CWA Local 7800

July 2013

This report will basically be a summary and very brief. Since there is no membership meeting this month I will roll most of the information into the August report.

The first big news is the Local had an arbitration against CenturyLink and the arbitrator ruled in our favor on all counts. In one aspect it was a bit ridiculous. We had to arbitrate it but on the other hand, the matter is now resolved. Of course it took several years to get to the answer but we did. The arbitration stemmed around the company holding investigatory meetings with employees and the employees requesting that union stewards be present in the room. The company felt that being on the phone was present enough… we disagreed. The arbitrator ruled present means present… I know all the occupational folks will understand this. Not why so many levels of management could not. It also found the company violated the Weingarten rights of two employees.

MV Bargaining is underway and not much to report except it seems extremely hard to get the company to commit to bargaining dates. We did meet once for a couple days and we reached some agreement on some issues but still have a long way to go. We also have had to reschedule our next meeting (company request) and postpone it until the middle of August.

The Local did participate in the Seattle Pride Parade and we had a great turnout. We handed out flyers regarding bargaining at CenturyLink and asked customers if they have to call the office that they should ask for a union represented employee. This was the first time all of Labor walked together under the MLKCLC banner so it was kind of nice to share this with our brothers and sisters in the labor movement.

Norm Kanzaki and I met with senior management twice in Construction and Engineering to ask questions and share our concerns on the continued use of contractors. We clearly have a fundamental disagreement on what work we can and should be doing versus what is being outsourced. We are concerned moving forward regarding the fiber builds and other project related work. The 2nd meeting we attended was actually organized by Local 7803. We left that meeting with an agreement that the company would identify three upcoming projects to assign to represented workers and do an evaluation and break down of costs to see at the end of the day from a cost perspective if the true cost is cheaper with our represented folks or with contractors. Norm and a representative from 7803 will be following up in late July, so we will keep you all posted.

The Unemployment Law Project had a fund raiser and the Local donated $300.00 We also asked the CWA State Council to donate $200.00, for a combined donation of $500.00. We have referred dozens of people over there for assistance with unemployment claims and they have been very helpful addressing the ongoing issues of MV drivers who temporarily can’t drive due to medical reasons and the laws governing driving. They are a great resource for our members and one that we continually rely on, so it makes sense to donate.

More to come in my August report.

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