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Friday, May 11, 2018

Countdown to Mike and Glens Response

We will be publishing any response we receive as soon as possible.


  1. One of the downsides to a union for the Northern California Handlers is that if a Union is voted in, both you AND MSA have already stated they will cut our pay to $26/hr. Its already been placed on the chopping block as a given before negotiations even start. If thats the case, It makes no sense for Northern California Handlers to go union for a pay cut. The increased stipend, training pay and mileage pay are not guarantees, and even if they were implemented, they would not make up the $10/hr pay difference we would lose.

    1. Is that the story their telling you? Its a scare tactic, don't let them bullshit you. If the Union is not voted in NOTHING is going to change and they very well may cut your pay anyway like they just did to a lead handler in NY. The current hierarchy at MSA are a bunch of money hungry spiteful suits.

    2. NO PAY MSA
      Apr 4
      to (Redacted),

      Yes, we know. We have no problem with SF continuing at $35 an hour. I know the cost of living and limited hours are the reason for the pay differences. We didn't propose a pay ceiling so the negotiated top pay may very well be over $35. If it is, the $1 a year raise will apply to SF handlers as well. If top pay ends up below $35, you'll stay at $35.

      We also included the .75 cents a mile and meal stipend if you're forced to work outside of the area you were hired for. I know many handlers in California have voiced that complaint to us.

      This is the exact email that is referenced above with the name of the poster redacted for privacy. If you're in Northern California NO ONE IS GOING TO REDUCE YOUR PAY! If MSA has threatened you with a reduction of pay please email us or comment anonymously here so it can be investigated.

    3. Most of the handlers in Northern California believe if we should vote union our pay would be reduced from $35 per hour to $26 per hour. You said it yourself "If the Union is not voted in NOTHING is going to change". We don't want to lose our $35 per hour pay.

    4. What's your plan if there's no union and they lower your pay?

    5. We have never had a union before and our pay is at $35 an hour. I truly don't believe the company is going to lower our pay if we vote for no union. Why would they...hey never lowered our pay before?

      We have nothing to do with whats going on in NY and you should just leave the handlers in California out of this mess. Why are we involved in this election anyway? Can you explain this to me?

  2. Could you show where we've said we wanted to cut your pay to $26 an hour? We've never suggested this and we all think it's a terrible idea. Our position has always been to leave pay rates as they are and to implement a system of raises based on performance evaluations. We have never once stated we wanted to lower your pay.

    Also, who at MSA is informing you your pay will be cut to $26 an hour if a union is voted in? This is a federal crime and should be reported.

    You're right, the stipend and milage is not guaranteed. Do you think MSA will ever voluntarily implement it? The stipend has been the same for more than 20 years. What makes you think MSA will suddenly increase it without pressure?

    Compensation for off hours care of a K9 is a federal labor law. MSA can not continue to violate it until the end of time. They either choose to go to trial and are ordered to pay it or they settle the court cases we've filed and begin to pay it voluntarily.

  3. Right now we are making $35 an hour in California, what guarantee can you give us that our pay won't go down here in California should MSA decide to lower our hourly rate to give the handlers in NY a raise?

    1. Sounds like you've never been in a union before. No union means MSA can do whatever the hell they want without talking to us. A union means they can't change anything without negotiateing.

      Don't believe anything Kucera tells you. This is the same guy who stood up for Holland Laplant after he was reported for blackmailing handlers. The guys in it for the money from a sale and he'll move on to the next company to ruin.

    2. That depends on the outcome of the election.

      If handlers aren't represented by a union, MSA can lower anyone's pay and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

      If handlers are represented by a union, MSA can't cut anyone's pay without bargaining with the union. If they choose to do it illegally, the process is simple. We file unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB, they order MSA to restore the pay rates, MSA pays you the difference in back pay.

      More importantly, it doesn't make any sense to cut your pay to give the other 300+ handlers who don't make $35 an hour a raise. MSA made tens of millions of dollars in pure profits last year. $51 million dollars alone from a hand full of contracts with the Federal Government. They have plenty of money to improve everyone's quality of life.

      All of the cuts to hours and pay we've experienced so far have been MSA suits lowering the operating cost of MSA to increase the value of the company to get more bonus money when it's sold. That includes lowering the starting pay to $26, cutting a majority of handlers hours to part time, refusing to pay milage for working sites hundreds of miles away from where you were hired to work, and refusing to pay for off hours care of your K9 even though several MSA Execs sued their police departments for the exact same thing and received tens of thousands of dollars in back pay.

      If you honestly believe Glen Kucera, a man who could stand to receive an extra million dollars added onto his bonus from cutting your pay, has your best interest in mind then we wish you good luck.

  4. Your right I have never been in a union before. This is all new to me so I am trying to understand it better. I totally disagree what you said " it doesn't make any sense to cut your pay to give the other 300+ handlers who don't make $35 an hour a raise". To me this makes all the sense in the world. You are asking for more money for the handlers in NY who make less than us here in California. The money has to come from somewhere. Can you give us a written guarantee that MSA won't cut our pay here in California?

    1. A union for handlers would mean MSA cant cut your pay (unless they do so illegally) unless for some reason the union and MSA negotiate that, which if you've been reading everything and paying attention, the union reps have clearly stated on multiple occasions that they would not negotiate lowering your CA pay and have no interest in doing so. The union reps only have everyones best interests in mind which is why theyre fighting for everyone to get MORE money, not less. while they've said the starting pay would be $26/hr, why shouldnt everyone get paid more (not less than they are). Especially when MSA charges the clients 4-5X that amount for a handler to be there. they have the money.

    2. I have been reading the posts and wanted to interject in this conversation.

      The National Labor Relations Act gives you the right to bargain collectively with your employer through a representative that you and your coworkers choose. What does that mean?

      Your union and employer must bargain in good faith about wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment until they agree on a labor contract or reach a stand-off or “impasse.” If negotiations reach an impasse, an employer can impose terms and conditions so long as it offered them to the union before impasse was reached.

      If MSA proposes pay cuts for the handlers in California or any other state for that matter and negotiations reach an impasse, then Glen can can impose terms and conditions so long as it offered them to the union before impasse was reached. Under this scenario WE WOULD LOSE BIG TIME and you CANNOT Guarantee, Glen won't propose pay cuts and other benefit cuts such as hours. It should also be noted noting prohibits Glen from proposing wage and/or benefit cuts. Thank you for your time.

    3. There's more to an impasse than just "losing big time".

      From the NLRB website:

      After employees choose a union as a bargaining representative, the employer and union are required to meet at reasonable times to bargain in good faith about wages, hours, vacation time, insurance, safety practices and other mandatory subjects. Some managerial decisions such as subcontracting, relocation, and other operational changes may not be mandatory subjects of bargaining, but the employer must bargain about the decision's effects on unit employees.

      It is an unfair labor practice for either party to refuse to bargain collectively with the other, but parties are not compelled to reach agreement or make concessions.

      If after sufficient good faith efforts, no agreement can be reached, the employer may declare impasse, and then implement the last offer presented to the union. However, the union may disagree that true impasse has been reached and file a charge of an unfair labor practice for failure to bargain in good faith. The NLRB will determine whether true impasse was reached based on the history of negotiations and the understandings of both parties.

      If the Agency finds that impasse was not reached, the employer will be asked to return to the bargaining table. In an extreme case, the NLRB may seek a federal court order to force the employer to bargain.

      We've already said we can't give guarantees on Glens actions. Any scenario is possible. There's also the scenario that Glen realizes that improving our pay, benefits, and working conditions will end MSAs revolving door of employees and will save them money in the long run. All we can suggest is vote in the upcoming election.

  5. MSA makes tens of millions of dollars in pure profits every year. If all 350 handlers were paid $26 an hour, it would cost $6.5 million a year to give everyone a raise to $35. If you're under the impression that MSA breaks even every year and will have to shift money around to improve all of our lives, you're mistaken.

    We're not just fighting for improvements for handers in New York. We've included milage reimbursement and per diem for traveling outside the area you were hired to work in. That's something many handlers in California requested be included. If you have ideas and solutions you think should be implemented, please get involved. We're open to any and everyone being a voice in this union, not just handlers in NYC.

    I can't give you a guarantee on MSAs actions. You should be asking Mike O'Neil and Glen Kucera for that. I can only guarantee we would never use your wages as a bargaining chip. We've said that since the very beginning. We can guarantee that if you're represented by a union and MSA lowers your wages illegally, we will be taking them to court.

  6. When your in a union you are working under a contract. Right now MSA can do what ever they want including lowering your salary. If we get the union they won't be able to take stuff away from us like the way do in NY. Everything will be negotiated and bound by contract.

    Anyone that isn't sure how to vote, ask yourself why Glenn is fighting so hard against it?

    The reason is because it will mean less profits for the company and more benefits for its employees. The company will be a lot harder to sell when it becomes unionized and that's why the investors made him the CEO. None of us matter to him and he will throw us all under the bus to line his pockets and then move on to the next company.