Can you lay off a marginal worker out of seniority?

A hiring clause in the labor agreement was firm on company adherence to the seniority requirement in filling job vacancies. However, no mention was made of limitations so far as promotions, work assignments, or layoffs were concerned.

06/01/1998


A hiring clause in the labor agreement was firm on company adherence to the seniority requirement in filling job vacancies. However, no mention was made of limitations so far as promotions, work assignments, or layoffs were concerned.

This omission didn't keep Plant Steward Rick Stritch from storming up to Maintenance Supervisor Frank Tucker's desk when Mechanic Class II Phil Fosdick, a longtime employee, was laid off while Mechanic Class II Chris Evans, a junior employee, remained on the payroll.

"You're in violation of the contract," Stritch charged. "Fosdick has at least 5-yr seniority on Evans. You have no right to lay him off first."

"Take a look here, and you'll see what right I have," Tucker replied, and pulled out the semi-annual Performance Report which showed up the status of Fosdick's marginal work in dramatic contrast to the other man's above-average productivity.

"Nothing in the contract states that you can use performance as an excuse to violate the seniority provision," Stritch persisted.

"Nothing says I can't." Tucker retorted. "The only stated restriction applies to hiring. It's management's responsibility to operate this plant with the best interests of profits and productivity in mind. That means Fosdick goes, and Evans stays."

"We'll see about that."

Question : Does the provision specifying seniority as a condition in hiring automatically apply to layoffs as well?

Monroe's decision: Plant Engineer Mark Monroe backed Tucker's action. "I can't guarantee that every arbitrator would rule our way on this," he told the supervisor, "but the contract clause spelling out management's right and responsibility to run the plant in the most efficient and productive way possible, gives us license to lay off a marginal performer and retain an outstanding one."





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

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

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me