I feel like the current union negotiations are a no-win scenario for office staff. Since the layoffs were first announced in September, 2016, everyone in this department who started afterwards was LTT, and then eventually all Manpower. Now the current contract has ended, and the company wants to eliminate 10% of office staff and replace them with contractors, and incentive pay and merit increases are being withheld because the union will not sign off on this proposal. They are already replacing jobs with contractors, as anyone who has left or retired since September, 2016 has not been replaced with permanent employees. There were 1,300 union eligible employees during the last negotiations, down to 900 employees during the current negotiations.
You are completely correct except for one thing. In my area, 5 of us left. 3 retired and 2 found other jobs. We were told that they were not replacing people with NM staff only temps. Low and hold they posted 3 openings for NM staff to do our jobs. What's the catch? All 3 were young in their 20's and also one has a family member in management. I have seen this over and over where there are no jobs and openings and suddenly a "family member" gets in.