Article 43


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.


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