After posting the blog entry on the CWA Unions and AT&T issue, where I was contacted by a set of union members who did not wish to be identified, I got a detailed email from a Thomas Bott of CWA Local 3122 in Miami, FL. As a rule, I post such well-reasoned responses. Here is what Mr. Bott wrote:
I just read your story about AT&T/CWA member dissatisfaction in California. The information you have about what contracts being ratified is completely false.
There are several CWA Districts that negotiate contracts with various divisions of AT&T. In April of 2012 District 1, (Connecticut), District 4 (Midwest) and District 9 (CA/NV) all had their contracts expire. District 3, which are the 9 states that used to make up BellSouth, had their contract expire August 4th.
In addition to the above listed contracts, IBEW has several thousand members in IL/IN that they represent with AT&T. IBEW was the first Union to have their bargaining team agree to a Tentative Agreement with AT&T for a one year extension with “modest” (AT&T language) increase to healthcare contributions. That extension was quickly rejected by their membership and they went back to the bargaining table. Two weeks later AT&T offered a one year extension with no changes whatsoever. That has not been ratified to my knowledge, but I’m not IBEW.
Now, on to District 4 of CWA which has brought there members a Tentative Agreement but it has NOT been ratified or even voted on by the members. The exact same thing with District 3, the former BellSouth states. Our bargaining team has agreed with the company on a new contract but it has not been ratified by the members and isn’t scheduled to even be voted on until the end of September 2012.
I’m not sure which disgruntled members you spoke with, but I’m sure there are some. However, I haven’t heard anyone say anything positive about what AT&T has offered any of its represented employees this year.
If you’d like to know more, please feel free to ask. In the mean time, if you have any contacts at AT&T you might want to tell them to read your story and understand the reality is more likely the exact opposite feeling amongst the rank and file members.
I look forward to reading the update.
CWA Local 3122