By now you have seen the company’s latest very public “final offer.” While at face value the company’s final offer may seem reasonable to some, the company has by-passed your Bargaining Committee in an attempt to sway our membership. This offer was never formally presented to your bargaining team and we believe the company is baiting you into conceding what we have been fighting for in ten months of bargaining and divide the membership. They did not share the offer with the union bargaining team before they sent it out publicly and emailed it to the entire membership. The company hopes the email will result in hundreds of calls to the union demanding we settle on the company’s terms, not ours. This is a dirty, bad faith ploy and it won’t work.
In fact, plans were already made for the Bargaining Committees to return to meet at the table in New Jersey beginning next week, which is the first date the AT&T negotiators said they would be available. The CWA has the right to bargain in person over such critical matters, but instead of making this proposal to your Bargaining Committee, they sent it out via several channels yesterday including directly to you, the CWA membership. So, why are they trying to go around your Bargaining Committee? They want you to be fooled into thinking this is a good deal and addresses your needs. They think a one-time payment of a $1,000 bonus to ratify this agreement will be enough for you to sell out.
What is in this offer?
- The raise offered is less than the raises given at other AT&T tables and when balanced with the cost of healthcare is not enough.
- Retail Sales Consultants are being offered a fraction of the “at risk” pay moved to their base in exchange for AT&T still being able to change the commissions when they feel like it, which history has proven is never good for the workers. If you are an RSC, you already know this.
- We see they say they are offering a job guarantee, which is very interesting since we have been asking for job security language and offering up various ideas to achieve this for the past 10 months, the detail is lacking and AT&T has repeatedly told us they are not interested in this and won’t bargain job security with us.
- It’s odd that AT&T goes on and on about providing good union jobs in the United States because a quick look at the data shows that our call center jobs are being sent to contractors and vendors at a record pace, and the Authorized Retailers, enjoy.com, and the newly created Integrated Sales Consultant job are all doing RSC work.
In their misleading email, notice there is:
- ZERO mention of outsourcing – our Union proposals are geared at fixing the fact that only 7% of the calls are handled by the centers in the “Orange” footprint.
- ZERO mention of job protections around store closings – Our Union proposals are geared at addressing that 60% of the Retail stores are now authorized dealers and this is a rising trend. The company has no interest in language that would protect our membership in fact they’ve created the Integrated Sales Consultant and Integrated Sales Support job titles outside of the Union to divert even more work from the COR stores.
- ZERO mention of curbs on contracting out our technical work, and no mention of technicians and CSSL at all – Our proposals preserve and protect the bargaining unit work both existing and new technology in the future. The company wants to be free to send more of the technician work to contractors.
- ZERO mention of their attendance policy – Our proposals are aimed at fixing an unfair attendance policy that has our members terminated prior to exhausting all their negotiated sick time. The company has no interest in moving on this issue.
The Company’s latest proposal fails to address many of our concerns that we have been talking to the Company bargainers about, including:
- No resolution to our EWP issue – You have told us that you need to be able to take the flexible paid time in a truly flexible manner. What good is paid time off when you aren’t allowed to take it when you need it?
- No resolution on our vacation issue – Our proposals would ensure our members can uses their paid vacation time when they want to by establishing minimum allowances per work group.
- No observation language protections for Retail workers and a Call Center offer that falls very short of the protections you told us you needed.
- No resolution on the Exchange Time issue, which Retail workers told us was especially important to them because they are suffering under the draconian attendance discipline plan and when they ask for relief via Exchange Time they are most often denied.
- No resolution on inclement weather and safety language.
- No resolution on the Holiday being treated properly as an extra day off in Holiday weeks when the company chooses not to open. Our proposal allows our members to actually have Holidays without a 6-day work week.
- No resolution to our issue of compensating technicians when they are forced to “day trip” hours away from home.
You get the idea.
In bargaining, the company’s Chief Negotiator has repeatedly said “We have no interest in job security.” So it’s no surprise the company’s phony pledge on job security doesn’t prevent them from closing your store or call center and offering you a job in Nome, Alaska! They can brag about their 2% wage hike and signing bonus all they want, but that will do little good if they can ship even more of our jobs to the Philippines, and won’t do much good if they can close our store and open up a low wage authorized dealer store. The company also doesn’t come clean on their proposal to hike our Medical costs either.
We need decent jobs to pay for our rent and food. We can’t eat their rhetoric.
The iPhone X launch is coming up. If anyone wants a strong contract that addresses our long-term needs, we ask you show your solidarity by wearing stickers and participating in other mobilization activities coming up.
We ask that all members ask their managers to tell AT&T to talk with us at the bargaining table, and stop with the misleading propaganda! Now, more than ever, Workplace Mobilization is critical. Click here to download the flyer.
United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.
CWA District 1 Vice President