Regional Bargaining Report # 58
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Bargaining continued this week in Philadelphia. The Union passed proposals related to a few of the Company’s demands regarding Independent Medical Exams, Evaluative Observations and Municipal and State Leave Laws. The Company rejected rational arguments on each of these proposals.
During an afternoon session Tuesday, the Union bargaining team invited the Lehigh County Executive, Tom Muller to join us for a discussion to defend keeping the Verizon center in his jurisdiction open and potentially adding personnel. The Union Committee spent the next hour describing the personal hardships members would face being forced to move from these rural areas. The Company had little compassion for the hardships these office moves would cause, demonstrating again Verizon has a heart of stone.
The last comprehensive proposal the Company made to the Mid Atlantic bargaining team was March 23rd. This proposal contains no movement to address the Union’s priorities. There has been no movement in wages and no cost of living. The company proposal still allows them to increase contracting and off-shoring of our work.
The Company’s proposal still contains many other retrogressive demands including:
• Job Security- Eliminate the no-layoff protections for workers hired before 2003
• Disability- a diminishment of our disability plans for members who get injured on the job
• Call Sharing- the elimination of home based routing, a reduction in the percentage of calls and the ability to route all calls for new products or services to contractors for 9 months
• Corporate Profit Sharing- Eliminated
• Pensions – The Company proposes to freeze pensions at 30 years and modify the cashout option, drastically reducing the amount of our cashout.
• Closing call centers- the closing of centers that would result in transferring members up to 80 miles from their current work location
• Temporary Assignments in Other States – the ability to temporarily transfer members to other states
• Family Care Committee – reduce the funding by 40% over the life of the contract
• Future Link – funding reduced by 40% over the life of the contract
• Tuition Assistance Plan- major changes that would drastically limit some courses and eliminate entirely other courses a member could take
• Dependent Eligibility for benefits- Eliminate sponsored parents.
• Shifting Healthcare Costs – The Company’s proposal is to shift additional costs to members for less coverage. The Company’s proposal also shifts more healthcare costs on to our retirees.
• Evaluative Observations – The Company wants to eliminate advance notification, monitor during overtime hours and extend the timeframe to cover observations.
Verizon is a hugely profitable and greedy corporation that is intent on driving down the living standards of the workers who make their profits possible – not because they “need” the savings, but because they “want” the savings and they believe they have the power to do so. Verizon is the poster child for Corporate Greed!
By now Locals should have prepared for the inevitable by assigning picket duty, delivering signs and setting up member relief accounts.
CWA PRESIDENT CHRIS SHELTON WILL BE ANNOUNCING A STRIKE DATE WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.