Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
In a unionized workforce there is a contract (the collective bargaining agreement or CBA) that the employer must follow. Generally, the assignment of work and hours is covered by the CBA. If the employer has not followed the work assignment procedures and rights given your particular level of seniority, the same would be a violation of the CBA. When an employee believes the CBA is violated he/she has a few rights. First he/she can file a grievance against the employer, in which management and union representatives discover a) if there has been a violation of the CBA and b) if so, if they can come to a mutual resolution of the matter. You have the absolute right to file a grievance. Likewise, if the grievance is rejected, you can request your union file arbitration for you. In arbitration an impartial third party arbitrator will review the matter in a hearing where you and the union and employer can present evidence and make arguments as to why the practice is not/correct.
If the union ultimately fails to do these things for you - there are two courses of action you can take -1) is to file an unfair labor practice
against the union for failure to represent you. These are free of charge and you can follow the process at this link http://www.nlrb
.gov/what-we-do/investigate-charges 2) is to file a Section 301 Labor
Management Relations Act (LMRA) claim against both the employer and union in federal court. With the Section 301 claim you would indeed have to hire your own attorney. in the 301 claim you are essentially suing the employer (because it violated the collective bargaining agreement) and the Union (because it did not properly represent you).
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.