Yesterday I had two young college age girls show up at my door asking for me because I worked for a company.
They said they were doing some research on working conditions for an Union, The "EMS Union". (I work part time as a Paramedic for a private ambulance company for one of my part time jobs)
I talked with them but got a very bad vibe from the questions they were asking. When I asked how they found me, they go very evasive.
I'm now thinking they were working with the company.
More after the fold.
Back ground first.
I am a Paramedic who has a part time job with a national private ambulance company that in Ohio has a history of resisting any union activity. (It has not helped that the few people who have tried to organize the workers have been jerks and disliked by fellow workers) Since I work part time, i've not been to interested in what happens as long as I get paid, don't get treated like dirt, and management stays out of my hair. I took the job with the company because it pays better than any other private ambulance company in the area and because of its flexible scheduling to fit in my other jobs and responsibility. Not because of its benefits, cool working environment, or quality equipment. It is a Mighty Reliably/Mediocre Ambulance Company.
The local management is very anti-union. They are not bad, just not supportive of unions. The company pays better than any other like company, but well under what the company pays in other cities. They price to market and being on of the two big companies in the area, they pay about $0.50 more an hour than anyone else. Just enough to make it worth while to stay.
I work about two 12 hour shifts a week. I use to work three to four shifts but they have cut back part time allowed time to not more than 30 hours a week. (They said this was mandated by Obama Care, reality is they don't want to have to offer health insurance to any part time people. they are also arguing that if you have access to another insurance plan from a spouse or other job, you HAVE to take that plan and not theirs.) So I work with about 6 to 8 people throughout the month. Only one of those people know my home address and only two have my cell number.
The company knows my address and phone number though.
So out of the blue, two people show up looking for me to talk to me about Working at the Might R/M Ambulance Company. They would not tell me how they found me, or even knew I was not at work.
The questions they asked were along the lines of "How well has management been dealing with the loss of contracts with hospitals?" "How well has management done keep you informed of what is going on?" "How hard do you feel you're working?" "Have you ever thought you could work harder?" "Do you feel that your fellow Paramedics might have caused the loss of the (big name hospital) contract?" "Do the Crew Chiefs (paramedics who manage shift operations but are not supervisors) need closer management to do their jobs better?" "Do you feel your fellow Paramedics are dragging their feet on trips?" and on and on.
Nothing about working conditions, punishment, favoritism, pay, shoddy equipment, lack of drugs, rusted out Ambulances, trucks with over 750,000 miles on them when they arrive for us to use, getting written up for paperwork issues we were never trained on, nothing you would expect a Union to be interested in. Just questions about how we could work better with management to help the company collect more money.
Now, I agree, that the company needs to make some money. you can't stay in business if you don't. And there have been months that it was leaked that the company had over $30k in bills rejected by Medicaid alone because of paper work issues. (really, they denied a bill because the name of the doctor did not have MD or DO after it)
But why would a Union be all focused on that vs how the workers are?
The name they gave for who they represented was "the EMS Union". Which they described as "a National Union Organization focused on EMS providers". I can't find a web page for them, did find a Facebook page that reposts stuff from the IAEP, NEMS, and AFSME.
I'm trying to figure out why the company would give my name and address to a union group, or what it could be gaining by pretending to be a union organizing group. I'm not worried about being fired or pushed out as I don't "need" the job. And I can get another anytime, just for fifty cents an hour less. And the fact that i'm moving to another state in less than 10 weeks. (no job yet, but two good leads, both union shops in a right to work state...with most workers being in the union, which says something about the union.)
But because of this, part of me wants to start trying to organize and have a vote on if we should have an union (and who should be the union). Might be my good bye gift to the company for this deception.