The CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional Committees met yesterday at the Rye town Hilton.
Last week during off the record discussions the Union laid out to the Company a path to a contract by addressing the Company’s critical needs. We also made it clear to them that in order to reach an agreement they would have to address the Union’s critical needs and drop all of the remaining retrogressive demands.
Yesterday the Company gave us a proposal that contained no movement from their previous proposal to address our critical needs. There was no movement in wages, it continues to freeze pensions at 30 years and still allows them to increase contracting and off-shoring of our work.
The Company’s proposal still contains retrogressive demands that include:
- Job Security - Eliminate the no-layoff protections for workers hired before 2003 unless the Unions agree to other concessions
- 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 - Eliminate
- Closing call centers - the closing of centers that would result in transferring members up to 80 miles from their current work location
- Force Adjustment Plan - the ability to declare surpluses and offer IPP by organization which would circumvent seniority within your title
- Article 8 - the ability to transfer members with little regard to seniority effectively destroying the Article 8 provision in the Plant contract
- Work/Family - reduce the funding by $600,000 over the life of the contract
- Tuition Assistance Plan - major changes that would drastically limit the courses a member could take
- Dependent Eligibility for benefits - Eliminate sponsored children and Class II dependents effective 1-1-18
In their proposal, the Company also had the audacity to threaten our members that if a contract isn’t ratified by May 20th they would have the right to temporarily transfer technicians from Massachusetts to Virginia for up to 60 days while allowing technicians to be transferred into your state to do your work and make Sunday part of your regular workweek.
The Company’s proposal also shifts more healthcare costs on to our retirees even though the Union had agreed to allow the Company to implement a Medicare Advantage Plan that would save them tens of millions of dollars.
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.
At this point, every member should be ready to strike at a moments notice!
CWA PRESIDENT CHRIS SHELTON WILL BE ANNOUNCING A STRIKE DATE WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.