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Monday, October 9

Striker, Striker

How would you like to work for a company like this:
  • no sick leave
  • mandatory 6 day work weeks
  • mandatory 10-12 hour days (6 days a week)
  • paying over $250 a month for insurance (out of pocket)
  • supervisors only pay $80 a month for insurance (out of pocket)
  • CEO of company received an $8 million dollar bonus
  • but you make less now than you did in 2001

I would like to hear from one person who would want to work in conditions like this. My Dad has been working for this company for over 15 years and as of Saturday his union went on strike. Every 4 years their contract is up for negotiation and this year they decided they had had enough. They aren't asking for much - they would like a raise to help compensate for the cost of living increase and they would like their health insurance premiums to go down. Why doesn't Bobcat understand how unfair it is to make one person pay over $250/month for insurance but another employee only has to pay $80/month. And don't forget, the ones paying the $80/month are making a hell of a lot more money than the ones who pay $250/month.

My Dad has been on the picket line since the strike began. They usually "walk the line" in 4 hour shifts but today Dad was out there from 6 am until after 3 pm. Dad said the support for them has been good for the most part. Some area businesses have dropped off food for them.

On the other hand some people in Bismarck just see what they want to. Up on the Tribune ( website a lot of people have commented that the employees are just being greedy. NONE of them are being greedy, if anyone is greedy it is the CEO that accepted the $8 million bonus and didn't think twice about how it would affect other employees. Yes, people that work there make very good money but so would you if you had to work 12 hour days, 6 days a week. Imagine putting in 72 hours in just one week! Of course you would have money because you would have no time to spend it! Many people who work for the company are divorced because they never see their spouse.

Both my brother & I worked for Bobcat as vacation replacements (what they call their summer temp. workers) - and I can truly say it was the worst job I ever had! Yeah, I made over $11/hour but I also had no life. That summer I worked from 1pm-11pm almost every day. I think I worked every Saturday except maybe 3 that summer. All I did was work and sleep. Oh, and did I mention no air conditioning?? The average temp. in the building where I worked was well over 90* - and you are required to wear jeans and steel-toed work boots. Oh yeah, great times!!

My Dad even made the local news! He is the one in the camouflage overalls with the black sweatshirt - yelling at the bus. Things are a little tense on the picket line - especially when the supervisors get bussed in to the workplace. I could keep rambling on and on but if you're interested you can find out more info. on the Tribune website - just look for the articles about Bobcat.



Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your father and I are so proud. The support you have shown is great. We love you. - Mom

10/09/2006 7:03 PM  
Blogger Honor said...

Blech and double blech! It's terrible that workers have to go on strike to be heard. I hope the employees have at least some of their demands met, and that they don't have to be on strike for too long for that to happen. Please pass my heartfelt support on to your Dad.

Hope you're all enjoying the fall weather. I didn't pick up any apples this weekend - the bins were pretty well picked through and mostly empty when we made it out to Green Bluff. We're gonna head back there next weekend, earlier in the day, so hopefully they'll be stocked then.

Have a good night and a great Tuesday!


10/09/2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Bridie and Luke said...

Well done Tanya!
Your Mum and Dad must be so proud of you! I hope they start to to listen to the union workers soon. It must be so hard to have to work in those conditions. I couldn't imagine luke working lose hours/days then to have $250 taken out for medical cover.
I hope everything works out well! You have a very brave Father!

10/10/2006 8:04 AM  
Blogger Bridie and Luke said...

*lose = those

10/10/2006 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job explaining the situation. The guys and gals are hanging in there. And you are right for the most part they are getting great support from the community. Except for the ignorant people on the tribune website. Waylon went out last night from 3am to 7pm. Tonight it is going to be almost snowing and he will be out there. Hopefully the company gets the idea. He said he heard that the salary people built 38 valves yesterday and only 2 of them were good. HA HA.

Have a good one

10/10/2006 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Alicia said...

Go Tanya's dad!! I can TOTALLY get what you are saying here. I think it's sad and unnecessary of thye U.S. to treat their workers taht way. I'm sorry your dad is going thru this. I will keep him in my prayers.

HUGS!! :)

P.S. About wanting another baby...I have for a while now...but I have no health it will have to wait. :(

10/10/2006 11:46 AM  
Blogger Becca said...


Your dad has my heartfelt support. I wish that companies in America would support their employess more than worship the bottom line. If it were not for the employee they would not have the bottom line! Fight the fight and never give in until you get your demands met. They are not unreasonable. God Bless you all!


10/10/2006 12:52 PM  
Blogger Holy Schmidt said...

Hey Tanya:

I've never been a big union fan because I've seen too much of the "union time" and responsibilitiy shirking thing (that's not in my union job description) and punch-clock mentality in my dealings of having to get a job done in a hurry in order to deliver an experience or service for guests/visitors in the tourism and hospitality industry (where it's anything BUT 9 to 5 and where there is no paid overtime).... be honest, having seen North Country recently (not that the theme is similar) and seeing how the big guys in Minneapolis were so removed from the on-site realities of the little guys in the smaller towns and cities, I say, good on ya, Dad.

Because there's a mighty huge difference between 8 mil and the pay cheques everyone else is bringing home in order to earn the top dog that $8 mil bonus.

I think they should do a big bobcat motorcade down the road...that would be something...or maybe they did (I didn't see the clip).

PS - check out musemonkey for my super secret pumpkin pie recipe - I posted it in her comments under her meatloaf posting.

I need to find turkey recipes - quick - I've made soup, we already had a traditional left-over meal but there's still tons of bird and I don't' want to make pot pie - did chicken with that last week....hmmmm...

10/10/2006 1:51 PM  
Blogger The Beast Mom said...

I hope they can all come to a fair and reasonable decision. It's so frustrating that this is the only way to get people to listen.

For myself, I definitely wouldn't work under those kind of terms. But I understand the reality that depending on a person's age/history w/ the company, and other job opps in the area (or lackthereof), that people have to make do w/ even incredibly poor work environments. I hope your parents come out with a good package after all this is said and done. It was nice to see your mom's comment. :)


10/10/2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger FTMo2 said...

Holy SHNIKIES! NO I would NOT work for that hell hole? 8 Million?!?!? Umm...come on. Give me a break - is that what they call a great manager!?!?!? Geesh.

10/10/2006 3:23 PM  
Anonymous SAAM said...

You Go, Tanya's Dad!!!!

10/11/2006 3:58 PM  

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