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AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Unit

Tuesday
May052015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #38

Last night Vice President Bill Bates hosted a call with Locals from around the country. We informed them that the Bargaining Team will be returning to the table in D.C. We sent the Company a clear message that we were not going to waste our time waiting for them to start serious bargaining and would not bring our team back until they gave some sign that they were willing to move on OUR issues. That, combined with increased mobilization in many of the Locals, seems to have had an effect.

The Company has approached Bill with the indication that they are ready for some serious negotiations.

As we said on last night's call, this is not the time to let up. Let's welcome the team back with some serious actions in EVERY Local and show the Company you are solidly behind your bargainers.

Your Bargaining Team,

 

Wednesday
Apr292015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #37

We did not meet with the Company yesterday. They have our proposals and they have not gotten back to us yet with their responses.

Meanwhile, we are working closely with our Research Department to plan our responses to the Company’s unreasonable demands on Health Care. We are pushing for the fairest Contract we can reach that serves the needs of the members in our bargaining unit. We will not settle for a Contract that does not include a good wage increase, an increase in our pensions (half of our members have 25 years of service; the large majority have the Cash Balance Account as their pension plan) and job security that ensures us a place in the future of this Company. Meanwhile, in the news today:

LOS ANGELES (AP) - AT&T Inc. on Tuesday confirmed that it has fired Aaron Slator, a President who became the subject of a $100 million discrimination lawsuit, for using his work phone to send racially offensive images. "There is no place for demeaning behavior within AT&T and we regret that action was not taken earlier," the Company said.

AT&T has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lawsuits, fines, refunds and lobbying (for TPP and other things). If even a portion of that was spent on giving its employees a FAIR DEAL, this bargaining would be over by now.

Your Bargaining Team,

Tuesday
Apr282015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #36

The Medical Benefits Subcommittee met to discuss the “Excise Tax”, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, that doesn’t kick in until 2018. It applies a fee on so called “Cadillac Plans” which exceed a certain high level of coverage.

The company wants us to bargain now, in 2015, to change our plan so it does not trigger the tax in 2018. The Union position is that the rules for that tax have not even been completed; they are changing and will continue to change and there is no way we will model our plan on a vague predication of what might happen in the last year of our agreement.

We have told the Company we will agree to reopen discussions on the health care plan in 2017 IF (and that is a big IF) it appears the tax will be imposed. The Union is willing to partner with the Company to lobby to make modifications in the rules (or get rid of it altogether.)

Meanwhile we are NOT making progress on our key issues - the cost of benefits, job security, pensions, wages and improvements for our current Retirees.

We know this is dragging out but we need you to keep putting pressure on AT&T. Reach out to your Local newspapers and radio stations. Talk to them about what AT&T is doing. Talk to them about how unjust it is that companies like AT&T are amassing huge profits and paying huge salaries to their Executives but are refusing to treat their employees fairly.

You Bargaining Team,

Monday
Apr272015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #35

It was a lot more interesting at the Shareholders Meeting than it was at the Bargaining Table today. While we countered some of the Company proposals, they offered no changes to their last offer.

Meanwhile in Spokane, CWA activists demonstrated at the Shareholders meeting. The police and AT&T security were there in force, as was Labor Relations Vice President Mark Royse. Many members confronted him as he tried to tell them things were goi...ng OK at the bargaining table: “we only have to reach across a stream, not an ocean", meaning they are close to an agreement. Your Bargaining Team would certainly not agree with that statement. We are oceans apart!

Todd Appleby, EVP of Local 6360, also told Royse that the Company was a disgrace for breaking promises of healthcare to workers that have already retired, but are now being forced to pick between medications and food because of the unaffordable healthcare changes that the Company made to Retirees. He advised that his Local has a food shelf for the Retirees so they can make ends meet.
Following the rally, Shari Wojtowicz (Local 7250), David Blackburn (Local 7050), T Santora (Local 9003) and others delivered a binder to Tom Moore, Senior Vice President of HR Compensation, Benefits & Policy, which contained a petition from retirees to CEO Randall Stephenson. The petition had approximately 7000 signatures calling for fairness and common decency in addressing the needs of those who built the company. Steve Tizsa, retired President of Local 4252, was the main driver behind this petition campaign.

While only two speakers were permitted to address the Shareholders, and only on items appearing on the ballot, our activists made their concerns heard when they fanned out during the after meeting reception and explained our issues to those in the room. We will post pictures of the rally as soon as we get them.

Meanwhile in Lee’s Summit, members released balloons in solidarity with those at the Shareholders Meeting. See the photo here.

You Bargaining Team,
Bill Bates
Laura Unger
Lois Grimes-Patow
Martha Flagge
Mary Ellen Mazzeo
LaNell Piercy
Roy Hegenbart

Friday
Apr242015

AT&T Legacy T Bargaining Report #34

We said at expiration that there can be NO BUSINESS AS USUAL. That will be true for the bargaining table also.

On Wednesday the Union made a proposal to the Company with the aim of moving this bargaining forward. We said at the time that if the Company doesn’t respond with some serious movement of their own, our offer would be withdrawn. Instead, the puppeteers in Dallas again sent their team back to our table with little change from their last offers - still excessive increases in medical costs for our members, a woefully inadequate wage proposal, a low watermark and no change on any of our key issues.

In response, Bill Bates withdrew our last proposal and informed the Company for the 100th time that we will not continue to bargain this way indefinitely. It is an insult to our Bargaining Team and our Members. Our elected bargainers will be going back to their Locals until such time as meaningful bargaining can begin again. The Union is NOT refusing to bargain. We’re just refusing to bargain the way the Dallas czars want us to bargain. Bill and his staff will continue to meet with the Company and be in constant contact with the full team but they will not come back to Washington until the Company gives us some serious proposals for all of us to discuss.

This is not a time to slow down our activities on the job. If anything this should inspire our Locals to double their efforts.

Your Bargaining Team,

Bill Bates

Laura Unger

Lois Grimes-Patow

Martha Flagge

Mary Ellen Mazzeo

LaNell Piercy

Roy Hegenbart