Early in March I headed to Chicago, as a member of The CWA District 4 Bargaining Team, to begin negotiations with at$t . Contract expiration was a mere six weeks away, we knew there was a lot of work to be done! The Team labored long hours talking with the company and in strategy meetings. The company continued to stonewall us at every turn. Now, months past the April 14 expiration date we are still without a tentative agreement. at$t has ceased to have any meaningful discussion with the Union at this point.
Organized Labor is currently facing very difficult times, not just in our industry but in many industries nationwide. We are battling our employers and we are battling our country for our rights, for our work and for a decent daily living. Over the years CWA has negotiated many good contracts with benefits and economic achievements. Today we are fighting just to maintain jobs that, with ever increasing frequency, are being off shored and outsourced. CWA Members are the backbone of this company and we deserve a contract that says at$t respects us and our work! What we must do is continue to mobilize and challenge at$t for OUR fair share in OUR workplace. We must demand that they resume serious discussion at the bargaining table! This isn’t going to be easy by any means! I know that CWA Members are definitely up to this task! at$t will not conquer and divide us for we will fight one day longer to be one day stronger!
Within the last months we have seen changes in our Legislature here in Michigan as well as across the US. Hopefully we can start moving forward again. We cannot give credence to false information and let our fears run wild! Voters turned out in record numbers during this year’s mid term elections. Now we need to pay attention and hold our Legislators accountable. Let those officials know that we are watching. Let them know that we will not allow them to pass bills that take away years and years of hard won gains. We as Americans must be cautious to not let those we elect take from us all that has been accomplished through years of collective bargaining.
I want to thank all of you for your support and dedication to our great Union! Remember, we are all Brothers and Sisters of CWA! We are Union Strong!