How about giving it to someone else for a change?''
"Maybe next time. Right now you're the only man available.''
"I could switch with Jenkins. He could do the sludge tanks. I could finish painting the storeroom.''
"I hand out the work around here, Hargreaves. Do the job you're assigned, or clock out.''
"But -- "
"You heard what I said. I'm busy. Get back to work.''
Hargreaves shuffled off, grumbling.
A few days later Thorne observed Hargreaves in a hazard risk area minus the safety helmet he was required to wear. This was the second time he was caught for the same offense. Thorne handed him a 30-day suspension, which the worker promptly protested, and recruited Plant Steward Lon Crouse to plead his case.
Crouse threatened to grieve on the grounds that Thorne was picking on him because of a personal grudge. To support his contention, he submitted a list of complaints, mainly related to assignments to prove that Hargreaves had indeed been given a disproportionate amount of the department's least desirable tasks.
Question : If the worker's complaints are justified, should this alter the suspension decision?
Metcalf's verdict: In reviewing the case, Plant Engineer Alex Metcalf told Crouse, "If you feel Hargreaves is being prejudiced against in connection with work assignments, it's your right to grieve on this basis. But that has nothing to do with the safety violation which is separate and apart from your beef about assignments. The suspension stands.''
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey