Article 43

 

About Article 43

Saturday, January 21, 2006

CWA’s Dark Side

CWA President, Stung by Kelber’s Criticism, Expelled Him From Union Without a Hearing

CWA President Morton Bahr upheld the expulsion of Harry Kelber, a long-time labor activist, from his local union, the New York Typographical Union No. 6, a.k.a. CWA Local 14156, without advance notice or a hearing and in clear violation of the national union’s constitution.

Article XX, Section 2 Charges (a) of the CWA Constitution states: “Charges made against a member of the union or an officer of the local shall be in writing, signed and sworn to by the accuser.”

Local 6 officials have publicly admitted they never gave Kelber advance notice, either in writing or orally, that he was being expelled for delinquency in dues payments.

“When I suddenly realized I was four months in arrears and called the union to pay my back dues, I was told I was expelled from the union. I was never given formal charges or called before a local trial court, as required by the local constitution,” Kelber says."They would not accept my offer to pay the back dues to restore my membership, nor would they give me a printout of my dues payments to the union from January 1954 to September 1965 and from 1991 to March 2001.”

Opposing Kelber’s request for reinstatement, Bahr said: “As you have been previously advised by both me and Vice President Boarman, the Local’s by-laws require that in order to be reinstated as an active member, you must be employed within the jurisdiction of the local.”

“Bahr knew that CWA and Local 6 had been accepting my dues payments of $26.67 a month for years as a member of the printers’ union in a category called ‘Not at the Trade,’ Kelber says. “I was asking to be reinstated on those same terms, not as a full-time printer.”

Bahr’s decision to expel him, says Kelber, was based on false information from Local 6 officers, which he accepted as fact, without giving him an opportunity to respond. “Why was I denied a hearing?” he asks.

There are reasons why Bahr would like to damage Kelber’s reputation. It was Kelber, who was the first labor journalist to expose a scandal involving 27 current and former national union officers, including Bahr, who, as directors of Union Labor Life Insurance Co. (ULLICO), approved an insiders’ stock trading scheme in which many of them profited for a total of more than $7 million. Bahr, under pressure, had to return more than $24,000 in profits to the insurance company.

Kelber has ridiculed Bahr’s defense of the AFL-CIO’s undemocratic convention voting rules, by which incumbent members of the federation’s executive council are re-elected again and again, without opposition. Bahr, the AFL-CIO’s point man on this issue, repeatedly argues that the current voting procedures are fair and representative, while opposing the democratic “one delegate, one vote"rule. “As my student, Morty Bahr learned very little from my lectures on union democracy,” Kelber says.

But what really angered Bahr and other AFL-CIO leaders was Kelber’s publication of a new pamphlet, ”10 WAYS TO REFORM AN UNDEMOCRATIC AFL-CIO.”” Here, for the first time, was not only criticism of the AFL-CIO leadership, which they never bothered to respond to, but a plan for reform which it was hard to ignore.

Many union members see Bahr’s decision as a crude attempt to banish Kelber from the labor movement in the hope that as an “outsider,” his influence as a critic of the AFL-CIO leadership would diminish. If the expulsion stands, it will certainly have a chilling effect on rank-and-file activists, they say.

Why did the CWA screw a bunch of AT&T TECHNICIANS in 2004, and AGAIN IN 2006?

SOURCE

AFL-CIO’S DARK PAST

Posted by Elvis on 01/21/06 •
Section About Article 43
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Apalling Practices Of The CWA and AT&T - Occupational Recalls

For those whose careers at AT&T were RUINED when Article 43 unionized most of the former TCG CNRP technicians under CWA’s umbrella - it may be another dark day - at least if you had hopes of ever being recalled.

When companies set themselves up for sale like BELLSOUTH may be doing now - they trim costs to make themselves look attractive to prospective buyers.  Headcount is always first on the list.  That’s a big reason why all the layoffs the past few years.

Now that most TELECOM MERGERS (minus BELLSOUTH and Sprint LTD) are over, and the DUOPOLY of Verizon and AT&T control US Telecom, the plan now may turn to capital spending and EXPANSION, as telcos accelerate the installation of FIBER OPTIC LINES in every home, replace circuit based switches with VOIP and wireless switches, while they compete and LOBBY against cable companies for our telephone, internet and TV business - as the nextgen fiber and wireless networks - where IP rules - replaces the antiquated copper access loop, while the internet grows and becomes it’s backbone.

As hinted in the new CONTRACT with the union, rumor has it AT&T may soon begin recalling layed off technicians - but not us OLDER, experienced folks who were secretly LEFTOUT of Article 43 negotiations almost two years ago. The occupational recalls will be through ATS (AT&T Transfer System for Occupational Employees - a joint effort of the CWA, IBEW and AT&T.) Those of us that got screwed with Article 43 aren’t in it, therefore not on the recall list.  People who work for staffing agencies contracted to AT&T may get rehired under the contract from a different set of rules, so hopes for them may not be in vain.

WHATEVER THEIR REASONS ARE, the CWA didn’t just abandon us with Article 43 bargaining - they made sure we DON’T HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY to get recalled either. You can check by contacting AT&T’s HR people. And if that doesn’t burn you up, also note recalls may include former union members who took VOLUNTARY BUYOUTS with lucrative (102 weeks salary) VTP (Voluntary Termination Pay) packages up to 36 months ago.

Even after SBC’S ANNOUNCEMENT TO HIRE LAYED OFF AT&T WORKERS last April, the CWA remains silent to our issue.

I emailed RALPH MALY, the CWA official who let us die in 2004, and MORTY BAHR’S successor - LARRY COHEN - CWA’s new president.  Neither have afforded the courtesy of a reply.

JANUARY 23, 2006 POST
CORPORATE UNIONISM

Posted by Elvis on 01/16/06 •
Section Dealing with Layoff • Section About Article 43
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Monday, September 06, 2004

Who was left out of Article 43?

In July 2004, Article 43 of the 2003 AT&T/CWA contract officially unionized AT&T LNS (Local Network Services - formerly TCG, a CLEC they ACQUIRED in 1998) non-represented techs (like me), and existing CWA represented Comm techs of AT&T into a new CWA represented job classification - network specialist.

In May 2004 - some LNS techs realized their colleagues got union welcome packages, but they (we) didn’t. Claiming to be unaware of this - CWA union officers - specifically RALPH MALY of CWA NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS in Washington DC, ROY HEGENBART, Local 3250 President, and other officials - verbally blasted AT&T for hiding techs from bargaining.  Over the next few weeks the missed techs were identified by the union, signed union cards, received CWA welcome packages, and notified by the CWA of status as CWA represented techs.  We proudly wore our new red CWA shirts and hats in solidarity.

Those same CWA officials may have deliberately misled and/or used us for undisclosed or BAD FAITH bargaining, while at the same time continuing their empty assurances that AT&T won’t ever get away with hiding techs from bargaining - because on August 31, 2004 - the same techs were silently (no press release or internal memo) notified of their LAYOFF from AT&T. Many had over 20 years EXPERIENCE, were OVER 40 years old, and above average performers.

CWA officials - Mr Maly, Mr Hegenbart, and others contacted - haven’t returned phone calls, or emails, or provide any representation to us new members.

As it turns out - the CWA treated us with more disregard and disrespect than AT&T did.

Since when does a union turn it’s back - or deceive - like that?

READ MORE...
Posted by Elvis on 09/06/04 •
Section About Article 43
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