ratified by the Union on July 11, 1970 by a 70-to-6 vote of the general membership.
Lists were prepared of those individuals who wished to be trained in each of the three phases. Until an individual was assigned to a specific offset department, he continued to work on the letter presses which were still operating but were being gradually phased out. When an individual was assigned to a particular phase, he took his respective place on the seniority list within that classification.
The operation of the "one-phase" training restriction came into effect whenever a layoff occurred. If the staff in a certain department was to be reduced, the individual with the least seniority in that classification, rather than the individual with the least plant-wide seniority, was laid off. Consequently, it was possible for an employee on the Web press to continue to work while an individual with more years experience was laid off from Plateburning. This is what occurred, although not for the first time, to Marland Papillon on November 8, 1974.
Papillon began working at the East Stroudsburg plant on December 1, 1952 as an Assistant Pressman and has been a member of the Union since that time. By reason of a subsequent promotion his priority seniority date as a Journeyman Pressman became October 19, 1962. Because of a disagreement with the Union, which, however, was not translated into overt animosity between himself and Union officials, Papillon attended no meetings from 1968 until sometime shortly after his layoff in 1974.
In March, 1971, after the purchase of the plant by Hughes and the creation of the one-phase training restriction, Papillon indicated his desire to be trained on the Web press. Soon thereafter, he was offered the opportunity to train in the Plateburning department and accepted. His name was deleted from the Web list.
After he began his training program in the Plateburning department, additional pressmen with both more and less seniority than he began to train in that phase of the offset process.
Also, less senior individuals were assigned to the Web and sheet-fed presses. Despite the fact that he was aware that employees with less plant-wide seniority than he were being assigned to the other two phases of the offset process after he had commenced his training in Plateburning, Papillon never expressed a desire to rescind his decision to work in Plateburning in order to have an opportunity to train in the Web or sheet-fed process.
Not long after Papillon began training in the Plateburning department, an individual named Jack Beers began training there. Beers had initially chosen to be trained in the Sheet-fed phase of the offset process. This operation, which involves considerably more physical labor than Plateburning, proved too strenuous for Beers. Consequently, after only two or three weeks in that position, Beers, at his own request, was removed from that department and returned to his former position as a letter pressman. Approximately one year later, after all other employees in the plant had had an opportunity to be trained in one phase of the offset process, an opening arose in Plateburning. Every remaining employee then in the letter press department was asked to accept that position. All declined. Rather than hire a new employee, the Company, with the approval of the Union's general membership, offered the job to Beers. Beers began training in Plateburning and took the position immediately above Papillon on that department's seniority list. Beers himself was laid off on June 9, 1975.
Plateburning at the Hughes facility is, when fully operative, an eight-man operation. The department's roster on July 11, 1972, the date of the first layoff experienced by Papillon, was:
Name Seniority Date
Samuel Kupiszewski November 28, 1942
William Dildine June 18, 1950
Harold James March 3, 1954
Donald Clifton April 30, 1954
Harold Treibel November 16, 1956
Jack Beers July 5, 1957
Marland Papillon October 19, 1962
Jack Detrick September 8, 1964
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