View Full Version : Union question
01-25-2010, 10:57 PM
Six months ago the Operating Engineers Local #9 in Denver notified me that I wouldn't be qualified to draw a pension due to the fact I was one (1) hour short of being vested. I was dumb founded. I asked the secretary what I could do & she said go work for 1 hour. Now that sounds pretty easy, but try to find a contractor that will allow you to work for one hour & then allow you to quit & start drawing a pension......... A little background:.....I joined the Operating Engineers #9 in Colorado in the early 70's & worked through the hall until the construction slump in the early 80's. The work was sporadic with long layoffs. Finally had to move back to Eastern Colorado to eke out a living in the oilfield......The last contractor I worked for in Denver didn't pay our benifits to the Union. I didn't think to much about it at the time except at Christmas time I found out our vacation pay fund hadn't been paid either & that's how I bought the kids Santa presents. Bad news. After about ten years in Eastern Colorado, I got to go back to the Front Range & then to California, Worked as a traveler with Operating Engineers Local #13, & then got my own rig & paid my dobie for 3 yrs. Did not contribute to trust fund in CA.
Does anybody have any suggestions as to what direction to go from here? I now live in the Wyo/Braska area about 250 miles NNE of Denver. I really feel like I'm deserving of the money that was paid into my trust fund, but rules are rules & the fact that the Cal Harvey Company didn't pay our last six or seven months of benifits to the trust shorts my needed hours of service to be vested, & should somehow or other be counted in the time. Any ideas?
Thanks In Advance
C Ya, Patrol Man (Dan) Goodearth13
01-25-2010, 11:53 PM
brother, all i can say is, THAT SUCKS. take it to the international. if you can prove bennies weren't paid, you have an open and shut case.
p.m. me if you have further troubles.
01-26-2010, 12:03 AM
Qball, thanks for the great suggestion. I give that a try. It will be hard to recreate all of the paperwork, but I think I still have it after all these years. Ya know. Can't throw anything away. I will keep you posted. I may email you direct. Thanks. C Ya, Patro Man (Dan) goodearth13
01-27-2010, 12:57 PM
You need to gather you records and head to local 9's pension office. Most all pensions within the IUOE are run by trusties (hense name trust comes from) They are not run soley by the Union. Both the union and contractors appoint trusties to operate them. Their are goverment laws that cover this issue. It is the responsibilty of each member to check that contributions recieved by a contractor (you would have recieved a statment) match the hours they worked. If they don't match. It's the unions job to go after the money on your behalf. Companies have filed for bankruptcy over this issue. If you have proof you worked more hours, the law MAY cover the issue of 1 hour short. There are also local pensions trusts funds and what is known as the "Central Pension Trust Fund" which was started at the International level and many locals union belong to, but not always. Its address and contact number can be looked up on the internet. Keep digging you most likely will over come the 1 hour if you were shorted but not always because of the elapsed time involved. Good luck!!
01-27-2010, 06:55 PM
I wonder if some of the overtime hours could be broken down and used?
How they could deny a person pension benefits because of a single hour is really low brow even if its an adminstrative mistake. Grant the claim for bennies THEN say "look here, theres and issue with an hours shortage, please gather your records and send any pertinant info you feel may assist us in resolving this shortage." Why couldn't they make an adjustment for the lost hour in reduced payments until the paperwork is solid one way or the other?
Even the states unemployment insurance offices aren't that petty, they usually grant the claim with reasonable cause and make an attempt to cover shortages while the claim is being paid out, even if the amounts are reduced.
After years of service to nit pick over something as petty as that....Not to mention all the moving around to secure employment and "eke" out a living.
That pension fund should pay Goodearth like it owes him a living for a few years, not deny.
01-27-2010, 09:54 PM
I did not read where goodearth13 stated anything about an administrative mistake. When I apply for unemployment insurance and I only work 25 weeks, and 4 days, the state unemployment insurance where I live does not say, "we will give you unemployment anyway." I am denied unemployment and most likely be told I should have worked more. All pension plans have a vesting requirements which is minimum hours or years. If you leave the business prior to meeting the minimum vesting, you are denied the pension benefits! If an EMPLOYER cheats you (whether an administrative mistake or to make more money for themselves) on your paycheck, you must point it out to hopefully get the proper amount! If you are a participant of a pension plan you recieve statements on contributions for the time worked, as well as information how to report shortages on contributions by employers. It is the participants responsibily, just like for their paycheck, to report shortages at the time they occur. If you don't meet requirements of a pension plan, you cannot collect a pension. Under ARISA laws, trusties of the plan could be held criminally responsible (thanks to Jimmy Hoffa).
However, if a plan permits shortage issues to be dealt with, 30 years after leaving as a participant, they will be more than happy to see the participant collect any benefit due them from when contributions were made. But like most everything in the this great country, it must be proven. If goodearth13 has his records from 30 years ago showing he worked enough hours he will recieve any benefit do him because the law says he must! He just has to follow the path many other members of the Operating Engineers have, to recover pension shortages from employers!
01-27-2010, 10:21 PM
I think the contractor that did not pay the benefits for actual time worked bears much of the responsibility for this.
01-27-2010, 11:01 PM
Fellow HEF members. Thanks for the suggestions. I really appreciate them! I wil get my info together & try to get an appointment with the trustees. I'm in the prosess of communicating with the benefits secretary with Loacal #9 right now. I think she will at least get me a complete list of the paid benefits by former employers, so I can compare to my time cards that I still have after all these years. (Can't believe I found them after a divorce, 7 moves & 30+ years)
C Ya, Patrol Man (Dan) goodearth13 :usa
01-28-2010, 11:52 PM
i know when we signed our contract with the iuoe we had to post a bond so that even if we went outta biz our guys still got their fringe benefits. idk if thats an international or local requirement but id check it out....
01-29-2010, 09:11 AM
Hydro101, Thanks to you also for a great reply to my situation. All of you fellow HEF members responding has really restored my belief in my fellow man. I really appreciate everyones concern!!! I have been trying to communicate with the Local #9's secretary of benefits, but so far have not had any reply from her. I have today off so ,maybe I will try to contact her via telephone. I am asking her for a complete recap of my employers benefits payments. I think see might see the handwriting on the wall. She's kind of acting like the payment to me would come out of her own pocket. (Maybe I'm just getting paranoid.) Again thanks to all of you for the help. I feel a whole lot more like I might get some resolution to this problem with your help.
C Ya, Patrol Man (Dan) goodearth13 :usa
01-29-2010, 03:43 PM
I would talk to the business agent for the local - -
He probably has handled this type of situation before and would know best way to solve it
Sometimes the BA will have a relationship with a certain company that would allow them to hire you briefly - especially if you covered the cost of doing so
01-30-2010, 02:28 AM
"She's kind of acting like the payment to me would come out of her own pocket. (Maybe I'm just getting paranoid.) Again thanks to all of you for the help."
Thats how the white collar world likes to intimidate the blue collar world. Your not paranoid at all, shes trying to give you the brush off cuz she is most likely lazy and/or doesn't want to comply with trying to pay out because the bosses don't like parting with money....
Keep the faith.
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