Any CWA Update? 8-29-02

Oliver Twist

Aug 20, 2002
Raleigh, NC
The vote by the IAM has been counted - we are the only group left that has not seen anything to vote on yet. If the rumors were true and the CWA/Company was waiting until after the IAM vote, that time has come and gone.
I for one do not want a judge deciding what I and my family will live on for the next 6.5 years. That should be between myself, my union and my company - not a judge.
I do not expect the union to roll over, nor will the company roll over either. But I do expect some relative swiftness now that the IAM hurdle has passed. This waiting game has gone on way too long and nerves are wearing thin on both sides. Don''t think for a single moment, the company folks are not sweating this out as much as we are. They know where the bread comes from just as we do.
If one group thinks it can take the company down the tubes, I suspect there is a judge who would beg to differ with that view and by the way, he has the power to do something about it as well. I would be very concerned if I were part of the group that voted their proposal down. I do know one thing- I don''t want to see what the judge has to say to the Mechanics/Cleaners.
To both sides of the CWA/Company Table I say: Let''s make it happen and quickly!
I would like to make one thing clear, my post was not to bash the CWA team, on the contrary. It was to urge them -- and the Company -- to proceed with all possible speed and diligence, before the judge has a chance to make his ruling.
We continue to be held hostage by CWA...There are a lot of legal types around here who would like to earn a buck...What are our chances of filing a legal action against the CWA to bring us a contract to vote on...Or if as a result the judge gives us a lower offer than we would have voted on could we hold CWA liable for the difference and they pay it out of their coffers...Maybe this could be added to the existing petitions...
Here is an update I received from our area President this morning.

Hi All

The meetings we had yesterday about the pension plan and the calibration of numbers which has changed over the past couple of weeks were disappointing. The numbers meeting did not take place due to the length of the pension plan meeting.

As you may know we are trying to get a pension plan away from the company for a couple of reasons. One is that the company would no longer have to manage the old plan that many of us have money frozen into. (it would be put in a new plan that would be managed by another pension fund organization) The other reason is it would give people the opportunity to have a pension again that would grow in time and pay a monthly dividend when one retires. The company would still have to fund the old plan to some degree however you would be able to place money in it as well. This would be a win for both sides if the company would agree to it.

The company had 3 reasons for rejecting the pension fund we had selected to be our pension plan administrator. These reasons had to do with the companies liability in these funds, the funds present funding ratio and the ratio of active Vs inactive people in the fund. I am not an actuary and probably could not explain this to the average person in a way that it would be easily understood however, this is the gist of the company's rejection to our proposal which would have given us about 25 million dollar Credit towards our bogie number.

We are going back to discuss our options today. We will also meet with the company to discuss the change in the way they are now calculating our numbers. Its not over yet. We have to come up with a different pension fund management company (there is only a hand full of large funds out there) or find a way to trim another 25+ million out of our proposal. This is no easy task and takes many hours of discussion and calculating.

Thank you all for your patience and support. Hopefully today will be more productive for both sides
I am more hopeful now that either the company will be realistic and truly "negotiate" at the table with us...Or that the judge will have to evaluate both the IAM and CWA contracts in a spirit of fairness...I for one am glad that the CWA has hung in there...remember they are trying to protect the interests of their members not just for today, but for years to come...We do not have pensions, 20 percent company ownership, board seats, benefits like some have less to give... when you have less to start with...Other agreements were a give and take like stock/job guarantees/board seats in return for a benefit/pay trimmings..

And, I believe it to be fair that a pilot making $230,000 a year can afford to pay more for his health insurance that a CWA worker making $18,000....