Updates and announcements regarding the AT&T strike.
At about 13 minutes into this video, Trumka talks about contingent (temp) tech workers and WashTech’s role in organizing tech workers. Text from this section of the speech is below:
When we talk about the problems facing contingent workers they
really listen: and for good reason – after all, a man or woman working
as a temp or a freelancer today may as well be walking a tightrope
without a net.
They know workers with unions make more money and have better benefits; they just don’t think unions fit the way they work. And you can’t blame them because we haven’t really focused on the way they work.
Well, we can’t ask them to change the way they earn their living to meet our model for unionism; we have to change our approach to unionism to meet their needs.
One union that’s pioneering in this is the Communications Workers. They have an affiliate called WashTech. It began as a grassroots movement of temps working at Microsoft in Seattle. Now, thanks to the Internet, it has members from Boston to Silicon Valley and it’s evolving into a dynamic, new union of tech workers dealing with problems ranging from job security and health care, to offshore outsourcing and visas.
But, you know we can’t only address their needs where they work. We need to address the fact that a lot of young people going to college today are drowning in a sea of debt by the time they come out….
All of the ballots have been counted and we are pleased to announce the Tentative Agreement has been ratified by a vote of 73 percent.
Thank you for all of your support and hard work throughout this round of bargaining. You never waivered and we sincerely appreciate your true solidarity.
Special thanks to the Bargaining Committee for all of their hard work!
Executive Vice President
CWA AND AT&T MOBILITY BARGAINING REPORT # 23
February 28, 2009
Bargaining resumed yesterday and continued late into the night with little if any movement on the Company side.
Wages, Job Upgrades, Subcontracting, Basis of Compensation, Sales Quota Relief and Sales Compensation are still among the top issues that have yet to be agreed upon.
There is still much work that needs to be done.
The Union is currently reviewing the Company proposals from yesterday’s meeting and is scheduled to return to the bargaining table later today.
Information will be updated as events warrant.
Stay Informed. Be Prepared. Expect the best.<–>
Mobility Negotiations to Resume!
AT&T Mobility Campaign Update
| February 23, 2009 |
Good news! Contract negotiations with Mobility will resume later this week. (We’ll notify you when we know which day.)
There’s only one reason for this turn of events: Mobilization
By mobilizing, you’ve shown the Company that Mobility workers are going to fight for a fair contract, and that its “last, best” offer just isn’t good enough. You’ve let the Company know that you’re not falling for their phony claims on wage increases. Wth every red shirt, every CWA button, every petition signature, every workplace sign, you’ve demonstrated that Mobility employees from the smallest retail stores to the biggest call centers are unified.
Keep it up! Now’s the time to get involved if you haven’t or let your steward know you want to get more involved. Remember, stronger mobilization = bargaining power!
An Open Letter to Mobility Orange Employees from Bill Bates, CWA Bargaining Committee Chair
In bargaining with AT&T Mobility, CWA has repeatedly said that it’s important to look at all the elements that go into a contract.
Economic issues are important and CWA definitely is pressing for economic improvements that will benefit Mobility workers and address the issues you’ve told us are important.
By now you have received many different communications, some from your Union, CWA, and some from AT&T. In a recent communication from AT&T Mobility’s Ralph de la Vega, the company seems surprised that we have not accepted its last offer.
We know that because of your efforts, AT&T Mobility is a successful company. In the last quarter of 2008, 2.1 million new wireless subscribers signed up, that brings the total subscribers to 77 million, a strong gain of 7 million over the previous year. For 2008, total wireless revenues were $49.3 billion—that’s an increase of 15.6 over the previous year.
AT&T said it well: Despite the economic environment, we grew revenues in 2008 and I expect 2009 will be another year of overall revenue growth and solid progress for our company. (Source: AT&T Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results Highlighted by Robust Wireless Data Growth, 1-28-2009)
Clearly AT&T is a leader in the telecom industry. It should be a leader in helping turn the economy around and in providing good middle class jobs.
Of course economic issues are important. And one of the main economic factors for us to consider that didn’t exist when we bargained contracts in Districts 3 and 6 was future changes to the health care plan over the next four years. While the final details are being worked out, we know that, based on the recent arbitration decision, Mobility workers will be paying more.
Also, economic issues are not the only issues on the table. The non-economic items are a major reason why we haven’t been able to reach a proposed settlement. Unfortunately, Mobility has been unwilling to address a wide range of issues that employees say will make working life better.
We’ve talked some about a career path for customer service professionals. Clearly Mobility workers are doing their job and more, as the number of new customers grows. Mobility customer service professionals are providing the quality service that keeps customers coming back. These employees want and need opportunity for growth within customer service: for training, increased responsibility and increased compensation.
Mobility customer service professionals provide quality service, and will continue to do so as negotiations go forward. It’s time for Mobility management to recognize this contribution to Mobility’s success.
Scheduling is another critical area. Mobility employees need and want to know in advance what hours we will be working, and more than just a couple days in advance. That’s the only way workers can begin to balance their work lives, personal lives and family responsibilities.
Quota relief in the retail stores is another important issue for Mobility workers. Right now, retail store employees are disciplined for not meeting their full week’s sales quota when they were off work a day during that week.
These are just a few of the non-economic issues we’re pushing Mobility to resolve.
And finally, you need to know that the total CWA family is behind you. Just last week we reached out to our telecommunications workers who work for AT&T and we received hundreds of e-mails of solidarity and support.
Lisa from Local 9575 in California wrote, “Our local is committed to help AT&T Mobility workers with any help requested. We will be there for the workers. This fight is not just the fight of workers at Mobility but is also a fight for all CWA members. You can count on Local 9575 to be there for you.” Watch for more messages of support like this.
With patience, perseverance and solidarity, we will get the quality contract that Mobility workers deserve.
The company stated the union walked away from the negotiations table, the reality is: it became crystal clear to the Union that the company did not come to the table with the intent to try to reach resolution during on our remaining issues during the 24-hour extension, and refused a 30-day contract extension; the union notified the company it may be in everyone’s best interest if there would be a cooling off period. We called our break a cooling off period because that is normally what it is called in negotiations.
Tell your fellow members to get their facts off the CWA website instead of listening to the company. Ask them who made billions in profits last year due to the work that they put in, and at&t needs to be able to do that again this year. Why wouldn’t they mislead people? The company has everything to gain by distorting the truth and everything to lose if they don’t.
Keep watching the website. New information is posted frequently.
AT&T Mobility Campaign Update
Friday, Feb. 13
Most of you have seen the “highlight document” that was posted by management about its final offer at the bargaining table late Saturday night. We have provided additional information/analysis about the company’s outline on wage increases and job classifications; those updates were distributed earlier this week. Go to www.cwa-attmobility.com for more details.
Some members are asking, “What’s the Union’s package? What do we want the company to change?” CWA puts together bargaining goals based on the information that Mobility members and locals provide in the bargaining surveys. It’s a democratic process to make sure we’ve identified the big issues and concerns of members. That information is consolidated and used to set our bargaining agenda and proposals.
What the company is circulating is presented as its “final package.” CWA does not put a “final package” on the table. The bargaining team believes we are far apart on many key items. In fact, we still want more detailed discussion about these important issues. That’s how a contract comes together. A “take it or leave it” package approach doesn’t work. CWA members have identified a lot of diverse and important issues that need to be addressed and that is what your bargaining team is attempting to do in these negotiations.
Following is a list of many of the key issues that your bargaining team is working to address:
• Retail stores issues (sales compensation plan, quota relief for discipline and scheduling)
• Career path opportunities in call centers (especially in the care centers)
• Subcontracting of our work
We also want to make sure that we have an opportunity to negotiate over the items that AT&T wants to change during the life of the agreement.
Over the next reports, we’ll provide more details about many of these issues and why it’s important to negotiate changes.
The most important thing to know is that your bargaining committee is negotiating to bring all of these issues together and resolve them in the best way possible for Mobility members. That doesn’t just happen, it takes hard work and time to get the entire package put together. That’s what we’re working for, and with the support of AT&T members and others throughout CWA, we will make it happen.