Communications Workers and IBEW Leaders at Verizon
Announce Plan to Stay on the Job and Continue Fight for a Fair Contract
Despite $18 Billion in Profits in Last 18 Months, Verizon Still Insisting on Slashing Job Security, Health Care, and Retirement Security;
Unions Will Continue to Fight for Good Jobs, FiOS Buildout, and Quality Service
With Company Refusing to Bargain Seriously, Union Bargaining
Teams Leave Round-the-Clock Talks; Unions Remain Prepared to Bargain
New York – Leaders of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced that 39,000 Verizon workers up and down the East Coast will work without a contract when their collective bargaining agreement expires at midnight tonight, and continue their fight for a fair agreement while on the job.
The union leaders also announced that they will leave the sites of round-the-clock bargaining in Philadelphia and Rye, NY, where union and management teams have been meeting since June 22nd in what has so far been a vain attempt to reach a contract. The unions have informed the company, however, that they are prepared to schedule regular bargaining sessions, and urged the company to begin bargaining constructively.
"Despite our best efforts, Verizon refuses to engage in serious bargaining towards a fair contract," said Dennis Trainor, Vice President for CWA District One, which represents Verizon workers in New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. "Verizon has earned $1billion a month in profits over the last 18 months, and paid its top handful of executives $249 million over the last 5 years, but continues to insist on eliminating our job security and driving down our standard of living. We're not going to take it, and we're going to keep the fight going while we're on the job."
"The company has barely moved off its initial June 22nd proposal that made outrageous demands of Verizon workers. If this company is serious about reaching an agreement, it needs to start bargaining constructively and now, "said Ed Mooney, Vice President for CWA District 2-13, which represents Verizon workers from Pennsylvania to Virginia. "Right now there isn't even anyone across the table from us who's got the power to make any decisions."
Verizon has not significantly moved off its outrageous initial bargaining demands, made on June 22nd, which includes the following proposals:
• Completely eliminating job security and gaining the right to transfer workers at will anywhere in the company's footprint.
• Increasing workers' health care costs by thousands of dollars per person, despite the fact that negotiations in 2011-2012 have cut the company's health care costs by tens of millions of dollars over the life of the past contract.
• Removing any restrictions on the company's right to contract out and offshore union jobs. This comes on top of Verizon's outsourcing of thousands of jobs in recent years.
• Slashing retirement security.
• Reducing overtime and differential payments.
• Eliminating the Family Leave Care plan, which provides unpaid leave to care for sick family members or care for a newborn.
• Eliminating the Accident Disability Plan, which provides benefits to workers injured on the job.
At the same time, Verizon refuses to build out FiOS to many underserved communities up and down the East Coast, and has abandoned upkeep of the traditional landline network, leading to extensive service problems for consumers. In these negotiations, the union members' interest is linked directly to the public interest, since our jobs involve maintaining quality service on traditional landlines and building and servicing Verizon's state of the art FiOS broadband network. Even in New York City, where Verizon pledged to make FiOS available to every customer by the end of 2014, the City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications issued a report finding that the company was evading the buildout commitments it made under its 2008 video franchise agreement.
"86% of our members have voted to authorize a strike if necessary, but we're not going to walk into a trap set by Verizon. We'll strike when we think it is the right time to strike, and that is not tonight," Mooney added. "The ball is in their court – we are waiting for them to get serious."
39,000 workers are currently negotiating new contracts at Verizon. Fortune Magazine ranked Verizon the 15th largest corporation in America in 2014, with revenues of $127 billion, profits of $9.6 billion, and market capitalization of $198.4 billion. Verizon had profits of $28 billion over the last five years, and paid its top five executives $249 million during that time.
On July 21st, Verizon reported profits of $4.4 billion in 2Q2015 on revenues of $32.2 billion. This came on top of $4.2 billion in profits in 1Q2015, which means Verizon has made $1 billion in profits every month for the last 18 months. The company also reported that during the first six months of 2015 it has paid out over $9.3 billion to shareholders in dividends and stock buybacks, an increase of almost $5.8 billion over the first half of last year. In the Wireline division, Operating Cash Flow rose to 23.5%, and operating income doubled, from 2.6% to 5.3%. FiOS continues to expand and succeed, now constituting 79% of Verizon consumer revenues on the wireline side, and achieving penetration rates of 35.7% for video and 41.4% for internet in markets where it is competing.
A damning audit of Verizon's FiOS rollout in New York City found that Verizon has failed to meet its promise to deliver high-speed fiber optic internet and television to everyone in the city who wanted it. During its negotiations for a city franchise, Verizon promised that the entire city would be wired with fiber optic cables by June 2014 and that after that date, everyone who wanted FiOS would get it within six months to a year. The audit found that despite claiming that it had wired the whole city by November 2014, Verizon systematically continues to refuse orders for service. The audit also found that Verizon stonewalled the audit process.
In addition, rates for basic telephone service have increased in recent years, even as Verizon has refused to expand their broadband services into many cities and rural communities, and service quality has greatly deteriorated. Verizon's declining service quality especially impacts customers who cannot afford more advanced cable services, or who live in areas with few options for cable or wireless services.
In 2005, New York's Public Service Commission (PSC) eliminated automatic fines for Verizon's telephone service quality failures, reasoning that "competition" would improve services. Instead, service quality plunged. In the 3rd quarter of 2010, Verizon cleared only 1.2% of out of service complaints within 24 hours, almost 79 percentage points lower than the PSC's 80% requirement. Rather than reverse course, the PSC changed its measurements, cutting out 92% of customers from service quality measurements and consolidating 28 repair service bureaus into 5 regions. On paper, terrible service quality was almost miraculously transformed. In reality, service quality continued to decline.
39,000 workers are currently negotiating new contracts at Verizon. Fortune Magazine ranked Verizon the 15th largest corporation in America in 2014, with revenues of $127 billion, profits of $9.6 billion, and market capitalization of $198.4 billion. Verizon had profits of $28 billion over the last five years, and paid its top five executives $249 million during that time.
On July 21st, Verizon reported profits of $4.4 billion in 2Q2015 on revenues of $32.2 billion. The company also reported that during the first six months of 2015 it has paid out over $9.3 billion to shareholders in dividends and stock buybacks, an increase of almost $5.8 billion over the first half of last year. In the Wireline division, Operating Cash Flow rose to 23.5%, and operating income doubled, from 2.6% to 5.3%. FiOS continues to expand and succeed, now constituting 79% of Verizon consumer revenues on the wireline side, and achieving penetration rates of 35.7% for video and 41.4% for internet in markets where it is competing.
June 26, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today is a very sad day for CWA Local 1400 and FairPoint Members.
The Officers and Executive Board are very disappointed with what FairPoint has done to their business, and the layoff of the great men and women that have built this company and helped with its survival. After a 4 month strike this is clearly retaliation by a company that doesn’t respect any of its employees, customers or the communities they serve.
CWA Local 1400 expects to receive the final layoff list from FairPoint in the next couple of days. We absolutely believe the Company violated many aspects of the layoff provision, including the modification of employee’s seniority dates. We have every intent of challenging the entire layoff/office closing as outlined in the contract through expedited arbitration. Per the new contract, this issue will go directly to arbitration and does not have to go through the normal grievance process. We will update members as soon as the arbitration is scheduled.
This whole process has been very difficult for every member and their families. Please respect each other and remember FairPoint made the decision to declare the surplus/office closing.
We are all Union Brothers and Sisters and we are NOT going to give up our fight for fairness!
CWA Local 1400
June 4, 2015
CWAer Mike O’Day Reminds Vermonters of Bernie Sanders’ Support of FairPoint Strikers
Michael O'Day, an officer of CWA Local 1400, tells crowd how Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders stood with FairPoint workers.
Sanders was making the official announcement of his 2016 presidential bid.
"Bernie's message is clear," O'Day said. "A level playing field for the American worker and no trade deals that benefit other countries and not the U.S. first. NAFTA was a disaster for the American worker and the Trans-Pacific Partnership is much worse."
"This past winter, we were on strike against FairPoint for four-and-half long, cold months on Hinesburg Road. Our fight was textbook, Wall Street dictating a rate of return at the expense of workers. After the contract expired, FairPoint imposed the elimination of all retirement benefits, healthcare, pensions and job security language.
"There wasn't a week that passed without Bernie checking in on our well-being. He asked to host a Thanksgiving Dinner for all the strikers and their families in Vermont. He wanted to make sure that everyone had a great holiday meal. There were 200 of us at Burlington High School that night. Bernie met with every family and let us know that he supported our decision to strike and would help us in any way he could. I can't thank him, Phil, David and the rest of his staff, enough."
Nearly 2,000 CWA and IBEW members in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont went back to work at FairPoint Communications after enduring a historic 18-week strike and gaining new contracts that provided improvements in health care, restrictions on outsourcing and elimination of two-tier wages.
May 15, 2015
For Immediate Release, May 15, 2015
FairPoint Announces Layoff of More Than 10% of Northern New England Workforce
Unions Say Cuts Will Further Erode Service Quality
AUGUSTA, ME — FairPoint Communications announced today that it will lay off 219 employees in its northern New England operations, which represents more than 10% of its workforce in the region. Members of both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont will be affected.
Union leaders expressed disappointment at the news and said that the cuts will further erode already severely compromised service quality for the region's telecommunications customers. "FairPoint has failed to meet service quality benchmarks for years, and cutting its skilled workforce by more than 10% will only make matters worse," said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Maine. "We are disgusted by this company's total disregard for its employees and customers."
FairPoint has consistently sought to avoid being held accountable for service quality failures in the region. The company is supporting bills in the Maine legislature that would eliminate its obligation to provide service to customers who rely solely on a landline, or Provider of Last Resort (POLR) customers. It also supports an amendment that would eliminate the Maine Public Utilities Commission's ability to investigate service quality failures or to enforce standards. An investigation of the company's service quality failures is ongoing in Vermont.
"This announcement is deeply disappointing and illustrates yet again that FairPoint executives are beholden to the greedy Wall Street hedge funds who own the company, not to our customers," said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400.
Union leaders assured members that they would meet with the company immediately to ensure that the layoff process is implemented according to the collective bargaining agreements. "We will continue to fight these cuts and support our members and their families through this difficult time," said Glenn Brackett, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320 in New Hampshire.
"Our hearts go out to the hard-working men and women who will lose their jobs because of FairPoint's mismanagement and greed," said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326 in Vermont. "Many of these folks have devoted years to a career with the phone company and they are proud of it. They are valued members of our communities who were willing to make incredible sacrifices during our historic strike. They fought not just for their own jobs, but for the quality service that our customers deserve. They don't deserve this."
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.
May 15, 2015
Unions Respond to FairPoint Surplus Announcement
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We were extremely disappointed and disheartened to learn today that the company has announced a surplus of approximately 260 positions across 17 states. Please note, we anticipate the number surplussed in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont to be fewer than 260.
We are still gathering details about the situation and will provide accurate information as quickly as possible. We will meet with management immediately to establish the process by which the surplus will be implemented and to hold the company accountable to our collective bargaining agreement.
We firmly believe this surplus is unnecessary and will further erode the already compromised quality of service for our customers. The company clearly cannot provide adequate service at the current staffing levels. As we all know, the company has been mismanaged from the moment FairPoint took over the business in 2008. Their allegiance is to the Wall Street hedge fund owners whose only priorities are higher share prices and a profitable sale of the northern New England business. Our priority has always been to fight for good jobs and quality service in our region, and that struggle continues.
As soon as we have additional details about the positions to be surplussed and the process, we will communicate them to you. In addition, we will work with the state AFL-CIOs to provide rapid response advice on unemployment and other benefits for those who will be laid off.
Business Manager, IBEW Local 2327
Chair, IBEW System Council T-9
President, CWA Local 1400
Business Manager, IBEW Local 2320
Business Manager, IBEW Local 2326
April 26, 2015
Douglas McIntire/Sun Journal
Members of the unions representing FairPoint receive the Workers Solidarity Award at the Worker's Memorial Day Dinner at the Franco Center on Sunday evening.
Labor council honors Michaud, Scontras, FairPoint unions
LEWISTON — The Western Maine Labor Council held it's ninth annual Worker's Memorial Day Dinner on Sunday evening at the Franco Center, honoring Mike Michaud, Charles Scontras and the workers of FairPoint for their resilience during their four-month strike.
…The Worker's Solidarity Award went to FairPoint members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2327 and the Communication Workers of America.
For 131 days, FairPoint workers stood on the picket lines through the long winter with 1,400 members in all leading a campaign on the roadsides and in social media with their Facebook page, Fairness at FairPoint. After a federal mediator was brought in, both sides sat down and workers returned to their jobs in late February…
Then, on Thursday, April 9th, informational picketing will begin throughout the Verizon East footprint.
On that day, check your email to join your coworkers for a virtual Facebook picket line. To get our message out to as many people as possible, we will send you an image to share on Facebook. It matches the signs we’ll be holding at pickets in real life, demanding good jobs at Verizon.
Together, we will create our first virtual picket!
Workers to Return to Work on Wednesday, February 25
AUGUSTA, ME—After three days of voting, IBEW and CWA members in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have ratified tentative agreements with FairPoint Communications. The new agreements protect good jobs and ensure quality telecommunications service for New England communities.
“This is great news for our members, their families, and our communities,” said Peter McLaughlin, chair of the union bargaining committee and Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Maine. “Our members remained united and committed to this fight for more than four months and today we have a fair deal that will bring them back to work and good service back to our communities.”
After initially demanding $700 million in concessions from workers, FairPoint implemented the terms of its proposals on August 28 saying the parties had reached an impasse in bargaining. The implemented terms included a dramatic increase in health care costs, a two-tier wage structure that would have paid new hires as much as 20 percent less to do the same jobs as current workers, and a greatly increased ability to outsource union members’ work to low-wage contractors from outside our region.
Ultimately, FairPoint agreed to a union-administered health insurance plan with better benefits that will cost workers and the company less. FairPoint also agreed to eliminate the two-tier wage structure.
“This agreement is a win for our members and for future FairPoint employees,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “We went on strike last October because we are committed to keeping good, middle-class jobs in New England. Our members walked the lines for more than four months, not just for themselves, but for future generations. Our success will benefit FairPoint workers—and New England’s working families—for years to come.”
The unions also successfully negotiated to protect jobs from outsourcing. During the strike, FairPoint brought in replacement contract workers to do the jobs of experienced, union workers. Complaints skyrocketed in all three states as customers experienced inadequate service, delays for repairs and installations, and increased wait times when calling customer service.
“Our communities have seen the results of outsourcing these last four months, and it has not been pretty,” said Glenn Brackett, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320 in New Hampshire. “There’s no replacement for well-trained, skilled workers. Our members are eager to get back to work and get our network functioning the way it should.”
Approximately 1,800 FairPoint workers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont launched their strike on October 17. The longest strike in the United States in 2014, workers picketed for 18 weeks.
“Our members are incredible. They walked the picket lines in blizzards and sub-zero temperatures. They stayed strong and they stayed together,” said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326 in Vermont.
The strikers enjoyed widespread support from their communities and from thousands of allies around the world. Lawmakers in all three states walked the picket lines with members; individuals delivered hot beverages and snacks to picketers; and people and organizations contributed more than $350,000 to the Solidarity Fund to provide financial aid for striking workers to pay for everything from prescription medicine to heating oil.
“The support we’ve received over the past four months has been overwhelming,” said McLaughlin. “Union brothers and sisters from all over the country sent financial help and messages of support. And our friends and neighbors right here in New England showed us their appreciation for our sacrifice every day. They knew that our members were not just striking to protect their own jobs, but that they were fighting for good jobs and quality service for all of New England.”
The new contracts will be in effect until August 4, 2018.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T-9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,500 employees at FairPoint Communications. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states. For more information, visit www.FairnessAtFairpoint.com.
1,000 toys donated for children of striking FairPoint workers
By: Siobhan Lopez
PORTSMOUTH - Christmas came early for the hundreds of striking FairPoint employees who have children. The union workers have been on strike for 10 weeks and many weren't sure what their holiday season would be like. In the matter of just a few weeks, more than 1,000 donations have come in from across the world to help make sure these families can have a nice Christmas.
The outpouring of support was clear at the CWA union hall in Portsmouth Friday, as striking workers loaded up trucks and vans to deliver the toys to families in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, the three states served by FairPoint workers.
Many who are receiving the gifts for their kids are overwhelmed. They say they are usually the ones holding drives for people in need during the holidays.
1,700 FairPoint workers walked off the job on October 17th. They say they won't go back to work until the company negotiates a contract with them. The company has since hired replacemnt workers.
Brothers and Sisters-
Standing together in solidarity with all workers and fighting back is the only way we can build the power of working people and combat the unprecedented attacks launched at us by corporate CEOs and the 1%. This was a key takeaway from our 30th Biennial Convention held last week in Bangor.
On Friday, Cynthia Phinney of IBEW 1837 was elected President of the Maine AFL-CIO. Cynthia lives in Livermore Falls and works as a meter reader at Central Maine Power. Patrick Carleton of USW Local 9 was re-elected Vice President. The delegates also elected members of the Executive Board.
Delegates signed up to take action collecting signatures to put our raising wages ballot initiative on the 2016 ballot, and it's not too late for you to as well - call us at 622-9675 if you can help collect signatures on Election Day.
An inspiring keynote address by Mark Dimondstein, national President of the Amrican Postal Workers Union.
A panel of worker leaders discussing bargaining strategies to win in tough times, including the Nurses at EMMC, Machinists at Local S6, and the FairPoint strikers (IBEW 2327 & CWA 1400).
Passage of a resolution calling on T-Mobile to address the sexual harassment and intimidation at it's Oakland, Maine call center as well as passage of resolutions to defend the Postal Service as a vital public good and opposing the TPP.
A panel of workers who earn less than $12 an hour and would benefit from raising the state's minimum wage, including an adjunct faculty MSEA- SEIU 1989 member and a tipped restaurant worker.
An inspiring update from American Roots, a soon to be union, made in America fleece company that the Waxman family is launching in Portland.
Reports of new union organizing victories and current organizing campaigns from the Lobstermen's union (IAM 207), Teamsters 340, Laborers 327, IBEW 1253, ATU 714 and others.
A banquet dinner honoring this year's award winners for excellence and leadership in the labor movement, including special recognition of outgoing President Don Berry for his years of dedicated service to the working people of Maine.
Thanks again to everyone who made this year's Biennial Convention such a success.
Last Week Everett, MA Verizon Wireless workers began to bargain with management over their terms and conditions of employment. Knowing that we are stronger together we look forward to seeing what is possible now that we are at the bargaining table in both New York and Massachusetts.
The more stores that join us in the CWA and at the bargaining table the more power we will have. Now is the time to get on board.
From left to right: Pat O'Neil CWA Representative, Gil Forero, Solutions Specialist, Verizon Wireless Everett, MA
October 14, 2014
For immediate release: October 14, 2014
FairPoint Freezes Pensions of Nearly 2,000 Northern New England Employees
Union Members Call On Major Shareholder Angelo, Gordon to Intervene
Boston, MA—Today, FairPoint Communications froze the pensions of nearly 2,000 employees who build, maintain, and service vital telecommunications infrastructure throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The company has already stopped providing retiree health care and support for child and elder care. Workers say that this is all part of FairPoint’s plan to turn their good middle-class jobs into low-wage temporary jobs.
Unions representing the employees had been negotiating with the company since April to reach new collective bargaining agreements. Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) say that FairPoint management abandoned the bargaining process on August 27th after refusing to compromise on any substantive issue since negotiations began.
Almost 50 percent of FairPoint’s stock is owned by just five hedge funds, including Angelo, Gordon & Co., FairPoint’s single largest shareholder with almost 20 percent of outstanding stock. FairPoint workers have called on Angelo, Gordon to urge company executives to resume bargaining with their unions and reach a fair agreement.
This morning, several FairPoint employees traveled to Boston to educate attendees of the 60th Annual Employee Benefits Conference about Angelo, Gordon’s role in freezing their pensions and ending retiree health care. Many conference attendees, including administrators of public pension funds and union Taft-Hartley plans, are potential clients of Angelo, Gordon because the firm manages billions of dollars in retirement investments of public sector workers and union members across the country.
FairPoint workers point out that Angelo, Gordon makes tens of millions in fees from public pension and union retirement plans, but has so far failed to stop FairPoint from freezing the retirement plans of its own employees.
According to Jenn Nappi, Assistant Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Augusta, Maine, “Angelo, Gordon wants to have it both ways. It wants to continue to profit from managing the retirement investments of working people from all across the country, while it allows FairPoint, a company in which it controls one-fifth of all shares and has a designee on the board of directors, to freeze the pensions of 2,000 workers in northern New England.”
FairPoint workers and their allies say they refuse to remain silent while Angelo, Gordon games the system. “Today’s action will be one of many in the coming weeks to expose Angelo, Gordon and the other major owners of FairPoint. The firm can play a positive role and engage with FairPoint management in support of a fair agreement with their employees,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “We hope they will reconsider their current position and make a difference for working families in northern New England.”
IBEW System Council T9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. CWA Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states.
October 3, 2014
FairPoint members support United Steel Workers in Waterville Maine. On the line was our next Maine Senator Bellows!!
October 2, 2014
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka met with members of our Bargaining Team, Jenn Nappi of IBEW Local 2327 and Don Trementozzi of CWA Local 1400, to discuss the company's assault on working families in northern New England and to strategize ways to enlist union members around the country in our fight for fairness. Matt Schlobohm and Don Berry of the Maine AFL-CIO also joined the meeting. Thank you President Trumka!
September 23, 2014
For immediate release: September 23, 2014
Major Hedge Fund Owner and FairPoint Investor Says Company Must Treat Workers Fairly
Unions Call on Angelo, Gordon to Push Company to Return to Bargaining
Augusta, ME—On September 5th, Angelo, Gordon & Co. president Lawrence Schloss responded to New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s request that the hedge fund’s CEO urge FairPoint “to find common ground with its workforce” in the current labor dispute in northern New England. In addition to owning almost 20 percent of FairPoint stock, Angelo, Gordon & Co. has a designee on FairPoint’s board of directors.
DiNapoli is sole Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), the nation’s third largest public pension fund. The CRF is an investor in the AG Super Fund, a hedge fund managed by Angelo, Gordon & Co.
According to Schloss, “Angelo, Gordon agrees with [DiNapoli’s] belief that a company with a constructive relationship with its workers will become a stronger, more profitable and more enduring enterprise.” Furthermore, Schloss said the hedge fund owners believe that, “FairPoint must treat its workers fairly and in compliance with all laws.”
Schloss went on to say that the hedge fund owners have communicated to FairPoint that “we are against the termination of defined benefit and retiree health plans where there are other cost reductions available that can obtain similar financial savings.” Schloss concluded, “Angelo, Gordon has made clear its desire that both the company and the employees be willing to make the concessions necessary to reach a long-term agreement.”
Leaders of the unions representing almost 2,000 members at FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont welcomed Schloss’s intervention on behalf of FairPoint’s largest investor, but called on him to take additional action to resolve the dispute. “While we are pleased that Mr. Schloss has responded to Mr. DiNapoli’s concerns, we call on Angelo, Gordon to go further,” said Peter McLaughlin, chairman of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 and co-chairman of the unions’ bargaining committee. “Our bargaining team has been willing to compromise with the company from the beginning, offering counter proposals that would save the company more than $200 million, but the company has rejected every substantive proposal we’ve put forward. We urge executives at Angelo, Gordon to use their influence as the largest owner of FairPoint stock to persuade company negotiators to return to the table and engage in meaningful bargaining.”
Union leaders said they would continue to educate investors, the board of directors, and the public about the company’s attempts to destroy good jobs in northern New England and the impact on customers of FairPoint’s indiscriminate cost cutting. “Mr. Schloss claims that the company wants a swift and fair resolution, and maybe that’s what FairPoint CEO Paul Sunu has told his board of directors and his biggest investors,” said Don Trementozzi, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 and co-chair of the unions’ bargaining committee. “However, if that were true, why has the company abandoned the bargaining process after months of refusing to compromise on any proposal? If that were true, why has the company imposed terms and conditions on its workers that allow them to outsource all our jobs to out-of-state and foreign contractors? Actions speak louder than words. If Angelo, Gordon really wants a swift resolution, it should urge FairPoint to return to the bargaining table immediately and bargain in good faith.”
IBEW System Council T9 includes local unions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont and represents nearly 1,700 employees at FairPoint Communications. CWA Local 1400 represents nearly 300 FairPoint employees in the three states.
September 9, 2014
For immediate release: September 9, 2014
New York State Comptroller Intervenes In FairPoint Labor Dispute
Calls on Major Hedge Fund Owner and FairPoint Investor to Ensure Fair Treatment of Workers
Augusta, ME—On September 3rd, Thomas DiNapoli, Comptroller of the State of New York, wrote to John Angelo, CEO of Angelo, Gordon & Co.—owner of almost 20 percent of FairPoint stock—to express his concern about reports that FairPoint has violated federal law in bargaining with representatives of almost 2,000 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in northern New England.
DiNapoli is sole Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF), the nation’s third largest public pension fund, which invests the assets of more than one million members, retirees, and beneficiaries of the retirement system in New York State.
The CRF is an investor in the AG Super Fund, a hedge fund managed by Angelo, Gordon & Co.
In addition to owning almost 20 percent of FairPoint stock, Angelo, Gordon & Co. has a designee on FairPoint’s Board of Directors.
According to Mr. DiNapoli’s letter, “In our experience as a long-term institutional investor, where a company has a constructive relationship with its workers and provides sustainable retirement benefits, the company becomes a stronger, more profitable, and more enduring enterprise.”
He went on to say that, “We are, therefore, concerned by publicly reported allegations that FairPoint has not acted in good faith and has violated federal law; specifically, assertions that FairPoint improperly declared an impasse in collective bargaining and unlawfully imposed” the terms of its final contract proposals.
Union leaders welcomed Mr. DiNapoli’s intervention. “Angelo, Gordon is the largest FairPoint stockholder and has tremendous influence over management’s decisions. We hope that Mr. Angelo takes seriously this intervention by Mr. DiNapoli, who represents one of the largest pension funds in the US,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 and chair of the unions’ bargaining committee.
The Chairman of FairPoint’s Board of Directors, Edward Horowitz, recently informed an advisor to union leaders that members of the Board have been briefed on the company’s bargaining position and that the Board fully endorses that position.
“It is disappointing to hear that members of FairPoint’s Board of Directors support the company’s attacks on working families across northern New England,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “We believe that our members are the reason this company emerged from bankruptcy and has begun to recover after its truly ill-advised purchase of Verizon. We will continue to educate investors like the CRF about this company’s decision to put short-term profits above the long-term interests of its workers, customers, and their communities.”
CWA Local 1400 VT Members with Senator Bernie Sanders. The Senator is well informed of our contract fight with FairPoint!
September 3, 2014
Rally in New York City: Paul Sunu Speaking Engagement
Paul Sunu! You Can't Hide. WE CAN SEE YOUR GREEDY SIDE!!
Union members turned out by the hundreds to send a message to Paul Sunu, who is speaking this morning at a telecom meeting in midtown:
NO CONTRACT, NO PEACE!
August 31, 2014
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We write to you today at a crucial moment in the life of our Unions. The Company has imposed terms and conditions on us that would outrage any union member anywhere.
Have no doubt. We are outraged. We are disgusted. And, we are fighting back.
We urge every member to rest assured: your Bargaining Committee is united. We are working every single day to reach a fair agreement. We have an outstanding team of financial advisors, strategic campaign operatives, and attorneys on our side. And, most important of all, we have a team of well-trained and informed Member Mobilizers in every worksite across our three states. We’ve built a mobilization structure that works, and you should rely on your Mobilizers for good information. Anything you hear or read from a source other than someone on the Mobilization Team or the Bargaining Committee is not reliable.
Every move this company has made since before bargaining commenced has been with one goal, to gut our unions. With their union-busting attorney at the head of the pack, they made their outrageous proposals on April 25th and then refused to compromise on any substantial element during dozens of so-called bargaining sessions. All the while they brought in replacement workers in a blatant attempt to intimidate our members. Now they’ve implemented terms and conditions that insult us to our very core.
The IBEW and CWA across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont will not be bullied by the Company into taking any precipitous action that does not move us toward our common goal, to win a fair agreement for our members. Now more than ever, we must all focus our energy and our anger on the people who have brought us here: Paul Sunu and the Wall Street hedge fund owners who control his every move.
Our unions, together with unions and allies across the United States, will focus on holding Sunu and his Wall Street overlords responsible for their attacks on working people in Northern New England.
You and your co-workers have mobilized like never before and your visible actions have sent a strong message of unity to your Bargaining Team, the Company, and the public. We must all continue to fight together.
Stay focused. Stay united. Stay on high alert, and trust in your Bargaining Team.
We are union. We are one.
In unity there is strength,
Peter McLaughlin, Chair, IBEW System Council T9, and Business Manager, IBEW Local 2327, Don Trementozzi, President, CWA Local 1400
August 28, 2014
For immediate release, August 28, 2014
FairPoint Walks Away From Bargaining Process, Declares Impasse
Unions Accuse Company of Federal Labor Law Violations
Augusta, ME--Unions representing nearly 2,000 employees of FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont met with the company on August 27 in Nashua, NH. The unions made a comprehensive proposal despite the company's rejection of several earlier proposals.
The company then waited several hours before notifying the unions by email that the parties are at impasse and that the company would impose its last contract proposals at 12:01 a.m. on August 28.
"We strongly disagree with the company. We have not reached impasse. The company should stay at the table and continue to work with us to reach an acceptable agreement," said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327 in Augusta and chair of the unions' bargaining committee.
The unions have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of violating federal law by not bargaining in good faith.
We are deeply disappointed that FairPoint has walked away from the bargaining process," said Don Trementozzi, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400. "We have worked tirelessly for months to negotiate an agreement that is fair to our members, our customers, and the company. We believe the company never intended to reach an agreement with us, but has been pushing towards this outcome all along."
According to union leaders, the company has rejected every significant proposal the union has put forward since bargaining began in April and has refused to offer any counter proposals since before the contract expired on August 2.
"The company has refused to bargain with us, and their negotiators have even attempted to intimidate and bully us throughout the process," said Glenn Brackett, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320 in Manchester, NH. "But our members will not be intimidated by this company. They are determined to stand up for good jobs and our customers."
Union leaders say FairPoint management wants to outsource hundreds of good jobs in Northern New England to low wage, out-of-state contractors. The company’s proposals would be devastating for communities that depend on well-trained and experienced workers to build and maintain their landlines, cell towers, DSL, and even 911 systems.
"FairPoint's employees are some of the best trained, most experienced telecommunications workers in this country," said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326 in Burlington, VT. "But FairPoint executives are determined to outsource their work to low road contractors no matter the impact on customers and our communities. We will continue to fight their attempts to outsource our future."
The union bargaining team will meet with its attorneys and other key advisors on Thursday morning to assess the situation and decide on next steps. In the meantime, the union has notified all members to continue working until further notice.
IBEW System Council T9 represents nearly 1,700 FairPoint employees in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. CWA Local 1400 represents nearly 300 employees in the three states.
August 28, 2014
As we said in our earlier update, your bargaining team met with the company on Wednesday in Nashua, where we made a new comprehensive proposal. After keeping your bargaining team waiting for more than 4 hours, the company’s chief negotiator said they had to consult with their management team and left the meeting.
In true cowardly fashion, the company waited several more hours to notify the unions by email that the parties are at impasse and that the company will impose its proposals at 12:01 am on August 28.
We do NOT believe that the parties are at impasse, nor have we received from the company the specific terms which it has imposed. The bargaining team will meet with our attorneys and other key advisors as soon as possible to assess the situation and decide on our next steps.
In the meantime, all members should continue to work safely. Remain on high alert for information from your Mobilizers and Stewards. We will notify you as soon as we have made decisions about our next course of action.
Remember, we are UNION. We are ONE. In unity there is STRENGTH.
August 27, 2014
Your bargaining team met with the company today, Wednesday August 27.
The unions made yet another comprehensive contract proposal. The company has not countered any union proposal in three weeks.
Despite having fifteen management representatives on the bargaining team, the company’s chief negotiator said he needed to consult with management and they will get back to us.
The unions, once again, invited a counter proposal from the company. The IBEW/CWA bargaining team remains committed to negotiating a fair and equitable contract.
Remember you are union members. We are proven. We are union. Hang tough.
August 26, 2014
Our Bargaining Team will meet with the company tomorrow, Wednesday, August 27, at noon in Nashua, NH.
To support our team, let's ALL wear RED and put on those "I support my bargaining team" buttons.
Email pictures of your most creative expressions of SOLIDARITY to FairnessAtFairPoint@gmail.com and we will post throughout the day. Let's make every worksite wall-to-wall red tomorrow brothers and sisters!
Union Strong!! We are One!
August 14, 2014
Your bargaining committee and the company met on Wednesday and Thursday. On Thursday morning the bargaining committee passed a significant comprehensive proposal. The company caucused briefly and then said they would review. In the presence of the federal mediator, the company refused to meet again on Thursday or set dates for additional meetings.
Your bargaining team remains committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract. Thanks to every member for your support. Your visible mobilization efforts make a huge difference.
We are union! Hang tough!
August 5, 2014
Despite Working Past Contract Expiration, FairPoint Employees Can Still Strike at Will
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 5, 2014
Union leaders say company still refusing to compromise on any proposal
On Saturday night, just before the midnight expiration of contracts covering nearly 2,000 FairPoint workers across Northern New England, leaders of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council T9 and Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400 announced that their members would continue working and not go on strike. According to union leaders, negotiations will continue and employees will be covered by most provisions of the expired contracts. However, the unions can now call a strike or the company could lock workers out at any time without prior notice.
Union leaders and management have been in bargaining over a new contract since April, and negotiations have been tense from the start. In the last two weeks, the company has resorted to increasingly aggressive tactics meant to intimidate workers. Union leaders say this demonstrates management’s lack of commitment to reaching a fair agreement. In addition to posting new “no trespassing” signs and spray-painting strike lines on the pavement at many company locations, management went as far as housing strike-breaking replacement workers at the same hotel where bargaining is taking place—an open and hostile attempt to intimidate union leaders.
“This company is attempting to bully us into agreeing to their outrageous proposals,” said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326 in Colchester, VT. “We’ve made it clear, we won’t be bullied. We’re going to keep right on fighting for our families and our communities as long as it takes.”
Union negotiators have put forward several proposals that would save the company almost $180 million. The company has rejected these proposals, saying that they are “non-starters” and not even in the ballpark.
Union leaders say they are deeply concerned about management’s demand to be able to replace local, well-trained workers with low-wage, out-of-state contractors. “Most of the current employees have been working for the phone company for decades and we know our customers and our systems better than any outside contractor ever will,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Augusta, Maine. “Customers will suffer if the company gets its way. But management cares more about cutting costs and giving that money to their hedge fund owners than in investing in our communities.”
“Our unions have shown a willingness to compromise from the start,” said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. “But it looks to us like the company’s strategy from the beginning has been to lock out workers so they can replace them with out-of-town contractors. It’s a blatant attempt to gut good jobs in this region. Our members are unified and have the support of many allies and community members. We will not stand by and let this corporation and its Wall Street cronies get away with it.”
August 3, 2014
In response to some questions from our members about the statement put out by our bargaining team last night:
The Unions Have Decided to Work Beyond Contract Expiration
The unions have decided to continue to work beyond expiration without a contract to fight for our bargaining objectives:
* Negotiations will continue.
* Members will still earn a paycheck.
* All benefits, including health care and pension, will remain in effect.
* The grievance procedure continues but arbitration may not. However, disciplinary actions can be negotiated at the bargaining table.
* Members have the right to participate in ”concerted activity.” This means that one person speaking for a group, or more than two people, can act “for mutual aid or protection.”
* The union still has the right to strike at any time.
Our fight for fairness continues Sisters and Brothers!
August 2, 2014
Members support the Bargaining Team in Nashua, NH:
Members join together at vigils throughout Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire on the night of the contract expiration:
*** One year away from contract expiration with Verizon
***IBEW & CWA Members and Supporters in Boston 7/31/2014
Steve Early’s book reports on our 2011-2012 Verizon strike and contract campaign,
plus the future of labor movement…
CWA Local 1400 and its members figure prominently in Steve Early’s latest book on the American labor movement. Steve worked for many years as a District 1 staff representative and is a longtime friend of our local.
Save Our Unions: Dispatches From a Movement in Distress describes recent telecom organizing and bargaining battles, plus our local's role in campaigning for health care reform and raising key issues at CWA's 2011 national convention. There's even a section on Vermont and the great work there by the Local 1400-backed Vermont Workers' Center and Vermont Progressive Party.
Save Our Unions describes the challenges facing all workers, whether they’re trying to democratize their union, win a strike, defend past contract gains, or bargain with management for the first time. Drawing on forty years of first-hand experience, Steve describes cross-border union campaigning (like the T-Mobile struggle), more effective strategies for organizing and health care reform, and political initiatives that might lessen labor’s dependence on unreliable allies in Democratic Party.
The book contains vivid portraits of rank-and-file heroes and heroines, both well known and unsung, and takes readers to union conventions and funerals, strikes and picket lines, celebrations of labor’s past, and struggles to ensure that unions still have a future in the 21st century. Steve’s insight, analysis, and advocacy help illuminate the paths to revitalization and reform of workers’ organizations, at home and abroad.
“This book shows what it takes to defend democracy, workers’ rights, and social justice unionism when all are under attack by big business.”—Dolores Huerta
Co-founder, United Farm Workers
Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
“Very important work!” —Noam Chomsky
“With labor now searching for new directions, this book should be at the top of activists’ reading lists. In his latest collection of essays, Steve Early hits on the key themes necessary for reviving the labor movement: union democracy, workplace activism, and a willingness to confront corporate power.” —Joe Burns
Author, Reviving The Strike
“Never one to mince words or bow to authority, Steve Early’s latest work is hard-hitting and thought-provoking. Early is an activist/writer who sees unions, including his own, facing massive challenges but still searching for successful strategies. In Save Our Unions, Early chronicles recent workplace struggles with great sympathy and insight, showing the road taken by workers trying to reignite labor as a movement.” —Elaine Bernard
Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
June 26, 2013
Massachusetts Legislative Coordinator, Jim White, explains TPP to Congressman Jim McGovern's aid:
We should have fought more to remove/limit Article 26:
The National Labor Relations Act gives Unions the right to request bargaining when an employer makes a new policy that has discipline attached to it.
Because of Article 26, AT&T Mobility refuses to bargain and continues to implement random new performance policies with discipline.
Because of Article 26, AT&T Mobility refuses to bargain and continues to implement random attendance policies with discipline.
Under the NLRA, these policies are subject to bargaining.
Because of Article 26 the company can change commission plans in Retail any time they feel like it. The dollar amount in the LOA on commissions going from $12,500.00 to $12,750.00 means nothing because that is only paid out if you make 100% of your goal, and the company is constantly changing the goals. We needto have a say in the commission plan. This is totally unacceptable and WE deserve better!
In Retail, Call Center and Network titles, depending on your department you are subject to different attendance policy points and rules for length of discipline. This agreement takes the existing unacceptable policies and locks them in for 2 years. Shouldn't we try to improve them and make them less punitive? And why lock them in for 2 years? So that after that AT&T can do what they want? WE deserve better!
#19 of the TA, “New Side Letter” is WORSE than what we have now, a real step backwards. Currently in Retail we have coaching between steps of discipline with RSSM, the new letter says they only have to coach if the employee is not already on a step of discipline. VOTE NO because of this alone! This applies to ALL performance plans not just Retail. WE deserve better!
Network MSOC currently has no discipline attached to it in Mobility, but what will happen once a contract is ratified that says they only have to coach you before disciplining on a performance plan if you aren't already on a step of discipline? This has the potential to cause our technicians to progress rapidly through disciplinary steps and be terminated in the same manner an RSC is for job performance. We can’t allow this to happen! WE deserve better!
This is a violation of just cause to say an employer doesn't have to take corrective action prior to discipline. AT&T has lost grievances and arbitrations because of failure to coach between steps of discipline. The contract gives AT&T the right to discipline employees only if it has “just cause” to do so. The term “just cause” has a specific legal meaning. It means that disciplinary action taken by the company against an employee must meet a set of standards in order to be considered legitimate. One of those standards is that discipline must be “progressive” that is, it must be taken in steps and must also correct an employee’s behavior, not simply punish it. So, when a Mobility worker doesn’t meet a performance standard, the company must provide coaching and development to help that employee meet the standard in the future. If this agreement is ratified, we are sure to lose even more members to discharge. WE deserve better!
The time to bargain these items is when the contract is open and the company can't force us to impasse, Vote NO and send the bargaining team back to the table!
Thank you all for everything you've done to make this a success!
Desk clock-Cyrille Kearn------------- #2 Picked by Julie Long
Playstation PSP-Felicia Augevich--- #30 picked by Julie Long (Donated to Ryan!)
Nintendo----Greg Irving--------------- #7 picked by Brenda Lima
DVD----------Sandy Bell--------------- #13 picked by Brenda Lima
We raised $624.60 (*net) for Ryan!
*Pay Pal receives a small percentage for maintaining the account.
Washington, D.C. -- Members of the Communications Workers of America at Verizon Communications ratified a four-year agreement covering about 35,000 CWA represented workers from Virginia to New England. Members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers also voted to ratify a four-year agreement. IBEW represents about 10,000 Verizon workers.
Contract highlights include an 8.2 percent compounded wage increase over the next three years, and additional cash payments. Also on ratification, CWA members who were fired by Verizon during the August 2011 strike will return to work.
Representing members in New York, New Jersey and New England, CWA District 1 Vice President Chris Shelton said: “This contract ensures that every one of our members will see an improvement in their standard of living. It was a tough fight, and we turned back efforts by the company to gut our contracts. Now, we’ll keep up the fight to expand good jobs for Verizon workers.”
CWA District 2-13 Vice President Ed Mooney, who represents Verizon workers in the mid-Atlantic states, said: “The unity and determination of CWA and the IBEW over 16 months of bargaining, and the support of our allies, made this contract possible. Our goal now is to make certain that CWA members continue to be a key part of this company’s future.”
The contract had expired in August 2011. A two-week strike, an active member mobilization and support campaign by progressive allies, and final intensive negotiations under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service brought about this settlement. The new contract expires August 2015.
Maggie is honored to earn the endorsement of the Communications Workers of America Local 1400! Here’s the official announcement:
MANCHESTER, NH – The executive board of the Communications Workers of America Local 1400 has voted unanimously to endorse Maggie Hassan for Governor.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is the largest telecommunications union in the world, and CWA Local 1400 represents telecommunications workers throughout New Hampshire and New England.
“Our board voted unanimously to support Maggie Hassan, because Maggie is committed to the needs of working people. Her position against Right to Work clearly protects the right of workers to bargain collectively and is one that we know that she strongly supports.” said CWA Local 1400 president Don Trementozzi.
“We believe in the importance of electing a Governor we can count on to stand up for the middle class. As our next Governor, Maggie will work to build an innovative economy that will help move New Hampshire forward. We whole-heartedly endorse her candidacy and are pleased to be a part of her campaign for Governor.” said New Hampshire’s CWA Local 1400 district vice president Felicia Augevich.
“I am honored to earn the support of CWA Local 1400,” said Hassan. “Our campaign continues to grow every single day – and I’m thrilled to add CWA to our team. We need to mount the strongest campaign possible to win in the fall so we can keep New Hampshire moving forward. As Governor, my focus will be on building an innovative economy that gives middle class families the opportunity to succeed.
Hassan has earned the support of five other unions including the Carpenters Local 118, Iron Workers Local 7, UFCW Locals 1445 and 791, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Council #35 and the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local #6. She also has the support of EMILY’s List and the Women’s Campaign Fund.
As Senate Majority Leader, Hassan often partnered with Governor John Lynch to focus on the economy and New Hampshire families. Hassan was the prime Senate sponsor of “New Hampshire Working” which allows the state to partner with workers and businesses to provide an alternative to layoffs.
In 2008, she helped lead the way to pass universal kindergarten so that every child has the same opportunity to succeed. In order to lower the state’s dropout rate, she worked to raise the legal dropout age to 18.
She has also tackled consumer protections in health care by enabling children to remain on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26, ensured divorced spouses have access to family insurance plans, and passed Connor’s Law that requires that insurances companies cover treatment for autism. She also worked to pass the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to reduce emissions and curb climate change.
Hassan’s campaign for governor is focused on moving New Hampshire forward by building an innovative economy that gives middle class families the opportunity to succeed.
JIM WHITE EARNS COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, LOCAL 1400 ENDORSEMENT IN BID FORSTATE REPRESENTATIVE
Athol, MA - The executive board of the Communications Workers of America Local 1400 voted unanimously at their March meeting to endorse former Athol Selectman Jim White as candidate for Massachusetts State Representative in the 2nd Franklin District. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is the largest telecommunications union in the world, and CWA Local 1400 represents telecommunications workers throughout Massachusetts and all of New England. CWA 1400 is a member of the AFL-CIO.
“Our board voted unanimously to support Jim White in his bid for State Representative, because Jim is committed to the needs of working people, and the 99 percent,” said CWA Local 1400 president Don Trementozzi. “We believe in the importance of electing a State Representative we can count on to stand up for the middle class and has the ability promote and support good jobs.”
White’s campaign has focused on the economic issues faced by working Bay State Residents. “I feel so strongly about the importance of fighting for working families that I chose the United Steel Workers Local 4-0594 office in Phillipston, where I have lived for 10 years, as the location to announce my run for State Representative,” he said. White announced his candidacy for State Representative last year on the picket line, months before incumbent Denise Andrews announced that she would seek reelection. After Andrews’s announcement, White reaffirmed his candidacy. “I’m running now for the same reasons as before - to be a voice for working families in this very depressed region where the current representative has utterly failed.” he said. Last week, after collecting many hundreds of signatures, White delivered nomination petitions to the Secretary of State’s office to qualify for the September primary ballot.
Jim White was twice elected Selectman in Athol and once to it’s Housing Authority. He was twice elected Selectboard Chair during very difficult times in which he worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the local community. As Selectman, Jim led the Selectboard in many proactive measures. Under his watch the Board had defective bridges over the Millers River replaced. They personally went to Boston and forced a fast tracking of Route 2 upgrades after 10 deaths in one year, and started that fast track of the Main Street Bridge over the Miller River. The Board took Verizon to task with the Public Utilities Commission over aging equipment hampering local business and job growth in order to bring high speed internet and larger telecommunications capability to the area region Verizon had ignored. White personally wrote an Executive Office of Environmental affairs grant to purchase the 100+ acres for the New England Equestrian Center in Athol which remains an actual boost to local property values in an otherwise depressed area. White helped develop a South Athol Rd enterprise zone enabling job creation at such manufacturing facilities as Whipp’s.
We feel Jim White is the right person during these tough times because he will actually work at the job. He does not promote a welfare state, and he has demonstrated a willingness to fight for what is right for the middle class. Jim White will represent the region and workers throughout the Commonwealth.
The bargaining team is finding out that NJ NY NE calls have slowed down and no OT anywhere. We found out that VZ has a commitment of calls to the vendor. So they are offering VT to us and sending calls to the Vendor and that's a direct violation of the marketing agreement. Our Members should NOT take VT in the call centers! It would be different if the calls slowed down and no calls were going to the vendor. This is not the case! We are hearing VZ gets a penalty if they don't send a certain amount of calls to the vendor! Thanks.
CWA Local 1400
All Members Please Sign This Pledge!!!
Commit To Stay, Make Them Pay!
I pledge to stay on the job to protect my work from vendors and contractors. I will not take VT and allow my work to go somewhere else. Verizon should make a commitment to me in the form of a contract. They should not be violating our marketing agreement and favoring vendors and their call volumes. Bring my work back and let me do my job.
PORTSMOUTH - Communications Workers of America members will stand in support of Verizon workers from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Verizon Wireless' Portsmouth store at 1840 Woodbury Ave. and in Manchester as part of a "national day of action" against the telecommunications company.
CWA workers and supporters say they will ask consumers not to patronize Verizon Wireless until it stops downgrading the middle-class jobs of its work force and approves a fair contract with CWA.
"Good middle-class jobs fuel the New Hampshire advantage. We cannot afford for multinational companies such as Verizon Wireless to reset the standards for workers even in trying economic times," said Felicia Augevich, district vice president of CWA Local 1400.
After talks broke down last summer, about 45,000 Verizon workers who are members of the CWA and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers walked off the job and took part in a 13-day strike. They returned to work under terms of the old contract.
Current proposals from Verizon will affect workers and their communities. Come hear workers speak out on Verizon's actions in the workplace, Verizon's retaliation against workers and lack of responsibility to wider public.
October 28, 2011 - CWA Local 1400 Officer Election Results:
A Runoff Election for Treasurer of CWA Local 1400 will be held by mail within the next couple of weeks. There is a Runoff Election because no candidate received 50% plus one votes to be the winner. The (2) candidates that received the greatest number of votes will be in the Runoff Election.
Dates for the Election will be broadcasted to Members as soon as the information is available.
Telecommunications Company FairPoint Communications is cutting 400 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force, as it continues to struggle financially after emerging from bankruptcy.
Company officials notified employees Thursday that about 130 people will lose their jobs in Maine, 190 in New Hampshire and 55 in Vermont in the coming months. Another 25 jobs are being cut in the other 15 states where FairPoint operates.
"We're matching our work force to our workload," said FairPoint Maine President Mike Reed. "We're under pretty heavy competition and everyone knows we've lost some access lines."
FairPoint is based in Charlotte, N.C., and provides telephone and high-speed Internet services in 18 states, with nearly 1.4 million access lines.
The company filed for bankruptcy in the fall of 2009, 18 months after buying Verizon's northern New England landline telephone and Internet operations for $2.3 billion. It has continued to struggle since emerging from bankruptcy in January.
In its last earnings report, FairPoint reported losing $27.1 million for the April-June period while seeing the number of its access lines decline 6.4 percent from a year ago. Its stock price has fallen from over $24 a share after emerging from bankruptcy to about $6, where it was trading Thursday afternoon.
The jobs now being cut include about 100 management positions and 300 union-represented jobs. All eligible employees will receive severance packages expected to total between $7 and $13 million.
The smaller work force will result in annual savings of about $34 million, FairPoint said.
The job cuts show the company still hasn't worked out its problems, said Peter McLaughlin, chairman of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers council overseeing locals in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
"We just barely have the people now to get done what we have to do and now they're going to cut another 400 heads," McLaughlin said. "Our residential customers, our business customers and our wholesale customers are going to suffer. And that's going to drive the company into the ground even further."
All the union layoffs involve IBEW members. FairPoint workers in the Communications Workers of America union, who work at FairPoint's call centers, have a separate contract and are not affected by the job cuts, Reed said.
While FairPoint continues to lose money, Reed said the company is meeting its goals for customer service and expanding broadband Internet throughout northern New England.
FairPoint has about 4,000 employees, nearly 3,400 of which are in northern New England.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: President, William Henderson860-908-8680
Against All Odds
T-Mobile CT Technicians Vote to “GO UNION”
Hamden, Wednesday, July 20, 2011 – Fifteen T-Mobile technicians voted in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board yesterday to join CWA Local 1298. They are the first T-Mobile workers in the nation to win a voice in their workplace.
The workers endured a withering anti-union campaign by T-Mobile management, including forced “captive audience” anti-union indoctrination sessions, stepped-up monitoring and other intimidation tactics, and an unusual 4 day NLRB hearing where high-priced T-Mobile attorneys tried to challenge the workers’ petition.
William Henderson, President of the Communications Workers of America, Local 1298 said, “This is a great victory for telecommunications workers in general, and especially T-Mobile workers. These workers had the guts and the wisdom to step up to protect their own interests. With the AT&T / T-Mobile merger coming, all T-Mobile workers should consider whether they want to go it alone – or have a voice in what happens. That’s why these Connecticut workers voted ‘Union.’ It’s a smart move.”
Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1298 represents almost 5,000 workers working at at&t, at&t Mobility and other workplaces in Connecticut and throughout New England. One of the biggest union locals in the region, CWA Local 1298 is based in Hamden, CT.
More than 50,000 Verizon workers on the East Coast are campaigning for a new union contract that would ensure good wages, quality health care and secure pension benefits. Our contract expires at midnight on August 6.
Union members are also fighting to provide quality services in the jobs of the future. Verizon has transitioned from a traditional "phone company" to a high tech provider of video, Internet and wireless communications. But management has "walled-off" union members from the new jobs in wireless and much of the Internet.
Through more than 35 years of collective bargaining, telecom workers have achieved secure jobs with good wages. These are the good jobs our communities need. We won't go backwards!
"We Are One" Rally
June 16, 2011
5:30 - 7:30 PM
Verizon Fiber Solutions Center (FSC)
234 Washington St, Providence, RI
RSVP on Facebook at: We Are One! Ready to Strike at Verizon 2011 (IBEW-CWA) IBEW T6: www.ibew2222.org or call (617) 929-6000 CWA Local 1400: www.cwalocal1400.org or call (603) 436-4388 WE'RE PROVEN - WE'RE UNION - HANG TOUGH www.ibew.org www.cwa-union.org
This is a reminder that applications are now being accepted through April 30 for the CWA Joe Beirne Foundation's annual scholarship offerings for the 2011-2012 school year.
The Foundation's Board of Directors has approved the awarding of fifteen (15) partial college scholarships of up to $3,000 each, and the winners also will receive second-year scholarships for the same amount, contingent upon satisfactory academic achievement.
Eligible for the scholarships are CWA members, their spouses, children and grandchildren, including the dependents of retired, laid-off, or deceased members. Applicants must be high school graduates or high school students who will graduate during the year in which they apply. Undergraduate and graduate students returning to school may also apply.
Applications will be available solely online for completion and submission to the Foundation's website:
In cellular merger, organized labor comes out on top.
MIKE ELK | March 23, 2011 | American Prospect, web only
When news of AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile USA broke on Sunday, the immediate reaction among progressives was one of dismay.
"Don't believe the hype: There is nothing about having less competition that will benefit wireless consumers," said S. Derek Turner, research director of the open communications advocacy group Free Press, in a statement. Other progressive consumer groups, including the Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Digital Democracy, were also quick to issue statements denouncing the deal, which, if approved, would create the country's largest cellular carrier.
However, one progressive group cheered the merger: the Communication Workers of America, a labor union whose more than 500,000 members include 150,000 AT&T employees.
"[Union members] in the U.S. will welcome this news since of all the possible partners, AT&T will mean better employment security and a management record of full neutrality toward union membership and a bargaining voice," CWA President Larry Cohen said in a statement shortly after the merger was announced. "For T-Mobile USA workers who want a voice in their workplace, this acquisition can provide a fresh start with T-Mobile management."
For over a decade, CWA has been trying to organize T-Mobile's 26,000 workers. (The American Prospect covered CWA's organizing campaign back in our November issue.) However, CWA alleges that T-Mobile has engaged in heavy-handed anti-union intimidation tactics that have prevented workers from joining a union.
"When we tried to organize a call center in Maine, they just stopped us dead in our tracks with just a brutal intimidation campaign," said New England Area CWA Local 1440 President Don Trementozzi. "They called the police on our organizers when they visited the workplace. They threatened to fire people who supported the union. It was just impossible to get an organizing committee going there."
At AT&T, the Communication Workers of America have succeeded over the decades in winning concessions from management, including an easier path to organizing and a neutrality agreement that would prevent the company from interfering with union drives. If past is prologue, the new AT&T umbrella could be good news for T-Mobile workers.
"When Unicel sold to AT&T, we were able to successfully organize Unicel workers, who had been trying to organize for years, in just 90 days and get them into the contract right away," said Trementozzi. "It's unheard of in the labor movement to organize workers and get them a contract in 90 days, but with the neutrality agreement we were able to do it. It was almost pathetic how easy it was."
The opportunity to organize T-Mobile using a similar neutrality agreement could be a great boon to CWA, which has lost nearly 50,000 members since the recession began in 2007. It could also benefit unions nationwide.
"If heavily unionized AT&T didn't buy T-Mobile, it would be tough for AT&T to compete against non-union Verizon, who had gained a greater market share," said Trementozzi. "If T-Mobile had sold to non-union Sprint, it would have made the situation even worse for AT&T. Now, at least a union company like AT&T can compete against Verizon and not drive unions totally out of the telecom industry."
Some progressive consumer advocates disagree, arguing that unions are putting their own self-interest above the interests of consumers and the country's economic wellbeing.
"It may create more dues-paying members for CWA, but does it mean it's good for overall job market and the country?" asked Free Press political adviser Joel Kelsey. "Mergers almost always result in layoffs."
This is not the first time CWA has sided with telecoms and upset progressives. Over the summer, progressive groups blasted CWA for endorsing the compromise position of the FCC on net neutrality.
But unions counter all of these charges by arguing that consumer advocacy groups are not properly balancing consumers' rights with the need to build a movement for workers' rights. "We think it's important to put the workers' rights issue on their agenda and into their analysis of positions," said CWA Senior Director of Collective Bargaining and Technology George Kohl. "The future of the labor movement is at stake?and the strength of the progressive movement as a result."
Mike Elk is a third-generation union organizer and labor journalist based in Washington, D.C. He writes frequently for the Huffington Post and In These Times and has appeared as a commentator on CNN, Fox News, and NPR. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/mikeelk.
For more info contact Paul Feeney 617-930-8729 or Rand Wilson 617-803-0799
Massachusetts to Wisconsin... Verizon IBEW members travel to Wisconsin to help build solidarity
In another important solidarity development, seven Boston-area Verizon employees who are members of IBEW Local 2222 left on Friday afternoon for an eighteen hour drive to Madison, Wisconsin to join the massive labor protests scheduled for this weekend.
Writing in a blog about the group's trip, Verizon employee and IBEW Local 2222 organizer Paul Feeney wrote, "We're making good time. We left Boston this afternoon and have heard from union members throughout the area as they send messages of support to the workers of Wisconsin. We plan to drive straight to Madison throughout the night."
I have asked each of my union brothers on the trip to reflect on how important it is to stand up at this critical time and act. Though we are but one small trip across many states that will end in a matter of days, we hope it serves as a call to action to all workers and their families. The call is urgent and the time is now!"
Steve "Smitty" Smith, another IBEW organizer and a retired 36-year lineman who is also on the trip wrote, "How important is Madison to me? My mom and my dad (a retired postal worker) live very modestly on his pension. Yet they offered me $100 when I told them we were going to support the workers in Madison. My mom and dad can't afford $100, but they won't stand by and see their children and grandchildren's futures disappear without getting involved." With his years of telecom experience and history of union activism, Smitty is considered the dean of the Boston delegation.
Other IBEW Local 2222 members on the trip to Madison include Bill Crowley, John Colleran, Jeff Oreander, Pat Atwell, and Matt Lyons.
"I'm so proud of all the telecom workers who are standing in Solidarity with our union brothers and sisters in Wisconsin," said Myles Calvey, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2222 and a key leader of Verizon telecom workers in New England. "Our unions must become part of a broad social movement to stop corporate greed in its tracks where ever it rears its ugly head! If today that fight is in Wisconsin, then we will be there!"
Calvey will be one of the lead negotiators for the union contracts with Verizon covering telecom workers from Massachusetts to Virginia that expires on August 6, 2011.
"Our local labor movement stood proud on Tuesday, said Greater Boston Labor Council, AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Rich Rogers. "To see our private sector unions rallying with our public employees demonstrated again that union solidarity is more than just a slogan in Boston."
Labor Unions and the Middle Class are being attacked. In Wisconsin, the right wing is trying to strip away the Collective Bargaining Rights of the public workers. Tens of thousands of people have been protesting all weekend in Wisconsin. This is not a Budget fight, this is about a Governor who wants to destroy Unions. Ohio, Indiana, and New Jersey to name a few states are also under attack. There will be rallies in State Capitals all over the country this week. We must all get off the sidelines and join in this fight.
CWA and the AFL-CIO will be having a Rally in Trenton on the steps of the Statehouse on Friday at 12 Noon. The rally will be in support of our Brothers and Sisters who are fighting for their lives and their Unions in Wisconsin. The rally will also be a demonstration to the Governor of New Jersey that his ongoing attack on Collective Bargaining for our members and all Public Sector Union Members will be met with the same vehemence as what's going on in Wisconsin. It is vitally important for the survival of the Labor Movement and the survival of the Middle Class that we all come together not only Unions but also every group that has a stake in saving the American Dream.
Make no mistake if they succeed in Wisconsin and New Jersey they will be coming for the private sector unions and the rest of the Middle Class next.
On Friday February 25, 2011 - Every Union member should wear RED and we should encourage everyone who supports the American Dream to wear RED in support of our Rally IN Trenton and the Fight in Wisconsin.
CWA will be sponsoring a Nationwide Stewards Meeting (Conference Call) on Wednesday night tentative time 7:30 pm. Every CWA Steward should be on that call. Every Local should contact their Stewards to alert them, as the details become available we will get them to you.
Also any Local that can send people to Trenton on Friday at 12 noon should do so to demonstrate shoulder to shoulder arm in arm with your Brothers and Sisters CWA members from the Public Sector. Tentatively scheduled to speak at the Rally are Richard Trumka President of the AFL-CIO, Larry Cohen President of CWA and even more importantly Workers from Wisconsin.
See you Friday in Trenton,
Chris Shelton, Vice President
All members and retirees invited! Second Verizon 2011 Contract Campaign and Organizing Strategy Session It's Your Job - Join the Fight for It!
The Mobilization Team will have a second contract strategy meeting leading up to the August 6 Verizon contract expiration. We are organizing events to bring awareness and information to the membership regarding the issues involved in bargaining and our role as members to ensure a fair and equitable contract for all.
With all that has been in the news lately it is imperative that each and every member get involved. To quote Business Manager Myles Calvey, "Our success is gauged by your participation."
So participate for the good of the union!
Presentations by T-6 Council Chair/IBEW Local 2222 Business Manager Myles Calvey and CWA Local 1400 President Don Trementozzi.
Discussion of key contract issues and the context for bargaining in 2011.
Mobilization and organization: Setting up our campaign structures and getting ready to mobilize for the future!
Saturday, March 26, 2011 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Teamsters Local 170, 330 Southwest Cutoff, Worcester, MA (Take exit 11; Turn left at MA-122; Turn left to merge onto US-20 W/SW Cutoff toward Auburn/Sturbridge)
For more info and to RSVP for the meeting, please contact: CWA Local 1400, (603) 436-4388, firstname.lastname@example.org IBEW T6 Council and Local 2222, http://ibew2222.org, (617) 929-6000
All members and retirees are invited! This is MANDATORY for all Chief Stewards & Stewards!
"Fighting for Our Union Future and the Good Jobs Our Communities Need" Verizon 2011 Contract Campaign and Organizing Strategy Session
Featuring: *Presentations by T-6 Council Chair/IBEW Local 2222 Business Manager Myles Calvey and CWA Local 1400 President Don Trementozzi.
*Discussion of key contract issues and the context for bargaining in 2011.
*Mobilization and organization: Setting up our campaign structures and getting ready to mobilize for the future!
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011
8:00 AM - 2:00 PM American Legion, 88 Maple St., Marlboro, MA
(Close to I-495; two exits north of I-90)
Maine call center workers being diagnosed with “T-Mobile syndrome”
On November 19, four CWA members visited the T-Mobile call center in Oakland, Maine. Starting at 6:30 in the morning, call center employees arriving at work eagerly spoke about some of the problems they face at T-Mobile.
After leafleting throughout the day, employees had a meeting with the union the same evening. Maine's T-Mobile workers are fired up and ready to go.
It turns out there's a new epidemic in Oakland: local doctors have taken to diagnosing some of the company’s employees with “T-Mobile syndrome” when stress starts to affect their health. And no, we’re not kidding.
If you think you're coming down with T-Mobile syndrome, get in touch with us. We're working to make T-Mobile a better employer. Whether you work in Oakland, Maine, or any other T-Mobile location, you can contact CWA Organizer Tim Dubnau at email@example.com. All communication will be strictly confidential.
CWA members were the biggest winners in this year’s CWA-COPE contest, because the big jump in new CWA-COPE contributors means that CWAers will have an even stronger voice in the political process.
CWA Executive Vice President Annie Hill said CWAers should be very proud that “in the face of great challenges, a record number of members volunteered to either contribute to COPE for the first time or increase their contributions.”
Districts 1 and 6 won the contest, with District 1 collecting the most cards, 1,107, and District 6 raising the most dollars, $129,591, Hill said.
During the six month contest, 4,457 CWAers signed up for COPE for the first time or increased their contributions. That represents a 12.5 percent increase in contributions over 2009.
The hard work of CWA’s legislative/political coordinators, state coordinators and activists in every district and sector made the campaign a tremendous success. And the added incentive of the chance to win a trip to Las Vegas didn’t hurt.
On Nov. 2, eight separate drawings were held at CWA headquarters, with Hill and CWA Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Rechenbach picking the lucky winners of the trip for two to Las Vegas, including two nights’ accommodation and airfare. Watch the drawing at www.cwa-union.org/drawing, or check out the list of winners below:
District 1 Michael Jones, Local 1109, Brooklyn, N.Y.
District 2 Richard Henderson, Local 2010, Glenville, WVA
District 3 Bonnie Cortes, Local 3250, Georgia
District 4 Augusta Turman, Local 4302, Arkon, OH
District 6 Brian Curby, Local 6143, San Antonio, TX
District 7 Ken Saether, Local 7906, Lebanon, OR
District 9 Ross Facione, Local 9408, Fresno, CA
Combined drawing for District 13/IUE-CWA/AFA-CWA, and media sectors
Press Release For immediate release: October 21, 2010 For more info contact: Ralph Montefusco (802) 598-5613 or Rand Wilson (617) 803-0799
CWA Local 1400's New Hampshire members get the facts on key issues before Nov. 2 election
Manchester - Union leaders visited members in New Hampshire on October 20 to talk about key economic issues before voting on Nov. 2.
The Local 1400 Political Action Team distributed an educational leaflet at FairPoint's Holt Avenue Call Center in Manchester, N.H. where about 50 members work. They were joined by IBEW local union leaders who also have members at the same facility.
The educational leaflets showed where New Hampshire candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress stand on jobs, unemployment and social security.
The political education was jointly sponsored by the IBEW and the New Hampshire AFL-CIO.
Based on the candidates' records, the unions recommended support for Senate candidate Paul Hodes, District One Congressional candidate Carol Shea-Porter and District Two Congressional candidate Ann McLane Kuster.
"We don't want our members to get distracted by all of the political noise," said Don Trementozzi, president of Local 1400. "No matter what political party you are associated with, there is a clear difference between the candidates on important pocketbook issues that are the priority for working class families."
"After our members learn the facts, we hope they will vote with their economic self-interest in mind," Trementozzi added.
The response from the union's membership appeared to be very enthusiastic. More than 60 members have joined the local's political action program since union leaders visited members in Vermont on Oct. 18 and New Hampshire yesterday.
CWA Local 1400 unites more than 200 members and their families who live in New Hampshire. Local 1400 members work for FairPoint Communications, Verizon and AT&T mobility.
Center for Strategic Research, AFL-CIO
Temp call center workers win permanent jobs at FairPoint
Additional new union jobs will improve quality of service
Ninety call center employees at FairPoint facilities in Portland and Bangor, Maine, Manchester, N.H. and Burlington, Vt. have won permanent status after a year-and-a-half battle with management.
FairPoint has also agreed to create 15 new positions at its Burlington Customer Service Center, 10 new Outbound Marketing jobs in various locations and 8 jobs at in a new Customer Satisfaction Department in Portland.
"Job security is hard to get in this economy," said Cathy Calden, a two-year temp from Richmond, Maine who was made permanent at the Portland Residential Call Center by the agreement. "So we are really thrilled to finally become permanent employees."
As permanent workers, the 90 workers will gain broader contract rights and stronger job security protections in CWA Local 1400's collective bargaining agreement.
"We work hard and deliver the best service possible for our customers," added Calden. "We showed management that we want to be here, and in exchange we deserve to be fully part of the company. It feels good."
The agreements were reached with FairPoint management on October 13, 2010.
"With these agreements, everyone can see the benefits of belonging to a union and gaining a real voice on the job," said CWA Local 1400 President Don Trementozzi. "Not only are FairPoint's employees better off, but we expect significant improvements in the quality of service as well."
CWA Local 1400 unites FairPoint employees who work in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Local 1400 also represents workers at Verizon and AT&T throughout New England.
Center for Strategic Research, AFL-CIO
For more info contact: Ralph Montefusco (802) 598-5613 or Rand Wilson(617) 803-0799
CWA Local 1400 Members endorse
Peter Shumlin for Vermont Governor
Burlington - CWA Local 1400's Political Action Team announced that after carefully considering both candidates, it will support Peter Shumlin for election as governor of Vermont.
"This decision was not made lightly or easily," said Local 1400 VP Mike O'Day. "Peter Shumlin's commitment to our issues satisfied our committee's concerns. He is a consensus builder and will stay focused on the economic issues that matter most to us. We are confident that he is the best candidate to lead our state for telecom workers and for all working families."
O'Day works as a customer service rep. for FairPoint Communications in Burlington and is a resident of Fairfax.
"In tough economic times like these, it's important to examine the candidates' records to make sure they share the priorities of working families," said Don Trementozzi, president of Local 1400. "With support from CWA District One, we carefully researched both candidates on the issues affecting our jobs and the telecom industry. Without a doubt, Peter Shumlin is the best candidate to lead Vermont."
"Throughout his career in the legislature, Peter Shumlin has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us on telecom policy and employment issues," added O'Day. "He will be a powerful advocate of broadband for all Vermonters and he will make sure that the federal and state tax dollars used to build the network will be well spent."
The endorsement announcement was made at Peter Shumlin's campaign headquarters in Burlington on October 18.
CWA Local 1400 unites more than 200 workers and their families in Vermont. Local 1400 members work for FairPoint Communications and AT&T mobility.
Local 1400's Political Action Team will begin educating its members and the public about why Peter Shumlin is the best choice for working families at its bi-annual membership meeting on Saturday, October 23, at the IBEW hall in Burlington.
Center for Strategic Research, AFL-CIO
One of (2) Melissa Morin scholarship winners: Jennifer Aubin with her mother Danielle. Jennifer is attending Castleton State College, Castleton, VT. Her mother is a 15 year service rep in the CSSC. Mike O'Day, V.P., District 6 - Vermont, presented Jennifer with the scholarship award.
Second of (2) winners: Daniel Griffin. His mother, Patricia Griffin, has been with Verizon for 23 years and currently is in the Taunton, CSSC. Gregg Irving, VP District 3-SE Massachusetts, presented Patricia with the scholarship award.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Communications Workers of America
Press Release For immediate release
August 5, 2010
For more info contact: Rand Wilson (617) 929-6000
Telecom workers begin year-long campaign for good jobs and reliable services at Verizon
Boston-Hundreds of telephone workers united in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) rallied for good jobs on Thursday, August 5 at Verizon's New England headquarters.
"A year before our contracts expire, we're sending a message to Verizon's top management that we'll fight for the preservation of good jobs, quality health care and secure pension benefits in negotiations next year," said Myles Calvey, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2222 and chair of the New England telephone workers' bargaining committee. The current agreement with Verizon expires on August 6, 2011.
"Some very profitable companies are using the recession as an excuse to demand givebacks and concessions from their employees," added Calvey. "We want to make it clear to management that union members aren't going to fall for that nonsense at Verizon."
Other speakers at the rally included Lt. Gov. Tim Murray; Congressman Stephen F. Lynch; Rep. Marty Walsh; Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Bob Haynes; Rich Rogers, Executive Sec-Treas, Greater Boston Labor Council; Ed Fitzpatrick, President, IBEW Local 2222; Don Trementozzi, President, CWA Local 1400; John Laughlin, Painters D.C. 35; Peter Derouen, UFCW Local 791; Ed Kelly, President, Boston Firefighters Local 718; Bill McGowan, Business Manager, IBEW Local 2323; Ed Starr, Business Manager, IBEW Local 2321; Dave Keating, Business Manager, IBEW Local 2325; and John Rowley, Business Manager, IBEW Local 2324.
Verizon's second quarter finances showed $9.8 billion in cash flow from operations, up nearly 30 percent from 2009. The $108 billion company had $5.5 billion in free cash flow, up nearly 77 percent from the second quarter in 2009.
Verizon had significant job cuts in 2010. There are now 24,500 fewer employees than one year ago -- and it spent $2.3 billion in the second quarter dealing with union negotiated buyouts to avoid layoffs. "We protected our members during unprecedented job cuts," said Calvey. "But I expect that job security will continue to be a major issue in next year's contract talks."
The workforce reductions, buyouts and layoffs in recent years stem largely from landline losses, but also from Verizon's massive shift away from rural America. Despite strong union opposition, Verizon has sold off its landlines in Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and most recently in 14 other states, substantially reducing union membership.
Meanwhile, the company has focused its investments in the largely unregulated -- and as yet mostly nonunion wireless side of its business.
"Verizon's top management has built an artificial wall separating wireless and other business operations from wireline," said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. "Management is using this wall to block members from the high growth, high profit segments of the company."
"We are gearing up to fight for enhanced organizing rights for Verizon Wireless workers and to help them unite for wages and working conditions comparable to ours," added Trementozzi. "If we don't, Verizon will continue to use its 'divide and conquer' tactics to undermine our contracts." Local 1400 represents hundreds of Verizon workers at call centers throughout Massachusetts.
Both unions have been educating members and building support for enhanced organizing rights for Verizon Wireless employees. Members at IBEW Local 2222 and delegates to the recent CWA national convention have passed resolutions in support of the campaign.
Because customer and community support is so critical to winning good contracts, telecom workers have been building support in anticipation of the 2011 contract.
Members at both unions very actively supported striking workers at Shaw's Methuen warehouse. "I'll be there to support the telephone workers," said UFCW Local 791 member Laurie Comeau-Hunter Mahoney. "We can never repay IBEW and CWA enough for all that they have done for Shaw's workers."
New technologies have led to the rapid growth of wireless telephone and data applications, while wireline telephone service is rapidly declining.
Verizon's top management has built an artificial wall separating wireless and other business operations from wireline, and management is using this wall to block representation in the high growth, high profit segments of the company.
Ten years ago, 70 percent of Verizon employees were represented by a union; today it is less than 30 percent.
Verizon's management has aggressively interfered with the freedom of workers in Verizon Wireless (and other subsidiaries and divisions) to unite with unionized Verizon workers in the CWA and IBEW.
In contrast, CWA has negotiated a card check and neutrality agreement with AT&T, Verizon's major competitor, and as a result, 40,000 AT&T Mobility workers have organized into our Union and are covered by collective bargaining agreements.
Resolved: It must be a top priority to tear down the artificial wall that separates non-union Verizon wireless from the mostly union wireline side of the business. Organizing for this fight is preferable now while our unions are still a strong force within the company.
Resolved: Every CWA local must make it a priority to engage and educate Verizon members and Verizon wireless employees regarding the critical importance of building worker-to-worker unity to achieve collective bargaining to gain a strong voice for the good jobs that our communities need.)
IBEW Local 2222 membership joins CWA Local 1400 and adopts a "Tear Down the Wall" Resolution to expand organizing rights at Verizon
06/04/2010 - 1:00pm
Boston -- Hundreds of telecom workers voted unanimously at IBEW Local 2222's regular membership meeting on Wednesday, June 2 to support a grassroots campaign to make "tearing down the artificial wall separating the non-union Verizon wireless from the mostly union wireline side of the business" a top priority in negotiations for their next contract in 2011.
The resolution was advanced on the floor of the membership meeting by two leaders of the local's new "Futures Committee," which was established to develop new leadership at Local 2222 and within the larger labor movement.
"This is about all of our future as employees of Verizon," Pat Atwell told members. "Verizon is rapidly moving into the high growth, high profit areas of the telecommunications industry. But as they do so, top management is intent on leaving us – the union workers who built this company – behind.
"We can't let that happen," he continued. "Not if we want a future in this company for us, our children and our communities." Atwell, a Verizon splice service technician, works out of the company's Woburn garage.
Chris Morgan, another Verizon technician from South Boston, seconded the resolution. "Five years ago union membership at Verizon was about 70 percent of the company. Today we are less than 30 percent. Nothing is more important than reaching out to Verizon Wireless employees regarding the benefits of collective bargaining. We need to educate them and build unity in our company to achieve a strong voice for the good jobs that our communities need."
A similar resolution was also adopted by CWA Local 1400 at its May executive board meeting in Portsmouth, NH.
(PHOTOS FROM 5-24-10 ARE ON THE 'IN THE SPOTLIGHT!' PAGE)
300 FAMILIES 60 MILES 5 DAYS
MARCH WITH THE SHAW'S WAREHOUSE WORKERS
Shaw's, and their parent company Supervalu, have forced the workers to go on strike since March 7 over unfair demands for workers to bear ALL the burden of increasing health care costs.
On April 1, Shaw's unilaterally cut off the workers' health care.
Workers and supporters are marching to urge Shaw's to come to the bargaining table
with a proposal that keeps good jobs in the community, instead of a regressive proposal that lowers workers' living standards.
WHAT: 300 families, 5-day, 60-mile march for justice at Shaw's WHEN: Kick-off event on Sunday, May 23 at 12 p.m. WHERE: Shaw's Perishable Distribution Center
100 Danton Drive, Methuen, MA 01844 WHO: Striking Shaw's warehouse workers, their families and supporters
STAND WITH SHAW'S WORKERS TO SAVE GOOD JOBS IN THE COMMUNITY!
See below for details on march route.
Contact Megan Pierce at (781) 864-6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can join the march or how you can help the marchers along the way.
Join the striking Shaw's Methuen warehouse workers, their families and supporters, as they begin a 5day, 60miles march from the Methuen warehouse to the State House in Boston.
300 FAMILIES 60 MILES 5 DAYS
DAY 1:Sunday May 23rd-Methuen Warehouse toLawrence Common Start/Rally: 12 p.m. Shaw's Distribution Center (100 Danton Drive,
Methuen) Rally/Stop: 3 p.m. Lawrence Heritage Park (1 Jackson St,
DAY 2:Monday May 24-Lawrence Common toReading on Route 28 Start: 8:00 a.m. at Lawrence Heritage Park (1 Jackson St, Lawrence) Rally: 11:30 a.m. at the Verizon Call Center (20 Shattuck Road,
Andover) Sleep/Stop: 6:30 p.m. at Old South United Methodist Church (6
Salem St, Reading)
DAY 3:Tuesday May 25-Reading to Medford Start: 8:00 a.m. at Old South United Methodist Church (6 Salem St,
Reading) Rally: 12:00 p.m. at Shaw's (99 Main St, Stoneham) Rally: 1:00 p.m. at Stop & Shop (259 Main St, Stoneham) Sleep/Stop: 6:30 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Church (147 High St.,
DAY 4:Wednesday, May 26th-Medford toCambridge Start: 8:00 a.m. at Unitarian Universalist Church (147 High St.,
Medford) Rally: 9:30 a.m. at Shaw's (61 Locust, St, Medford) Rally: 1:30 p.m. at Shaw's (14 McGrath Hwy, Somerville) Rally: 6:30 p.m. at Centro Presente! (17 Inner Belt Road,
Somerville) Sleep/Stop: Temple B'nai B'rith (201 Central Street, Somerville)
DAY 5:Thursday March 27th-March into Boston!
Start: 7:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Community Breakfast at Temple B'nai Brith (201 Central St. Somerville) co-sponsored by the New England Jewish Labor Committee & Temple B'nai Brith Social Action Committee, RSVP at: BostonJLC@aol.com. For questions call 617 227-0888 Start: 9:00 a.m. at Centro Presente! (17 Inner Belt Road,
Somerville) Rally: 12 p.m. at Star Market/Central Square (20 Sidney Street,
Cambridge) March: 1 p.m. to State House (24 Beacon Street, Boston) Rally: 3:00 p.m. at State House March/Rally: 4:00 p.m. at Shaw's Prudential (53 Huntington
New England Jewish Labor Committee
18 Tremont Street, Suite 320
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
LITTLE ROCK — New York-based Verizon Communications Chief Executive Ivan Seidenbergon Thursday faced union workers upset about his company’s pending $8.6 billion sale of rural landline assets to Frontier Communications.
The exchange was at the Peabody Little Rock hotel at Verizon’s annual shareholders meeting, which about 200 people attended. Verizon said last month that it varies the gathering’s location each year to make it convenient for shareholders around the nation.
Several dozen members of the Communications Workers of America union - at the meeting and on the nearby sidewalk in front of the Statehouse Convention Center - spoke out against Verizon layoffs nationwide, as well as those they said will come from the sale of rural phone lines to Frontier.
Verizon, which has about 220,000 employees, laid off 7,413 in the fourth quarter, The Associated Press reported in late January. The company said at the beginning of the year that it expects about 13,000 positions to be cut on the wireline side of the company this year, about the same as in 2009, the AP said.
No mention was made during the meeting of the cuts that Verizon Wireless, which is co-owned by Verizon Communications and Vodafone, has made in Arkansas. About 600 people have lost jobs in the state since Verizon bought Little Rock-based Alltel Corp. in January 2009. (Verizon has said layoffs at the Little Rock headquarters will be less than originally thought.)
Mark Franken of Austin, Texas, one of the protesters outside the meeting, said Frontier’s deal to buy the rural assets in 14 states is bad for Verizon workers and affected communities.
“Anytime these companies merge, they cut jobs,” Franken said.
The protesters - who Franken said were from Arkansas, Texas and the East Coast - also were on hand Wednesday, protesting other issues at Little Rock-based Windstream Corp.’s annual meeting, also in downtown Little Rock.
Union representatives said they also opposed the sale of rural landline assets because Frontier will take on a large amount of debt and, they said, be unable to invest in their broadband network, which is necessary for the economic growth of communities.
Companies that bought lines from Verizon in the past have gone into bankruptcy, they said, such as FairPoint Communications, which bought Verizon lines in New England, as well as Hawaiian Telecom, which bought Verizon lines in Hawaii.
Seidenberg said at the meeting that he wouldn’t address every point on the Frontier deal made by the workers.
“You guys don’t like it; we like it,” he said. “We already know that.”
But he said he thinks affected communities will see better broadband service through the sale, which was announced a year ago and is to close in mid-2010.
Frontier is focused on rural landline service, while Verizon concentrates on urban wireless service, he said.
Seidenberg said Verizon has no plans currently to sell any more of the landlines.
Arkansas is not one of the states affected by the Frontier sale.
All proposals introduced by Verizon shareholders were voted down by majorities. Among the measures were a proposal for a policy to prevent discrimination based on sexual identity; a shareholder right to call special meetings, and a proposal that would tie the vesting or paying out of stock awards with company performance.
Verizon’s board of directors had opposed the proposals.
Several of the proposals achieved more than 30 percent support by shareholders in preliminary results. One, a proposal to require shareholder approval for agreements or policies that would pay benefits for executives after death, garnered more than 40 percent.
The Firefighters’ Pension System of Kansas City, which sponsored the proposal, said executives could pay for such benefits themselves, such as by buying life insurance.
Also at the meeting, Verizon’s 13 directors were elected; Ernst & Young was approved as the company’s independent auditor; and shareholders approved Verizon’s overall pay-for-performance policies.
This article was published today at 3:36 a.m.
Business, Pages 29 on 05/07/2010
What a weekend! 1,200 amazing troublemakers descended on Detroit.
There was so much energy and knowledge on display. You blew us away.
Share your experiences
We're already planning how to make Labor Notes events even stronger. You can help by sharing your experiences with us. Four simple questions; just press reply and send us your thoughts.
What stood out the most to you, good or bad?
Who was the most interesting person you met? Story you heard?
What could you have lived without?
How are you going to use what you learned? What plans are you making with people you met at Labor Notes?
Photos, videos, tweets: lots of action online Click over to labornotes.org to see an amazing set of conference photos from Jim West and Jon Flanders. Check out our Twitter feed or join our Facebook page to see what everyone had to say.
Let's take it further
We're eager to spread the conference spirit and deepen the Labor Notes network through Troublemaker Schools, one-day mini-conferences we're holding throughout the country in between the big national events. Didn't have a chance to make it to the planning session for these schools during the Saturday lunch? Let us know if you want one in your town, especially if your local could host.
This is a link to a YouTube video of our organizing efforts in Maine for T-Mobile last week. Tim Dubnau is our CWA District 1 Organizer (recording the video). Local 1400 Organizer Sheila McGillicuddy can be heard in the background! Great job everyone!
Don Trementozzi, President, CWA Local 1400, has been appointed by Larry Cohen, President of CWA, to serve on the 2010 Appeals Committee at the CWA 72nd Annual Convention. He is one of four Presidents that will serve on this Committee.
*The Appeals Committee is charged with the responsibility of hearing and acting upon any matter that may be referred to the Committee prior to or during the Convention and will make a report to the Convention.*
CWA Takes on
CWA has filed a
the Family and
Act. The class
Districts 1, 2
and 13. (Local
1400 is District
created a number
follow if they
want to be
FMLA, but these
not a part of
the FMLA law.
be used to deny
what Verizon is
doing,” said CWA
50 or more
up to 12 weeks
of unpaid leave
per year for the
adoption of a
child; care of a
or a child under
18 for a serious
of a child over
18 with mental
policies are a
If a worker
know it, the
claim is denied.
If a worker
the full report
on time, because
her doctor was
on vacation or
claim is denied.
physician in the
didn’t spell out
between the two
claim is denied.
was missing from
the claim, for
an item, the
claim is denied.
If a supervisor
makes an error
in reporting a
At Verizon, as
far as FMLA is
a claim is
denied twice, a
worker loses her
in our Local and
locals in New
York and New
don't agree that
we have a
work is being
moved around the
doing our work
in violation of
Verizon has laid
off CWA members
in NY and IBEW
members in NE,
in violation of
Make no mistake
declaring war on
us and we will
all out attack.
We have filed
charges and law
to help leaflet
call the local
Thank you for
A Day in the Life of a Telephone Man
Click the video to play it
For A Heavyweight, Telephone Labor Division
Twenty years ago this December, the large Dorchester, Massachusetts,
clan of Jerry "Judgie" Leary was, like many other telephone
worker families in the Northeast, not exactly flush with cash for Christmas
Jerry and 60,000 other members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers (CWA) had just spent four
grueling, impoverishing months on the picket line battling NYNEX, the
regional telecom giant now known as Verizon.
Memories of that strike include first-time-ever visits to food banks,
the loss of job-based medical benefits because NYNEX cut them off, and
the dismissal, suspension, or arrest of hundreds of union activists
in New York and New England. In Westchester County, New York, a CWA
picket captain with several young children was hit by a car driven by
a scab and died of brain injuries; in New Hampshire, an IBEW striker
was killed in an industrial accident while trying to do an unfamiliar
factory job to feed his family...
Read the full article here
today over 700
up for a joint
IBEW / CWA
The message to
members is we
did not cause
dollar debt and
chaos is the
to the $30
"Hell no! Tell
We have given
and continue to
give them our
blood, sweat and
The U.S. Senate
to pass a health
care reform plan
tax our health
care benefi ts!
This plan would
force Verizon to
cut benefi ts
and shift costs
to workers and
avoid this tax.
TAX on Verizon
$3,200 for early
$ 500 for single
care reform that
lets us keep our
benefi ts. CWA
plan, and the
There’s a better
workers and the
should pay their
fair share too.
benefits is not
trying to save
money by not
plans that they
MEMBER should be
books due to the
plan changes!!! 1-877-489-2367
We filed a Board
Charge on the
Company made to
the HMOs and the
bargain the new
EPO NYNE). We
will continue to
The company has
decided to move
there will be
many HMO plans
that will be
must decide on a
new plan during
If your members
want to review
such as the
Charts, they can
review them and
print them at
or you can
between 8 AM and
You can request
a copy of your
October 19 -
Your members do
not need to do
Want to make
changes for 2010
Have a change to
Need to certify
who is a full
Want to enroll
in a Health Care
Need to update
As described on
page 7 of the
members who have
not made a
within the last
12 months will
be able to
and December 1st
for the new
coverage to be
Again, if your
current plan is
2010 and you
want to keep
plan, you do not
need to do
plan has been
defaulted to the
EPO unless you
enroll in one of
If you should
please do not
hesitate to call
Fairpoint requests are unfair. Concessions topic of talks
When FairPoint purchased
Verizon's landline network in northern New England last
year, opposition from the two unions - Communications
Workers of America Local 1400 and International Brotherhood
of Electrical Workers Local 2320 - played a major role in
earning FairPoint about $350 million in savings on the deal.
"To come back to the people that
really helped you get a much sweeter deal and say, 'We need
concessions now,' I think that's unfair," said Glenn
Brackett, business manager of the IBEW chapter. Click here for the full
workers cool to bid for cuts
Union leaders are unhappy with a
FairPoint Communications Inc. request for concessions as the
company struggles to avoid bankruptcy.
"Nickel and diming the unions is
not a way to get the company back on track," said Don
Trementozzi, president of Communications Workers of America
(CWA) Local 1400. Click here for the full
DoL Review Complete: Team Trementozzi Vindicated
For those of you that are unaware, in September of 2008 there
was an anonymous call to the Department of Labor making
accusations of financial misuse or otherwise of the local's
funds. Since September 2008 the local's records from 2003-2008
have been in the possession and under extensive investigation by
the Department of Labor.
We are pleased to announce that the local's records were
returned to us Friday, October 2, 2009. For the years in
2004, and 2005) the Department of Labor has exonerated the
previous Trementozzi administration of any wrongdoing. The
agents for the Department of Labor advised that even though the
records were in their possession, they did not do an
investigation on years 2006, 2007 or 2008 since the September
2008 caller's accusations were about years 2003-2005.
Boston union workers rally over layoffs
Hundreds of angry union workers
marched through downtown Boston yesterday to protest recent
layoffs at the Hyatt Hotel and planned cutbacks at other firms
Saying they won’t tolerate a
“jobless recovery,” union members rallied first on Boston Common
near the State House, then marched to the Verizon building in
Post Office Square - and then they ducked backed into the
Downtown Crossing area to the Hyatt, which recently fired dozens
of non-union housekeepers in favor of lower-paid subcontracted
Click here for the full
CWA Local 1400 Members -- informational picketing at Andover
CSSC "Honor Our Contract"
Vermont AT&T wireless
phone store workers unite in CWA Local 1400
short campaign, eighty-one AT&T Mobility phone store workers in
eleven Vermont stores have formed a new union with CWA Local 1400.
Click here for the full
Click here for a copy of the
certification from the American Arbitration Association.
Verizon Attempting to Unilaterally
change HMO plans to EPO
I had previously reported that the
company had intended to eliminate most of the HMO’s and they were
going to add a new EPO plan. We notified the company that we do not
believe that they have a right to eliminate these plans and add a
new plan without the union’s agreement. The company has responded
that they have a different view and would not need to obtain the
Union’s agreement or permission. We are now pursuing our legal
We have continued to meet thru the AHRC and the company has taken
some of our suggestions and concerns and adjusted their initial
plans. We now have nine (9) HMO’s that will be offered in 2010. They
Capital District Physicians Health
Blue Alliance NY
Univera Healthcare NY
HIP Health Plan of NY 814
Empire BCBS HMO of NY –( now calling it Anthem EPO NY/NE ) 847
Aetna INC HMO 838
HealthNet of Connecticut 827
Independent Health of Buffalo 817
United Health Care Passport/Harvard Pilgrim
We maintain that they must bargain with us over the new EPO plan
which they list as an HMO and the Company cannot eliminate HMOs
without actively involving the Union in the process. We are pursuing
our legal options but will continue to discuss with the company
adding additional HMOs.
We will keep you informed.
Dennis G. Trainor
Assistant to the Vice President
CWA District One members show strong support
for appointing temporary Senator from Massachusetts
Over 50 members from five Massachusetts
locals attend statehouse hearing
Boston -- CWA District
One members showed strong union support for appointing a temporary
interim Senator to fill Sen. Kennedy's seat at the Massachusetts
legislature's Joint Committee on Election Laws hearing.
"With the passing of Sen.
Ted Kennedy two weeks ago, Massachusetts has only one U.S. senator,"
said Don Trementozzi, President of CWA Local 1400. "This has left
Massachusetts working families with only partial representation
during critical fights in the Senate on health care reform and the
Employee Free Choice Act." CWA Local 1400 members work at Verizon
"We could be just one
vote short of the 60 votes we'll need in the Senate to get
legislation passed this year," said Lynda Nordyke, President of CWA
Local 1302. "It is imperative that we have full representation as
soon as possible." CWA Local 1302 members work at Idearc.
The hearing at the
Massachusetts State House on House Bill 656 packed Gardner
Auditorium. And no group had a larger -- or more visible -- turnout
than CWA, whose members filled an entire section of the room with
their colorful red t-shirts. Other CWA local unions with members
attending the hearing included Local 1300/AEEF, 1301 and 201.
House Bill 656 would not
impact the special election scheduled for January 19, 2010, but it
would allow Massachusetts to have full Senate representation in the
"Every day, U.S. Senators
cast critical votes on issues essential to the people of
Massachusetts," said Paul Bouchard, a CWA District One
Representative and former Lucent Technologies employee. "There are
lots of important issues coming up. All the other states have two
senators for the next six months. We should too."
Impasse on Dress Code Negotiation
Hi All---long after close of
business yesterday the Company sent an email indicating that
they were declaring impasse in the Business and Workplace Attire
negotiations. Their plan is to impose the Workplace Attire
policy immediately with communication with inside employees
beginning today and enforcement of the guidelines beginning
Monday, August 24, 2009.
On the Business Attire Policy the
will establish accounts with the Company's vendor for the
affected employees, but have not yet stated a time line for
ordering the Verizon branded shirts.
CWA legal will file a board charge
today over this implementation. We do not believe that we are
at impasse and Legal will make our position known in the board
charge process. As more information becomes available it will be
As always, if you have questions,
please call. Lisa
Elisa Riordan, Area Director CWA 80 Pine Street
New York, New York