As the Holidays quickly approach I wanted to give you a quick update of what’s going on and what your union is up to. We have been to several hearings at the NLRB standing up for the handlers that have been mistreated, suspended and wrongfully terminated. We are fighting for the $400 stipend MSA has wrongfully taken from you, replacing it with a paltry $80 dollars.
The math used to justify an $80 stipend just doesn't add up. We know it, MSA knows it, and every handler being forced to spend their own money for MSAs benefit knows it. Did you know if you rent a car from any of the National car rental companies and bring it back with dog hair in it, much like your personal vehicles, they will charge you a $175 surcharge to clean the dog hair out of their vehicle? The top hotel chains will charge you an $125 surcharge to clean your room that has a dog in it . That’s $300 right there. Also, when was the last time you were able to take public transportation to work? I bet MSA would be proud if you took their dog on the subway or the bus during rush hour. They require you to have a car to transport their dog, so they should be responsible for a car payment, car insurance, car maintenance, and parking the vehicle.
How much is that worth to many of you? About $750 a month? Let's add this up, $750 plus $300 for cleaning. Then add dog food, biscuits, beds, toys, kennel fees, tolls, plus the time you and your family spend making a well rounded stable canine that MSA will threaten to take away from you and your family at the drop of a hat for imaginary rule violations. They will then tell you to abide by the code of conduct as management continuously breaks every rule threatening you if you don’t work every tour they throw at you and your canine.
So let your supervisors, district managers, and upper management know $80 dollars doesn’t cut it! We'll continue our legal battle for the return of the $400 stipend and continue to demand it be increased in our negotiations. Let MSA management know it’s time to stop dragging their feet and give you and your partner a fair contact.