The IBEW System Council T6, CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 New York Regional Committees met this week in Rye Town, NY.
The committees met from Tuesday to Friday this week in an attempt to ignite the bargaining process that has been stalled because of Verizon’s refusal to move off their position of shifting thousands of dollars in healthcare costs, eliminating job security, freezing pensions, eliminating Accident and Sickness Disability and more.
The Union submitted two counter proposals which were rejected this week by the company and the Company then submitted two counteroffers and Verizon still has almost all of their retrogressive demands on the table.
Your bargaining team is committed to continue bargaining until an agreement is reached that is fair to our members. Meanwhile, Verizon continues to make over $1 Billion per month in profits.
It is obvious from their retrogressive proposals and their comments explaining their proposals to the union, that not only do they insist on massive increases in cost-sharing from our members and retirees, but the flexibility they are demanding is to eliminate work and jobs from the bargained-for members. As we continue to negotiate, Verizon is not only moving members again out of centers, but they are also realigning centers and work along with our members.
What is perhaps the most damaging to our members and your careers is the direction Verizon is taking externally. We have the continued abandonment of the copper network along with the decision to not roll out any more FiOS, which has dramatically affected all of our workgroups. What you should all be aware of is that the company is also rolling out a massive plan for fiber to the antenna, which is building their small cell fiber fed wireless networks everywhere they have not invested in FiOS or upgraded the failing copper network. This in effect, is the broadband network of voice, data, and video of the future, which will transition to an upgraded 5G wireless network, and we are all left out of it.
As we sit at the negotiating table, the company has also increased contracting for just about every call center and in typical clandestine fashion, is planning on opening two or more call centers overseas, in the Philippines, by the end of the year. This great company we work for is also seeking to eliminate state regulations overseeing telecommunications We have vehemently opposed this last week at the committee hearings up at the statehouse and will continue to do so.
We have been asking members to help mobilize and bring awareness into our communities and participate in the informational picketing. This would seem to be an easy ask of the members because we can get the message out while we are still collecting a paycheck. While we have a great group of dedicated volunteers, who have been actively helping the local for a long time now, it is not nearly enough. When it comes to doing what we need to do to keep the benefits we have, we are way off in the solidarity department in this fight. Wearing red on Thursdays and Black on Fridays, or wearing our “Where’s The Fairness buttons” is a simple way to let management know, we are united, and this unity in each workplace travels up the corporate ladder to the sleazebags insisting on breaking the union and eliminating your jobs. If someone doesn't like this message, too bad, you are obviously not helping our cause.
You should be coming in to work, providing exceptional customer service and then going home to your families. We should be participating in union activities, NOT company hug-fests or company engagement activities. Enough of the suckballs who are up managements asses with their own side-deals. The Senior executives need to get this message that on the shop-floor, we are united.