I stewed about the work situation all night. I gave myself time to get over my 'mad', and to look at it rationally. What it came down to was what we receive in on a daily basis is roughly what we get done. We are keeping up. It is correct that we are not working on Thanksgiving, but we also will not be getting a delivery on Thanksgiving. There will be no one there to meet the truck. Yes. That might mean we get a bigger volume of work on Friday, but if we do, we would be able to catch up that work the week after Thanksgiving, working overtime then, if necessary. People plan for holidays ahead of time, and travel plans are made, festivities are planned. Announcing 10 hour days and Saturday in the midst of the planning requires changes of plans.
It could have been done another way, one that showed a bit more consideration of the employees.
So we had our morning meeting which basically is what we are getting in vs what we got finished. After that, the question is asked, "So, do you have anything for us?"
I said "Yes," and began carefully thought out comments about the overtime.
One supervisor leaned in to the other and said, "Oh, boy...."
I said, "Don't do that. I'm trying to be respectful and reasonable here. You cheerfully announce it's Friday, it's payday, everybody is supposed to be happy about that, but really, if you are concerned about morale, I think it's not about being a cheerleader. It's about being considerate of the employees."
Her eyes got wide.
I went on with my talking, pointing out that we were moving into a holiday season next month, and that I hoped that the company would be a bit more aware of their employees.
In the end, it was said, in words to this effect: "the decisions made are what is best for the company and that we were welcome to put in for days off if we needed them" (note that they already announced that they were limiting employee time off during this season to meet company needs.)
When we went to our desks, I got a bunch of 'you're rights', thumbs up, nods of assents, one high five and even a salute.
I also got called to the conference room.
The manager said, "I hope you are settled down."
Me: "I'm not angry. I was angry yesterday, but that's why I kept silent yesterday. I spent a lot of time thinking about how to handle this last night."
Turns out they were mad, though. mostly about the fact that I had "mocked leadership", ridiculing the supervisor as being a cheerleader. They also felt quite strongly that the next time I had a complaint I needed to use proper channels, speaking to them privately, not in a group.
I said, "It was a group concern."
They denied it.
I said, "Well, there are quite a number of people who were pleased to see the issue brought up."
They said they had been approached by many people who thought I was completely out of line. I sat there listing them in my head. In any job, there will be those who focus on currying favor with management. I said, "If offense was taken, that was not my intent. I apologize."
They said that HR was aware of my behavior and they weren't going to write me up 'this time'.
They can't. Employees have a federally protected right to discuss grievances and to bring them to the attention of management without fear of reprisal.
The supervisor said in a very stern tone that I was not 'the voice of the people'.
I went back to my desk, and people began to come over to see if I got in trouble. "They're not happy," I said. "They feel that it was brought to their attention via the wrong way." A supervisor watched us from across the room.
Management's complaint is how I handled my complaint. What is very clear is that they are not receptive to actually addressing my complaint.