WE FOUGHT FOR EVERY ARTICLE IN OUR CONTRACT
Times are tough. Workers everywhere are under attack. Employers are out to cut, cut, cut. For workers in the telecommunications industry, technological and regulatory changes have made things harder than ever.
But this is nothing new.
Nothing in our contract came for free. Every victory was the result of struggle– by this generation and previous generations of CWA members who struck, sacrificed and waged contract campaigns to lift telephone workers’ standard of living.
The lesson of the past is, when we stick together–when we fight together–we can win.
The last round of bargaining was one of our toughest. If you look at the company’s opening set of demands in 2011—the company’s wish list—you have a sense of where they’d go if there was no union:
- $5000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses
- Freeze the pensions for current employees
- Eliminate the job security letter
- Unlimited contracting out
- Eliminate restrictions on movement of work
- Huge increases in health care payments for retirees.
It took a pre-strike mobilization, a strike and lengthy mobilizations. And we beat back almost all of their demands, preserved our job security and put money in our pockets.
UNITY IS THE KEY TO VICTORY
2015 will be no different. Once again, Verizon will test our resolve. We will have to be tougher than ever. We will have to be smarter and more creative than ever. We will have to reach out to elected officials, community organizations, other unions and religious leaders to enlist them in our cause. We will prepare to strike—and then decide what is the most effective tactic to deploy at expiration.
But the bottom line is, as the great abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
JOIN THE FIGHT
Text VzEast to 69866
(Do not use your company phone. Depending on your personal cell phone plan, you may be charged by your carrier for text messages).