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January 1998
Vol. 1 No. 4 Page 3

Grievances, Gripes and Gossip

Martin J Spielman Jr

I have tried to explain to my fellow carriers that as a steward concerns that are brought to me fall into three categories: Grievances, Gripes and Gossip.

Grievances are usually the least prevalent of the "3 G's", and have to do with actual violations of the contract that can be corrected through the grievance process. They require a commitment not only from the steward, but also the grievant, without whose assistance the case will likely fall flat. With the full cooperation of the grievant(s) wrongs can be righted and those injured are made whole.

Gripes are those items that are not violations and yet seem like they should be violations. A good example would be the boss taking away "your" overtime without justification. Gripes should still be brought to the steward's attention since the line between grievance and gripe is usually thin.

Also, gripes should be brought to the stewards attention since they maybe Next Column

grievable in a more broad context when connected to other seemingly innocuous gripes.

Gossip is the most insidious of the "3 G's". Most of the time gossip has nothing to do with violations of any nature, rather they are a matter of personal disagreements. Usually this is the boss trying to pit carriers against each other.

Gossip is useless. The best way to defuse it is to ask the steward to find out the actual truth.

Please remember when in doubt ask. Your union stewards are your contractually recognized representatives and should be consulted regularly so that lines of communication are kept open allowing the truth to flow freely.

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