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Why we continue to fight

Dear AT&T Mobility members,

I am writing to update you about the status of our bargaining.

As you know, we have been bargaining for more than five months to negotiate improvements to our collective bargaining agreement. This has been a frustrating process, but not a surprising one.  We are insisting on a contract that isn't "business as usual," and the company is very reluctant to address the needs of our members.

Here are the key things we are fighting for, and what the company's response has been so far.

Offshoring.  More and more call center jobs are being sent to vendors around the world. When calls get routed to vendors, members lose their jobs. We are insisting on reasonable measures to protect our work and our members. The company doesn't want to agree to anything which curbs their ability to outsource.

Authorized Dealers.  More and more COR stores are closing down and being replaced by Authorized Retailers. When COR stores close down, members lose their jobs. We are insisting on reasonable measures to protect our work and members. The company doesn't want to agree to anything which restricts their plans to close COR stores.

Commissions.  The union is insisting that retail sales members have fair commissions and fair compensation. In recent years, our commission checks have been going down. The company wants the right to lower our commission whenever they want.

Absence Control.  The company's absence control plan is unfair, cruel, and violates our previous contract. The company uses the plan to get rid of dedicated and hardworking members. The union wants to address this issue and make improvements, but the company likes things the way they are.

Sick Days.  The company is trying to add wait days before we can take sick days and decrease the number of sick days for new hires. We are fighting back against these unfair limits on our ability to take care of our health.

Information at Bargaining.  Under U.S. labor law, the union has the right to information so we can bargain intelligently. The company has refused to fulfill their legal obligation to supply the union with information on outsourcing of work, and other key pieces of information. We have filed charges against the company at the Labor Board.

Unfair Labor Practices.  The company has committed many other Unfair Labor Practices, including interfering with our right to strike and unilaterally changing terms or conditions of employment. The union has filed a number of charges against the company with the Labor Board. The Board is currently investigating our charges, and we expect complaints to be issued against AT&T.

This Ain't Our First Rodeo!  Although we are disappointed in the pace of negotiations, we aren't surprised -- this is what happens when we fight for something more than the status quo. If you take away one thing from this email, please realize, the union has a plan to get a good contract. We are following our plan. A big part of this plan is to make sure that our members are mobilized to show the company that we are unified in our demands.

Another part of the plan was to do a short strike to let the company know what we are capable of. We also knew we would need to have the Labor Board investigate all the company's illegal activities.

In the past two months, we have gone public with our concerns by exposing the company's offshoring of jobs and the questionable practices by their Authorized Retailers (check out the new web site: and share with your friends).  

And remember, as bargaining drags on, it is illegal for the company to change their commission structure, which makes it harder and harder for them to run their business.

We can’t make every detail of our plan public for obvious reasons, but brothers and sisters, CWA has negotiated against major employers before, and sometimes bargaining takes a long time. Last year at Verizon,  bargaining dragged on, and then -- to the shock of the company -- we struck and won a standards-setting contract for the industry.

We could settle for a sub-par contract tomorrow, but we would rather fight with you for a contract that addresses the needs of our members. We ask that everyone keep up with mobilization activities, keep engaged with your local, and know that we all win when we work together.

United We Bargain, Divided We Beg,

Dennis Trainor, Vice President, District 1 & ATTM Mobility Lead VP

& The Bargaining Team