by Derek Scarlino/Love and Rage
Heading into its fourth week, the Verizon Wireless worker strike has become a pivotal point in the legacy of labor movements in the United States. On Friday, Verizon offered its “best and last offer” to union negotiators with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
The unions rejected the offer, here’s why according to CWA Local 2108:
Many of you have asked why we didn’t take the deal offered from the company yesterday. The following is the reason. It is a list of bullet points put together by the bargaining team.
Specifics from yesterday’s Proposal
· Job Security
Job security would remain in place for those hired prior to 2003 provided the union agrees to increase the mileage people can be moved from 35 to 50 miles, and force transfers requiring home relocation, permanent transfers requiring home relocation and the company wants complete control over where and when they offer a Special Enhanced Income Plan, which will lead to those jobs being performed by contractors
· Significant retiree healthcare increases.
· New hires would not receive any retiree healthcare at all.
· 11 Centers are still on the list to be closed, shipping people up to 150 miles away from their current location.
· Freezing the Pensions, tying the 2016 Mortality Table to the Pension fund from this point on
· Changes to the healthcare plan, including deductibles
· Introducing a Formulary to the healthcare. The company will decide which drugs you can get based on their cost, regardless of their effectiveness or your doctor’s recommendation
· Call sharing that does not promise to maintain existing centers and gives the company complete freedom to route calls however they choose
· Increasing the flexibility of their ability to send calls to contractors, which positions our members for a surplus or layoff
· There will be no Corporate Profit Sharing in 2016, paid out in 2017
· There will be no retro pay for the last year of working without a contract
· Company is trying to sell this agreement by offering 400 jobs without any promises of keeping current levels of employees
· Even though the company has modified sending people out of town for 60 days, the intent is clear to be able to have a traveling work force in the states that are clustered together
Issues the Union has brought up
· They have not addressed any of the forced overtime issues at all
· They have not addressed our issues with Electronic Monitoring and Evaluative Observations
In a previous article, Love and Rage covered why the bargaining sessions had become contentious for numerous issues. Earlier in April, Verizon and union representatives met to discuss each sides most pressing issue. For Verizon, it was medical benefits. While the unions remedied those demands, Verizon never recanted several other issues that they agreed to.