The CWA District 1/IBEW Local 2213 and IBEW New England Regional Committees met with the Company Thursday at the Rye Town Hilton to receive another proposal from Verizon. On Friday afternoon, the company sent an email to every union member at Verizon, saying that "the company continues to move this process forward toward closure," implying they are getting close to making their last, best and final offer. And they stated, bargaining "is not an endless process."
Well, they are right about one thing: if they do not move off the multiple concessionary demands still on the table, bargaining will not be "endless"-because we will be on strike! Real, constructive bargaining is a two-way street. We are willing to address some of the company's needs, but our needs must be met as well.
In our last bargaining report we informed you that the Union's most recent proposal would save the Company over $200 million during the life of the contract. But for this greedy company-which made $1.5 billion a month in profits every month in 2015-and a total of $39 billion in profits over the last three years--this is still not enough. Here are some of their remaining retrogressive proposals:
* TRANSFERS: Close centers and transfer workers up to 80 miles.
* FORCE ADJUSTMENT PLAN: Change the way the Company declares surpluses which could be done by Article 8 area or organization (impacting thousands of members)
* TEMPORARY TRANSFERS: Ability to transfer technicians anywhere in the footprint (Virginia to Massachusetts)
* ARTICLE 8: Destroy the definition of our Article 8 units in the Plant bargaining units.
* PENSIONS: Freeze pensions at 30 years of service.
* NO COLA
* CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING: at risk if not settled by certain date.
* CLASS II/SPONSORED CHILD COVERAGE: eliminate
* 401K PLAN CHANGES- begin charging a quarterly administration and a $50 fee for processing new loans.
* DISABILITY BENEFITS- Establish a rolling 5 years period for 100% payment on Sickness /Accident Disability. Once 100% is used - members are paid 50% (currently full pay benefits recycle after being back at work for 13 weeks)
* CALL SHARING- give the Company additional leeway to route calls out of our bargaining units and to contractors while giving contractors the handling of all new products and services.
* TUITION ASSISTANCE- Major changes to the tuition plan which would drastically limit the courses that members could take.
* WORK FAMILY- Reduce funding
* FAMILY CARE LEAVE- Drastically change the terms of the FCL.
* And more...
We believe the company's email is a threat designed to get us to give up more because they believe we will not strike. They are wrong. We will do whatever it takes to protect our jobs, our retirement security, our families, and our dignity on the job. Remember, their top 5 executives raked in $44.5 million in 2014 from a Company that made $18.3 Billion in profits in 2015. We have met them halfway. Now is the time for them to meet our needs.
We need every member engaged in this fight. It is more important than ever that we take this fight to a new level.
Mobilize! Mobilize! Mobilize!