Over the past years we have witnessed AT&T downsize our work forces while shifting work to outside contractors and call centers. Attack our health care and our pockets by shifting the cost to us. Use tools that monitor our work which in turn de-skills our trade by telling us not just what to do, but how to do it. Demand longer hours and irregular schedules that they claim, “meet the needs of the business”. And yes, even sow division between us. All this from a PROFITABLE company. We built this company and asking them to recognize us wanting our fair share, to be treated with dignity, is not over-stepping our bounds. We have earned that right!
Midwest bargaining officially begins today. This will be the “most important contract” we will ever face together. The current wages and benefits we have are not a gift from the company. Everything we have today was fought for and it has never come easy. We need to be prepared and act accordingly through our mobilization efforts. We cannot sit back and let changes in our company and in technology, wash our jobs away. We MUST stand up and raise the bar in our mobilization efforts and let the company know that we have our own vision for 2020. And that is job security…a future for us and our families! We need to make it loud and clear we are done with them giving our work away.
The other day during a meeting an Area manager said, “In a few weeks the Union will have the power”. Is that the goal of the company to have “the power”? The more I thought about this statement the more I felt that he was right. As a Union we have allowed them to divide and conquer us and take our power away. What we as a Union can now do is show respect for one another and ourselves. When you have self-respect and work together, you will have the power once again. A Union is a family and we have lost sight of that. “We” have the power to win what we want if we work together!
This round of bargaining is about us, our futures and all of our families. It will take each and everyone of us to fight for a fair contract. You cannot expect the mobilization of others to earn it for you. In life all things we earn are what we’re willing to fight for. This is about our livelihood and that certainly is worth fighting for don’t you think?
We will receive not what we idly wish for but what we justly earn. Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service. –Earl Nightingale
This video sums it up… when we work together, we have the power!