CWA Local 7800

March 2012


It is Super Tuesday as I write this and I suppose at the end of the day the Republicans will have a nominee for President…. Well maybe not but soon they will turn from attacking themselves which they have been doing a marvelous job at to attacking President Obama. I know we have many members of this local that vote conservative and many that vote liberal. I understand the opposing views but when it comes to the economy and jobs I must say the Democrats are much more supportive of working people and the people we represent. If you’re concerned about gun rights and less government in your personal business then the Republicans are your choice. But honestly what have the democrats done in the last decade to restrict gun rights on any level. Nothing, It’s just smoke and mirrors. The republicans in the meantime are very much putting themselves in people’s personal lives and frankly it is getting troublesome how religion is playing such a huge role in our government today. I’m not mocking religion and personally believe that is a great thing but I also believe our country was founded to keep religion out of government and to keep government out of religion. The house has been in control for almost 2 years now and really what jobs bill have they produced? The President had a jobs bill that would have put millions back to work rebuilding the country’s infrastructure that is badly needed for transportation of goods, it also could be improving and expanding the country’s telecommunications infrastructure to bring the country up to speed with competing nations and the house has done nothing but put roadblocks up at every turn.
The Democrats understand that while the economy is improving (and it is) that many folks are still struggling and many are still on unemployment and need those protections but the conservatives don’t think so. Even in one state they have a measure to lower the minimum wage from $7.50 to $4.50. Is that a jobs creation bill or just a back door attempt for business owners to continue the assault on workers? I find it somewhat disgusting. What can one do if working for 8 hours only to make $36.00? Let’s assume they take $6.00 in taxes that leaves them $30.00 a day to live on which equates to about $600 a month. Could you live on that? I will say not without some assistance from either the state or federal government. So in the end the people will be supporting those folks with tax dollars. Isn’t that what the conservative movement is all about to prevent that? But currently they are doing everything they can to keep people in that position. It is time to say no to this. It is time to say keep moving forward and not backwards. You can say this at the ballot box and vote against that plan.

At CenturyLink we have had surpluses announced of 50 people in 3 job titles it appears the Supply Attendant will be resolved with one person doing and ESVPP and the other retiring. We still have a Data Specialist and 46 SDC’s in a hard surplus but it appears a few have taken STLA and a couple have taken management positions. We will know more on that front come the 14th when we see how many are electing to VSPP. Currently there are 22 SDC’s who have expressed wanting to leave under VSPP but that number could change before the deadline.
I am hopeful no employees will be separated that don’t want to be but also not very optimistic that will happen. But maybe we will get lucky. I worked with the company to allow several agencies come in to talk to impacted folks about several different government programs available for folks and those classes are scheduled for the 7th. Hopefully there will be a lot of information for folks. I know there are lots of opportunities that folks can take advantage of.

We also will be scheduling site visits hopefully to all of the CenturyLink locations in the next couple months as well including Bellingham and the Peninsula so I look forward to meeting with everyone and hearing their concerns and thoughts. Don’t be surprised if we ask folks to join one our committees… just saying...Lol
At MV we are close to having a tentative agreement for the newly represented people as we keep saying for the last several months but honestly almost there…. We are down to a sentence I believe. Might have that resolved by the end of the day. We also met with folks on Saturday the 3rd and it was not all that well attended. On one side that is good because typically more folks come when there are issues in the workplace but on the other it could mean we are not doing enough to get participation and solidarity amongst the bargaining unit. We hope to do some onsite visits during working hours in the coming months and try to reach out to the many different ethnicities that are in the workgroups.

I had about a dozen grievance meetings as well during the month and had some success and some failure… I wish we could win them all but sometimes that just does not happen. Several of them I am still waiting for responses from the company.

We had an all stewards meeting last month and we did new stewards training. I hope to do both again in the June time frame as we get set for Bargaining at CenturyLink and get full swing into the election season. The Stewards training was new material provided by the district and after the training Craig and I kind of thought the grievance piece was pretty short so moving forward we may have to make some changes in that regard. I want to thank the new stewards who attended and look forward to working with them in the future.
Talk to you all again soon!!




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