CWA: No Strike at AT&T, Yet

By  |  Saturday, February 7, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Barganing continued up until the 11:59pm ET deadline, however no deal has been reached. AT&T and the CWA have agreed to “stop the clock,” which means the current contract will remain in effect while the two sides continue to talk.

Updates throughout the day seem to indicate the two sides are still quite far apart and nowhere near close to a settlement. “The reality is there are more unresolved issues than those resolved,” the union is claiming.

It appears that AT&T is not budging much. The union is also claiming intimidation, which it posted to its front page over the weekend. Among the allegations are threats of forced resignation or firing, and intimidation over showing solidarity with the union.

AT&T has been all but silent on the issue. The company has not made any public statements on the matter, so there’s no word on the carrier’s point of view.

In any case, the WSJ story from Wednesday certainly doesn’t help their cause. If you can spend millions or even billions on old Verizon Wireless assets, you can certainly spend more on paying your employees better.

That’s going to be a hard one to explain.

More as we get it.



204 Comments For This Post

  1. pittsburghhoagie Says:

    AT&T doesn’t care about the workers. They are a greedy corporation who puts the $$ before workers at every chance.

  2. NJerz Says:

    Profits, profits, profits… they are making SOOO much $$ every month, over $10 Billion profit in 2008. At&t can afford to pay their employees double what they do and still make $$, even through the recession. The cell phone industry is doing better than ever, and they will keep growing no matter what. At&t needs to give in ASAP because they will make a very bad impression on their customers if there is a strike.

  3. Kareena Says:

    I truly believe a strike is not what *anyone* wants, be they employee, management OR union. Its not in our best interest, or AT&T’s and it’s not even in the Union’s best interest because if they make us unhappy, they just might lose our business. We are the Union’s customers after all.

    Though we will probably have to make some sacrifices, with the economy the way it is the union is trying to work out the best deal it can for us- especially when AT&T posted a great 4th quarter financial report.

    Yes, I am thankful for my job there, and I surely don’t want to lose it. But sometimes you do have to stand up for what’s right.

    This doesn’t mean that is we strike I won’t be looking for another job. Actually I have an interview for another call center this week. I need my wages- but you won’t see me crossing the picket line.

  4. at&t rep Says:


  5. AT&T employee Says:

    If you are not happy with your pay/benefit. Quit and seek a better job elsewhere! The US unenployment is reaching 10% and rising by the day, and there are enough people will be happy to replace you. Dont let the door hit you on the way out.

  6. Redneck Mark Says:

    The union is quite brash with the misinformation they spread. Their web site fails to mantion that the union negotiators walked away from the table today around 2:30. Instead, the CWA website says that they remain ready to meet and negotiate at any time. It makes you wonder about other ways the union uses deception, lies, intimidation and other questionable methods to get its way.

    Look at what the unions managed to do to auto manufacturing in the U.S. American workers are making good cars in this country … but they are non-union workers in Japanese-owned factories. Greedy union bosses are a major reason that Ford, GM and Chrysler are imploding. The common thread between the three of them — greedy union bosses.

  7. Rick Says:

    People always say look at what the Unions have done to the auto industry, It is not the Unions doing anything to anyone, it is greed at the top. Corporations have this need to always make more and more regardless of where that more comes from. When CEO's with no investment into a company are making millions and millions of dollars, and the company is making a profit then there is enough to go around when it comes to a living wage an benefits. The constant grab into the workers pockets is nuts and it is that greed that is destroying our country. If your company is making 10 Billion a year maybe it will be just fine if you do not take anything from the workers that made that money and you make 10 billion again next year and not 15 billion stolen from the pockets of the workers. The tree only has so much fruit to harvest? You don't see these upper management people cutting their pay and huge bonuses when they take away from the workers now do you?

  8. Jac Says:

    The union is just blowing smoke and AT&T knows it….they won’t strike and they are being dared!!! And besides, what AT&T decides to do with its profits is their business…they are in the business to grow and earn a ROI. If you don’t like the pay, then move on!!!

  9. Marshfield Says:

    Hey, what in the world does buying up Verizon assets have to do with wage increases? Buying assets improves your ability to grow the business. Wage and benefit increases are increasing the expense side of the business. The two have nothing to do with each other. Please don’t imply that they do.

  10. Chancho Says:


    Thank you for reminding us that capitalism is not dead!( yet )….


    You are right on target. It is At&t’s money to do whatever they want to with. If they want blow it on a bunch of Verizon equipment, useless spectrum, or Push To Talk… so be it. If they want to not give any of their management a raise but offer their bargained employees an 850 dollar lump sum and a 2% increase over the next four years, that is their business too. If people disagree with it they can end their relationship with them, whether it be as employee, customer or both. If I am dating someone and I don’t like the way she is treating me after I have put all this hard work into the relationship, I don’t sit down at the table with her and try to negotiate a contract for another four years… I quit the relationship…. and that is what I suggest to those that don’t like the way things are.. quit… I am sure you were looking when you found this job… quit and go look some more..

  11. ATT Rep Now Says:

    I’m wondering a couple of things: Even WITH a union AT&T’s payscale is sub-par to Verizon, Sprint, and even Alltel – what does that tell you? Even WITH a union, AT&T’s health care coverage and 401K matching is equal to or less than some of the other major carriers – how did that happen?

    Yes, we can seek other employment, and AT&T can hire those who desperately need a job at a wage and benifit level that is far less than the industry standard – because if they replace me when I strike those they replace me with will be non-union, and they’ll be desperate.

    The big question is this: why should a giant like AT&T be below the industry standard? Because in today’s climate they can be?

    I’m thinking if we don’t fight this fight now, that is exactly what will happen. AT&T has already shown that its more than willing to take advantage of the current economic crisis in this country, despite the fact that an economic crisis for AT&T is non-existant, they are in fact thriving. And attitudes like this – let’s trade in our work force for a cheaper one because the workforce as a whole is desperate – will do more harm to the current economic situation than good. Taking away decent-paying jobs held mostly by skilled but uneducated workers is a bad thing for everybody.

  12. Tigger Says:

    I work for AT&T and resigned from the union because they are barking up the wrong tree.
    In my first year with AT&T I made well over $50,000 because I did my job and did it well.
    Our benefits cost a third what state worker benefits cost me for a quarter of the benefits.
    When that cwa union can pay my house payment, car payment, feed my kids, etc. Then
    I’ll talk to them about “making my life better.” until then, I’m going to work at the best damn
    Job I’ve ever had.

  13. Chancho Says:

    It is funny that two of the three companies you mentioned are either being bought by another carrier or are sinking fast.You might see it as taking advantage of the situation because you can’t see, feel, or spend the layoff you won’t receive by the company making wise decisions as to how they spend their money. You do know that we are in a a recession right. And in a recession people are more careful as to how they spend their money? But you need to remember that the amount you are getting paid right now is the amount that the union you are so devoted to agreed upon four years ago. And as a bargained for employee AT&T is not allowed to give you any more than what is in the contract. Wait there is more; AT&T also can’t give you anymore of a raise if you are great employee than the dead beat of a co-worker next to you that does a poor job everyday,because you are in a bargained for position. Your union works hard to make sure that everyone gets treated the same, not what they deserve. So while you are being so loyal to this union and buying into their mantra be sure you are seeing both sides of the coin. But back to these other industry leaders you mentioned. Have you noticed Sprint has their CEO doing their commercials? They can’t even hire actors for them…look up their ticker symbol “S”. Their stock is 2.47. On another note, I would much rather have people working for me that appreciate the opportunity, or as you would call “desperate” than someone with an “entitlement” attitude like so many of the socialist kool-aid drinkers out there.

  14. Rick Says:

    Every work place has a dead beat worker so that lame old saying is ridiculous. If you think that a company like ATT (And I worked there for 7 years Ameritech/SBC/at&t} is going to give you more than the contract if it's not there, or better benny's than the contract allows, your off your rocker. This is a company that has been laying off people since the early 2000s while making profits of 2 to 3 billion a quarter. Ed Whitacre did not reduce his pay in what he claimed were hard economic times now did he? If we had less greedy and more ethical businesses we would not need unions. And as far as Unions if you look at how out of control the large Unions have become you would see that the average worker is stuck in the middle of a pile of crap. The CWA is a joke and fights for things like a drunk in a bar fight. They blame the membership for not getting involved but the leadership does not promote involvement because many do not agree with the way the Union is run. There is not happy medium because the fight is gone on the union side and ethics are gone on the business side.

  15. Bill Says:

    The fact of the matter is that AT&T epitomizes corporate America, and is quickly showing itself as not only a leader in the wireless industry, but also the clear leader in corporate greed. How has At&t become so successful? On the backs of its employees, of course. A company is only as good as its people. If At&t thinks it can deliver industry leading customer service with a revolving door employment policy, maybe it should take a look at why Sprint is failing. If At&t truly wants to be a leader in the industry, the BE the leader in the industry. Pay your employees well. Make them happy and proud to work for a generous company. Make At&t THE best job, the one job everyone hopes to get. We could have a talented, skilled, dignified, and happily working middle class again if At&t and the rest of corporate America would wake up and realize that when everyone has a good paying, dignified job, America works!

  16. Spike Says:

    all i know is, if you suck at one point u wont succeed. You have a job, when u applied for the position in At&T the employer asked you why you want to work here. .. and for sure what you told him/her is “because i want to grow with this company, i am very hard working and will do anything to help the company grow” all thos crap.. and now,that the organization is having problems with their budget, money, you will backstab them,, don’t you think its way to pathetic? well my opinion is, i worked with at&t for 2 years and all is good, i have money on my pocket, i have saved some for rainy days, and i am doing something productive everyday. period…..

  17. Rick Says:

    After you have been there about 5 years then come back and post and we will see how you feel. They always use the employee to increase profits. Would you feel so happy if I lived next to you and if I didn't think my income was enough so I came over and took from you and my other neighbors to increase my income? It is no different than when a company is making huge profits and the CEO wants more next year so instead of being a good business man he takes the thief method. Only for him it is legal, for you it is not. When will it be enough taken from those that do the work, when you have to buy your goods from the company owned store like it was before unions? Will they have enough profits when you live in a home owned by the company? How much can they keep taking back to increase profits. They are stealing from you and me and you think because you never had a job that pays what your making now that you are doing so good? The gap between the workers and the management/wealthy has gotten so out of control it is crazy. They are doing nothing more than redistributing wealth from your pockets to theirs. It's not capitalism, it's legalized theft and strong arming of others.

  18. Payday Says:

    AT&T is also screwing low level managers like me. We took a huge pay cut this year, in the form of a ridiculous quota that no one will ever hit. Pretty soon, they will have to hire the dregs of the industry that now work for companies like PAETEC. Our management is a joke! Our channel is run by a bunch of frumpy housewives who would be better off staying home and popping out a couple of ugly babies.

  19. Payday Says:

    Hey Spike: I bet you really saved a lot for a rainy day in two years! It’s people like you who make it impossible for us to get ahead at all.

  20. REP Says:


  21. Rick Says:

    Speaking of health care. Did you know that while crying poor on healthcare costs at&t took over a 100 million in subsidies from the govt towards health care costs? A company that pays crap for taxes in this country and makes billions each quarter is taking subsidies while asking employees to contribute? Our govt is a joke for handing them anything. The CWA is a joke in the way they organize and lead as well. at&t has cut more jobs and also lowered wages through CWA approved jobs such as the prem tech position that I am surprised they are not down to paying minimum wage yet. Why do the rest of us need to subsidies health care for a company that is making any profit?

  22. Dude Says:

    Hey “REP” guess what? The union prevented AT&T from giving higher raises. The union is the one capping wages. The union is fighting only for themselves and their union bosses. Look, I used to be in the CWA at AT&T. I was opposed to it from the get go. They used shitty tactics to lure new hires into voting for the union telling them that they would get unlimited raises, and free health care with no deductible, and all the candy and soda they wanted…but guess what? The union reps lied.

    I’m usually for union representation, but the CWA doesn’t do jack shit for the employees of AT&T. I worked for AT&T Wireless and Cingular before the CWA came in and it was FANTASTIC! Moral was high, people liked coming to work, people got big bonuses, and raises based on the work they did and not some “make everything fair even for that retarded dude who can’t do anything right” standard.

    Seriously, you’re going to strike? You don’t need to earn the money you’re getting paid? All of you people bitching about it, you don’t need this money? If Verizon is so much better, go there! If Sprint is so much better, go there! I’m thankful I have a job that pays me a decent wage. Am I getting paid as much as the CEO? Nope, because I’m not the CEO. Get over it. If you want to get paid as much as the CEO…work harder. I see it everyday, lazy people doing the very minimum to keep their quality scores up…85% of the reps in this center are terrible, and they don’t deserve raises. They treat customer’s like shit, they talk like morons who didn’t pass the 4th grade, they have no idea what they’re doing, and they pass people off to other departments for no reason. You wonder why Verizon and Sprint are better regarded in terms of their customer service? Because their reps don’t sound like idiots and they actually try to be helpful.

    Do better.

    Get this strike thing over with already. I’m sick of it and I want to go on a vacation with my family.

  23. Bedazed Says:

    Have any of you looked at what benfits you have compaired to T-mobile or Verzion? Have you not been listing to the news? Do you not realize the thousands of people losing there jobs that will have to turn off services because they do not have jobs to pay for services.

    So you will have a job that will have to lay you off because they are paying you a higher wage and no customers. You have to plan for the future I would rather stay with what I have then to ask for more and be laid off. The company is working towards a plan not to lay anyone off.

    All companies have had to make changes in wages and health benfits! Do some home work before you complain,

    You get a raise with out it being based on your performance. Most of you don’t do the job and complain all the time.

    Verzion and T-mobile rasise are based on there performance. I would like to see the union change the raise clause based off performance how many of you think you would get a raise then?

    It is best to think first before you open you mouth. So if you are not happy with your job… get a new for the CWA its a joke they take your money each month for what?

  24. ATT Rep Now Says:

    I’m so sick of hearing how the union gets us raises even if we’re lazy slobs who “don’t do the job”. In addition to the union, we have a little thing called quotas, and if quotas fail to be met, an employee is gone – union or no.

    And I’m sick of hearing how AT&T should behave as though there suffering the fate of so many other companies out there – they aren’t, not by a long shot. And as for the cell phone industry being hit hard by the recession – so far, it hasn’t shown any sign of that and experts predict that it won’t.

    This economy will continue to nose-dive if the financial giants attempt to use the current climate as an excuse to pay thier employees less and less. That puts less money in the employees pockets, thus less into the economy.

    I just don’t get all you people who feel that we should bend over and take it. Part of the reason I signed on with AT&T was their financial strength. I see no reason to act as though the company is suffering when it isn’t, and I absolutely fail to see reasoning behind the “come join us here at the bottom” attitudes.

    Yes, in today’s market AT&T could replace me for probably pennies on the dollar. But if we let that happen, then a standard will be set. A few years from now, when this crisis is over, there will be a huge hole where there once were decent-paying jobs with good benefits. How could you possibly be for a concept like that?

  25. AT&T spouse Says:

    Been with the company almost 15 years and very happy. The items that are being listed in the news that employees are willing to strike over seem minor in comparison to the recession. Yes, people are losing their jobs and we are grateful that we have a job etc etc. What isn’t in the paper is what is also being fought for. 5 yrs ago it was retirees healthcare cost. AT&T wanted to make retirees paymore for less benefits. You can bet that is on the table again this contract. Job guarantee… At&t contracts so much work out, their way of taking jobs from employees, and cheaper because there are no benefits paid to the contractor. This year, AT&T has already denied employees from a couple of states their bonus. Not even the minimum of 50% that was bargained for last contract. Stating that AT&T wasn’t as profitable. Why would you want your employee having any extra $$ with a strike looming?

    We have been anticipating this for a couple of years, so we are prepared to go on strike, and if not then money saved. The men and women work hard to provide good customer service. Many put their life on the line to provide service, and yes die for stupid phone service. AT&T is profitable, and a good company to work for. They can keep employment from going to India, Philippines, and Mexico. They need to take care of retirees, and those things are worth striking for. It isn’t always 2%wage increase/yr.

  26. Dude Says:

    ATT Rep Now and AT&T spouse:

    S**t or get off the pot. If you are prepared to go on strike, then get your @$$ to the picket line. The sooner you strike the sooner this whole mess will be over.

  27. P93 Says:

    I have worked for SBC/AT&T for 8+ years, in sales not union. What a lot of folks on this blog are missing is that SBC, now AT&T, has always been very responsible financially. We have the strongest balance sheet in the industry – sure they could probably pay us all a bunch more – but then they would have less cash on hand to make network investments and inovations. They are spending over a billion this year on improving the network. As a business you need to make sure you are always setting yourself up to retain and grow the business.

    The union employees that work at AT&T work hard and deserve to earn a good living – but should they get free healthcare? Come on, pitch in a few bucks and everything will be good.

  28. nmcc2168 Says:

    First, lets get ONE thing straight. AT&T haasnt done anything. If its wasn’t for Southwestern Bell, there wouldn’t be NO AT&T. AT&T were going down hill and SBC bailed them out. Now, here we are acting just like the old AT&T, not the new at&t. The Company ran SO smooth when we were SBC and cingular. WE have become TO DAMN BIG TO FAST and AT&T have a bunch of people trying to run this comapny who manage there rear ends out of a paper bag.
    This same mess is going to hit U-verse and DSL and wirline side soon. Lets see how they handle that !!!!!!!

  29. nmcc2168 Says:

    First, lets get ONE thing straight. AT&T haasnt done anything. If its wasn’t for Southwestern Bell, there wouldn’t be NO AT&T. AT&T was going down hill and SBC bailed them out. Now, here we are acting just like the old AT&T, not the new at&t. The Company ran SO smooth when we were SBC and cingular. WE have become TO DAMN BIG TO FAST and AT&T has a bunch of people trying to run this comapny who couldnt manage there rear ends out of a paper bag.
    This same mess is going to hit U-verse and DSL and wirline side soon. Lets see how they handle that !!!!!!!

  30. Payday Says:

    “You’re a Whole Different Person When You’re Scared.” I am an AT&T sales rep.

    I hate AT&T. I hate the way they set us up to fail and act as though everything is perfectly normal. Their nonsensical product logic is dreamed up by idiots that live so far removed from 99% of their customers that no one in their right minds could, in good conscience, talk a business owner into buying into this bullshit.

    We sell them so it looks like we are making every effort to reach our unreachable quota. We sell them a lie that will make their lives miserable. They will sign contracts that require at least eight signatures. The contract will not have pricing anywhere, although there will be plenty of numbers – numbers that no one understands. They will make arrangements, based on an estimated due date that will pass without so much as an apologetic phone call or explanation of any kind. Sooner or later they will get a phone call, or maybe a voice mail message, advising them of their technical interview appointment. The interview won’t make any sense to them either. If they should happen to make it as far as conversion day, they will be left without some or all of their voice and data services.

    They will be lied to. Just as we are as employees.

    I’m one of the lucky ones. I have only worked here a few years. I don’t have as much invested in it as many others do. You union people. I support your strike. I’m sure that you are as fucked as the sales force. You sales people. I’m sad for us all. Sad for the tremendous pay cuts. The scale of these pay cuts would surely shock the union workers. Most of you would keel over if you knew how much the best of us make. We still make a considerable amount more than you do, but it hits us harder, because the percentages are so much higher. Would you believe 30% in 2008? How about 35% less than that in 2009?

    How’s that for the truth?

  31. Dude Says:

    Hey, Payday…if you hate it so much get a new job and stop b*tching. I love working for AT&T. It pays me well, and they treat me well. If you don’t like it, quit.

  32. Payday Says:

    Hey Dude.. Just saying, don’t put too much faith in AT&T in terms of long term employment. They will dump you when your in your 50’s and you will have nowhere to turn. I am a salesman and certainly WILL quit once a better opportunity presents itself. I am able to retire before turning 50, if I so choose, since I made so much money working for many different sales organizations.

    Do yourself a favor and don’t “love working for AT&T”. They suck.

  33. Payday Says:

    I won’t be crossing any picket lines either.

  34. jason Says:

    tigger,the cwa members that stood united and walked the line in the past is the reason you’ve got the best damned job you’ve ever had,your attitude sucks for future employees!!!!!!!!!!

  35. jason Says:

    spike,if at&t is in money trouble,i want to be in money trouble!!!!!!! 13 billion profit in 2008…..we will not give anything back that has been bargained for in previous contracts,we will walk the line in 2009!!!!if you dont like it,go find a non union job.I heard wal mart is hiring.

  36. jason Says:

    i hope like hell most of you people are not union members.if yall are,we are in big trouble,this contract isnt about a bad economy,its a excuse used by at&t to screw you.they dont care about you or their customers.the new at&t leadership will drive our company into the ground,i wish uncle ed was still around!!!!

  37. Patti Says:

    Don’t kid yourself–‘uncle ed’ was no different that the current leadership, juse more personable. Until upper management, and I mean to the very top, are willing to also take extreme cuts in pay, benefits, bonus, etc. and not take any under the table incentives, along with their employees, they are not to be trusted to have their employees nor their company’s best interest at heart.

  38. Dude Says:

    I don’t know how the CWA members can b*tch about not getting enough pay raises and whatnot. Before the CWA came to my call center I got raises every year with no cap…after the union there was a pay cap. Before the union I had really awesome benefits, bonuses, and things like that…after the union…not so much. I’m out of the union now and have been for about a year and a half and I haven’t been happier.

    Oh, and I’m glad you guys finally reached a tentative agreement, I was getting sick of all the CWA b*tching. I’m sure the next time the contract is up you’ll be saying that AT&T has screwed you over for the last couple years even though your f**king union approved the deal. Awesome job CWA, way to go.

  39. Payday Says:

    | March 3, 2009 |



    March 3, 2009

    The following information is a brief summary of the tentative agreement reached between CWA and AT&T Mobility.

    A more comprehensive summary will follow along with specific information on a contract ratification vote. Date to be determined.


    1. The General Wage Schedules for all employees will be increased as follows:


    2009 1% 1%

    2010 2.5% 2.5%

    2011 2.5% 2.5%

    2012 2.5% 2.5%

    All employees will also receive a $500.00 lump sum payment upon ratification

    2. Job Upgrades for the following titles:

    *Wireless Technician I and Wireless Technician II titles will be eliminated. All existing employees will move into the Wireless Technician title at the wage schedule associated with the current Wireless Technician II title.

    *CSR 1 reps in the Technical Support Group will be upgraded to a new title of Customer Support Specialist with a new maximum rate of $683.00 for year 2009. Current employees in the Technical Support Group above the new maximum rate will receive the general wage increase based on existing wage rates.

    *CSR I reps in the Office of the President will be upgraded to a new title of Client Service Specialist with a new maximum wage rate of $672.50 for year 2009.

    *CSR I reps and Clerks in the Workforce Operations group will be upgraded to a new title of Workforce Administrator with a new maximum rate of 632.50 for year 2009.

    *Care Function Evaluation—Company to evaluate the CSR functions to see if

    additional titles should or could be created.

    3. On-call pay—increased from $28 to $32 for each day of such assignment

    4. Relief Differential—Employees assigned the duty of performing managerial opening and/or

    closing (Key Holder) will receive a 10% differential payment for each hour the employee

    performs this work.

    5. Severance Payment—Increased from a maximum payment of $12,000 to $15,000

    6. Travel Payment—Travel time exceeding normal commute time when on a temporary

    assignment will be paid as work time. Mileage reimbursement for use of personal vehicles will be reimbursed at the IRS Standard.

    7. Sales Compensation Plan

    *Minimum at-risk commission pay of $12,000/year for years 2009 and

    and 2010 and $12,500/year for years 2011 and 2012 for those reaching 100% of their

    targeted goal

    *National Sales Compensation Committee –to be reestablished

    8. Quota Relief—quota relief for 8 hour increments of time (8 aggregate hour in a calendar

    month) has been added for discipline purposes only.


    1. Definition of Employees—If the Company reclassifies from Full Time to Part Time, they will seek

    volunteers first and then force in reverse order.

    2. Seniority—seniority will apply to all Articles and LOA’s and the middle two digits of SSN will be

    used as tie breaker when employees have same NCS date and same last 4 of SSN

    3. Work Assignments—Laid off employees will be given priority placement for rehire

    4. Non-Discrimination—Company will not discriminate against an employee because of ones

    position or membership or non membership in the union

    5. Company-Union Relationship—increase in union time from 240 hours to 300 hours and up to

    20 reps may take or pool up to 960 hours each/year. (20 X 960= 19,200 hours)

    6. Vacations—Company will maximize the allotment of vacation weeks during the most desirable vacation periods.

    7. Holidays—holiday schedules to be posted by Friday at noon 2 weeks prior to the Holiday

    8. EWP’s—change in hour increment availability from 2 hours to 1 hour.

    9. Personnel Records—employees will be provided a copy of all disciplinary write-ups

    10. Subcontracting—Original language to remain with understanding that within 60 days of

    ratification, subcontracting reports and data requests will be provided to bargaining chair

    and going forward quarterly reports on subcontractors will be provided

    11. Alliance Committee—new language to explore the possibility of the Alliance.

    12. Strategic Alliance Committee—Establishment of Committee to explore innovative methods of operation

    13. Scheduling Trial—Retail Sales Group trial to explore more effective methods of scheduling.

    Company will review results with Union and consider input.

    14. Job Satisfaction (Monitoring)—Company to review call observations within 2 days of the

    employee’s next two (2) scheduled workdays with the understanding the coverage is to be done

    in a private area.

    All Articles, LOA’s and Agreements not mentioned above will carry forward with the exception of LOA 12 (IPO) which has been deleted.

  40. george Says:

    I am not union so I will be crossing whatever line is in front of the door. You union FOOLS can strike while I help pick up the slack you left at $45 an hour.

    I’d think twice before striking as you might not have a job long afterwards.

  41. jason Says:

    i wish you a lot of luck george,you will need it

  42. george Says:

    Union members planning to strike are the ones that need luck, Not ME!

  43. jeff locke Says:

    To all you people who think at&t would pay you what you get now without a union better wake up. Without a union you would have no benefits and be making about 10.00 an hour. If thats what you want then go work for the cable company. Young people today think AT&T would pay without a union maybe you should ask your father and grandfather about that.

  44. Sad att employee Says:

    These union folks think are the only ones in the world being taken advantage of! I’m an employee who has been making well below my pay scale for years now. We work sometimes 60+ hours including weekends and holidays BUT receive no OT! You don’t hear about this. We know it is injustice but we would not want to go on strike and force others to be inconvenienced. When you slackers, oops, union members go on strike, lovely at&t (former sbc, prodigy,Satan, etc.) FORCES us to do your jobs for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. AT&T doesn’t care if you have infants to take care of or if you work more than 1 job. I hope you union folks realize that we are forced to do your jobs or we get fired. I personally witnessed employees being terminated if they called in sick or refused to attend work stoppage assignments. I hate CWA, IBEW, and AT&T!

  45. jason Says:

    sad att…….you chose to be a manager

  46. face of the company Says:

    to all pretentious wireless employees and management:

    wire-line and outside craft are the face of your freaking company. your cell towers are fed by the lines we work on. that data line you used to run that credit card. and that high speed internet used in every aspect of your job….also us.

    on the side of healthcare: i love how u preach to the “lowly outside help” as u sit in ur cozy office using the data line one of us installed and that we currenty maintain. your biggest concern is stubbing your toe walking around ur desk. as the face of the company, the real “phone guys ” work outside in the elements, we are the ones actually taking risks to keep this company going. we need the medical coverage. name the last manager who died typing? how many techs have died providing dial tone? thats right shut ur freakin mouth!

    by the way has no one noticed that only management is allowed to run their mouths on the AT&T INSIDER? afraid to hear both sides?


  47. george Says:


  48. GoToWork Says:

    Nice PR move to strike when 10% unemployment across country. Hope you lose them forever. Can’t wait to see picketers so I can yell out the window at them. Unions are for people who can’t accept accountability. Go AT&T. Lock them out and keep them out. When’s the last time you actually got good service when you called AT&T for help and spoke with a CWA member? Management = college degree = common sense that might actually be able to listen and help.

  49. starchild Says:

    well said – ‘face of the company’

  50. tiki Says:

    those of you who have bad comments about AT&T employees, don’t know the real story, of course, every company has crappy employees,,but how it function arrives from the head honcho, and the fish stinks at the top.. On down thru the mgmt ranks,we have nonsense pressure with stupid rules,which has nothing to do with being customer focus,as much as pushing us to sell,sell,sell?? Anyway, no one wants to go on strike, but this is ploy with AT&T to say they are going to do take backs and make changes to what has been established in the former contracts for yrs.
    And ‘Go to work’ comment, if you see someone in an AT&T van or at your home, he or she is a CWA member, fyi….
    Thx to our CEO, lots of work has been shipped overseas for lesser $$, we member have no control of that?

    Remember the AT&T ploy-well, if we strike they win, because then they will have less wages to pay for 2-3 weeks,until they(cwa and AT&T) settle, once contract is settle, they save so many $$, it makes up for extra $ given on the new contract? Yes -corporate greed… enough said

  51. CT Says:

    Gotowork … I have a college degree, actually two, one in electronics, one in management, and am one of those techs who install and turn up the high speed U-Verse equipment, 10 gbps Alcatel 7750 / 7450 boxes. I also work on any special circuit, sub rates, T1s, T3s, fiber up to OC192. In addition to my college degrees, AT&T has sent me to more than 20 specialty classes. I have 9 years hands on experience on AT&T telecom equipment. You could say I am a highly skilled worker who has been in management before and don’t want the headache again. Not worth it considering how bad AT&T pays / treats lower level management. Not all managers have degrees, the best ones are the ones who came up through the ranks in craft and know what it takes to make stuff work.

    Considering the $12.9B profit AT&T made last year and the CEO awarding himself $6.4M in zero cost stock options the day after he informed management there will be no pay raises for them this year, I think AT&T has made a terrible error, continual takebacks from their managers has their morale at the lowest level ever, no raise, low team performance awards, huge copays for their insurance, and now AT&T is counting on them to work 12 hours a day / 6 days a week to try and do our jobs when the huge majority of them don’t know tip from ring.

    It is DISPICABLE for AT&T to use the economic plight as an excuse to squeeze their highly trained employees who work on their newest technology equipment providing their fastest services. This contract is much more than wireline. Hope corporate greed doesn’t flex their chest so hard they force a strike, it’s loose – loose for everyone. The economy doesn’t need more bad news.

  52. Harry McCracken Says:

    Folks: You’re welcome (invited, even) to use our comments section to discuss all this. But please, no personal attacks or bad language. If I’ve deleted any of your messages, that’s why.


  53. alma Says:

    I am a believer that we need to fight back with a strike. att has great employees that go to work everyday and deal with their micro manage ways. I worked for att for 10 years and experienced it. As I read some comments from some of you indicating if we are not happy move on. Let me tell you is easy to say that because you have not landed a good job or can not keep one. att is going to replace workers with no benefits, no pension, low wages is that what America wants? the reason the economy is bad is because these greedy companies are OUTSOURCING OUR WORK to other countries instead of the USA. So be mad at att not the employees. So lets support our employees not bash them. Everyone has that right and there is nothing wrong with standing up in what you believe. You will only fail if you do not try.

  54. John Says:

    How arrogant of the CWA to think it’s members don’t need to contribute to benefits. I pay almost $500 monthly for benefits. I say lock them out, and hire any one of millions of people that need jobs in this country. Unions will be the demise of the US, unless corporations make a stand. Unions are a thing of the past, and they must be broken. Stick to your guns AT&T. I know a lot of people out of work that would be more than happy to take a union members job. They would do it better and for less money.


  55. retired last year Says:

    I retired with +30 years and I was a C.W.A. steward for a very long time. Those still employed still reap the benefits of our sufferage. Do not confuse recieving a paycheck with AT&T caring for it’s employees. Their preferance is to outsource, fire or retire senior employees so as to employ newbies. Think about the recent moves of jobs to lower paying cities. YOU HAVE TO STRIKE AND HURT THEM as that will be the only way you can safe gaurd your jobs. Management has dwindled to >50% of the force available from last strike. With the smaller work force and their inexperience now is the time. Next contract I assure you the jobs will be in MO. WI.etc and employees will get have the pay.

  56. John Says:

    Having worked at AT&T for over 11 years in Enterprise Business Sales, I can honestly say that I am embarassed when I have a customer on the phone with those employees who are members of the CWA. What a joke! I am more than happy to work strike duty until all of them are fired! A job that takes them months to learn, I grasped in a week. AT&T management, lock them out, and finally break them once an for all. We employees have been paying for benefits and making sacrafices for years. I know many people that will be more than happy to cross the CWA picket lines, and take their jobs. Than, maybe the USA can finally move forward and once again be a world leader.


  57. Lee Says:

    Seems to be the same situation unfolding at AT&T, that we have witnessed at many of the other large companies. I.E. Enron, AIG, Fannie Mae, etc. Those on top feel they deserve it “all”. After all, they call the shots, the rest of us are lucky to have a job, especially, in this economy! The CEO averages $15,000,000 per year (last 3 years), plus many absurd perks. The other board members are not too far behing him! It is nice when you can decide what your paycheck will be, and have it approved by those needing your approval, to get their big payola! Granted, AT&T did profit 12.9 BILLION in 2008. The board members like to think that was the result of their direction, and the lowly employee, should be thankful, and willing to make concessions, to insure, “They”, have another year that allows “them” to stuff “their” pockets!

  58. Merc Says:

    I have been with AT&T for 12 years. I came up through craft and was promoted to manager. I went through one strike as craft and this is my second as a manager. The bottom line here is that the union is fighting a very good cause to protect the future of wireline employees. (Most) of their arguments are valid and justified and really do demand some discussion with AT&T negotiators. ADDITIONALLY: The front line managers at AT&T really have no say in work stoppage matters. We are actually pawns who are given our marching orders and must follow them without question. We do not have a choice on whether or not we come to work during a stoppage. We come and fill in, or we are fired….REGARDLESS of benefits, bargaining status or how pissed we are at our assignment.

    That being said, I do NOT condone the position that corporate AT&T negotiating teams are taking…I am simply saying “It is what it is, and all of us must accept it because history has shown us that AT&T does what is best for the GOOD ‘OL BOYS, and nobody else” (especially since Stankey came on board – but that is another argument for another time). Taking into account everything I have said…everyone needs to realize that CWA taking its members down this path now is NOT the wrong thing to do. It is the WRONG TIME to do it. The economy being the way it is has basically gift-wrapped leverage to the company negotiation teams and COULD POSSIBLY jeopardize the strength of the CWA for years to come.

    My 2 cents.

  59. retired last year Says:

    John, When you finally get to work for an equally agressive manager and you are considered a threat…then you’ll find a need for the union. Many consider themselves an island and they will gripe against the union until they need support. There is an adage which states “There is strength in numbers” and remember those hospital benefits and GOOD WAGES which everyone happily embraces were C.W.A. Union member fought and won.
    Face, Stiking to retain that which you have is never a GOOD TIME, just necessary. Jobs are disintegrating as we speak. If you are luky to be in the midwest expect muore jobs and lower pay. Job title changes equal lower wages.
    Lastly to everyone, AT&T does not need strikes to eliminate jobs…they play CENTRALIZATION CHESS and move bodies. Those that can’t move because of family etc, leave the company. That will include the non dead weight like many profess.

  60. Retired 2007 Says:

    “Centralization Chess” is most certainly in play in California with Directory Assistance. Once there were 5 DA in S.D. County, now there is 0. The automation switch has been installed, just bet the “Big Boys” in Texas were waiting for this contract to expire so they could shut down the rest of the DA offices in California. AT&T has had their eye on right to work/lower minimum wage States for quite a while.
    Active employees should enjoy the low/no-cost health benefits now. Retirees at AT&T do pay premiums. In fact they doubled this year.
    No one really wins when a work stoppage occurs.

  61. Remford Says:

    From the CWA web site:

    “1 Union, 1 Fight, 1 Future”

    “1 Fight”? What organization on earth would define its purpose as to “fight” with the companies and businesses that employ its memberships? This kind of hostile unilateral self-interest thinking, at the expense rather than the mutual benefit betrays the antagonistic view the union propagates as part of its core mission.

    Sooner rather than later, as the UAW has discovered, the current economic environment will teach the unions and their leadership the fundamental principal that their members have a fundamental responsibility to ensure the prosperity of the businesses that pay their paychecks.

  62. Retired 2007 Says:

    Agreed, Remford.
    In many ways, unions can negotiate themselves out of jobs. It would be really nice if unions & companies would display a balance of rights & responsibilites among the membership.
    Yes, companies have the right to earn a profit, they have the responsibility to treat their employees fairly.
    Employees have the right to their jobs if they act in a responsible manner.
    Playing the attendance game, knowing your union will CYA, is not being responible for your actions. Keeping your stats at the “just okay” level, then expect the union to CYA is not being responsible.
    Companies that change performance standards at will to throw off the performance stats is not being responsible. managers tweaking employee performance reviews to make themselvs look good & increase their bonuses is not responsible.
    I witnessed this vicious game for 26+ years at AT&T.
    How about just changing the C.W.A. to C.Y.A.?

  63. from management Says:

    The saddest part of all of this are the employees…..the union respresented for targeting and unfair treatment. The management employees working 16 HOURS a day in preparation of a strike.

  64. Retired 2007 Says:

    Over the years, I worked several work stoppages. Management assigned from other departments were not happy campers to put on a headset & attempt to answer 411 calls. With the monitoring system we had, the computer knew how many people were supposed to be plugged in at which work stations. If the line came up short, they came looking for you. There was nowhere to hide for 12 hours + per day.
    411 operators gained a certain level of respect, for a very short while.
    No one wins in a strike situation. No matter what financial gains are made in the new contract, the $$$ can never be recovered while the employes are not working.

  65. Retired 2007 Says:

    Besides union employees & management, there is another type of worker:
    the Agency Fee Objector……..They are, we are, working in states that have closed shops which require all non-management employees to pay union dues. However, Beck vs CWA, required us to pay union dues, but at the same time every year, we are allowed to request a refund of any and all union dues that do not deal with bargaining issues. The average refund is 25% of union dues. By being an Agency Fee Objector, it allows us to work during a stoppage without being, fined or sued by the CWA. It also shows that we ARE COMPANY FOCUSED & no one is going to tell us we can’t go to work. Yes, we get harrassed by some, but those who really know what it’s about will respect our views.

  66. retired last year Says:

    I believe the 1 fight is in relation to the collective unit not allowing the corporation to run them over. Everyone forgets that everyone is the company. Our concessions are tied into our being customers. The majority of the U-verse customers are employees. The majority of the wireless customers are employees. Probably the lion’s share of the remaining access lines are employees. We all do our part to keep the company above water.
    Push for the strike…Disconnect all our AT&T services. Demand service as we are protected by the PUC. Write and call your Congressman demand they focus on corporations outsourcing and using slave labor to replace our jobs. They ask for help and our sympathies during these hard times. Yet the corporations are laying off in record numbers. Why, to increase reserve money and not pay employees.
    I’ve retired and many others have retired. I am saddened that many of you with ten years or less won’t have that experience.

  67. retired last year Says:

    Oops forgot…Agency Fee Objector lawsuit came about because a few did not agree with the union supporting mostly Democratic Candidates. The ruling was to return those funds which were not used for Collective Bargaining.
    We go on stike for better wages and I stay with brotherhood eventually losing home or car and the stress. You cross because you feel you are entitled as an AFO, when we get back to work…don’t get near me. You think I’ll respect your views? keep away SCAB.

  68. CT Says:


    I invite you to come to my CO and try to do my job. You couldn’t do it with 6 months experiance, much less 1 week as you claim. Your outlandish statement gives you zero credibility.

    AT&T is not GM or Chrysler. Makes about as much sense to compare them to AIG or any other corporate bad actor. $12.9B in profits, CEO making over $22M, and awarding himself $6.4M in zero cost stock options? Upper management has KILLED morale of lower line supervisors. What terrible leadership.

  69. Wendy Says:

    I work in billing and sales. I enjoy my job and I am always in the top quarter on the sales report. I am also union. I will support the union 100%! The company has it’s perks but the union protects us when the company chooses not to. I will stand up for retirees and new hires. I do not think it would be fair for a newbie and myself to be doing the same job but they make half of what I make because the company says so. I want the company to be on top but not by hurting the employees who make it possible.

  70. Merc Says:

    You what sucks? The fact that all of you here are 100% correct…but due to the economy and the new attitude of upper management since the reorganization and consolidation, CWA and the bargained-for employees are going to lose in a BIG, BIG WAY on this one. It is going to be a massacre. “Your world…delivered” Uugh.

  71. retired last year Says:

    Wendy, you’ve got it dead on. When I’d walk the floor I used to see these “I am on top and surrounded by losers” employees. Having carrots dangled in front of their noses and didn’t know it was a game. Field Supervisors went from 7-10 people to supervising 18-21. Area Managers went from 3-4 direct reports to 8-9 direct reports. the shuffle continued and wouldn’t ya know it 30-40 became DISPOSABLE. Because there was no union…these people joined the ranks of the unemployed. CT should be proud,it takes time to be a comm tech, be fund to wacth someone with a week training replace an Offc Rptr or a CXR chl unit. nevermind place an extender to read the internal. Keep learning AT&T will have to keep skeleton crews for C.O. and field all else is fair game. The melding of the field techs will cost serveral jobs. YA GOTTA STICK TOGETHER UNION AND NONUNION protect your jobs.

  72. Retired 2007 Says:

    Call Agency Fee Objectors anything you want. It was not only politcal contributions we objected to, but all the other “perks” the union treated themselves to on our dime.
    You’d be surprised how many AFO’s there are.

  73. Was AT&T 22 years -outsourced Says:

    I agree with the many people who say it’s not about the economy. AT&T has been screwing the lower level managers for years, and now wants to give it to the occupational people. I agree too, that they no longer care about their employees, or the customers, just the stinking money. I was an IT manager at AT&T for 22 years, before they outsourced me. This company just laid off 2/3 of the people at my location. The big push is to move more offshore. The employees there are inexperienced and don’t have the skills. The main attraction is they work CHEAP. That is all that matters – not the Quality, or the Customer experience. It all got so much worse after SBC bought out AT&T.
    But as bad as AT&T has been, (I agree – despicable), the CWA should not be doing this now, in this economy. I think AT&T would love this opportunity to move the work off-shore and save a lot more money here.
    The benefits package AT&T want to force on them is bad, expensive, and has a very high deductible. But that is better than losing your job!!!

  74. retired last year Says:

    Don’t take offense retired in 2007. We’re gone from the scrolls of AT&T employment. They weren’t perks, it was community involvement. Also included was the union being forced to represent AFO’s in grieveance process. Does the word parasite come to mind.
    Non of this matters just that once again union brothers and sisters will fight for the jobs and monies from the corporation and everyone reeps the benefits.

  75. Retired 2007 Says:

    Call us what you want, so what. We did pay partial dues, the part that required the CYA to represent the AFO’s if needed. Personally, never gave them reason to speak for me. Came to work everyday, met or exceeded all company standards. So consider my partial dues a donation towards the time spent when the CYA had to represent someone else.
    I reaped benefits by doing my job!

  76. Fellow Installer Says:

    If they are going to strike, strike seems like every time there contract is up they argue over something everyone has to pay for benefits why should they not have to pay what everyone else pays.

  77. retired last year Says:

    FI, everyone used to work 14 hour days, strikes and unions brought about legislation to change to 8 hours. Sweatshops used to exploit children labor, again strikes and unions helped bring change. Other countries still abuse child labor, the Gifford scandal, should we go back or give up our fought for rights?

  78. mIKE Says:

    I am a AT&T Tech. Among the many dangers we face everyday such as high voltage lines, falling off poles and ladders, being attack & bit by dogs, spider bites and the list goes on, not to mention the physical aspects such as bad backs from carrying heavy ladders, blown & bad knees, dangers of contact with dangerous chemicals and asbestos’s, carpel tunnel, possible infections from crawling under houses, ect we need a fair wage and health benefits. Mind you I am not complaining, in many ways I like the challenge of my job, and being able to interact & deal with my customers on a personal level and most of time time making them very happy makes this job enjoyable

    If you are wondering about the looming strike, here it is.

    First of all, don’t let AT&T fool you.
    They posted a 12.9 billion dollar profit for 2008, and AT&T executives have said it is on track for solid growth this year

    AT&T 2008 Top 5 Executive Compensation

    Randall Stephenson, Chairman, CEO & President

    Richard Lindner, Sr. Exec. Vice President & CFO
    $ 4,623,241.00

    Ralph de la Vega, President & CEO, AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets
    $ 6,150,645.00

    Forrest Miller, Group Pres., Corp. Strategy & Dev.
    $ 5,517,097.00

    John Stankey, President & CEO, AT&T Operations
    $ 5,595,671.00

    Total for top execs in 2008: $33,451,909.00

    And that& only taking the top 5 in account

    Source: AT&T preliminary proxy statement filed 2/17/09

    And that is on top of another top benefit they get, Housing

    Count AT&T among San Antonio’s high-end home sellers weighed down with unwanted properties.
    Nine months after announcing that its headquarters would move to Dallas, the company still is trying to unload CEO Randall Stephenson’s former Olmos Park home, which it purchased for $1.7 million when the house did not sell quickly.

    AT&T also is trying to shed the former home of Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Wayne Watts, for which it paid $660,000, according to regulatory documents filed Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    The Stephenson and Watts homes are among the 102 company-owned properties in the San Antonio area, according to John Flournoy, managing partner of the Phyllis Browning Co.

    And don’t forget their free health care, for themselves and their family’s

    Overall, the negotiations cover 125,000 CWA represented workers covered by six contracts
    CWA members are working, for now, under the terms of the contracts that expired Apr. 4. Locations are:

    AT&T East, Connecticut , and AT&T East Yellow Pages.

    AT&T Midwest , in Illinois , Indiana , Ohio , Michigan and Wisconsin , and AT&T DataCom,

    AT&T Southwest, in Arkansas , Kansas , Missouri , Oklahoma and Texas .

    AT&T West, in California and Nevada .

    AT&T Legacy, nationwide.

    At AT&T Southeast; that contract expires Aug. 8, 2008

    Discussions continued today in subcommittees around Memoranda of Agreements and Article 3/7 Unfortunately

    There is, LITTLE PROGRESS TO REPORT! In formal session The Company rejected 6 of the Unions proposals on Successorship, Evolving Technologies, Appendices B and D, Recognition, Article 7, and the preamble.

    They also had some proposals one was like throwing us some crumbs the company would promote CWA/NETT Academy and another one a new version of their no carry over vacation time, where the Company would still have the ability to schedule your vacation for you.


    ; HEALTH CARE – This Company proposal creates a two tier structure for health care, one for new hires and one for current employees. Both plans have high premiums, deductibles and out of pocket costs that the current plan does not have. The Company still assures us that they have no intent or desire to bargain for current retirees.
    ; WAGES – Company proposal does not include an increase in base wages for the first two years
    ; PENSIONS – Pension Protection Act will be applied to Lump Sum Pensions which eliminates the GATT Rate and applies the Corporate Bond Rate. This will reduce lump sum pensions taken after January 1, 2010.
    ; PREMISE TECHNICIANS – Company wants to increase work duties and have Premise Technicians perform work in a higher classification.
    Company refuses to treat Premises Technicians the same and apply the same work rules as other employees.
    OVERTIME- increase the 49 hr to 54 hr rule.
    ; OVERTIME- eliminate the assignment of overtime to volunteers first, especially for double overtime
    ; LEVERAGED TITLES – This Company proposal would two tier Service Representative Work with 60/40 pay schedule which would put 40% of pay at risk based on sales. Sales plan controlled by management and no input from the Union.
    ; APPENDIX E PROPOSAL from the Company applies to Premises Technicians and would no longer protect benefits or work rules for those who took Premises Technicians jobs due to surplus conditions. Worse in many ways then current Appendix E provisions.
    • SURPLUS Process– Company proposal does not include Appendix E in this process (finding another position within the company instead of just laying off)
    ; VACATION – eliminate vacation carry-over and Company to schedule employees vacation.
    • NIGHT DIFFERENTIAL change to only the hrs worked that fall into that time would be paid Differential.
    ; ILLNESS All Employees will have at least one day of waiting before pay starts for illness.
    ; PARTIALS eliminate payment for partial illnesses.
    ; HOLIDAY – Eliminate day after Thanksgiving and Presidents day.
    ; GRIEVANCES – Company wants a two step grievance process.
    ; UNPAID FMLA TIME OFF – Company will require substitution of contractual paid time off as personal, so don’t consider having childern
    ; TEAM PERFORMANCE AWARD- Company proposes to eliminate.
    ; NATIONAL TRANSFER PLAN – Company has not responded.
    ; MOVEMENT OF WORK/CONTRACTING OUT – Company has rejected.
    ; NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM- Company has not responded.
    ; PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL- Company has not responded.
    ; MONITORING- Company has not responded.
    ; BENEFITS- MEDICAL- Company has not responded.
    ; ARTICLE 5- Company has not responded.
    ; ARTICLE 6- Company has not responded.
    ; SERVICE RECOGNITION-Company has not responded.

    The union has taken the position that they would agree to just extending the current contract except for adding the same protection for the premise technicians as the rest of the employees, Modest cost of living increase each year, keep jobs here instead of off Shoring them (Such as ADSL Support to India) Training of current employees of new & emerging Technologies

  79. tr Says:

    The CWA sucks. Calling a strike over Easter weekend so people have to work to do their jobs is just wrong. I hope you all get locked out.
    Thanks for ruining my holiday and making me pay for your health insurance

  80. Retired 2007 Says:

    TR – This is confirmed where?

  81. tr Says:

    we all know about “Operation Bunny Rabbit”

  82. Retired 2007 Says:

    Will that go along with the “special strike” ringtone to alert all CYA members not to show up for work?

  83. tr Says:

    look, 99% of the CWA workers are fantastic people who do a great job..and while I support their work efforts and their right to strike, I just think that doing it over Easter, and keeping people from their families and going to church or Passover seders is just wrong. As Americans, they have the right to strike, I just think the timing is cruel and unusual punishment and will not endear their cause to managers who have to leave their families on a religious holiday. Retired 2007, you will be home with your family–if this strike occurs this weekend, I will not.

  84. Retired 2007 Says:

    That’s the beauty of being RETIRED! Been there, done that. I worked all the major holidays during my AT&T days, plus Sundays.
    Blessings to all during this Easter & Passover season.

  85. Mike Says:

    As far as I know, there is no plans to strike over the weekend.

    As far as some of you non union persons are concerned, yes I sometimes have to deal with that lazy slob who gets the same payments & benefits as I do which sucks. But we as fellow employees have ways of dealing with them. I just know I am happy I am not a manger for AT&T. Those poor guys and gals are being taken advantage of with no wage increases, cuts in benefits and retirement, and a ever increase in work load and expectations and the fact that they can be let go on the spot. They have no protection against AT&T’s Greed . The problem is, unlike me, is I have a way through the Union to at least fend off some of those attacks form a very greed ridden company.

    Also let take the poor Premise Techs (the ones who install the U-Verse service) They were hired in as 3 year term employees. They are forced to work overtime and Sundays (with no premium pay) which keeps them away from their family’s. They on the average make money than the regular tech’s. They want to keep increasing their job duties without any additional pay. Along with a host of other bullshit they have to put up with. And if you are asking yourself how can this be?? The answer is because they are term employee’s and because AT&T will cut the throat of any employee as soon as they can. Just ask any AT&T first line manger

  86. CM Says:

    TR, Hoping to see us get locked out huh? How interesting, I happened to over hear a lower management person say the same thing just yesterday. (wondering if it was you). Anyway, if we strike, we will be (just like you) AWAY FROM OUR FAMILIES on Easter. So get a phucking grip and get over it IF IT HAPPENS. There will be other Easters. Your statement was mean and shows what kind on manager you probably are. HEARTLESS, backstabbing and vengeful, (which if I may clarify most managers aren’t) Would hate working for your azz. I’d make your life pure hell. Been dealing with a few your kind for almost 30 years now. Gosh, what am I saying? Now I’m sounding like you. LOL
    Anyway personally, I am sick of BOTH sides. CWA in my opinion is no better than ATT although I will stand behind CWA but both sides need to get their act together. We are all TIRED of this madness. However, I will agree with other comments, that now it not the time to strike. HAPPY EASTER TR. LOL

  87. Q Says:

    What? I worked for AT&T, and part of the steward structure, and we have no “operation bunny rabbit” nor did i get my special ringtone. We do have another information picket scheduled for Saturday. The funny part of this thread is the “objector”. It didnt sound like you object to the wages, current healthcare, holidays, paid sick time, etc that the union bargained for you. If you object, please give all this back, and then ask the company to compensate you, the same out of the kindness of their hearts and see if it comes anywhere close. The compnay reported it made 123 billion dollars and after paying all the bills, wages, and investors, dividens, it pocketed 12.9 billion. We helped the compnay make that billions. If it wasnt for us, the company couldn’t have afforded to buy Mr Stephens 1.7 million dollar home, but i can’t get my team award, and should pay for healthcare. Let’s get real, if it wasnt for the UNIONS, we woudln’t be making this wage or have these benefits.

  88. CryMeARiver Says:

    What I don’t understand is WHY IS THERE SO MUCH TENSION BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND NON-MANAGEMENT WHEN NEITHER HAVE CONTROL OVER WAGES, BENEFITS, PROMOTIONS, OR ANYTHING ELSE????? What most managers don’t realize is that it’s SENIOR MANAGEMENT/EXECS who say what you get paid depending on your geographic, experience, and education…that is not up to anyone else. They DUMP all of the crap they don’t want to deal with on lower-level management, but they still make MILLIONS, leaving lower management in the dust. Think I’m a manager….?? Nope!!! I’m a CWA member, but I can OBJECTIVELY see both sides, and it’s ridiculous to me that there is so much arguing back and forth when it does NOTHING but make you more angry. What people should do, is ask AT&T EXECS THE HARD QUESTIONS (AS DR.PHIL WOULD SAY), AND STOP BLAMING EACHOTHER. None of us earn MILLIONS, none of us own MILLION dollar homes, none of us get any of the perks that SENIOR level managers get, so what’s the fuss??? Manager or non-manager, we’re ALL a phone call away from losing a job…NOW THINK ABOUT THAT!!!!

  89. Retired 2007 Says:

    Annual Shareholders meeting will be held in Dallas in a few weeks. Get your ticket, ask for a spakers slip, & see if you can ask those questions in front of the “Big Boys”?

  90. CryMeARiver Says:

    LOL. I’m not the one complaining…..but I agree that the ones who are should definitely be there to ask those questions. I’m grateful for what the union has done for me, and also grateful to be apart of AT&T, It’s just sad to see all the tension between management and non-management when truthfully speaking, the “BIG BOYS” view us all in the SAME light (if you know what I mean). They’re probably laughing as we speak….

  91. Mike Says:

    I don’t know about other garage locations, but the garage I am located at has zero tension between the mangers & us. They respect us and realize what we have to do under the current conditions and we respect realize what they have to do. They have not been pushing us so we don’t have to push back.

    We have been what is called working to the book. For instance, doing
    all of our safety inspections everyday and at every job as well as working to all of the other rules that AT&T wants us to follow. This simple step makes us work slower and get less jobs done per day. Another thing we are doing is not working any overtime.

    Because of these to simple steps, they are already getting back up with more work than can be handled, even by the regular employees at full strength. Just think how bad it is going to be if we go on strike and managers and Scabs are doing the work with a much reduce work force who are for the most part ill prepared or under trained.

    Now before anyone get mad or bad feeling about what we are doing, you must understand a couple of things. 1. A lot of the rules that we are being very careful of following are there to keep us safe from injury and death and allow us the time to do a quality job. 2. The reason this is causing a backup at all is because AT&T (which was brought out by SBC who changed their name) have been allowing our work force to dwindle for years now and not back filling the empty positions with new hires and instead have been increasing the responsibilities we have to deal with as well as pushing us to do more and more jobs per day.

    This causes the remaining employees, in a effort to keep with all of the additional demands to have to rush through our day and jobs, and cut many corners both in safety, the quality of our jobs and customer service.

    Not only does this raise stress levels, it causes us to risk our health and safety, lowers the quality of our work, causes us to miss things we might other wise catch if we had additional time and lowers the amount of time and customer service we can provide to our customers on a job by job basis.

    As I said in my previous post, all we are asking for is to maintain our current contract provisions, modest cost of living raises to keep up with inflation & to provide for job security, especially for those like the U-Verse Prem Techs who for the most part, being shafted by this greedy company, access to training to keep up with the new emerging technology and to keep jobs here in the USA instead of off shoring those jobs to India.

    Remember, they made 13 Billion in profits last year, a Billion more than they made in 2007 and are in line for another profitable year in 2009.

    If they can afford to pay the top 5 Execs 33 million dollars, pay for their health care and the houses they live in, then they can afford to maintain the current contract conditions that have been in place for the last 5 years which still allowed them to post huge profits in each of those years.

    Also Both Verizon and Quest communications both settled the labor contracts with their employees with fair contracts, which are exactly in in line with what the employees at AT&T are asking for and they did it with out the threat of having to strike. I guess they care more about their employees and customers than AT&T

  92. Remford Says:

    Mike your rationalization is regrettably as thin as cheese cloth; and many of your facts are equally poorly founded.

    I’d your adherence “to the book” is for ANY purpose other than to ensure your safety, it is something that should be practiced ALWAYS, and is otherwise nothing more than bad faith conduct which you are attempting to perpetrate at the expense of not only the very company that continues to compensate you in the same manner it has always done, but the very future profits you claim will continue to exist based solely upon previous years’ performance which are also the basis for your contention of future entitlement without consideration of present economic realities.

    Furthermore, the exempt management compensation at present affords far leaner benefits than your fellow bargained-for brethren, and managers fund a far greater portion of their health benefits themselves. With regard to healthcare, the union membership is being asked to accept no less than what has essentially become the de facto standard companywide, with the SPECIFIC goal of exempting the union membership from having to endure the kinds of dramatic force reductions many organizations within the business have already endured. The case that the current proposal is somehow exacting an undue or unfair price at the union membership’s expense is a hard one.

    Personally, by failing to adequately consider and prioritize the care and viability of the resource from which you seek to draw, claims that tomorrow’s benefits should be based upon yesterday’s realities fundamentally compromises the entire basis of your claims. Like the many managers who have experienced recent compensation reductions and significant actual job losses, the very worst one could describe the company’s request of it’s union membership would be as “reasonable”, if not generous, given the uncertain future that lay ahead for all, company, manager, and worker alike.

  93. retired last year Says:

    Get a grip Remford, your thinking is skewed. If lower tier managers were represented by a collective body…union…they never would have agreed to the rape that was perpetrated for the sake of meeting the magical dividend number. When the number was met Randy and his cronies of parasites took their bonus money. No one ever decided to give their fair share in the interest of the company being viable. Look around you ask where are the jobs. Our country’s unemployment rate is at a high not seen in 25 years. Ya think AT&T will bring the jobs out sourced to help in this time of need? Not if it reduces Randy’s bonus.

  94. jason Says:

    all of you are acting like children,stop feuding and let the top executives of att and cwa work this thing out while they’re in the sac together.they already know when and how long the strike will happen. just relax and have fun during the strike,i cant wait to do my strike duties and go camping.i will have extra vac to use during hunting season now,ya hoo!!!!!!!!!

  95. Mike Says:

    I agree, get a grip Remford

    Bad faith conduct?? Lack viability of the company’s resource??? Let look at the reality of the company’s viability and where the real bad faith conduct lies

    Yes, we are working by the book, and yes we should be doing that everyday regardless of the current state of negotiations.

    But the reality is, if we were to do this all of the time we would not be able to keep up with either the work load or the company demands of
    us as is shown now by work backing up due to us working to the AT&T work rules and not taking on additional overtime hours.

    So is it bad faith on the employee part for showing AT&T that the current working environment, and expectations are unreasonable, unsafe, and causes poor working conditions and work quality??? Or is it bad faith on AT&T part for forcing us as employees for having to cut corners, work unsafe, producing poor work quality, causing overall poor customer service all at the alter of the bottom line???

    We complain all of the time about the unreasonable conditions & expectations listed below as well as many more, but noting is ever done about improving those conditions. But because of the current state of affairs, it gives us as a employees a chance to make a statement and show AT&T just how unreasonable those expectations really are.

    The fault lies directly at AT&T feet as to why we have to abandon many of the work rules we should be following on a daily basis

    1. As stated previously, Because of AT&T allowing our work force to dwindle for years now due to retirement & yes techs getting fired as well, and by not back filling the empty positions with new hires we do not have the necessary work force to daily work load. For instance, when I call inside support to have them make a change which is needed for me to complete my job, I am most often put on hold for 15 minutes, some times longer before they even get to me and then it takes them longer to make the requested changes because of their back up.

    2. AT&T keeps increasing our job per day quota and at the same time they keep adding additional duties to our work load that has very little to do with the actual job itself.

    3. Because of AT&T policy of doing the minimal amount of work needed to get the customer back up in service instead of taking the necessary time to fix the problems properly the first time, the cable and other facilities have been in a constant state of Decomposition which causes us a huge amount of lost productivity as well as causing my customers unnecessary amount of undue down time and repete problems. And yes, all the techs complain about this on a daily basis, but our our complaints and concerns fall on death ears.

    I could go on and on as to AT&T policy’s, but any reasonable intelligent person should be able to see that those policy’s are not driven by customer satisfaction and quality of service, but to company greed and the bottom line.

    As for the rest of your statement, they make absolutely no sense. AT&T is a very viable company and continues to be so.

    Every part of business draws on past performance to base their future decisions and directions. Would buy a company or a company stock who’s past performance was poor, or would you look for solid effectiveness based on past Performance. Unless you are a lier, the answer is clear.

    AT&T continues to increase profits each year and is not seeing any down turn even in the current consideration of present economic conditions.
    What AT&T is doing is using the poor economy as a over all excuse to cut wages, benefits and everything else, irregardless of the fact that they are a very profitable company. The only time AT&T has seen any problems at all is when they have over leveraged them self with buy outs of other company’s and even then, they were able to over come those short self imposed down turns and return huge profits

    As far as the manger compensation they are being shafted by this company’s greed. Do you think they agree with the direction company has taken regarding their compensation?? The only reason they have accepted what has happened to them is because unlike the bargained for employees, they have no choice and no voice as to the conditions they find them self in. If the company wide de facto standard is to shaft it’s employees and customers alike, why should I accept such shafting when I do have a voice and some hope in stopping them.

    At this time the company’s “de facto standard” is only the bottom line irregardless to what it does to it’s employees or it’s customers. If the other large telecomm company’s like Verizon and Quest communications can settle their contracts with out huge cost shifting and wage reductions to it’s employee’s, then why can’t AT&T with their 13 BILLION DOLLARS IN PROFITS do the same for their employee’s.

    Also you can even consider what their actions will do to the overall economy. By reducing wages and cost shifting to it employee’s, it reduces the amount of money we have to spend which causes layoffs in other company’s because they are not making sales.

  96. Mike Says:

    Hey jason

    You are wrong about that, one of the things they want to take away is Sunday scheduling.

    They want to be able to schedule us on Sundays as a regular work day. They also want to be able to schedule us without the consideration of having to consecutive days off. No more weekends to join our friends and family.

    They also want the ability of being able to schedule our vacation time for us. So it will be their choice when they allow us to take our vacation time off, not ours

  97. jason Says:

    well said mike,i couldnt agree with you more!

  98. jason Says:

    at&t is just a paycheck for me.i was a motivated tech for several years,at&t can break the best of spirits.its sad to see some of the new temps that have great attitudes,knowing that at&t will crush that shortly.

  99. stressed & confused Says: goes. i’ve been with att for 4 years.yesm when it was bellsouth, i loved it.ever since att took over, we have been given more duties and ridiculous quotas to meet…with no pay increase..I had a huge problem with that, but at the same time, I didn’t complain much because I was still employed @ a much higher rate than other companies pay.

    My dilema now, is that I just had a baby and now we’re in negotiation of going on strike. If we do, do I stand on the picket line to stand up for what is “right”, or do I cross it to provide for my newborn and I?

    This is a messed up situation. I want things to be fair for me and my fellow workers, but at the same time, if I stand on the picket line, are any of my union members going to help me provide for my baby?…I didn’t think so.

    So what do I do?

  100. Retired 2007 Says:

    If you are a member of the CWA & cross, you will be fined. No, don’t count on the bretheren for providing. Depending on how much is in the strike fund, “sometimes” the CWA will hand out grocery store vouchers. Best thing to do is try to line alternate employment, “sometimes” the CWA will have a list of employers willing to hire members until the strike is over.

  101. stressed & confused Says:

    How much is the fine and is it a time fee.

  102. stressed & confused Says:

    If we go on strike and the negotiations are not met are our jobs still promise. If not, then what is the purpose of the union.

  103. GoodOlBoy Says:

    Stressed- you need to take control of your own career for the sake of your family. If you stay in a union job you are going to in a business with a shrinking revenue base in a system that only recognizes the value of your contribution based on how much seniority you have. You will be stuck jockying yourself around on the overtime list.

    If you are either smart or a go-getter you will do much better in a free enterprise system. Now is the time for you to start planning where you need to get to jobwise and what training and steps you need to take to get there. When can you make a jump.. maybe 1 year, maybe 3, but you have to start planning now.

    As another person who came to AT&T through acquisition I can tell you the environment is much better out there. AT&T seems to assume that all their employees are either children or trying to rip them off because of their experience with the union. Believe me there are other jobs where you are allowed to call your own shots and make things happen on your own. AT&T doesnt even trust its employees enough to make a left-hand turn.

    If you are the type of person who likes tech anyway and are spending a lot of time on line, do a little career planning and redirect some of your time to self study or maybe picking up some certifications.

    As for the economics of what you do right now if there is a strike the economics are probably on the side of crossing. The union only pays $200 in strike pay so if you cant pick up steady side work there is no way you are going to close that pay gap. The intangible is if you cant jump for two years what your work environment is going to be like. I think a strike would be short and unsuccessful so I’d guess that the pay delta would probably be about 4 weeks so if you think you can make it the four weeks (and for God’s sake start saving every penny now) throw in with the union now have a harmonious couple of years and jump to a real career when you get the first chance.

    Good luck.

  104. Mike Says:

    stressed & confused, I feel your pain, nobody wants to go on strike but if we do it will be hard on all.

    First of all, if you decided to cross, the fine can be up to half of your pay for each day that you work.

    Second, lets turn your question around, if you do cross will you be helping your fellow workers who are on the picket line fighting for their and as well YOUR rights who also have kids and baby’s to feed pay for food for their family’s????

    Also by crossing, you are just helping AT&T and prolonging the negotiations out even longer which will hurt your co-workers even more. Don’t forget, many of your co-workers walking the picket line will have money problems as well.

    And how would feel, regardless of the reason if you see someone crossing the line. just remember, you will have to face these same people everyday ounce the strike is over.

    The whole idea of a strike is to cause AT&T to miss commitments on repairs and installs. I don’t care what they are saying, it will be impossible for them to cover for over a 100,000 employees over several states by using untrained or under trained Scabs and out of shape mangers who many do not have any real world experience in the field or don’t can’t even climb poles.

    Look what is happening already with us working by the book and NOT TAKING OVERTIME, the repair commit dates are already out 5 days and the install commits are out 16 days. Normally at this time of year when there is no rain they are giving same or next day appointments on both and this is with the regular EXPERIENCED techs still working.

    Like Retired 2007 said, try to line up some temp work till the strike is over. Talk to your friends, family members, union steward or even customers to see if they can help find you temp work. Also the union does have addition resources for the hard luck workers on strike.

    I hope you will do the right thing

  105. retired last year Says:

    Stressed, contact your local as they may have lined up jobs for temp work with other locals. One of our locals worked with the AFLciO dock workers and they hired some CWA members to get through the tough times. There may be assistance through your local for food vouchers and sometimes a lil cash. All contingent on how well your local prepared for the strike. May not be a lot but it’s a help, sorry Objectors do not qualify.

  106. CryMeARiver Says:

    Stressed&confused, I understand EXACTLY how you feel. It’s always a hard decision to make because you’re taught FAMILY FIRST, but then you also have your co-workers to face if you cross the line. Trust me, I’ve been going back and forth with this issue for quite some time, and I still don’t know what I plan to do. It’s nice to get advice from people, but at the end of the day no one else really knows your situation at home, and no one else knows what your breaking point is, and no one else is going to help you get out of debt once it mounts up (depending on how long we’d strike-*if we went on strike). I say, do what’s best for you (it could go either way), but I really hope that ATT and CWA can come up with an agreement while we’re still on the job. We’re only on week #2, but hopefully this week will be promising. Because in all reality no matter how much we support our union NO ONE *WANTS* TO GO ON STRIKE. I’d like to see LESS BICKERING AND ARGUING BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND NON-MANAGEMENT because it’s absolutely POINTLESS. We all make different pay, we all have different home lives, so it’s not really FAIR to say who should pay what (IT’S NOT UP TO EITHER OF US ANYWAY…WHICH IS THE FUNNY THING). Non-management didn’t get a TPA this year, and management didn’t get their annual raise, but they DID get a bonus. I don’t remember non-mangement employee’s raising HELL over that issue. Please let’s work together….it’s annoying to see all of this USELESS BICKERING.

  107. CryMeARiver Says:

    ****Just another note, we aren’t experiencing any tension in the office I work in. I was mostly referring to the comments on the AT&T Insider website (internal only), and on this site, and a few more site. I have heard comments from people while I was in the halls. I just don’t understand how one day we’re all peachy, and then the day the contract expires, it’s all hatred, fire and brimstone…..(SIGH!)

  108. Retired 2007 Says:

    Family First, absolutely. Everyone must do what’s right for them. As I wrote before, if you cross as a member of the CWA, you will be fined. It’s too late to file as an Agency Fee Objector.
    No one ever wins in a strike situation. CWA folks will never make up the $$$ they lost, & management will be pissed for months that they actually had to work & possibly missed a planned vacation.

  109. CryMeARiver Says:

    I AGREE. I like your objective viewpoints.

  110. Q Says:

    The “FINE” is the exact amount( to the penny) of money that you made while the rest of us were on strike. Our Local 9421 passsed out strike packets, that listed several temp agencies, credit counselors, Credit Union, and Community Service Information ( food Banks, churches, etc) and counseling agencies. They also listed several ideas on how to work with your local utilities, and even legal services. NO ONE wants to strike. But, if we allow the company to end ERB, in California, all the jobs in California will go away overnight. ERB is the only thing that prevents them from closing or moving on office, becasue they have to offer it FIRST. Our retiree brothers and sisters, stood on those lines, to get us the pay and benefits we enjoy today. I can’t in good faith, disrespect them and all the hard work they did. I WILL NOT cross that line, even if it means I am homeless. I will work somewhere else in the meantime, I will do my strike duty, and collect the strike pay (for as logn as it lasts)and make it work. If we give them an inch they will take a mile. The company has put forth a plan to cut the wages in half for SRV REPS and make them commission based (leverage title) They want to take away Presidents Day and the day after thanksgiving as holidays, they want to schedule your vacation for you, if you have any carry over. They want to cut the number of yards by increasing home dispatching. Elimination of paid sick time, Elimination of Sunday Premium Pay, Change the 49 hour rule to 54, while forcing overtime, ending volunteers, so you will never reach 54. Elimination of shift change premium, Shift differential, meal allowance, no Team Awards and pay for healthcare.
    This is but a few of the items, they are asking for at the bargaining tables….Healthcare, in district 1 they are suggesting that they pay approx $321 and a 2300 deductible (single)6700.00 (family). Thats means at least 2300.00 out of pocket expense, before your insurance will cover anything. Can you afford that, I can’t. I can’t afford not to strike, I left the company once, and worked in the public sector, and NO ONE is paying this wage. I left the company making 21.00hr and the best I could find was 15.00…. I barely made it through losing $6.00 hr, but I held in there till I could come back. I know everyone has to make the desicion that is best for them, but please even if only for a few days .. honor the strike, the more that do, the larger the message the company will receive.


  111. Q Says:

    Also, there is no arguing, friction,or animosity in my office, between craft and mngmnt. We are a small office, and we like our MGRs (ok all but one). They do not want us to strike either.

  112. retired last year Says:

    Thanks for the rally cry Q. Past strike were about money and job security. at&t put items on the table as a give backs, this showed compassion. Well not since the strikes for 40/49 hour, paid benefits and job security were all won at the bargaining table has at&t made such an effort to break the union. They ask for everything back and wait for the union members to break. Open your eyes people, with the company downsizing managers and the newer technologies…You’ve got to stick together now and bring them to a screeching halt. If there is uproar from the consumers and the politicians you’ll probably be told to get back to work. Government has a right to order everyone back to work if it impedes commerce.

  113. jason Says:

    i was told by a pbx contracter today that a company working for att has called him 3 times trying to get him to go to work on may 4 scabbing for att.att promised him 40 hrs the week of the 4th,then on a as needed bases after that.kinda funny how the scabs are telling cwa members when we are going on strike.

  114. Dalton Fury Says:

    The profit number is relative. The UAW once said, “Ford has lots of cash” during the last union negotiation as Ford lost billions each quarter. It seemed ok because Ford used to make big profits. That time, the cash came from mortgaging all the company’s factories. And, that move was seen as nothing more than desperation until the current credit crunch made the move seem like the greatest foresight in the company’s 100 years. The point here is, health care costs can cripple even a solid company, and I’m not saying AT&T is a solid company. It is almost as bloated in structure as CITIGROUP was, and that will catch up with them eventually. I think all companies will get to a point in the next ten years when they just can’t keep paying the majority of soaring healthcare costs. And, that’s an institutional problem with the broken health care system as a whole. There is no good way to do health care in this country, and still keep the best doctors. But, businesses have to take a stand somewhere on costs as a group if there is ever to be any slowdown in the health care complex that just grows now because it can.

  115. Q Says:

    Relative….well then I would like to be a relative to their profits. They reported the made 123 BILLION and after paying all the bills, dividends, healthcare, and 33 million in bonus to EXEC’s and the purchase of Mr. Stephen 1.7 million dollar home, they pocketed 12.9 billion. I think they can afford healthcare.

  116. CryMeARiver Says:

    If the company is so concerned about Heathcare, why don’t they invest in putting gyms in some of the larger facilities? How about encouraging workers to eat healthier? How about starting a “Heath Committee” of volunteers who pass out informational pamphlets about heathcare, give out fruit (or other heatlhy foods once a week…)?? I’ve worked at companies before who take an ACTIVE approach to make sure they at least “act” like they care about the health of their employees, so they have gyms, and promote healthy living. I know you can’t MAKE anyone change their lifestyle, but we can start somewhere. I’m sure that we wouldn’t have so many disability cases, FMLA cases, or LOA’S if we took a more ACTIVE approach in CARING GENUINELY about our employee’s, instead of always looking at it from a COST SHIFTING perspective. This is just a suggestion, and a small step in the right direction….just my opinion.

  117. Retired 2007 Says:

    How about employees taking personal responsibility for their health? Many of the healthplans provided by AT&T already have well being programs. Gyms on company property? Can we say liability? There are enough employees filing suits of all kinds against the company.
    AT&T has finally started tightening the screws on FMLA’s & disability claims, but as we all know, employees will always find another angle to work the system.

  118. CryMeARiver Says:

    Actually, there are several HUGE companies (i.e. Verizon, Progressive, Golden One…) that offer work out gyms at worksites. Of course we can all take personal responsibility for our health, but what’s wrong with offering a gym at work? AT&T is not a small company by any means, and we’ve had a gym at facilities before, but if that’s a liability, then coming to work everyday is also a liability-a workers comp claim can happen just walking the halls. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to consider. What’s wrong with handing out apples and oranges once per week? or having a health site as part of our Insider page? Most workers sit for 6-7 hours per day, and I think it would be nice to PROMOTE walking at breaks, lunches….This is just an idea, and I think it would be great!!! Alot of people use health benefits to get gastric-bypass, but if we take a preventative approach, maybe we’d have less people doing those types of things. Or, how about offering concessions for memberships at 24-hour fitness, Balley’s, LA Fitness….?? I’m not saying AT&T should MAKE us do anything, but I think it’s a WONDERFUL idea, and I’ve passed the idea around to different groups, and I have yet to hear an objection….

  119. Retired 2007 Says:

    Once upon a time…….AT&T did offer gym memberships, but then cancelled the contracts.
    Once upon a time………Employees had permission to use the lunch rooms for Jazzercize classes on their own time.
    Shouldn’t common sense dictate oneself to walk the parking lot at lunch if you have a sedentary job? Many do/did.
    Gastric bypass? Saw lots of those in my office, most certainly guarantees time off on the company dime.
    Yes many have (ahem) slipped in the hallways, then again they were on company time.
    Just as when the company used to make aspirin available to us, it was ruled the company cannot distribute anything to be injested.
    As far as the company is concerned the only thing they want to promote/enforce is productivity$$$$$$$

  120. CryMeARiver Says:

    I agree with walking being common-sense. It was just an IDEA (SIGH!)

  121. Retired 2007 Says:

    In a perfect world, it would be nice to have a sense that our employers actually cared about our well being. One on one, some managers actually did care, they would walk with us. It’s just something that can’t be mandated due to the “threat” of the company encroaching on our personal choices.
    Hey, I ate salads at lunch! Take away the junk machines, now you’re talking common sense!

  122. CryMeARiver Says:

    I hear ya. I try to eat healthy, but since I’m figuratively eating for “2” (wink wink) I have to eat what seems good to me. But I walk alot, I actually LOVE exercising (which I will resume rigorously after the baby), I don’t see how some people don’t understand the upside(s) to having a healthy body…but everyone’s different. Take away junk machines….(i’m crying at the thought…ha ha). I just can’t wait until this is all said and done. I wonder how Mobility employee’s got through those grueling 3 weeks it took them to come to an agreement….we’re at the end of week 2 (SIGH!).

  123. Retired 2007 Says:

    It’s all about personal choices & Prozac I tell ya!:)

  124. Remford Says:

    So, what’s “wrong” with the “risks” of a work-based employee gym versus the risks of on-the-job injuries? It’s very simple. Workers are paid and insured for the work they do, not for the basic and personal responsibilities of one’s own physical fitness.

    It’s indeed a shame when the most basic principles of performing one’s work with as much diligence, and for as long, as they’ve agreed to do that work in exchange specific compensation. Cries of “the company makes SO much money” as a basis for justifying why anyone should be arbitrarily paid more for the work they do is as disingenuous as banks unilaterally mandating higher mortgage payments because a property may have appreciated in value. It’s an envy and entitlement-based set of principles.

  125. GoodOlBoy Says:

    ” I left the company once, and worked in the public sector, and NO ONE is paying this wage. I left the company making 21.00hr and the best I could find was 15.00…. I barely made it through losing $6.00 hr, but I held in there till I could come back. I know everyone has to make the desicion that is best for them, but please even if only for a few days .. honor the strike, the more that do, the larger the message the company will receive.”

    Wow, so you admit that you are being paid more than you are worth in the free market? And since then you’ve done nothing to increase your value to an employer?


    Or you could take your marketable skills around and get someone to pay you for it.

    “They reported the made 123 BILLION and after paying all the bills, dividends, healthcare, and 33 million in bonus to EXEC’s and the purchase of Mr. Stephen 1.7 million dollar home, they pocketed 12.9 billion. I think they can afford healthcare.”

    $12B in profit… apparently that $33M in bonuses was way cheap.

    Meanwhile that that $12B is most money that unions had nothing to do with. If there is no effort at cost containment on the union side where do you think the cost is going to come out of? We’ll get screwed and more jobs will go to Croatia who we will than have to spend our time bailing out. All so that you can get a health care deal that no one else in the country gets.

  126. CryMeARiver Says:

    Anyone wanna place bets on who’ll raise the “WHITE FLAG” first?? What’s bad, is that people seem to think that the CWA members are at the bargaining table…ummmmm, we’re not! And, we have no idea (just like no one else does) what the company is REALLY offering, and why it’s being rejected. We don’t know anything, and I think for me,that’s frustrating. We keep hearing about COST SHIFTING….but, ok…how much? We’re all just outsiders trying to get a peek in, if you ask me.

  127. Q Says:

    They cry recession, and they can’t afford healthcare… REALLY


    We’ve opened a new office in Dubai Internet City

    April 16, 2009 — The new office is further evidence of our continuing success and commitment to the Middle East and Africa region.


    People please wake up and smell the crap !!!!

  128. Retired 2007 Says:

    I remember now………years back the company gave free flu shots to everyone that wanted one. The medical agency they hired came on site to do so. Tetanus shots were also offered.
    Memberships to 24 Hour Fitness were offered at a group discount.
    They did start a well being program. It began as a quick cholesterol check at lunch time, but anyone who had a high count were invited to participate in a 3 month nutrition & monitoring program. We were actually allowed to go for the monthly reviews on company time.
    Then again, that was Pacific Bell, all of that stuff went away when SBC took over.

  129. Mike Says:

    Dalton, I am so tired of people and AT&T itself, comparing what AT&T, a utility, is offering to it’s consumers which is a service driven company, to the Auto company’s, manufacturers, who’s products sales are bought by the consumers as capital equipment.

    To buy a vehicle, the consumer must borrow a huge sum of money from a bank. Because of this, the economy has a direct effect to the ability of the consumer, because of either being laid because of the tightening economy or lack free income, have the necessary money to pay off the monthly car payments each month as well as the banks either withholding loans or making it harder to get one which further slowed down or stop sales altogether.

    You also have additional expenses that you must pay for cost of ownership on a vehicle, such as insurance, registration fees, maintenance, smog checks & gas.

    These additional fees are not only expensive, but are totally out of the automakers control as to their cost’s but must be factor in to buying a vehicle.

    Also those costs are unpredictable because cars break down, gas & insurance can go through the roof, and the Bank may refuse to give you a loan in the first place .

    The average cost of ownership to own, use & maintain the vehicle according to Triple A is anywhere from 526 to 822.00 per month depending on the vehicle. And that is not taking in account the long term commitment of 3 to 7 years and cost 300 to 700.00 or more @ at an average cost of 20K to 50k

    To get phone service, all you need is some proof of income, and any income level will do. You do not need a bank to get a loan; you do not have to pay to additional fees to other companies keep the service. And the monthly cost is pretty much static from month to month. You can cancel the service at anytime.

    Depending on the features, average cost ranges between 12.00 to 65.00 per month

    So unlike a vehicle ownership, pretty much anyone can afford some type of phone service. And since it is a monthly static utility fee, you can control the cost, change the features and do not need a bank or any other company to get and maintain the service. Because of this, the economy has very little to no effect s on the telecom companies.

    As to your other arguments, unlike Ford or any of the other auto companies, AT&T has posted increase profits each year. If a company can post a 12.9 billion dollar profit in a down recessed economy then they can afford to continue to pay decent wage and benefits to it’s employees. And they were able to post these record profits each year without having to mortgage any assets to do so. In fact AT&T has been buying up other telecom companies and assets, not selling them.

    I can’t see how you can say that AT&T has a bloated structure like CITIGROUP, that they have any of the same problems as the auto companies or that they are having any problems paying the current level of benefits that they have been paying since the last 5 year contract.
    AT&T is already showing strong first quarter profits during this depressed economy and guess what, they are doing this while still paying all of the current wages and benefits and other expenses.

    As far as health care is concern, the employees do AT&T do pay for their health care benefits by way of deductibles and co-pays.

    NO, AT&T is a very strong company in a vey unique situation because of the type of services they offer and the only reason they want to cut wages and benefits is because of pure greed so they can pay more to their share holders and increase the CEO’s compensation and bonuses.

    I guess 33.5 million bonuses to the top 5 CEO’s isn’t enough.

    Just like AT&T, Microsoft, another greedy company, who by both off shoring and the use of H1 Visa’s are hurting it’s employees and the economy as a whole by reducing the amount of good US job’s.

    I ran across a article in the wall street journal. The following is a excerpt of that article

    “We can’t say that this doesn’t matter because we’re only talking about 10 people, or 1000 people. It isn’t the number of people; it’s the fact that they are people, families with lives to live, bills to pay and expectations for the future. The monster here is the corporation, all corporations. Made from legal ether and now endowed with the rights and privileges of person-hood. Eternal and omnipotent, they don’t have any love except for themselves and money. They no longer have national identities now that they are “Global.” They have become the feudal lords and we are the serfs. We can’t save any of these jobs because the corporations have written the laws of the land to favor them and detract from ordinary citizens. We can’t turn to our government because in-human corporations have bought and paid for it. We can’t expect the main stream news sources to report on it because the corporations own them too.

    “What hurts one, hurts us all” and we have all been hurt by corporate greed.”

    I could not have said it any better. And by the way, AT&T is all going the off shore route as well.

  130. Remford Says:

    And I am sure that AT&T and its shareholders are equally “tired” of the kind of apples-and-oranges comparisons so many continue to mistake as being (and purport to be) relevant.

    Your (and others’) claims that the company has “posted increased profits each year”, even during a “down economy”, reflects years past and has absolutely no relevance to the present beyond serving as a benchmark for illustrating just how challenging the current earning environment happens to be. Not only have the current fiscal year’s numbers not yet accrued, but no fiscal period has yet to include the figures from the worst part of the economic downturn to date, nor can anyone presume that the worst has yet happened in terms of its impact upon AT&T.

    It’s this kind of disingenuous fact engineering, when combined with the concessions that employees and managers of virtually every other area of the business have already accepted, that ring very hollow indeed. You’re willing to contend that you should be entitled to future compensation and benefits based upon financial results from the past that not only do not reflect the radically-different present, but you also believe they should be locked-in for the foreseeable future at a time when nobody has any reasonable basis to be certain that the future may not include challenges that could make it as dramatically worse than the present than the present is to the figures from the past you claim demonstrate the company’s ability to “afford” benefit terms that would b lavish to almost every other division, employee, and manager of the business by comparison.

    One would hope that reasonable and good faith bargaining would include a better foundation closer to reality than a second cousin twice removed. The key is to begin with facts and develop a conclusion based upon them rather than attempting to fit the square data into round the round hole of justifying the conclusion you’re trying to support.

  131. GoodOlBoy Says:

    “So unlike a vehicle ownership, pretty much anyone can afford some type of phone service. And since it is a monthly static utility fee, you can control the cost, change the features and do not need a bank or any other company to get and maintain the service. Because of this, the economy has very little to no effect s on the telecom companies.”

    This is silly since in both cases the purchase/lease will look like an annuitized cost/revenue stream to the customer and company.

    The problem with car sales is not that people cant raise the entire amount- it that they dont want to take on an additional monthly payment. Sure its easier to afford a smaller payment- phone/data verses car- but the real issue is that these are discretionary monthly expenses. If you already have a cell cut the landline. If you have cable modem thrown on skype.

    The year to year dumping of landlines was a trend that predates the economic downturn but is only likely to accelerate as people cut back on unnecessary monthly expenses. The fact that these unions expenses are supported by fewer and fewer lines every year is just going to continue.

    “can’t see how you can say that AT&T has a bloated structure like CITIGROUP, that they have any of the same problems as the auto companies or that they are having any problems paying the current level of benefits that they have been paying since the last 5 year contract.”

    Do you not get that the “current level of benefits” cost more to AT&T every year? Believe me everyone else in the country (other than government employees) gets this- the base cost of health care rises every year.

    Just offering you “the current level of benefits” is like giving every union employee a $2000 raise per year.

    BTW- there are 303,000 AT&T employees of which 80,000 are covered by this contract. What do you think the rest of us are doing?

  132. Single Dispatch Says:

    On April 13, GoodOlBoy wrote about “redirecting (to) self study or maybe even picking up some certifications”…..

    GoodOlBoy, you care to expand on that? Thx.

  133. retired last year Says:

    The State of California, Labor friendly, has contracts with AT&T. Everyone affected by the strike and cutback on jobs, should get on the horn demanding their elected officials all refuse to renew their service contrtact. Bypass never sounded so good.

  134. Left behind in technology Says:

    I wonder, also, why just one of the monopolies WON’T bring DSL to my area? (rural MI). There are still untapped markets and people without services.

    I will guarantee that my wireless contracts a/ AT&T won’t be renewed if the contract isn’t settled!

  135. Retired 2007 Says:

    It isn’t just the rural areas that are left behind in technology. Many suburban areas of California don’t have DSL either.

  136. GoodOlBoy Says:

    “On April 13, GoodOlBoy wrote about “redirecting (to) self study or maybe even picking up some certifications”…..

    GoodOlBoy, you care to expand on that? Thx.”

    If you were a record store employee in 2001, it was time to plan your jump to another career. Will there always be music stores and employees? Sure, just like there will probably be wireline techs for the next 50 years or so. But being in a business where revenue decreases year over year for the next decade will be a very depressing career with little chance for growth.

    The original question came from Stressed who sounds like he is young and at the start of his career and he also need some stability. Stability comes from having marketable skills.

    I dont have specific advice to give because I think the starting point has to be what kind of field Stressed is suited for and will enjoy. Career advice that doesnt take into account what is suitable for the person can be counterproductive- why spend a lot of time, effort and money training for a position that you show up every day hating?

    First step should be career coach to figure out what makes sense for Stressed as a goal career. Then map out what are the steps to get there. Cisco’s classware is available to AT&T employees, so Stressed could pick up skills in an number of areas at night. Maybe he find out that he likes an field that he didnt think about before, or decides something is not for him.

    I personally think IT Security related jobs are going to boom. There already was a lot of work to do with PCI and Sox but the regulatory environment is likely to get worse which means more expertise is needed in companies’ IT. If thats an area you like, then there will be a lot of opportunity.

  137. Q Says:

    WOW….. Looks like the economy has NOT hurt AT&T at all. Here is how they list their own 1st Quarter Results….

    They increased in every area….and 12.9 billion in the bank… and who did all the work????

    First Quarter 2009 results

    It’s a challenging economy, but as our 1Q results showed this morning — we’re executing well overall. Thanks to your efforts, the investments we’ve made and our focus on leading the market in broadband and mobility continue to pay off. Here are the headlines from 1Q:

    Revenues relatively stable. A tough economy put pressure on wired voice revenues (consumer and business). Those declines were largely offset by strong growth in mobility, broadband, U-verse and strategic business services.

    Wireline data revenues — driven by broadband — increased 5%.

    Wireless data revenues — driven by mobile broadband — increased 39%.

    Added 1.2M new wireless subscribers; post-paid net adds up 24%.

    Added 284K U-verse subscribers, nearly double our adds in 1Q ’08.

    Added 471K broadband customers (wired and Laptop 3G), up sequentially.

    Strategic business services revenue up 20% (VPN, Ethernet, Hosting, Apps).

    Costs stable. A lot of hard work and operational discipline has gone into controlling expenses and improving our overall cost structure.

    Operating income down. Consolidated operating income declined 4%.

    Wireless operating income increased 13%.

    Wireline operating income fell 27%.

    Earnings down. Consistent with expectations, earnings were down because of pressure from incremental pension and retiree benefit costs. Without these costs, earnings would have been up slightly.
    Let’s stay aggressive in the market and continue to keep our costs in line. When the economy rebounds, companies like us that have continued to invest and stayed strong — financially and operationally — will be positioned to lead the next wave of industry growth.

  138. Remford Says:

    Well Q… though the company results are indeed positive, as one would hope them to be, there are many groups who shared the load of doing “all the work”.

    Of course, the CWA members were important contributors. So were the thousands of other non-exempt employees who help to ensure their employer’s continuing viability. Managers and officers also made a significant contribution. Most notably were those among the 20-30% of some divisions who are no longer with the company and whose separations were unfortunately an essential part ensuring the company’s ongoing viability and prosperity.

    These are the people whose “contracts” expire daily and are renewed each morning when they reach their desks. As a result, they were among the first to bear their share of the economic challenges, many in place of the wireline workers whose contracts protected them from having to make similar compromises despite the 27% decrease in wireline operating income.

    The existing and remaining managers have also made tremendous contributions toward doing “all the work”, as they have had to assume and complete the same amount of daily work with up to 30% fewer resources. For many, 11-12 hour days have become the norm. None receive any additional compensation for the additional work they do or the additional time it requires; and most already clearly understand and accept why 2009 will be a year without any compensation increases whatsoever. Any returns they will see for the extra demands placed upon them will only come in the direct from of the company’s continued prosperity, and the ability to keep the expanded jobs they have.

    So, as you ask “who did all the work”, you may choose to consider the “work” was done by far more than the members of the CWA, that many others have paid a far dearer price for the current economy than the vast majority of CWA members, and the overwhelming majority beyond the 80,000 CWA members have done, and continue to do, this work while fully understanding, accepting, and appreciating the current realities that include contributing toward their benefits at no less a rate than is being asked of the CWA members.

  139. Q Says:

    It was never my intention to insinuate that only CWA members did “all the work”. I was simply pointing out that it is the employee’s(“WE”) (CWA or not)that contributed to the success, and “WE” deserve our fair share.

    Also to drive home the point that at the bargaining table they are crying poor….Yet the numbers speak for themselves. “WE” are doing our part.

    Especailly when they make statements like “We cannot have this group of employees in the declining part of the business have the best health care.”

    It’s disconcerting to me that a company doing as well as AT&T is turning their backs on the people that built(retiree’s) and those who continue to grow the company and try to use the economy as the reason they want to take it all away. AT&T has both hands in the cookie jar and they’re trying to convince the world they’re on a diet.

  140. GoodOlBoy Says:


    You could read your own cut and pastes- the area that did not increase is the union’s scope- wireline revenue.

    Fact- the cost to the company for health care per union employee increases every year

    Fact- the revenue that supports the majority of these union jobs decreases every year. And you have just seen a data point of how precipitously it is decreasing.

    You cant have increasing costs and decreasing revenue.

    The union’s position on their web site is to claim that its “one company” and one piggybank to raid and that Remford and I should be making up for your Business Unit’s lack of revenue. The practical application is that we lose headcount from our divisions and our working conditions get worse.

    It would be nice to see the union admit two things:
    – There are 200,000+ non union employees in AT&T and we account for the vast majority of the revenue and profit. For some reason SBC calls us managers but at any other company we’d be just individual contributors. “Managers” are not just the guys get you to put down the paper and shoo you out of the garage.
    – Randall must be doing something right since he made up for a huge revenue hole and perhaps he deserves a bonus.

  141. Q Says:


    I did read my own “cut and paste” and in every area they increased. Including wirleine (data).

    Is 123 Billion decreasing revenue. Is 12.9 billion ( after paying the bills) decreasing revenue?

    Just for the record, I am not anti-management. I like my manager. I think that the healthcare being offered to managers is just as wrong, and proves that the “company” doesn’t care about manangers either.

    I think Randall got his bonus…. We gave him 1.7 million for his house, and his cost free shares, that he sold for 3 million.

  142. Remford Says:

    I remain ever-surprised at cafeteria-style selection of isolated facts some adopt to support their particular biases rather than reaching a conclusion from the totality of the facts and realities.

    While the broad business landscape may have increased, earnings (the single-most critical metric against which all else must be compared) are “down”. This makes clear one simple fact; AT&T owes its ability to withstand the current economic downturn to expense control. Without the sizable sacrifices and compromises the vast majority of AT&T’s associates and divisions have already withstood, and from which the CWA membership has thus far largely been spared, the current-quarter performance picture would be far more ominous.

    It’s not a matter of “who should bear the burden”. The question is “who has not yet had to”. Though wireline remains essential to AT&T’s product and service portfolio and the business cannot base each division’s compensation and benefits on its own isolated “numbers”, a disparity exists not just between the CWA membership and their fellow AT&T associates but between the benefit levels they’re seeking to maintain and the “bottom line” contribution of the work they do.

    Depicting any effort to control costs that continue to threaten the business regardless of the economic environment as “both hands in the cookie jar” isn’t just wrong; it’s intellectually dishonest. The proverbial “cookie jar” is the capital that allows AT&T to do business today and ensure it can continue to do so, not to mention continue employing its associates, tomorrow. Describing the need to manage and preserve its capital as “crying poor” similarly misrepresents the necessity to shepherd the company’s available resources with extraordinary care during economic times which virtually every household has quickly understood the need to do the same.

    Nobody relishes the compromises that are (and have been) required, but the overwhelming majority understand why they’re necessary. Even most retirees fully appreciate that dramatic year-over-year health benefit cost increases have rendered past models unsustainable. Nobody is pleased about these realities, but very few are willing to claim that preserving past benefits at previous levels is singularly more important than ensuring future viability.

    Absolutely nothing is being asked of the CWA with respect to health care benefits that virtually every other AT&T employee has not already accepted in addition to the many other de facto concessions they’ve already assumed. I again reiterate that the wireline business is an essential part of the entire AT&T product and service portfolio. That the CWA membership is being asked to accept no greater concession than any of their fellow AT&T associates despite the decreased revenue the business is receiving from the work the CWA members do is a convincing testimony to the extent AT&T values its contribution to the entire business.

    Nobody, including those who have already absorbed the burden of considerable compromises, is gleeful about the concessions the CWA membership must share; but one would need to exclude virtually every practical reality the business faces to contend the proposed concessions aren’t at least reasonable. In fact, one would also have to ignore the many compromises virtually every other division and associate have absorbed to set apart and above the CWA membership from its brethren to contend it alone should continue to enjoy past benefit levels as future entitlements despite every practical consideration the current economic realities impose.

    To depict AT&T’s negotiating stance as having “both hands in the cookie jar” disingenuously implies those hands must not only be grabbing, but trying to grab something for themselves. Expense management is hardly an attempt to line anyone’s pockets; it’s an existential need that virtually every non-CWA associate fully appreciates and accepts as essential to preserving AT&T’s ability to invest and compete (and hopefully without the need to reduce headcount further. This isn’t an “opportunity” for the business; it’s a necessity that especially can’t afford to elevate one group so far beyond all others.

    I agree, GoodOlBoy. The current executive leadership hasn’t just been doing “something right”, that he’s kept the hull intact amid so many icebergs and so much fog indicate Randall and his leadership team have done a whole lot of “things right” in addition to a whole lot of “right things”. I wouldn’t dispute that a bonus may be deserved, but I applaud the many executive leaders who, in deference to the “times” and the sacrifices many others have already endured, voluntarily forewent considerable bonus opportunities.

    Most associates help their employers succeed by doing the best job they can as individuals, and effective leaders are essential to deploying and maximizing benefit from their contributors. While these difficult times are far from being “over”, the current results indicate they’re leading the business very well. Hopefully, wiser perspectives will prevail and all parties will come to appreciate the responsibility to care for the safety of the ship aboard which everyone sails.

  143. GoodOlBoy Says:

    “I did read my own “cut and paste” and in every area they increased”

    from your post:
    ‘Wireline operating income fell 27%. ‘

    That includes data.

    Wireline voice revenue decreased by 12% which is a y2y drop of over $1B.

    Why are you guys in denial about this?

  144. Q Says:


    Here it is again…..
    Wireline data revenues — driven by broadband — increased 5%.
    That would be an increase in wireline…. regardless of reason.. it’s an increase…

  145. Q Says:

    I would agree that..

    “This makes clear one simple fact; AT&T owes its ability to withstand the current economic downturn to expense control”

    so, let’s start with EXEC bonuses, I didnt get one why should they?

    How about having all top exec contribute to their healthcare, since they are asking us to. Aren’t they supposed to model behavior.

    Perhaps we could stop paying Whiticare’s healthcare all together.

    Do we need a coporate jet?

    Maybe we could stop buying houses, after the CEO decides to move the head office to another city.

    Why is it when we talk about expense control, it is to shift all the burden to the employee’s? Let’s start at the top and work down.

  146. Remford Says:

    Because “bonuses” are simply not part of your particular division’s compensation structure, as the tactical work you do, does not equate nearly to the overall creation and preservation of revenues that are the responsibility of the work they do.

    Furthermore, there’s simply no merit to the age old “I should” simply because “they get” argument. Having already based your views upon what carefully-selected and isolated-from-context data points, it shouldn’t be surprising that you’d also opt to cite facts that aren’t merely not relevant, but second cousins twice-removed at best. You’re now arguing that your compensation should not be based upon the work you do, but the work other people do.

    That the same baseless claim could be proffered by anyone whose job and responsibilities are less well-compensated as yours results in the same circle-jerk of logic that ends with the claim that everyone, everywhere, should be entitled to the same compensation regardless of their field, profession, and responsibility. Furthermore, by the very nature of its existence, the union and its members have made the deliberate decision that their work and compensation should be considered separately and apart from every other division of the business. Now you’d like it both ways in that your piece of the pie should be no smaller than anyone else’s, except when you believe you’re entitled to a larger one.

    Of course this also very conveniently overlooks the basic fact that the compensation structure of senior managers and the executive leadership is such that bonuses are integral to their overall compensation. It is not simply a “cherry on top”. It’s a variable figure that reflects both the business’ overall performance and the individual contribution toward it. And while it certainly motivates performance by the potential they represent when the business is able to meet its objectives, the total compensation many individuals receive may (and frequently does) ultimately fall short of their target compensation objectives when objectives aren’t met.

    Again overlooking that the CWA has chosen to be considered uniquely and apart from the remainder of the business, you may very well wish to enjoy the benefits of a bonus-based compensation structure. Though I strongly suspect you may not also be willing to begin by bidding farewell to the same percentage of your CWA brethren that those whose compensation includes a bonus component have already endured. I’d line-up a week in advance for tickets to attend the meeting at which the union would decide specifically which “X percent” of its membership would be chosen to join the unemployed or ratify the overall pay reduction by the same amount. Life becomes much more complex outside the vacuum of selective reality.

    Lastly, though perhaps most importantly, despite the union’s insistence upon being considered unto itself because of the unique, specialized, and non-comparable work its members do, AT&T has chosen to ask nothing more of it than has become the established standard throughout the business. While I don’t think it would be morally fair or good business to seek greater concessions from the CWA members based upon their division’s poor financial performance, the demonstrable fact is that AT&T has chosen to ask nothing more of its members than it has of the organization as a whole. There can be no greater demonstration of good faith by AT&T. Continuing future health benefit funding at past levels would make the CWA the exception rather than the rule. At a time when it’s division has seen a 27% downturn in operating income, the CWA has a very hard time reasonably claiming it should receive a level of benefit that would exceed all others.

  147. GoodOlBoy Says:

    “Here it is again…..
    Wireline data revenues — driven by broadband — increased 5%.
    That would be an increase in wireline…. regardless of reason.. it’s an increase…”

    Assuming that you are just not getting it in good faith- here is the definitive information:

    Voice lost $1.3B y2y
    Data increased $300M y2y
    All of wireline together decreased $946 y2y in one quarter.
    Gross Margin decreased from 16.7% to 12.8%.

    Thats the trend and it born out in the currently reported numbers.

    Whats the profitably of wireline segment going to look like at the end of this four year contract? How can you ask the company to lock in every increasing employee costs when they know revenue is going to be shrinking drastically?

    re: bonus. Actually my bonus was very decent this year, and as much as I like to complain about somethings AT&T does the bonus wasnt one of them. Frankly you guys should get with the plan and put some of your pay at risk and accept the idea of merit raises and merit promotions. but then there really would be no justification for these union fat cats to be able to collect tribute from the regular members any longer.

    Just to give you background on another union talking point we probably have so many corporate jets because they were the assets of acquired companies: SBC had a jet, AT&T had jets, Bell South had jets. Cingular probably had a plane. Why because if you are paying your exec a lot of money you dont want them standing around in line at TSA Security not being productive. OR telling a customer they cant meet with them to save a deal because they cant get a flight because its Spring Break.

    “Perhaps we could stop paying Whiticare’s healthcare all together. ”

    Wasnt he a former lineman? I thought you guys supported paying retiree benefits forever.

  148. Q Says:


    I am not picking carefully-selected and isolated-from-context data points.. These are facts the company has released.

    You can’t cry poor, when you just open your 2nd office in Dubai, report favorable 1st Qtr results during a recession, purchase a 1.7 million dollar home, and gave out huge bonuses

    If you want us to help you be fiscally responsible, then you have be responsible.

    AT&T does not want to be a company that asks for a bailout or completely abandons employer-funded benefits.
    Continued protection from paying catastrophic health care expenses. After employees covered by these contracts reach a modest annual maximum.. They are abandoning employer funded healthcare, you know the marketing tool, that they used to attract the most talented people.
    MODEST ANNUAL MAXIMUM.. modest to whom, $2300.00 annually for single and $6700 annually for a family.. on my income that is breaking the bank…If i made what they made, i might see modest. Yet, they are contributing nothing.. so when yours is free, i am sure $6700 dollars seems modest.

    Also, i work in HR, so i am completely aware of their compensation, and I know that they are nicely compensated with out the bonuses, and it is the Cherry on Top.

    How is CWA seperate, you say that like they had a hand in the decision on what companies to purchase and whether they were union… Wirleine was the backbone of this company for YEARS.. and now what, just turn your back on all the people that helped you grow this company, including wireless..


    If Whiticare retired as a lineman, you bet I would be willing to give him retiree benefits… But since he gets free healthcare for life.. i guess that’s a mute point.

  149. GoodOlBoy Says:

    “You can’t cry poor, when you just open your 2nd office in Dubai…”

    You know what the purpose of a sales office is? Selling. They are trying to expand into new markets and generate more revenue. Why do you view any activity other than climbing a pole as frivolous?

    “If Whiticare retired as a lineman, you bet I would be willing to give him retiree benefits… But since he gets free healthcare for life.. i guess that’s a mute point.”

    Its not moot at all. Are you only in favor of benefits if guys are on your team?

    At least you now concede that wireline revenue is decreasing.

  150. Mike Says:

    I agree, we are losing voice lines to the like of Vontage & Magic Jack Etc.

  151. retired last year Says:

    Let’s put it all in a nut shell…The company makes a lot of money. They pay executives to direct the business and the main thrust is to make money. We are employeed to assure the service is delivered and help make money. Some are employed to capture or recover funds to add to the money.
    Executives stay employeed by making target money. Their bonus money is tied to the extra money they bring to the table. Workers stay employed by providing the service.
    However, the last minute minute tightening of the belt doesn’t do anything other than show everyone is trying. The major capital expense is LABOR. Any idea how many pencils need to be cut back to equate to one tech being laid off.
    The greed of the executives push for bonus money is the reason we all are here without a contract.
    If the goverment ever labels at&t a monopoly and restricts their profit margin,we’ll be happy.
    The bonus money will be controlled, gobbling up other companies will be stopped. Most important we can all go back to providing service.

  152. retired last year Says:

    Let’s put it all in a nut shell…The company makes a lot of money. They pay executives to direct the business and the main thrust is to make money. We are employeed to assure the service is delivered and help make money. Some are employed to capture or recover funds to add to the money.
    Executives stay employeed by making target money. Their bonus money is tied to the extra money they bring to the table. Workers stay employed by providing the service.
    However, the last minute minute tightening of the belt doesn’t do anything other than show everyone is trying. The major capital expense is LABOR. Any idea how many pencils need to be cut back to equate to one tech being laid off.
    The greed of the executives push for bonus money is the reason we all are here without a contract.
    If the goverment ever labels at&t a monopoly and restricts their profit margin,we’ll be happy.
    The bonus money will be controlled, gobbling up other companies will be stopped. Most important we can all go back to providing service.

  153. Remford Says:

    Good Lord. This kind of hyperbole and paranoia has been the obstacle to reaching consensus, not any so-called “push for bonus money”. Unfortunately, as long as perpetuating this kind of half-truth based nonsense continues to be the comfortable universe so many have constructed to justify and insulate themselves from reality, it’s likely to continue.

    And now, the rest of the story, the actual story. Bonus objectives are established on a year-to-year basis based upon performance targets that exist at that time, including whatever the current labor costs happen to be. Pretending that increasing management bonuses is the motivation for the need to manage health care benefit costs is equally disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.

    Furthermore, because bonuses are based upon both revenue and earnings, and labor costs have absolutely no impact upon revenue whatsoever, it would be a particularly ineffective means of accomplishing what you’d have others believe takes place when the executive coven meets in their smoke filled lair. And though health benefit expenses are indeed substantial in terms of the business’ ongoing viability, their impact upon meeting bonus objectives is minimal, especially because other bonus compensation pertain to individual divisions performing against their own performance, and entirely unrelated performance goals.

    As an entire business, however, the benefit costs for all associates does indeed comprise a substantial amount that has a significant impact upon overall profitability. This is true to such an extent than virtually every other AT&T associate has already accepted the necessary benefit revisions long ago. The only senseless and unfair proposition would be to exempt a minority group from these same realities, particularly those who represent the one division whose revenues and earnings are the demonstrably weakest within the entire organization. Despite these realities, the CWA isn’t just claiming it should be exempt from the same benefit levels as effectively all other AT&T employees, but that it has some divine entitlement to benefit levels that exceed all others’.

    That you would argue re-regulation would be a good thing shows the extent of the denial. Regulation would not come in the form of fixing profit margins, but rather service rates. Revenues, not earnings, would be affected most. Should this unrealistic scenario actually occur as you envision, the business wouldn’t be likely to react by immediately decreasing benefits and increasing compensation; it would invest in pricing to gain marketshare to meet its obligation to every business’ primary responsibility, its owners.

    Despite your fantasy scenario’s ultimate unlikeliness, it really betrays the unfortunately common “anyone’s but mine” ethos that continues to prevent agreement. You yourself propose that limiting the profit of the corporation as a whole, its shareholders, and every other non-CWA resource is both reasonable and preferable to maintain its past benefit levels that now exceed those in every other part of the business. And while there’s certainly no danger of what you propose actually every happening, it shows how divorced from reality many people have become. It also shows how little interest many have in understanding and preserving the viability of the business they expect to provide for them compared to preserving their own sense of entitlement.

  154. Remford Says:


    That you seem to view the opening of a second Dubai office (or any other for that matter) as some sort of excess rather than an investment made toward ensuring future growth and viability in one of the world’s most rapidly expanding business centers, and would try to use it as some sort of basis to justify that the company is somehow illicitly profiting at the expense of more noble virtues betrays precisely how detached from reality, and focused on self-interest, you happen to be.

    No less can be said of how apparently comfortable you are deciding who, and who is not, “nicely compensated”. It would be fascinating to know where your obtained such an all-reaching sense of propriety and how you would explain to someone who made the decision to work for AT&T based upon a commitment of receiving 70% of the guaranteed compensation they received at a competitor, with the balance coming in the form of objective-based compensation?

    As you’ve tried in the past, you would have everyone being paid no less than the chairman, or no more than the least-compensated position within the business, it’s hardly surprising that you’re so confident in your ability to decide fair and appropriate compensation for all. And though it’s frightening to know a member of the HR organization would actually voice such a view, it’s far better than knowing you served in any sort of decision-making capacity that could affect the business.

    And yes, wireline was once the foundation of the business. Unfortunately, although it remains an important part, it’s not anymore. And it certainly doesn’t occupy pride-of-place to the extent that it should be entitled to health benefits that exceed those throughout virtually every other part of the business.

    At a time when even employees of the most productive divisions have accepted that health benefits weren’t sustainable in past forms, it’s simply not reasonable to claim that the business’ fastest-shrinking and under-performing division should enjoy some kind of special exemption. Now, you already know these things, so it’s not worth the time and effort to explain why realities are what they are. And while you may feel things “should” be differently, you simply can’t make a reasonable business case for them.

  155. jason Says:

    mike,how do you think vonage and magic jack works,yes that is correct,on our wireline network!

  156. Mike Says:

    I know, I am in I&R. I was just trying to get those 2 other Corporate lackeys who keep spouting the corp talking points to comment

  157. GoodOlBoy Says:

    This just in: Vonage works over cable modem.

    No customer needs us for anything. We must earn them all since every one of our services has alternatives.

  158. Dave'sWife Says:


    What’s your alternative to T3s feeding a cell tower?

    …& some AMERICAN FAMILIES actually CHOOSE providers based upon the number of UnionAmerican People those providers employ!


  159. Mike Says:

    I kinda wonder why there were two earning reports submitted?? I guess the one sent out to the union members was meant to demoralize them and continue the corp talking points of “We are losing wirelines and money” so they can cost shift expensive to the employees.

    But here is the one that was sent to the share holders. NOTE there is no mention of wireline loses, but an actual double digit increase, due to U-Verse, Broadband, and other IP Based wireline services. Read and enjoy

    Wireline Operational Highlights

    AT&T’s first-quarter wireline results were led by further growth in AT&T U-verse subscribers, solid broadband results and a double-digit increase in revenues from IP-based and strategic business services such as Ethernet and VPNs. Highlights include the following:

    * Strong AT&T U-verse Growth. AT&T U-verse TV subscribers in service increased by 284,000 in the first quarter — up from 148,000 added in the year-earlier first quarter and 264,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008 — to reach 1.3 million in service. This growth reflects the high quality of the AT&T U-verse video experience, which offers a host of advanced features including AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR, integrated voice and broadband service, and at least 100 High Definition channels in all markets in which the service is offered. AT&T U-verse TV continues to reach mid-teens penetration in areas marketed to for at least 18 months, and nearly 50 percent of AT&T U-verse TV subscribers take one of the two largest video packages. AT&T’s total video subscribers, which combine the company’s U-verse and bundled satellite customers, reached 3.5 million at the end of the first quarter, representing 12.6 percent of households served.
    * Significant Step Up in Broadband Net Adds. AT&T U-verse TV’s high broadband attach rate, greater than 90 percent in the first quarter, combined with strong growth in stand-alone broadband bundles to drive a substantial sequential improvement in broadband net adds. Total broadband connections, which include wireline subscribers and wireless customers with 3G LaptopConnect cards, increased by 471,000 in the first quarter to reach 16.7 million in service. AT&T’s wired broadband connections increased by 359,000 in the first quarter versus 236,000 in the preceding quarter. In addition to AT&T’s high-quality wired and wireless options, broadband subscribers also benefit from access to AT&T’s industry-leading Wi-Fi footprint, with more than 20,000 hotspots in the United States and access to more than 80,000 hotspots around the world.
    * Improved Trends in Consumer Revenue Connections. In the first quarter, U-verse TV net adds continued their growth, broadband net adds were up substantially versus the previous three quarters and the net gain in AT&T U-verse Voice connections was up more than 40 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2008. These improvements and the positive impact of AT&T U-verse penetration on access-line retention were reflected in AT&T’s smallest sequential decline in consumer connections (retail voice, high speed Internet and video) in three quarters. Combined, wireline consumer broadband and TV connections increased by 673,000 in the first quarter and 1.7 million over the past year. AT&T had 46.8 million total consumer connections at the end of the first quarter of 2009, compared with 49.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2008 and 47.0 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2008.
    * Continued Growth in Revenues Per Household. Driven by increased U-verse and broadband penetration, wireline revenues per household were up 2.0 percent versus the year-earlier quarter. This marked AT&T’s fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in consumer wireline revenues per household. Total first-quarter wireline consumer revenues were $5.4 billion, compared with $5.8 billion in the year-earlier quarter, as declining voice revenues more than offset growth in video and broadband.
    * 16.4 Percent Growth in Wireline IP Data Revenues.AT&T posted its sixth consecutive quarter of mid-teens growth in total wireline IP data revenues, driven by expansion in AT&T U-verse services and growth in business products such as VPNs and managed Internet services. Consumer IP data revenues, from AT&T U-verse and broadband services, grew 23.0 percent, and business IP data revenues grew 10.5 percent. IP services now account for 46.8 percent of AT&T’s total wireline data revenues, up from 42.3 percent in the year-earlier first quarter and 37.9 percent in the first quarter of 2007.
    * 19.6 Percent Business Strategic Revenue Growth. Revenues from the new-generation capabilities that lead AT&T’s most advanced solutions — including Ethernet, VPNs, hosting, IP conferencing and applications services — grew 19.6 percent year over year, continuing strong trends for this category over recent quarters. Progress in these product areas reflects the strength of AT&T’s network and its advanced product sets for business customers. Total first-quarter wireline business revenues — which include results from enterprise, wholesale, government, education, medical and small/midsize customers — were $10.7 billion versus $11.2 billion in the year-earlier quarter, reflecting economic impacts on both retail and wholesale customers, primarily from voice products and CPE.

    About AT&T
    AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation’s leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2008, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s lists of the World’s Most Admired Companies and America’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

    © 2009 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

    Note: This AT&T news release and other announcements are available as part of an RSS feed at For more information, please review this announcement in the AT&T newsroom at

    The more the I learn, the more I realize that the Corp greed of AT&T is running rampant and really needs addressing.

    If you are wondering why my co-workers and myself fare so ready to strike it is because of all of the lies and deceit that is being thrown at us

  160. retired last year Says:

    U-verse is such a piece of garbage i laughed the salesman off my porch. An installation crew I know, weredirected to get the thing installed and then work to fix the thing. This completes the order, bumps up numbers and the reports show a growth in business. Bonus money? Minimizing operational costs bumps up revenue and gets the magic number closer to guaranteed dividends, does it not?

  161. Remford Says:

    Such a dismal appraisal of an inherently wireline-based product hardly bodes well for the sustainability of future wireline revenue and earnings and the apparently ever-increasing likelihood that future growth for the entire business will likely have to originate and result from non-wireline investments.

    Even so, it’s good to know that AT&T is asking no more of its wireline-based employees to accept no less than the health care benefits that have become the established norm throughout the entire organization to invest in future innovation that may either prevent the further erosion of returns from its wireline assets or continue to grow its non-wireline product and service portfolio so the business as a whole can continue to support its wireline division and maintain the breadth of its offerings as a “complete” telecommunications provider.

    Of course minimizing operational or any other expense MAY ultimately increase earnings (not revenue), and attaining certain revenue and earnings goals can improve the likelihood of meeting bonus objectives. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that every expense reduction effort occurs for the purpose of achieving bonus objectives; and because bonus objectives include a significant portion based upon each division meeting its own performance objectives, expense control efforts within a specific division are largely irrelevant to the others. Where expense control CAN and DOES make a difference are first to the respective division, second to the performance of the business as a whole (shareholders, not bonuses), and third by preserving capital to increase future investment (or preventing the reduction of investable capital).

    If there’s any group who may receive a direct “bonus” from the reduction of any divisional expenses, it’s the shareholders. And because they’ve spent their money by choosing to become owners, they certainly have that right.

  162. Remford Says:

    And to “Mike” and his grassy knoll theories, the two different reports of the business performance are intended for two entirely different audiences, each prioritizing and the emphasizing the particular performance figures that are most relevant to its respective audience.

    Given that the non-shareholder/analyst information seems to exclude a particular data point (the earnings derived from wireline), presenting instead to shareholders and analysts the positively spun fact that wireline revenues have increased year-over-year (despite lower earnings), and emphasizing the positive performance of the divisions that are growing in all respects and the business as a whole, it would seem that that shareholder, and NOT the employee, might have a basis for complaining that he or she was “shortchanged” informationwise.

    Why that might be the cause for your nausea is a little confusing. Unless, of course, you’d prefer that your employer take every opportunity to emphasize underperforming assets in the most unflatteringly way when summarizing performance to those with the greatest influence over the company’s value. I’d normally dismiss that reasoning as preposterous; but I’m afraid, in this case, you’d actually encourage the business to do something so foolish if it somehow skewed perception to support your personal agenda.

    Most interesting to me is that all of your disgust centers on the HOW the information was presented, as it didn’t cater to your particular interests, and NOT anything pertaining to the accuracy of the information itself. But that had to be the case, as for all of your feigned anger, no misrepresentation actually occurred.

  163. GoodOlBoy Says:

    retired last year:
    “Bonus money? Minimizing operational costs bumps up revenue and gets the magic number closer to guaranteed dividends, does it not?”

    Maybe bonus money. There might be a 2nd line supervisor who has a time to install SLA to make. And it does make the “Uvsers customers acquired” number look good, but thats mostly a function of sales. But there is no way that this kind of thing lowers operational costs. Having a crew working an install a whole day, plus call backs and you have blown months of revenue. And if the customer cancels because they were never satisfied with the service, then you never get profitable on this install and your churn number goes up. I just dont see the ‘scam’ you propose being in anyone’s interest.

    Ok- “guaranteed dividends”. There is no such thing. “Dividends” are the value returned to the actual owners of the company- the shareholders (not the employees)- as a result of operations. Shareholders want to buy your stock either because they think the company is going to grown, or because there is income in the form of dividends, or mix. The dividends are paid out of income. The tactics you suggest in regard to Uverse decrease the amount of income and therefor would reduce the income.

    Mike: Did you read this part in the item you quoted:
    “Note: This AT&T news release and other announcements are available as part of an RSS feed at For more information, please review this announcement in the AT&T newsroom at”

    Its a press release. They highlight the good parts of the earning report. Its the same earning report- but surprise!- its a big company and some parts are doing well and growing and others are not. If you followed the link from the *press release* you’d see all of the earnings report spreadsheet here:
    Feel free to highlight any numbers that you think are sneakily different from what AT&T told the union.

    Dave’s Wife:”What’s your alternative to T3s feeding a cell tower?”
    So your plan is that the company should support 100,000 works off the revenue from cell DS3’s? And there are a lot of alternatives to feeding each tower directly off the LECs facilities.

  164. Retired 2007 Says:

    Retired Last Year – Those U-Verse doorknockers don’t even work for AT&T. They come from a temp agency. U-Verse is a joke in SoCal, they don’t have contracts to carry local Padres games. Already lost round 1 to Cox in court.

  165. CryMeARiver Says:


  166. jason Says:

    yes,i can,my finger keeps pushing through it!

  167. CryMeARiver Says:

    LOL. Just thought I’d try to lighten up the mood a bit. But seriously, it’s pathetic. Is there a such thing as 1/2 ply??

  168. Retired 2007 Says:

    LOL! That is too funny! If 1/2 ply is made, then it would be stocked in the restrooms.
    They stopped supplying us with pencils over 10 years ago.

  169. CryMeARiver Says:

    Ha ha! Retired 2007, you should see the toilet paper now….it’s funny, but I’m just teasing, it’s not a big deal. Still on standby for a ratification or a strike…..SIGH!-sucks.

  170. Retired 2007 Says:

    Is it on those lopsided rollers that will only allow you to tear off 2 squares at a time?
    This contract stuff has been going on way too long.

  171. CryMeARiver Says:

    It’s still on the rollers, but they allow more than 2 squares at a time, it’s just that you can literally see through the toilet paper, and the first time I saw it, it was really funny. **I agree it’s been going on way too long. I almost don’t care about the healthcare debate anymore, because it just seems like neither side will budge…and that’s not a good thing.

  172. Retired 2007 Says:

    We all need to care about the healthcare part. AT&T is contemplating cutting out retiree benefits altogether.
    Hey “Funny Dude”……….Not so funny.

  173. CryMeARiver Says:

    I care…but geesh! This is starting to get OLD. From what I understand, the company is not negotiating anything for retirees, is that true?

  174. Mike Says:

    Here is a little of the latest. Because there is not enough tech’s to do the normal day to day repairs & installations because AT&T has not back filled the open positions for over a few years now, if we do not work a certain amount of overtime each day we cannot keep up with the normal work flow.

    The union has ask all employees to work there normal hours and normal work load each day and to make sure that each customer we encounter is very satisfied with the service they receive, but we do that anyway.

    But we will not accept or work any additional hours past our normal shift except to finish a job that we have already started.

    Because of this, the work is starting to back up already especially in the area of the ADSL CPE Tech loads but the repairs and installations are not far behind

    The recent move by the company has been to call for force overtime for the DSL techs only at this time, but with the exception of about 4 percent of the CPE techs, yhey all refused to work the mandatory overtime the company ordered.

    AT&T decided to threaten the techs with write ups and possible suspension for refusing the overtime hours.

    Out of the two garages I am associated with, which has a total of thirteen techs, 10 went out on temporary stress leave, 2 continue to work their normal hours without any overtime and are accepting the write ups and 1 was temporary intimidated and work the Friday, Saturday and Monday overtime, but is now also refusing to work any more overtime.

    The union has filed grievances on 2nd level manager for calling the force overtime and for the Tech’s being written up. At this time no Tech has yet to be suspended. All the Techs are standing together and are willing to face the company’s strong arm tactic’s if need be up to and including suspension if necessary.

    This goes to prove just how over loaded and over worked we are as Tech’s. The company keeps piling on more and more expectations on us as to how many jobs to do a day as well as adding additional duties to our daily schedule that has nothing to do with completing our core job of installation and repair or to serving the customer better.

    This also proves to other points, 1. AT&T needs to hire additional Tech’s and support staff to handle the normal day to day loads we encounter every day. 2. If we are losing so many wirelines, why has the work flow not slowed down? Kinda makes you wonder.

  175. Dave'sWife Says:

    Ok, here’s what I wonder:
    Just checked out some of H.M’s older tweets & found link to AppleInsider’s “AT&T Hurrying Massive Network Update for New iPhone Launch” (4.3.09)…

    If the “network” ultimately goes back to the WIRELINE, then how will all this shake out with regard to Apple’s date of 5.31.09?

    …&goodoldboy…NO Plan intended or referred to by me, thanks!


  176. Remford Says:

    I envy those who are in a position that affords them the luxury of declining overtime when it’s offered, especially in this economy. Companies refusing to authorize overtime has been a frequent cause for past employer/bargained-for employee disharmony given the extent to which so many seek out overtime as a means of dramatically increasing their earning potential.

    With respect to retiree health benefits, the company may very well need to consider modifying them substantially. Though no one relishes the notion of retiree benefits being any less than the established norm throughout the rest of the organization, the practical realities of unprecedented numbers of retirees who have retired earlier have created a perfect storm of expenses that are simultaneously magnified by three factors.

    As unfortunate as that prospect may be, the business’ first responsibility is to ensure its own sustainability and the benefits it can afford to provide to the actively-working employees upon whom its future viability depends.

  177. Dave'sWife Says:

    Remford said. “I envy those that are in a position that affords them the luxury of declining overtime when it’s offered, especially in today’s economy”

    It is simple to get to that position…it’s called living within your means!

  178. Retired 2007 Says:

    Retirees are not being discussed at the contract talks. Trust me, healthcare is not free when we retired. In fact the premiums nearly tripled this year. If we were not doing our jobs & making $$$$ for AT&T while employed by AT&T, we would not have lasted 30 years to enjoy the benefits that were bargained for.

  179. CryMeARiver Says:

    I agree with the comment about leaving within your means. That’s the reason why alot of people are struggling now, because of living above their means. Anyway, I’m shocked that the company is not trying to negotiate anything for retirees, and I’m a little green when it comes to contract negotiations, but does that mean that retirees will keep the benefits they have, or what?

  180. Retired 2007 Says:

    Either AT&T wants to eliminate retiree benefits, period, or we’re going to have to pay excessive premiums in the future.

  181. CryMeARiver Says:

    Wow. That’s grossly unfair. If you don’t get to reap the benefits of giving 10, 20, 30 year+ to a company, then what’s the point of being loyal, and staying on board that long? While I understand that the company wants to talk about the employee’s that are currently working, it is still unfair to eliminate retirees, when they have worked so hard. I’m sorry to hear that.

  182. Dave'sWife Says:

    I’m sorry that I neglected to mention my own personal wishes that ALL Companies honor the agreements they made with their Retired employees. (my husband is 3rd Generation)

  183. Q Says:

    The company has stated “We have no interest in discussing ANY retiree issues” and that they “Have no intention or desire to bargain for current retirees.”

    Crymeariver…. to your point about loyalty.. the company has said that it wants to eliminate the ERB (Early Retirement Benefit) and the elimination of the ability for new hires to have any pension and for current employee to stop the accural of Pension Lump Sum effective 01/01/2010. They are doing away with every benefit, that they used to lure us here. It appears that Loyalty gone by the way side..

    I hope to see all the retiree’s on the picket line….

  184. Remford Says:

    Eliminating the ERB is a practical necessity based upon one primary factor, increasing longevity. As people are living longer, the number of retirement years has extended by as much as 30% on average by virtue of mother nature alone. Supporting that kind of additional demand upon the pension infrastructure that was created an funded based upon a much shorter average retirement duration presents enough of a fiscal challenge without factoring in widespread ERB that could increase the resource need by another 30% or more.

    Most current-generation employees have come to accept that the 401K has effectively replaced the pension in American culture; and while nobody relishes the notion that the pension terms under which they worked for many years may prove to be different, the fact is that has neither been rescinded altogether or reduced without other alternatives that help meet the difference create. The issue of “new hires” is simply not relevant as whatever compensation or benefits they’ve accepted simply will have never included a pension component.

    While it’s very easy to repeatedly insist how unfair any impact upon retirement benefits happens to be, up to and including those who may strike at the expense of the business from whom they also hope to continue to receive the same pension benefits that are so important to them, nobody has been able to offer one alternative that wouldn’t impose far worse consequences or simply attempt to make someone else bear the burden of the real world practical challenges the business faces.

    That the business should ignore the increasing cost and continue to bear them at the expense of its ability to compete and grow in the future says, “the company can fold, provided it folds AFTER I’m through collecting my benefits”. And the fact of the matter is that the company began managing these costs as they should have, by first looking within. Current employees (and many retirees) have already experienced reduced benefits or increased cost. The sole unworkable solution is to have ANY substantial minority group within the entire population of current or past employees with benefits that remain disproportionately more expensive than any other. Unfortunately, past success alone cannot continue to support future expenses.

    The benefits provided during those years were commensurate with the performance of that period. AT&T can no longer afford to support benefits for wireline employees at a level that exceeds those throughout the rest of the company. At the same time, AT&T is not looking to reduce their benefits to an extent that reflects their division’s current and projected results; it’s merely making them comparable with the established standard throughout the entire company and making one heck of a statement of support for wireline by its willingness to provide benefits that are no less than those of divisions who are outperforming the others.

    Regrettably, in the absence of any solution that doesn’t simply seek to maintain the status quo by making it “someone else’s problem”, the only purpose supporting a strike serves would be to further reduce resources available to provide future benefits.

  185. Mike Says:

    First of all Remford, I have never seen where you or the other that other one on this blog, Goodolboy, state what relationship you have with the company, are you second or third level, shareholder, or CEO???

    Second, Being a outside Tech is hard on the body. Many of the outside installation & repair, Maintenance Splicers and construction techs who are mostly wireline Techs, by time of retirement have additional health problems that the rest of the company employees do not have not have to face or deal with after retirement

    Such as Back problems, weak or blown knees, possible exposure to asbestosis and other industeral chemicals & insecticides, weaken joints etc.

    Not to mention the fact that we also face while on the job on a Daily Basis all of the above and also Dog Bites, Deadly spiders, ladder & Pole climbing injuries auto accidents and electrocution which at anytime could not only end our careers early but could possibly cause Death. Most of those problems are greatly reduced by working safely as possible, but some can still catch a tech by surprise even if he did everything by the book.

    So Yes, I believe that a wireline or other outside tech whether current or retiree does deserve a better retirement package and health benefits due to the additional demand of this job and other health related factors.

    I am sure that Randell Stephenson, who makes ON A DAILY BASIS $60,000 dollars PER DAY, which is 8,000 dollars less than I make in whole year, AND that DOES NOT INCLUDES THE OVER $11 Million in bonuses each year, free health care for himself and his family the rest of their life as well as money to buy a 1.7 million dollar house.

    And as far as the wireline losses, the figure they state for those losses are only Voice grade lines which are slowly being replaced by the other new wireline services such as U-Verse and Broadband which go over the same copper lines and must be maintain to even a greater degree because of the higher bandwidth than if only voice was carried over those lines. The current loss is closer to only 4 percent, and that figure will be a positive number as U-verse and high speed data is turned up in those areas which do not have it at this time. Only about 8 percent of the Los Angeles area have U-Verse and High speed broadband at this time.

    Tell you what, give me Randell Stephenson daily compensation for 4 months, and I will work well past my retirement time for free, and pay for my own health care, so long as AT&T is willing to move me into a inside job when I am no loner able to do the outside work when by body gives out

  186. Remford Says:

    As my opinions are based upon practical realities, my “relationship” with the company isn’t relevant, though it would be reasonable to assume that I’m not the CEO.

    Unfortunately, any unique physical demands wireline workers encounter can’t be isolated into a specific type of healthcare benefit that would specifically provide for those unique characteristics. Nor would it be practical to distinguish between those whose jobs are primarily physical versus those whose aren’t to provide two different types of benefits within among wireline members themselves. Furthermore, the existence of a union that includes more than those who perform field work exclusively makes that impossible, as it’s purpose is to collectively bargain separately and distinctly from the rest of the organization, but for all of its members as a single entity. This kind of “have it both ways” desire creates a fundamental problem for both the company and the union members.

    This is all made moot by the fact that the roadblock issue is not that the amount of health benefit coverage is being reduced, but that the membership is being asked to assume more of its cost. You’re making an apples and oranges argument.

    Though it’s a common mantra, you’re going to have to do better than the “look at what the CEO makes…” canard. Now you’re proposing that your compensation and benefits should be based upon someone ELSE’S work. That dog won’t hunt; but, presuming for a second that it did, you’d also have to compare your salary to those of every other American worker. And at $68,000 per year, your personal income exceeds that of the average American HOUSEHOLD by almost 40%. If you want to open-up the whole “how much others make” can of worms as a basis for negotiating, I’m certain the company would be MORE than happy to engage that issue based upon what you contend.

  187. stu Says:

    remfrd as you have noted in this blog for m onths, your last one show how much of a kiss as and a idiot you really are. get you facts straight when you discuss monthly wages and how our work is done. your comments are from an entirely over educated secretary that has NO idea what it is that we do. you make a great chherleader for randall. would someone please pass “remfords” resume on to the kiss ass section for randall. thanks

  188. Remford Says:

    Hey there Stuey. I can’t imagine how the CWA has managed to keep you away from the bargaining table. I’m sure you’d have had this whole matter sewn-up months ago.

    That aside, given that the only reference I made to anyone’s salary was in direct response to specific the amounts Mike had posted above me, one of which he claims was his own (I presume he knows how much he earns), and those of the Chairman whose salary is a matter of record and close enough to what Mike claimed it to be to not matter. I’d love to reply to your comment, but I’m afraid I have absolutely NO idea what you’re talking about.

    As for passing along my resume to “Randall”, there’s certainly no need. As someone who happens to be an AT&T shareholder, separate and distinct from whatever my daytime responsibilities may be, he works for me. Perhaps the source of so much of your frustration is that you seem to have the whole ass kissing process going in the wrong direction.


  189. retired last year Says:

    Remford, sarcasm doesn’t become you.
    So you think the people on at&t side of the table are very astute, enlighten and empowered to reach an agreementable to enter into an agreement. Being educated falls short of being wise or at least respected. Give it a break, either you strike or you don’t, either you you support UNIONISM or you don’t and I can’t come up with an excuse as to why you aren’t a KISS A**..

  190. CryMeARiver Says:

    I know who Remford is….

  191. GoodOlBoy Says:

    Yeah, right- Remford and I are the CEO. Of course anyone who has a dispute without has have an ulterior motive…

    Mike does have a point about this outside work- I installed C-Band Satellite dishes on roofs in college. Even if you try working safely it a young man’s game. Eventually you can pick up enough injuries over the years to cause you to be unable to perform some movements safely.

    Frankly you need to pick up enough skills to get yourself promoted to something suitable.

    Too bad thats not in the CWA’s best interest.

  192. CryMeARiver Says:

    I agree that if you don’t like what you’re doing, or want to be promoted, you should acquire the necessary skills, and education to do so. Those who want to move up have done this, and others haven’t and in that case it’s more of “who” you know, and not “what” you know. I love what I do, but I have a career goal in mind that does not include this company, but in the meantime I am grateful to have a great paying job and good benefits. Oh, and we all know who the CEO is…and if you don’t….that’s just pathetic.

  193. Q Says:

    Yet another example of how poorly this company is doing in these hard economic times… and they had nerve to say AT&T does not want to be a company that asks for a bailout…..

    AT&T Buys Alltel Assets from Verizon for $2.35 Billion – AT&T said Friday it will buy the assets of Verizon Wireless in 79 mainly rural areas for $2.35 billion, a deal that will affect more than 1 million subscribers. Verizon Wireless sold the service areas to satisfy regulatory conditions of its purchase of Alltel. The areas are mainly Alltel territories that overlap with Verizon’s own coverage, but also some Verizon territories and areas covered by Rural Cellular, another carrier Verizon bought last year. AT&T is getting spectrum licenses, cell towers and 1.5 million subscribers in the deal. AT&T also said it agreed to sell five Centennial Communications service areas in Louisiana and Mississippi to Verizon Wireless for $240 million. AT&T announced plans to acquire Centennial in November 2008, and the deal is awaiting regulatory approval.

  194. Sam Says Says:

    Those who I know that work at AT$T make good money $20+ and hour. They wear t-shirts and cut off jeans so they have no clothing expense.

    They also seem to get alot of days off not including vacation time. They have great insurance that even covers children in their 20’s who are not enrolled in school.

    Seems to me with all the companies going out of business that these employees would be willing to give some.

    Based on customer service I have received from them they are overpaid. I will be happy to come work for AT$T for what they have on the bargaining table.

    I am afraid (not really) that these employees will find the Union has ruined a good thing.

  195. Mike Says:


    I Don’t know who you are or where you live, but i know you don’t know any AT&T employees. First of all it is strictly against company policy to wear Cut Off Pants or any types of shorts. Second, it would be very unsafe because of the type of job we do. Let me see you climb a telephone pole or crawl under dirty house with spiders and who knows what else in shorts Third, on the average I go through 4 to 6 pairs of jeans per year which I have to buy myself. At&T only gives us 6 Branded t-shirts, a few hats and a jacket every few years. All other clothing including rain gear I pay for.

    Also, the family health insurance does not cover adult children except for those who are enrolled in college and that insurance is cut off at age 21 or if they drop out of school.

    Our health insurance is not free. We pay currently 10 percent to health care and have co-pays.

    We get the same amount of standard days off as everyone else does in the country and in some cases less we actually get less.

  196. CryMeARiver Says:

    Actually, depending on what department you work in, you can wear shorts, and cut off pants. In my department in particular we don’t have a dress code, so I could come to work in whatever I wanted and it not be a problem. For those who climb the poles and work in areas where safety is an issue, I’m sure the dress code is very different. I would have to agree that it’s starting to feel like the union is prolonging this whole thing, and it doesn’t make sense. Most people that work at AT&T including myself, do make GREAT money, and have great benefits (not sure how mgt benefits are). I would like to know in more detail what the HECK IS THE PROBLEM WITH THE HEALTHCARE PROPOSAL THE COMPANY IS PUTTING OUT, because i’m sick of the union saying it’s too high, but not giving any further information. Most of us wouldn’t mind paying some out of pocket as long as it doesn’t put us in the poor house. Get this thing over and done with already….I want to breath easily for a change and not worry about what’s going to happen. *SIGH…..

  197. Mike Says:

    The company is proposing a 30 to 40 percent cost shift in health care cost to the employees. That is double to triple to what we are paying now. That is more than a little more.

    The company is refusing to look at other ways to reduce the health care costs with out huge cost shifting.

    I rather work under the current conditions than be on a strike line while they hammer this thing out. As it stands, I am still at work making the same money with the same benefits I have been receiving for the last 5 years. And if you take that into account, the company is not hurting either, they posted a 3.3 billion profit in the first quarter of this year.

    This contract is not about asking for a bunch of additional benefits that would break the company or lower their profits, it is all about just keeping what we currently have and job security and the company has proven that they can easily make huge profits under the current contract conditions and could in fact easily pay for more benefits to it employees if necessary, but the Union is not asking for any additional benefits they are just asking for job security issues for those who don’t currently have them.

    I feel the union is taking the right approach this time and not flying off the handle and walking off the job which would hurt the company, employees and customers alike.

    The last report on the contract talks stated that they are talking again in a meaningful way, so maybe for the good of all this may be able to be resolved with out any strike being needed.

  198. CryMeARiver Says:

    Thanks for that info Mike, but all I keep seeing are percentages when it comes to the “cost shifting”. I’d like to know exactly what areas will be affected (i.e. co-pays for visits…) because not everyone has the same health coverage. I agree that I’d rather be at work than on strike while they work it out, but I’d like to see some bending from both sides. I guess we’ll see what happens when the next update is posted on the website.

  199. Q Says:

    As most you know by now, AT&T has made a last,best and final offer on healthcare for district 6. This was not bargained for with the union, the company put it together and gave it out and they are asking district 6 CWA memeber to call their union and ask to vote on it
    The Company was prepared with an eight (8) page, “AT&T News Now Article,” complete with a calculator, and a video from John Stankey, President CEO AT&T Operations addressing employees with the Company’s detailed version of their package. All this was planned at a time where the Company knew that all the CWA Local Presidents would be out of town attending a joint CWA/AT&T Common Interest Forum (CIF) Meeting, therefore would be unable to communicate with their members promptly. Keep in Mind, this was just the SECOND DAY after face to face bargaining with the Company had resumed.

    The Company’s proposed rates for current employees range from $5.00 to $45.00 per month, and up to 15% of the FULL PREMIUMS for New Hires. The Company’s projection for 2010 is that New Hires will pay up to $321.00 per month.

    Coverage Tier 2010 2011 2012
    Individuals $5 $10 $15
    Individual +1 $10 $20 $30
    Family $15 $30 $45

    Coverage Tier % of Annual Rate of Pay Maximum Amount
    Individuals 1% $500
    Individual +1 2% $1,000
    Family 3% $1,500

    Network Type Employee Portion
    Network 10%
    Non-Network 40%

    Drug Type Retail (up to a 30-ay supply)
    Mail Order (up to a 90-day supply)
    Generic $10 $20
    Formulary $35 $70
    Non-Formulary $60 $120

    Coverage Tier % of Annual Rate of Pay Maximum Amount
    Individual 4% $2,500
    Individual +1 6% $4,000
    Family 8% $5,300

    Mr. Stankey called these “modest” amounts. I guess when you have free healthcare,…. this would seem modest too..
    This is horrible, from a company that has 16 billion in the bank, and can afford to buy 2.5 billion worth of Verizon assets.

  200. KokomoTexan Says:

    I don’t get why the timing matters. There can’t be a vote before the leadership can talk to members. They could write it on the bathroom wall at 2:30 a.m. and it wouldn’t make any difference where the leaders are or what they’re doing so long as a vote doesn’t happen before enough time for discussion.

    What difference does the Verizon deal make? If Verizon had to unload some assets, I’m guessing they were a pretty good deal. Someone always says, “Look how much they spent” whenever the company spends anything or “If they can afford to do THAT” like it shouldn’t spend any money at all. The Verizon deal isn’t making benefits more expensive, and I don’t expect the company to stop doing business until it can pay for every increase in the cost of health care first.

    The company is in a no-win situation. How does investing in assets justify keeping CWA benefit costs where they are but everyone else needing to pay more for their benefits doesn’t matter? If they try to keep costs down for current members, people make an issue about what future employees would get when it’s what the rest of the company already has. It’s like pick a mix, just not with candy.

    None of this has anything to do with this being a fair offer and it doesn’t explain why the union should pay less for coverage than everyone else. This offer looks better than what the rest of the company gets, so why does the CWA deserve more for less other than what it’s used to paying? Everyone else was used to paying less too. Where was the CWA while everyone else was being treated this unfairly?

    That’s the real question, not when or where or how the company made a press release or pointing to any time the company has spent money like it should mean the company must be able to spend more. Any offer that costs the CWA less than everyone else more than fair. If it wasn’t, all the discussion would be about everyone else being treated better than the CWA instead of every other reason under the sun that has nothing to do health care being more expensive and why it shouldn’t affect the union like everyone else.

  201. Q Says:


    Its a contract violation. The company can not do a run around and excluide the union. CWA is the sole bargaining unit. It was a strategic move by the company to try and undermine the union. Asking the members to call their hall and ask to vote on something that was not bargained for or passed across the bargaining table… BAD move on the company part…

    How can you claim poor and on the verge of asking for a bail-out, while you have 14 billion dollars in the bank. THe employee’s helped them make that money and need to be compensated justly. Why are the top executives healthcare free for life (including whiticare and his whole family)for them and their whole family, but asking us to come out of pocket up to 6,000 per family..

    If you are so poor that you do not have money for healthcare, where did you get the money for investments…

    AS far as why you arent treated fairly.. i have no idea.. if you work in a union shop then you will get whatever the union bargains….

  202. Jeff Says:

    I hope the two sides will talk so that this dispute between them will be fixed. Hopefully everything will turn out ok…

  203. MaxAp Says:

    I hope the three sides agree, the workers, their employer, and the union.

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