CWA Local 7800

October 2011

CWA LOCAL 7800 PRESIDENT’S REPORT OCTOBER 2011

Submitted by Michael Lynch

Labor and working families are under heavy attack. Unions have never been attacked before the way they are today. In Congress, State and Nationwide in the United States have pensions and health care plans at this point that will never be touched regardless of the economy. My question is why do working families like us who have worked hard all our lives and paid into a system and plan to retire one day and now realized that day may never come. Due to missed management of our country and now those of us that have paid in the most will now get close to little or nothing. Some Politicians are trying to balance the budget off the state workers back; after workers have already suffered from cuts and givebacks. I wonder how many of these politicians would take a pay freeze, not to mention a pay cut and how much of a cut? The Military is raising the retirement from 20 years now to 25 years. In Ohio SB5 did away with bargaining rights for public workers and the labor community collected over 1 million signatures to put on the ballot for the November elections to overturn SB5 that would take away collective bargaining rights to state workers, they only needed 250 thousand signatures.

Right wing conservatives continue their attack on the American middle class. State voter suppression related legislation restricts the access to the ballot box in three principal ways, 1) strict ID laws, 2) restrictions on 3rd party voter registration, and 3) changes in early voting and registration. These are all designed to disenfranchise African American, Hispanic, women and student voters. Tactics such as this by right wing conservatives in state government are reminiscent of “Jim Crow” and cannot stand in a modern free, democratic society. In keeping with the Voter Suppression resolution passed at the 2011 National CWA Convention, the Human Rights department seeks to implement a bold plan to engage CWA members and around the country in the vital fight against voter suppression. To develop 1 statewide team of CWA activists in key states and congressional districts to serve as poll workers, poll watchers, and door knockers informing members of certain communities of their right to vote. These teams will also serve the union’s GOVT program the week of the election. HB194 new voting rules, if a voter goes to wrong voting poll the workers there do not have to direct the voter to the correct voting station. Some states now have shorter time frame to have ballots cased and counted.

Jobs are the crisis in America. Our economy will not recover until people get work. With the help of the community, the message we’re going to send to elect officials in your state and across America. Because with our continued jobs crisis, it’s their job to get America back to work-not sit on the sidelines. During the week of October 10th thru 16th working families across the country are organizing and joining hundreds of local actions-from vigils, to protest outside job-sourcing corporations, to press events. We’re coming together to demand bold action to create jobs, starting with the immediate passage of President Obama’s American Jobs Act. Over 25 million people are looking for jobs in the US.

Speaking of saving jobs, the Save America’s Postal Service Rally was attended by our Local. On Tuesday September 27, 2011 there was a rally for the postal workers held across the state, in Bremerton was Congressman Dicks, in Everett was Congressman Larsen, in Mercer Island was Congressman Reichert, in Seattle Congressman McDermott, in Shoreline Inslee and Tacoma Congressman Smith. The Bush Group wants the US Postal Services to pay back in 10 years, which was to be paid back in 75 years. They also want to do away with the Saturday delivery of mail.

The tri-state meeting at Cannon beach went well. The class on how to build an Effective Local Safety Committee was good. I brought some extra copies of the manuals and have given them to Terry Mitchell since she is our local Safety Committee Chair. Rick Sorenson is going to do some training coming up. There was a workshop on “Incident & Accident Investigation” from the Tony Mazzocchi Center. Some of the tasks in the work shop: No blame Incident Investigation, The importance of investigating and tracking Near-miss Events, A system approach to Safety and Tracking recommendations (action items) from investigations to completion. The read out on what’s happening in some of the other locals was about the same, be it AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier or DEX. One of the main concerns is CenturyLink and the use of contractors. We have been trying but still have not been able to get a list of contractors working within our local RCA.

Enrollment for Health Care is next month in November for CenturyLink. The Company should be putting something out, it’s very important to be on board because we are hearing there are some changes but have not heard what they are as of yet.
 

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