Union workers: Unions take politics out of the workplace

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Three ordinances before Fort Wayne City Council members could eliminate collective bargaining.  Some union workers say that could leave them jobless.

When it comes to unions protecting city workers, they tell NewsChannel 15 it’s not always about benefits.  It’s about taking politics out of the workplace so they can focus on their job.

“They can just do away with you at any time. That’s kind of a scary thought,” Project Coordinator for Transportation Engineering Services Holly Petzak said.

Holly Petzak and Tim Riemke are both project coordinators for transportation engineering services for the City.  It’s their responsibility to coordinate road projects.  Holly and Tim say without union protection, they could lose their job if there was a change in politics.

“You know I’m a single lady. I live by myself. I could lose my house, car, the security I have working here. I have a great job. I love it, and I hope to continue to work here until I retire.”

“I would lose my house. I’d definitely have to move. And my bills would be dramatic. It scares me,” city employee and union worker Tim Riemke said.

They say their union the International Association of Machinists Local 2569 gives them a voice, job security, and takes politics out of the workplace.  And as far as some people’s opinions that unions are greedy – they say that’s not true.

“We do what we do for the taxpayers. We have taken concessions to make this a better city, be able to afford to fix stuff in the city, and you know we are taxpayers too and we just want them to know that. We’re not out here for anything unjust. We just want our rights and to be able to sit down and negotiate at the table and treated fairly,” Petzak said.

If you have a 40 hour a week job with weekends, holidays, and benefits Holly says you can thank unions for that.

“It’s like no one realizes that you get your 40 hour work week unions. You get holidays, weekends, overtime pay. People don’t realize that. They think it is all greediness. It really isn’t.”

Holly and Tim tell NewsChannel 15 if you have an opinion one way or another about unions in Fort Wayne, write your city councilman.  Council will vote on it next week.


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