Fighting Today… Focused on the Future
CWA/AT&T Midwest Bargaining Resolution
As CWA prepares to enter negotiations with AT&T/Midwest Region over the contract that expires on April 14, 2018, we must demand AT&T addresses our members’ key issues. Will AT&T work with CWA and its members as it develops strategies to meet a changing competitive and technological environment or will it continue to take the low road of layoffs and outsourcing?
The communications industry has grown rapidly over the last decade and continues to grow in many areas. The wireless, broadband and application/entertainment segments of the industry continue to expand significantly.
AT&T is one of the most successful companies in the industry, in large part, because it has chosen a strategy which depends upon products and technologies which can best be brought together in bundled offerings, relying on our members to carry out the plan. A quality workforce needs quality benefits, pension, wages and employment security.
A critical issue in this coming round of bargaining will be to address issues which include regular full-time employment in the United States, elimination of difficult working conditions including; discriminatory management expectations, unrealistic work rules, ever changing goals and unfair discipline by managers leading to a complete lack of respect for members, their families and customers. We need to improve our employment security language and continue to focus on adding jobs and Union work as well as eliminating outsourcing. We need to protect employment by expanding opportunities to work in those areas which continue to grow and new business ventures that AT&T may enter, while protecting the benefits, pensions and wages we have achieved over many years.
Health Care, Pension and Benefit Improvements
Member bargaining surveys reflect continued frustration when attempting to utilize the benefits that the union has negotiated in good faith. This can best be addressed by clear contract language that protects our right to utilize the benefits that we have negotiated. Our intent is that benefits, once bargained, will be available, without question, to our members.
During previous negotiations AT&T, has shifted more and more cost to their employees. As a result AT&T has seen a decrease in its overall health care cost for both active and retired CWA members. A company the size of AT&T can leverage its size to obtain the best health care arrangements available, balancing benefits and access with cost. The continued financial benefits of such arrangements should be shared with our members, not added to the profits of AT&T.
We also need to improve the quality of benefit delivery through additional union oversight and authority over health plans, building on the mechanisms that are already in place, including arbitration. Two way communications is essential in identifying problem areas including vendor benefit interpretation and delivery. To accomplish this, a relationship of mutual trust and respect must be encouraged and strengthened with open, honest dialogue between Union and Company Benefit Representatives.
Pensions are again a critical concern in this round of bargaining for all employees. We need significant pension improvements to insure that all of our members can retire with dignity. The lump sum pension option is selected by the vast majority of our members when they retire, therefore, we must continue to assure that our members can choose this option. We must be sure the savings plans offered to our members incorporate effective options and protections which will ensure that savings are there when members retire. Retiree healthcare is of great concern to both current and future retirees. The Union will continue to demand the company bargain over retiree healthcare benefits.
Employment Security Means Access to the Jobs of the Future
Training and access to the high quality job opportunities in the ever expanding communications industry, including broadband, wireless and the application/entertainment segments are the keys to maintaining our members’ employment. This is critical to maintain our power to negotiate wages, benefits and pensions in the future.
We must also eliminate obstacles that exist when exercising our rights under the employment security provisions in the contract. We need access to the jobs of the future and improved voluntary transfer rights to all entities within AT&T with seniority, benefit and pension protection. The National Transfer systems must be strengthened to assure it provides equal opportunities to every employee regionally as well as nationally.
To insure employment security, we must eliminate subcontracting, outsourcing and temporary hires as replacements for regular full-time employment opportunities.
Improved Standard of Living
AT&T is one of the largest and most profitable companies in the communications industry. In 2017, AT&T recorded profits of $13 billion on revenues of almost $163 billion.
As a dominant force in the industry, AT&T is unsurpassed in market value and revenue. AT&T’s profitability and standing in the industry is a result of our member’s hard work and productivity. We deserve our fair share in the form of a significant base wage increase for all CWA members commensurate with company profits and executive compensation.
Justice on the Job
The proper management of mandatory overtime is critical to reduce stress on our members and their families.
Safety on the job should be taken seriously by the company and not simply used as a tool to discipline our members or to improve numbers.
The misuse of performance management plans in all departments is a serious problem. Mandatory overtime, inflexible schedules, pressure to sell, monitoring, GPS, harsh attendance and adherence policies continue to show a lack of respect for our members. When attempting to resolve on the job problems through the grievance procedure, we are frustrated by delays and managers lacking the authority to resolve problems or settle grievances.
WHEREAS, Locals, members and customers have the right to be respected by AT&T;
WHEREAS, the company’s future success is tied directly to retaining current customers and attracting new customers in the communication, wireless, broadband and application/entertainment service segments;
WHEREAS, The ability to attain that success is predicated on the dependable, high- quality service provided by regular full-time and well-trained CWA members with quality benefits, wages and employment security;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, As AT&T/Midwest grows and new job opportunities become available through deployment of new technologies, our members must be trained and have access to those jobs. They must be union jobs with good wages, benefits and working conditions;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Management shall not hire contractors or temporary workers to perform our work, nor shall they assign our work to non-bargained-for employees, nor shall they outsource any bargaining unit work;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, All benefits for active and retired members must be improved, including health care and disability benefits. AT&T must continue to offer high quality healthcare options including low-cost options.
There can be no difference between the benefits that we negotiate and the benefits that we receive;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Our pension plans covering all employees must be improved to assure a secure retirement. The lump sum option must be continued;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, AT&T profits from our labor therefore, our members’standard of living must improve with the new contract;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED: As Local officers we pledge to each other to mobilize our members to do whatever is necessary to support our Bargaining Committee and achieve our goals.