Regional Bargaining Report #1
Regional Bargaining Report
Monday June 22, 2015
Bargaining with Verizon began today with the Company and the Unions exchanging opening remarks and stating their respective goals for this round of bargaining. CWA District 2-13, CWA District 1 NJ and IBEW NJ are negotiating for new contracts in Philadelphia while CWA District 1 and IBEW NY and NE are negotiating for new contracts at the Rye Town Hilton in Westchester County.
Ed Mooney, Vice President District 2-13 gave an opening statement to the Company at the Regional Bargaining table. Ed closed his statement by stating, “CWA is committed to Verizon’s continued success. We are united in our commitment to improve our living standards for our families, to provide security for our retirees, and to secure good well –paid union jobs for the future. We are united in our commitment to fight for fairness – we are the foundation upon which the success of Verizon rests.
We have helped to boost the company’s earnings and productivity even through a global recession. It is now our turn to share equitably in that growth.
When workers at Verizon improve their living standards through collective bargaining, all of our communities also benefit. When CWA members succeed at the bargaining table, when we secure a better standard of living for our members, we help to boost the entire U.S. economy.
In IBEW 827 Local President Bob Speers’ opening statement he reminded the company of the achievements reached over the years when Verizon worked with the Unions and not against us. He also committed to work to reach an agreement that is in the best interest of all of our members.
After opening statements, Verizon gave the Unions an insulting and retrogressive comprehensive proposal. The Regional Bargaining Committee has adjourned for today and will resume bargaining tomorrow.
Regional Bargaining Report #2
Regional Bargaining Report #2
Tuesday June 23, 2015
There was no formal bargaining session today at the Regional table. The Union bargaining committee spent most of today working on the Union’s proposals and also reviewing the company’s package from yesterday’s session.
Bargaining is scheduled to resume tomorrow.
Regional Bargaining Report #3
Regional Bargaining Report #3
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The CWA Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining team met with the company twice today in Philadelphia. The morning meeting consisted of presentations from the company on healthcare costs. The Bargaining team will review the information provided and identify issues where additional information or clarification may be required.
In the late afternoon, the Bargaining team again met with the company and presented initial proposals designed to recognize the hardships our members and retirees face dealing with medical issues. Included were proposals on improving retiree coverage and restoring active and retiree medical to the pre-2012 plan design and contribution level. We also submitted proposals to enhance training opportunities within the workplace, educational assistance and to provide assistance for members dealing with work/life issues. We continue to evaluate the company’s comprehensive proposal and will prepare an appropriate response.
The Union told the company we desire to reach a contract in a reasonable time frame and find common ground. The Company also expressed a similar desire but were less than respectful commenting “the Union is from a different era” after we had presented some of our initial proposals.
We are early in this process and your bargaining team is working hard to ensure that we fight for the issues you submitted in the bargaining surveys. We will work to make sure that any agreement includes protections our members need against a company who disrespects us on the job, in the media and at the bargaining table.
Tomorrow is Thursday. Tomorrow, this company should see a sea of red at every workplace from every employee united in sending a message that it is truly “Our Turn”. That message should carry back to the executives of this company that have no problem in paying themselves a 16% raise yet claiming poverty and blaming a changing environment when we ask for our fair share of the profits.
If you didn’t care before, or if you didn’t pay attention to what this company is doing to you and every other member every day on the job, or if you didn’t hear the Company’s message about the direction they want to take this company and the part you would play in its future, NOW is the time to start giving a damn. The Company will lay off 42 Service Technicians in Pennsylvania this Friday rather than negotiate with the Union an alternative to layoffs. They don’t want any of us.
It will take EVERY SINGLE employee to stand up, mobilize and demand respect to continue our future at this company.
Regional Bargaining Report #4
Regional Bargaining Report #5
Regional Bargaining Report
June 26, 2015
CWA District 2-13 and NJ CWA District 1 Regional Bargaining Teams met with the Company today. The first thing we did was hand the company a laid off member’s family photo to remind the company that the 42 people they are laying off in PA are actual people with families, not just numbers. When they close their eyes to sleep tonight, we hope that family portrait is ingrained in their minds.
We requested information to the proposal Verizon passed earlier this week. Here is a sample of some of the retrogressive items in the proposal:
JOB SECURITY Remove the protections against layoffs and forced transfers.
COST-OF-LIVING No Cost of Living increase
CORPORATE PROFIT SHARING at risk if not settled by specified dates, no increase with no minimum.
DIFFERENTIALS AND PREMIUM PAY Tour differentials will be paid only for actual hours worked between 9pm and 6am, no Weekend differential, and eliminate all differentials that exceed 10%
OVERTIME only after 40 hours per week, eliminate all overtime payments over 1 ½ per hour, remove all limits/caps on overtime
TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE NOTICE reduce notice given to the Union of any major technological changes
BENEFITS the company proposes major reductions in medical benefits, including introducing deductibles and increased co-pays, co-insurance and premium payments, removing the Union’s ability to negotiate retiree health care benefits
PENSION BENEFITS all accruals will be frozen at 30 years, those with more than 30 years at the time of this change will be frozen at their accrued amount, the “lump sum”Cash Out provision will not be renewed.
401(K) PLAN PROVISIONS AND CHANGES a quarterly administrative fee and a $50 fee for processing new loans, no 401k option for members in the pension plan
DISABILITY BENEFITS eliminate the “Accident” portion of the Sickness/Accident Disability Plan. Limit the use of full paid weeks under mental illness, drug and alcohol condition as well as for musculoskeletal disorders.
SHARING OF CALLS AMONG CENTERS giving the Company additional leeway to route calls out of our bargaining units and to contractors while giving contractors the exclusive handling of all new products and services.
TEMPORARY ASSIGNMENT to any state.
TUITION ASSISTANCE expanding the list of “excluded” studies
ACFC/TABEC COMMITTEES’ drastic reductions
EVALUATIVE OBSERVATIONS remove any restrictions on when evaluative observations may be taken
VACATION SCHEDULING PERCENTAGES reduce the percentage of vacation time
CONTRACTING FIBER FACILITIES TRANSFERS AND RELOCATIONS Allows the Company to use contractors to transfer fiber optic facilities and associated electronics between poles and perform other work current prohibited under the “Broadband” and other Agreements
ELECTRONIC RECORDING OF CALLS no advance notice and extend feedback from 24 hours to 7 days
INCOME SECURITY PLAN Employees will be required to sign a release; offer will be reduced to 15 days
Any one of these items could drastically change your life. Imagine if they all were implemented. Stand united!
Regional Bargaining Report #6
Regional Bargaining Report #6
Thursday, July 2, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic Regional bargaining committee met today with the company.
The Union asked some clarifying questions on the Company’s Tuition Assistance and 401k proposal. The Union also presented the Company with several information requests relative to health care and pension plans. The Company modified one of their proposals on Same-sex benefits.
Bargaining has recessed for the day and is scheduled to resume on Tuesday, July 7th.
By now everyone should have heard about the Mass Rally in New York on Saturday, July 25th. All locals should be making plans to bring as many people as possible to show Verizon how serious we are about getting a fair contract. With the treatment we have received over the past few years this company needs a wakeup call. The Bargaining Committee will be on the bus. See you there!
Regional Bargaining Report # 7
Mid Atlantic Regional Bargaining Report #7
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining Committee met with the company twice today. During the morning session, the bargaining committee asked the company questions related to its healthcare proposal. As proposed the company’s healthcare proposal would result in a significant increase in costs to our members. The bargaining committee must take the time to do an extensive review of the company’s proposal to identify all of the cost shifting contained in the proposal.
In the afternoon we met again with the company to ask additional healthcare related questions and passed several proposals to the company on Electronic Monitoring, Stress, Excused Work Days and Transfer Rights.
Your bargaining committee continues to work to get a fair contract as bargaining enters the third week. Preparations are being made for Strike Authorization Votes to be held in all Locals. It is increasingly important that we have strong workplace mobilization and be unified in this fight. Mobilization and negotiation go hand in hand and are crucial to a successful outcome. Make your plans to get on the bus to attend the Mass Rally in NY on July 25th.
Keep up the pressure and we will see everyone in New York!
Regional Bargaining Report #8
Mid Atlantic Bargaining Report #8
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Your Regional Bargaining Committee spent today working on proposals to put the UNION’s agenda across the table. You may have or soon will be receiving an e mail from Marc Reed, Verizon’s Executive Vice President explaining to you the Company’s proposal to slash your retirement security.
It will state that you have two options:
Option A - Continue to participate in the pension plan but it freezes at 30 years and lose any company matching contributions to the 401(k) plan.
Option B - Give up future pension accrual and participate in the 401 (k) with 100% match and possible profit sharing contributions up to 3% of salary.
What the e mail doesn’t say is the Union proposed:
Option C - Our proposals include pensions for all employees, higher pension amounts, to retain the lump sum cash out, and an improved 401 (k) plan for all employees.
While Verizon proposes to destroy your retirement security, it’s a safe bet that Marc Reed and the top executives of this corporation don’t have to worry about the size of their retirement portfolios. Verizon should stop wasting their time writing lengthy e mails filled with propaganda and get serious at the bargaining table.
Why would a corporation as wealthy as Verizon want to diminish retirement security from its employees? We could think of only one reason, and it rhymes with Reed -
Regional Bargaining Report # 9
Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Report #9
Friday, July 10, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining Committee met with the Company this morning and passed several proposals regarding, Increases to Incidental Absence Caps, Breach of Identity Security Protection, Increases to Supplemental Pension Benefits and the Regional Associate Mobility Plan (RAMP).
In addition, the Union rejected the Company’s information request for copies of all contracts CWA holds with other telecommunication companies. CWA stated there is no relevance in their request of such information to what is taking place at this bargaining table.
The Company had no proposals for the Union today.
Your bargaining committee continues reviewing information provided by the company on the Pension and 401K plans. We are also working on our remaining agenda items to present to Vz on Monday, July 13th.
As we work to get a fair contract that ensures job security and other protections for all members, we ask that the mobilization efforts continue in the field.
Everyone should be making plans to attend the rally in New York on July 25th.
Regional Bargaining Report # 10
Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Report # 10
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Committee met with the company today and passed proposals that affect the quality of life issues that our members face on a daily basis in the work place. Our proposals focused on providing increases in time off and greater flexibility to the membership when scheduling and taking time off the job. The union also requested data associated with the Electronic Recording of Calls, Medical Restrictions and Adherence and Handling Time.
Your bargaining team understands the stressful working conditions members work under every day. We will continue to push your agenda throughout this process and will introduce additional proposals directed at improving the working conditions for all members across Mid-Atlantic.
We appreciate all of the mobilization activities Locals are conducting daily. Every member should engage in some mobilization activity to show this greedy company IT’S OUR TURN!
The Balls keeps bouncing and our GFY is fully functional!
Regional Bargaining Report # 11
Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Report # 11
Thursday, July 16, 2015
The CWA Mid Atlantic Regional Bargaining Team met with the company today. The Union began the session by presenting several new proposals dealing with issues involving wages, retirement security and job security.
The company presented an overview of its retirement proposal. The explanation focused on cost savings for the company and freezing the hard earned benefits of our brothers and sisters. Their proposal undermines a core component of the foundation of labor, a secure retirement.
By now, we should all have gotten another “Team” note from Mr. Reed of Verizon on Health Care. Whoever writes for Mr. Reed, should read the health care information supplied by the company at CWA’s request. If they had, they would have learned that:
Since 2012 the average annual claims cost of our healthcare plans have remained flat or declined appreciably.
MEP for an active employee, - down 17.5%
MCN for an active employee and their family – down 15.2%
But that’s not all!!
Pre-Medicare retiree MCN, is down 14.4%
Pre-Medicare Retiree and Spouse MCN is down 10.1%
Medicare Retiree and Spouse MCN is down 5.9%
And these reductions in Verizon paid claims expenses DO NOT include our premium sharing. If Mr. Reed wants to talk Health Care, he’s welcome to join us at the bargaining table.
This Bargaining committee remains committed to maintaining the standards won by CWA through decades of hard fought victories. Don't let company rhetoric sidetrack your mobilization efforts in the field. Make sure you read between the lines whenever the company issues a manifesto of doublespeak. They truly don't ever have your best interest at heart!!
THE BALLS ARE NOW IN THE COMPANY’S COURT!
IT’S OUR TURN!!
Regional Bargaining Report # 12
Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining Report # 12
Friday, July 17, 2015
There are no meetings scheduled with the Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Team and the Company today. The regional bargaining committee is reviewing the pension information provided by the company yesterday and working on an appropriate response to the Company’s pension proposal.
The Bargaining committee is also working on our proposal to bring work back to the Mid-Atlantic Region. We are currently reviewing data associated with this proposal and will attempt to protect all work from being contracted out as well as returning work previously removed from the bargaining unit.
All Local and Regional tables are scheduled to meet with the company early next week as the expiration of our contracts nears.
Locals need to continue with their strike authorization votes and planning for the rally in New York City on Saturday, July 25th. This is our day to show Verizon that we are serious about protecting our families’ futures in this round of bargaining. Every member should make a commitment to be there to show Verizon THIS IS OUR TIME and we will stand up together and fight for what is ours.
Regional Bargaining Report # 13
Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining Report #13
Monday, July 20, 2015
The Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Team met with the Company today to review its Call Sharing proposal. Under the terms of this proposal, Verizon would not have any restrictions on routing calls. The proposal would allow Verizon to route calls to any call center or vendor based on a matrix of skill sets. Verizon’s proposal does not provide for any limits on the contracting of work. Basically, Verizon wants a disposable workforce of contractors in every job title and every job function.
Verizon's proposal is an insult to every worker employed here today. It is an insult to every retiree who built this company from the ground up. Contractors have no vested interest other than a quick paycheck and a shiny spot on their resume'. This round of bargaining is not about allowing more contracting of bargaining unit work – it’s about CWA members performing the bargaining unit work. It’s Our Turn!!
The Regional table is scheduled to meet with the company again tomorrow.
By now you should have already made plans to attend the Rally in New York City on July 25th. Every CWA member has a stake in this game. We need to show Verizon we will fight to the end to protect our jobs and ensure our families futures.
Regional Bargaining Report # 14
Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining Report # 14
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
The Union and the Company met this morning. The Union provided proposals on Neutrality, Sales Pro-Ration and Call Sharing.
The Union then responded with a resounding rejection of the Company’s June 22 Comprehensive proposal:
Wages — rejected as being inadequate
COLA, we rejected the Company’s proposal of no Cost of Living
CPS, we rejected the Company’s proposal and referred the Company to the Union’s CPS proposal
Differential, Premium Pay, Over Time, we rejected
Health Care, Life Insurance, Prescription drugs and Vision coverage. Although the Company still owes the Union responses to earlier information requests, we have no interest in their proposed changes and reject the Company proposal to end bargaining for Retiree Health Care.
401K and Pensions, rejected
Disability Benefits Changes, rejected
Sharing of Calls, rejected and referred the Company to the Union’s proposal
HCBC,ACFC,TABEC,IME,Evaluative Observations, Vacation Schedule, Fiber Facility Contracting, Electronic Recording of Calls, ISP, Work at Home, all rejected.
The Union advised the Company that we will have additional proposals to present tomorrow.
Verizon reported this morning that we helped Deliver Double Digit Adjusted Earnings Growth and Strong Cash flows during the Second Quarter of 2015. Of note was the 10% year over year FIOS revenue growth. The Company proposal of give backs is an insult to every Verizon member. We all deserve better!
Regional Bargaining Report # 15
Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Report # 15
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Bargaining continued today with the first of two meetings centered on the company’s retrogressive proposal on The Sickness and Accident Disability Benefit Plan. Verizon’s benefit specialist, who was brought in to try to sell this plan was met with many hard questions and facts that were either unanswered or conceded to by the company.
It was clear to this bargaining team that the data that the company supplied for this proposal not only fell short of providing any explanation as to why they were interested in making this demand but supported the unions argument not to change this Disability Benefit. The tables recessed for a period and reconvened a short time later.
During the later session, the union gave the company an information request to address the call sharing proposal and the work performed by contractors under the terms of the current agreement. Prior to the end of our meeting this afternoon, the union reinforced the structure of our bargaining process in an attempt to more efficiently utilize our remaining time before the August 1st contract expiration date.
We are 9 days out from the expiration of this contract and it’s time for everyone to make sure the good fight for a fair contract is being waged in every work center. The membership needs to get in managements ear every day and tell them, “We Will Settle for Nothing Less than a Fair Contract for our Members”. Actions are already occurring all across the Mid-Atlantic and every Local should join in each and every day.
Strike Authorization Results are set to be released tomorrow once all the numbers are provided. Buses will be lining up this Saturday for the rally in New York City. If you haven’t already made your arrangements, please make plans to get to a location near you.
Your Bargaining Committee will see you in New York Saturday morning. Special thanks to our retiree council for the gift basket that was delivered to the bargaining team today. We thank you for the benefits you have fought for over the years and the continued support that you provide today. Bargaining is scheduled to resume tomorrow.
Regional Bargaining Report # 16
Regional Bargaining Report #17
Regional Bargaining Report #18
Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Report # 18
July 28, 2015
The CWA/IBEW bargaining team met with Verizon’s negotiators today, noting that only four days remain until contract expiration. The Unions began with a request for clarification of information previously provided by the Company concerning the cost of prescription coverage. In addition, the Bargaining Team modified one of its proposals for hearing aid coverage.
The Bargaining Team also clarified for the Company its wage proposal for a “substantial” increase. The Union believes 16%, the same amount given to McAdam as an annual increase in 2014 would be substantial over the term of the contract. In light of the Company’s blanket rejection of almost all the Unions’ proposals at the previous session, the Bargaining Team after a second review, went through the Company’s proposals item-by-item and similarly rejected virtually all.
The Union remarked on Executive VP Marc Reed’s letter to employees on July 27, in which he complained that CWA and IBEW were trying to change health benefit arrangements that had been previously negotiated. The Union observed that the Company seemed to be employing a double standard, since it now wanted to go back on its prior agreement to negotiate over future retiree health benefits. The Company was told emphatically that CWA and IBEW considered this to be a strike issue.
All retirees who today enjoy having their healthcare benefits negotiated by your Union should be angry as hell over the Company proposing to eliminate the commitment to negotiate over retiree healthcare. Now is the time for retirees who can’t be disciplined, who can’t be intimidated by management, who do have skin in the game to make some noise. You should be letting the Company know what you think of its plan to take away your collective voice.
The session concluded with both sides stating that they were available to meet and were hopeful of movement at the table. Your negotiators remain committed to resisting Verizon’s concessionary demands and are grateful for the support expressed by so many members.
Regional Bargaining Report #19
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Regional Bargaining Report #22
Special Bargaining Report Midnight Notice
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Regional Bargaining Report #29
Regional Bargaining Report #30
Mid-Atlantic Bargaining Report #30
Thursday, August 27, 2015
The Bargaining committee met with the company today to reject its proposal from yesterday’s meeting. The company was also advised that since they had rejected our comprehensive proposal then all of our individual proposals were back on the table. While at the meeting the committee took the time to express our anger and disgust over the lack of any significant movement from the company since we started meeting in June. It will soon be September and our members will not go through a bargaining session lasting 15 months like last time. This company must get serious at the table.
In data obtained from the company, we identified substantial contracting out in all of our call centers. We told them if they want to get somewhere in this bargaining than they needed to start talking about adding jobs throughout our entire footprint to ensure that work is done in our centers, including fully staffing every center the company has identified as potentially being on the chopping block. We also identified the huge problems our members would face in those targeted centers, by forcing those members to the closest center, using Southwest Virginia as an example. We told the company we would never agree to forcing members hundreds and hundreds of miles away from their home especially when so much of our work is being contracted out. We also identified information that the company has still not provided making it extremely difficult to have an open and above board discussion on several issues.
Mobilization should be going on throughout our entire footprint. The bargaining team will continue to tell this company that we will not accept their retrogressive demands that would devastate most of our member’s lives. This will only work if the company understands that all of you are in this fight. Keep mobilizing, keep fighting and together we will win.
Regional Bargaining Report #31
Regional Bargaining Report #32
Mid-Atlantic Regional Bargaining Report #32
September 2, 2015
The Regional Committee met with the company today in an off-table discussion regarding healthcare. These discussions are an attempt to clarify information and find areas of agreement where we can move forward in these very slow negotiations. Tomorrow, members of the committee will meet regarding local issues. A report on the local meeting will be provided to the specific bargaining unit.
Today, we understand, Verizon released a new logo. We are sure this took months and months of heavy design costs to come up with this masterpiece. You have to believe that if the Company has the money to design a new logo and replace it on all of the buildings, vehicles and literature than they damn sure have money for fair and equitable contract for our members.
This weekend, most areas will be having Labor Day activities. The committee encourages everyone to get out to the events in your area. We must take this opportunity to join with our other brothers and sisters in labor and tell the story of our fight with Verizon to other labor organizations and the public at large.
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Regional Bargaining Report #50
- Forced Transfers: Consolidate centers throughout the footprint and transfer workers from one Mid-Atlantic state to a different Mid-Atlantic state. Other transfers would include an additional commute of up to 2-hours one way. A commute the Company calls “inconvenient” but not “unreasonable.”
- Temporary Assignments: Ability to transfer employees in one state to another state for up to 4 months.
Regional Bargaining Report #51
- Corporate Profit Sharing (CPS) – the Company wants to not pay a CPS for the productivity you provide this year because you did not agree to its concessions by a certain date. Rest assured Marc Reed will get his even though it is our labor that produces the revenue.
- Overtime – the Company wants to eliminate daily overtime. So if you work over 7 ½ or 8 hours a day you will only get paid overtime if you work in excess of 40 hours per week.
- Retirement benefits – the Company wants to cap your pension at 30 years. They also want to eliminate retiree’s medical benefits for employees hired after August 2008.
- State and Municipal Paid Leave Laws - The Company wants to escape any legislative requirement now or in the future requiring it to give you paid family leave.
- Sickness and Accident Disability Benefits – The Company wants people suffering from an on-the-job accident or injury to use their incidental absence days and then deny paying you the annual absence from duty lump sum payment.
- Sharing of Calls – The Company wants to create centers of excellence to take sales, service and technical calls and not include you but will include contractors.
- Permanent Transfer – The Company wants the ability to move you up to 50 miles before having to compensate you for moving your residence.
- Contracting Fiber Facilities Transfers and Relocations – The fiber work that we have protected as our exclusive work, the Company now wants to contract out. There go more jobs.
- Closing Centers – If you work in a Delaware center your new work location could be in either Maryland or Pennsylvania. If you work in a Virginia center your new work location could be Maryland. If you work in Williamsport, PA, the Company has you on the road to Scranton, PA.
Regional Bargaining Report #52
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Regional Bargaining Report # 55
Friday, March 18, 2016
As bargaining in Philadelphia resumed this week, high level discussions took place in an attempt to find a way to move negotiations toward a successful resolution. While the sentiment reflected at this meeting outlined a genuine desire to find acceptable compromises that addresses both sides’ needs, the reality at the bargaining table was far less optimistic.
The Bargaining Committee passed a Medical Proposal this week which would have saved the company hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the agreement and still maintained the current level of benefits we enjoy today without significant increases in costs to both active and retired members. While the company acknowledged movement in our proposal, they indicated it was still far short of their goal to shift significant increases to employees and rejected the proposal outright. They also rejected our proposal to overhaul the RAMP process and fix the major obstacles that hinder job mobility within the Verizon footprint.
On Thursday March 17th the Bargaining Committee met with Ken Lain and Kelley Kurtzman to get a better understanding of the company's call sharing and expanded electronic monitoring proposal. While the company feels that their need for flexibility is mandatory, the consequences would absolutely result in a net loss of jobs, consolidation of existing centers and even more work being farmed out to contractors. To be clear, if you currently work in a call center than the company’s current proposal would absolutely endanger your future at this company.
We can’t stress enough the importance of everyone being ready to go out on strike on a moment’s notice. We are at a critical point in these negotiations and if this company refuses to move more in its proposals than what they are signaling than we will be forced to strike this company. Stay Strong! Keep Mobilizing! This weekend would be a great opportunity to see CWA at all wireless stores.