When the Work Breaks You Down

Bill Bumpus's picture

Why Belong to a Union?


One of the more
compelling reasons for belonging to a union (besides the wages,
benefits, etc.) is the job security it provides.  The following account
of a woman—whom I’ll call “Gloria”—employed at Kimberly-Clark’s
Fullerton paper mill illustrates how important that job protection is.

Gloria worked
as a multifolder console operator in the Folded Products department. 
Her job was to keep the machine loaded with KDFs (knocked-down-flat
cartons), into which an endless stream of freshly made Kleenex was being
stuffed at the rate of 300 cpm (clips per minute).  Gloria worked
non-stop, loading the machine with one 20-pound box of KDFs after
another, lifting them off pallets supplied by a forklift driver.