Mill and Elevator to keep Profit Sharing!

SB-2014 passed both the House and the Senate yesterday keeping the profit sharing for the State Mill employees. Yay!!! I thank everyone for their letters written and calls made to their legislators. You have all helped really make a difference. This is what democracy actually looks like!
 
First, using hard-working employees as chess pieces a larger game is truly wrong, but after listening to the discussion yesterday, I realized that there are still some huge misunderstandings on this issue.
 
It was stated that with contract negotiations coming up before the next session, if the house does nothing now, they will be forced to keep profit sharing through the next contract, four or five years.
 
I need to clarify something that is very frequently misunderstood. The profit sharing at the mill is not part of the Union contract. It has never been. In fact, this is a management tool that was authorized by the legislature and used by the mill to increase it’s efficiency. Although it is not part of the union contract, it has certainly affected every negotiation since it was instituted.
 
For 25 years, the union side of the negotiating team has had to wrap their arguing points around the existence of profit sharing, and like building your house around an existing tree. In any ask for an increase in wages, contract negotiators have had to deal with the rebuttal, “Hey, you get profit sharing!"
 
To remove the tree now would have devastating effects... Yet so many believe that this policy came about from unions demands.
 
Understand that this profit sharing was not something demanded by the union and given only under duress. The mill’s profit sharing was given initially and has been used since as leverage since to hinder appropriate raises. the overall effect has been to weigh down contract negotiations.
 
To take it out now would leave the employees with vastly inferior wages than if profit sharing would have never having been instituted in the first place.
 
Word to those legislators. If you want government to run like a business then stop micromanaging it operations and get out of its way.
 
Once again, thank you to everyone who made their voices heard in solidarity with our hard-working brothers and sisters at the State Mill and Elevator.
Solidarity,
Waylon Hedegaard
President/Secretary Treasurer
North Dakota AFL-CIO
(701) 595-3334