May 4, 2016
The Bargaining team has met with the company multiple times over the past two days. We discussed Call Sharing and the company’s intent behind their proposal. Although there has been some movement in this issue, the greater preponderance of call center work would continue to go overseas to contractors. This is a very important issue to the Unions. Our customers have repeatedly said they don’t want to deal with overseas call center reps. Other corporations are actually responding to this customer demand with commercials stating their customer reps are here in the US, and your calls are answered in your community. When is Verizon going to catch on? They could be an instant hit with our customers by doing the same.
The company has touted that they are just trying to “modernize” processes and the contracts…except when it comes to pensions and the mortality table. The company demand is to lock in the current mortality tables and not update them. Modernization is of the utmost importance to the company …unless it benefits you, the worker….then we are accused of comparing “apples to oranges”.
The Unions discussed the need of additional jobs to meet our customer’s demands for service. The company’s offer falls woefully short and comes with no guarantee that the number hired will actually equate to permanent people in those seats. Currently if someone is “hired” yet fails testing, or doesn’tcomplete training and/or quits…that counts toward the promisedincreased headcount. That is insufficient.
President Bob Speer, Vice President Karen Lane and your Business Agents continue to have conference calls with the Units to update them on important issues and bargaining. Talking points have been distributed for use on the picket lines or for talking to your friends and neighbors. Contact your Chief Stewards with information on safety concerns. The companyseems to have abandoned all allegiance to safety since the strike began. The IBEW has and always will hold safety above all else.
A National Day of Action has been called. Contact your Local Unit office for information. Across the nation people will be demonstrating in support of our efforts. This is very exciting and we are grateful for the public support for all striking workers in IBEW and CWA.
They Say Give back----We Say Fight Back!! We are one day stronger than we have to be.
Stay Safe- Be Union- Be Strong