Wednesday, the District 4 Bargaining Team met with the Company at their Hoffman Estates facility. District 4 Vice-President Linda Hinton and AT&T’s VP of Labor Relations Randy White, each shared opening remarks to kick off bargaining.
The Company expressed what they considered to be their biggest challenges in the current business environment.
- New competition from large, established companies — Google, Dish, Walmart and others — entering the marketplace.
- New regulations approved by FCC
- Affordable Care Act excise tax
- Customer choice and customer demand for high quality service and products.
The Company also shared what they feel some of their key issues are:
- Increased flexibility in providing service to our customers i.e. scheduling and overtime
- Addressing attendance issues
- Healthcare costs (suggesting market-based health care plans similar management’s plan)
- Retirement costs being too high (company claims research shows younger worker would prefer a 401k plan rather than a defined pension plan)
Vice-President Hinton was very clear in her remarks to the Company: This round of bargaining is about moving forward and that “it’s our turn”. She went on to remind the Company that we need to secure jobs of the future, to provide health and retirement security to all members, and fight for fairness and respect in people. She continued, ” It’s time for the Company to have the vision and courage to think out-of-the box” when addressing issues vital to this round of bargaining. VP Hinton recognized many of the challenges facing us during these negotiations but concluded by telling the company we are committed to work as hard as we can to reach a settlement we can recommend to our members.
Your 2015 D-4 Bargaining Committee (Tim Strong, Mike Handley, Diane Bailey, Dan Frazier, and George Walls) is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring home that agreement.
Meetings continue. Watch this space for further updates.