November 11, 2023 at 7:46 am

‘She immediately starting laying on the charm.’ Employee Uses The Rules Against HR Person To Get the Holiday Pay They Deserved

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/AITA/Pexels

Never mess with a union.

It’ll go south for you in a hurry and you’ll end up paying the price.

Mark my words!

A person who worked at a grocery store back in the day shared a story that illustrates that point in a big way.

Used the union guidelines to outsmart an HR woman.

“When I was a senior in high school, I started working as a cashier at a grocery store.

While this was not my first job, it was my first one where I was part of a union and learned about some of the pros and cons of unions (mostly pros like regular raises, breaks, holiday pay, etc.). We had a woman there who was basically our human resources person and we did not get along from even before I worked there. I will call her Sally.

I came in for my interview and Sally was not there and had left work for the day.

They thought they might have made a mistake.

I remember apologizing and saying, “I must have mixed up the days. Is there anyway you can find out which is the correct day for my interview?” but the manager on duty advised me that I was correct as they had checked the calendar in her office and she had written it down and so he, the front end supervisor, and the other manager who came in to start his shift all interviewed and hired me instead.

But it wasn’t their fault.

I later heard from the group that she was working two locations and really wanted to be hired full time at a larger store which would have been a promotion for her but instead she was placed full time at our location only and didn’t get promoted and that her missing my interview was the final nail in the coffin for her as this was just one of a long list of mistakes she made.

She was always making excuses for why I couldn’t put in to be transferred to another department when they were hiring people for those departments like bakery or deli and kept me as cashier even though it was lower pay. Even so, I came back to work there over my winter break for college (I had gone away to college instead of commuting) and also summer break.

But this worker knew the rules and they knew their rights.

Here is where my malicious compliance comes in: our union states that after a waiting period (I believe it was 3 months) we get “holiday pay” for working Sundays and holidays. (It was time and half). We also are entitled to a raise every 6 months and being away at college is not suppose to effect that since we join the union before leaving and come back on our breaks and still owe our dues during those times when are still part of the union but away at school.

I got my first paycheck stub for the summer and noticed I did not get my holiday for working that Sunday nor my raise! I spoke with a coworker who advised me to speak with the store manager (He was one of the ones that interviewed me and always looked after his staff) since we were between union reps at the time.

This store manager really knew their stuff.

He was a born problem solver and told me right away he can fix the payroll error for me and make sure that I got not only the proper wage from now on but that I would get the back for the time I should have gotten the raise but didn’t. As far as the holiday pay though that had to be taken care of by Sally since she was in HR and he suggested we go see if she was free and speak with her.

But Sally wasn’t hearing it…

She just spoke to the both of us in a condescending tone about how this was union policy that I had to start all over again with seniority and that I had to earn that holiday pay again by being there for 3 months.

He pointed out, as did I, that I was getting this holiday before leaving for college and even over the winter break that I had worked but she just kept saying to me, “It’s union policy.” My manager calmly tried to negotiate with her and get her to correct and even stated that other employees had not had to go through this. I finally just raised my hand to silence them both.

It was time to speak up about this issue.

“Okay so you are saying that I can’t get my holiday pay even though I was before I left to go back to college at the end of January, due to union policy, correct?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said with a long dramatic sigh that was meant to say, “Like I have been telling you.”

I nodded, grinned and stated, “But union policy also states that I don’t have to work holidays or Sundays and that I can’t be penalized for refusing to do so, correct?”

My manager grinned at me like he was very proud of me as he saw exactly where this was going.

“Well, um yes that is true,” Sally said looking a bit nervous.

So they set the record straight and told them how it was gonna be…

“Okay well then, here is the compromise: since union policy states that I can’t get the holiday pay for working Sundays and holidays, for the rest of the summer, I will not work any Sundays or holidays and per union policy, I am allowed to do this,” I said with a shrug.

She immediately starting laying on the charm about how I am such a “great worker” and that they “really need me to be there to help out with Sundays and holidays” but I pointed out that they had plenty of other employees who were getting the holiday pay that they count on and I would be glad to return to working holidays and Sundays once I got my holiday for doing so.

My manager commented that he and I needed to change the schedule and casually mentioned how this was going to be hard as he now had to take me off for next Sunday and Monday (as that Monday was Memorial day) and it was a Thursday but that the store would just have to make it work if they couldn’t find anyone willing to come in.

And the manager was quite impressed by what went down!

Once she had left for the day he called me upstairs to his office to help with the schedule since I had to work so many days each week. I walked in to find him and another manager there grinning ear to ear and telling me how proud they were of me for how I handled that situation.

On Memorial day and the Fourth of July, I got a call asking if I can come in because they had other people call out sick who were scheduled. I just calmly explained that I was no longer working Sundays or holidays and that Sally could explain why. Before the end of the summer she found a new position and quit and the new hr person was much nicer.

And more folks benefited from this, as well!

One of the first things she did was make sure I and a few other college students who had similar issues with the holiday got our holiday pay reinstated and when I requested about a transfer to another department she gladly asked around and had me put in the health and beauty aides department that same week.”

Here’s what people had to say.

One person said unions should be the norm.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual said they can see the pros and cons of unions and not having unions.

Source: Reddit/AITA

This individual said unions need to have oversight.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this person talked about the downsides of unions.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And one Reddit user summed it all up.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Yet another example of why you shouldn’t mess with unions!

It never ends well…