Jan 182017




Property: 221 N. Washington Square Lansing

According to a reader’s tip, “The AT&T building on Washington Ave. is not a bad example of brutish architecture, but the windows at street level which once held a communication timeline have been left vacant except for trash and storage for quite some time.” Indeed, this great hulk of a building exhibits the typical features of the Brutalist style. In many cases, wood grain from the formwork leaves its imprint on the cured concrete. Here, the concrete aggregate is deliberately exposed. Wall surfaces are broken up with awkwardly large fins. Ribbon windows which might run in an unbroken band are broken up by rough-jointed pilasters.

The reader continues,“This dead space influences all foot traffic between downtown and LCC in a very negative way. ATT is communicating a lack of respect for its customers as well as the City of Lansing by creating this dead zone in such a prominent location.” While it is difficult to measure of the impact of empty storefronts, there is little question that streetscape continuity makes for good urbanism. It is not unusual to have informational displays when the storefront is not being used commercially. As our reader correctly states, such a treatment would benefit this stretch of Washington Square.

“Eyesore of the Week” is our look at some of the seedier properties in Lansing. It rotates each week with Eye Candy of the Week. If you have a suggestion, please e-mail eye@lansingcitypulse.com or call Berl Schwartz at 999-5061.

Jan 062017

Sisters and Brothers,

I had two pieces of good news this morning in my inbox that I wanted to share with you. It is well known but not said enough: It is the membership that does the heavy lifting by  their actions, which gives CWA authority at the bargaining table.

The first came in response to an email, which I had first sent to you, then posted on our Local website:

Good Afternoon Sisters and Brothers,

We have been working with AT&T West Labor regarding the Service problems in the West due to the rain. We have agreed to allow the Loaners from D-6 and D-4 to come out to California.
I appreciate you working with us on the Loaner issue. As soon as I get the dates, locations and names of the workers coming to D-9, I will send that information to you.
In Unity,
Ellen West


From the above, which came in yesterday, we can see that this call for unity was shared far and wide, at least as far as Tennessee. I know that many of our members shared this mobilization with coworkers and that our members did the right thing. Thank you.

Then, this morning I received this communication from the CWA District 9 bargaining committee:

Good Afternoon Sisters and Brothers,

We have been working with AT&T West Labor regarding the Service problems in the West due to the rain. We have agreed to allow the Loaners from D-6 and D-4 to come out to California.
I appreciate you working with us on the Loaner issue. As soon as I get the dates, locations and names of the workers coming to D-9, I will send that information to you.
In Unity,
Ellen West
If you are interested in volunteering to travel to California, please feel free let your manager know. Please know also that you stood on the right side of the line, in support of your Union brothers and sisters.
In Unity,
Ryan Letts – President
CWA Local 4034
Dec 092016


AT&T workers in CWA District 9 (California & Nevada) have been working months without a contract while trying to get AT&T to bargain fairly. So far, progress has been painfully slow and it has been hard to get AT&T to respond to the Union’s demands (sound familiar?). CWA District 9 asks that you take a look at their request (edited for clarity and emphasis):

Good Day All and Happy Holidays!

AT&T West Labor Relations has approached the Union Bargaining Team about bringing on Out of State Loaners to start working in California and Nevada Jan 3, 2017 through March 31, 2017. We have told the company NO.
We don’t want loaners out here while we are working without a contract. The District 9 Locals are opposed to having loaners come out; and it would cause us problems while we are trying to bargain a fair contract.
We wanted to let you know ahead of time because we think the Company is going to force the issue. We’ll let you know if this happens. We are asking all members in all Districts to support our decision and discourage your fellow members from coming out here if asked.
The Loaners will be requested from the Midwest and the Southwest. we are not sure if any other areas will be canvassed.

Thank you and we will keep you informed.

In Unity,
CWA District 9

Sep 172016

read-your-contractIt is the contractual right of our members at AT&T to apply to voluntarily separate from the Company and, if meeting certain conditions, receive a sum of money in addition to any any accrued vacation or retirement benefit. This program, called the VSIPP (Voluntary Supplemental Income Protection Program), can provide a sum to a bargained-for employee, based on their seniority, of up to $33,000. This benefit is typically used by employees who are already planning to leave the business, for example coincident with retirement or other voluntary separation. All that is necessary to get on the “show of interest” list for this program is to fill out the form, linked below. As well, when this benefit coincides with a potential surplus situation, as determined by AT&T, then the list of all the people who have shown an interest in the VSIPP will be pulled and in certain circumstances all of those members asked if they would like to invoke this benefit (strictly voluntarily) in order to leave payroll and offer their position to a sister or brother who may end up surplussed within their FAA’s (Force Adjustment Areas) or Market Business Units (MBU’s). Continue reading »

Jan 262016



The United Way of Genesee County is accepting monetary donations for the purchase of filters, bottled water, emergency support services and prevention efforts.  100% of these funds are used for these projects and no administrative fee is assessed.  Donations can be done either by:

  • Online:
    At www.unitedwaygenesee.org, click the GIVE button.  This will then provide a choice to designate to the Water Fund.
  • Checks mailed to:
    United way of Genesee County
    Attn: Cindy Cromwell
    P.O. Box 949
    Flint, MI  48501
    Memo line:  Water Fund

Please note that any remaining funds will be directed to the Flint Child Health & Development Fund at www.flintkids.org.   This fund will provide aid to children and families with interventions that support positive health outcomes.

  • Optimal child health & development
  • Early childhood education
  • Continuous access to a pediatric medical home
  • Access to infant and child behavioral services
  • Nutrition education
  • Healthy food access
  • Safe & healthy home environments
  • Integrated social services
  • Research

In regards to dropping off donated water, donations can be delivered at the following locations:

  • Large Donations (100 cases/pallets or more):
    Foodbank of Eastern Michigan –   2300 Lapeer Rd, Flint, MI  48503.
    Contact:  810.239.4441, please call prior to making delivery to ensure they are open (staff available)  The Food Bank needs cases to be on pallets for quicker unloading and on trucks with lift gates.  To insure wait time will be minimal, please schedule ahead of time for specific day, time, and drop off location.  Also, please note who you speak with when making any arrangements in case I need to track arrangements.   Staff and available bays for unloading is limited especially due to the extra deliveries coming in.
  • Smaller Donations (less than 100 cases):
    Monday thru Friday:
    Catholic Charities, Center of Hope – 901 Chippewa St., Flint, MI  48503.  Please do not call prior to delivering, M-F – 8:00 to 4:00
    Saturday thru Sunday:
    American Red Cross, 1401 S. Grand Traverse St, Flint, MI  48503.  Please do not call prior to delivering, 8:00 to 5:00


By sharing this article far and wide!


If you are in the area and wish to volunteer, the United Way of Genesee County, the Michigan Community Service Commission and the American Red Cross of East Central Bay-Michigan have come together to operate the volunteer center.

They need volunteers to do data entry (inside work), as well as going out into the community (must be at least 18 years of age) to distribute water, filters, etc.

The Volunteer Reception Center hours:

M-F   11:00am-6:30pm
Saturday 9:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday Noon-5:00pm

American Red Cross
1401 S. Grand Traverse St
Flint, MI  48503


If you have groups coming from out of the county who want to volunteer, please do not show up at the Red Cross expecting to work in the community precisely at that time.  If you wish to be part of a team working within the community, you will have to register beforehand, have a background check, have proper ID and be assigned in advance to work with a team.  This is for your safety as well as the safety of residents in the community. Groups over five in number, please call (810) 232-8121 in advance to set you up with the coordinator.


Oct 082015
Call to action!

This will take all of us!!

In our efforts to assist CWA District 4 and CWA International in their work to secure our members’ employment with AT&T, CWA Local 4034 is seeking information from our most valuable source – the membership. We know that all employees, of both AT&T and DirecTV contractors such as Goodman, are plagued with uncertainty due to the lack of clear communication from both employers. We are seeking to remedy that at the bargaining table and one of the most valuable tools when bargaining is information. If you are an AT&T employee or a DirecTV employee, you may have information that can help all of us secure good jobs for us and our families. We are asking you to share that information with us so that we can pass the information on to CWA leadership. We believe this will help us secure our employment during these chaotic times.

It doesn't have to be this way!

It doesn’t have to be this way!

We are asking that you email anything you think would be useful information to have when bargaining this work. Rather than use a web-based form to collect this information, we are asking that you send any information to a special email address we have built: directv@cwa4034.org. This will enable you to send your information as well as any material you think we need to know about things that will impact the lives and families of the employees of both companies. And, though any employee who communicates with a union about their employer is protected from retaliation by the employer under federal law, we will keep your information confidential unless you tell us otherwise.

Some examples might include:

  • Contractors doing your work, in or out of your area
  • Information on AT&T procedures for installing/servicing DirecTV
  • Information on DirecTV procedures for installing/servicing DirecTV or any AT&T products
  • Information related to safety procedures (or being directed to do work that is not safe)
  • Customer service issues for either DirecTV or AT&T customers related to the merger
  • Any other items or information you think would help CWA bargain this work for the affected employees
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