CWA Update Aug 23


Aug 22, 2002
Friday, August 23, 2002:
A new proposal was delivered to management last Friday, August 16, in an attempt to break the logjam in of this date we have not received an complete costing of that proposal from management analysts. More accurately, we have received a couple of contradictory costing estimates from management that vary widely in their impact on passenger service agents. We are continuing to discuss this matter daily with management in an attempt to resolve the remaining issues in this negotiation...
The discussions with management are lawyer to lawyer and financial analyst to financial analyst, to attempting to resolve the legal and cost-accounting issues in this deadlock. A subcommittee of local presidents, along with staff and consultants are standing by to engage in explanatory discussions as necessary. The full negotiating committee expects to return to DC on Tuesday, August 27, to continue exchanges with management or to further develop the legal arguments for the anticipated bankruptcy hearings, depending on how the discussions unfold.
Our attorneys from the law firm Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C. are representing our interests in the bankruptcy hearings, which began Monday, August 12. We''ll keep you posted as events unfold.
CWA Local Presidents and Staff
One thing is for certain..since union officers are no longer involved and its lawyer to lawyer / analyst to analyst,if after all the secrecy, the mis-info, the lack of info or updates or specifics, and nothing recently for employees to look at and gauge, I for one, if not satisfied with the results of the concessions, will lobby for everyone to have their monthly dues put to charity rather than to the CWA bank accounts.That is assuming the company remains solvent.The lack of communication between union leaders and office reps, down to agent level, and nothing posted even on breakroom bulletin boards, is sloppy, disrespectful, and unacceptable in my book. [:blackeye:]
AirLocker, while I can understand your reasoning about the CWA, one thing that most people don't realize. The CWA is one of the most powerful unions with by far one of the largest memberships in the AFL/CIO. They by far have more enroads to Washington than either the IAM, AFA or ALPA. I'm sure they can put the pressure on if and when they need to.
Myself, I don't believe they have given up on the Customer Service group and just doing a PR thing. I also believe that US filed bankruptcy in VA because they believe that VA is a right to work state and the judge will be more favorable to the company. We must remember that the judge is a federal judge and is governed by federal laws and not state laws and also believe that because the airline is under the railway labor act (An act of Congress, which is a federal law will have some barring.
This is my opinion and thoughts.[:)] [:)]
Reality check:

I think it may be worse than that. I think maybe CWA blew it by not reaching an agreement before the bankruptcy filing, and now is trying to run out the clock for pr purposes - they'll claim that they were fighting for us all the way while the bankruptcy court judge crams even worse concessions down our throats - try to make it look like it wasn't their fault.

What do you think?
I think I'd rather have the lawyers and negotiating professionals handling the heavy lifting now. These are the people with the experience we need, not our local shop stewards. This is our dues money buying us what we've been paying dues money for. And, so far, I'm pleased with the purchase.

As to why the CWA isn't saying a whole lot beyond "we're negotiating and the next meeting will be on [xxxxx]". Well, c'mon folks, why should they tip their strategy and details to the other side? And make no mistake about it, if they tell us what they're doing and thinking and what the current =version= of the deal on the table is, then they not only give away a good bit of strategy, they also start boxing themselves into specific points. Today, the deal may include 5 things and lower wage... tomorrow the deal may include 4 things and a higher wage. But if the CWA has announced today that it's these 5 things, then they start limiting themselves because people will rumor-monger and stir up resentments over what they might have had in the proposal yesterday instead of looking to the things in today's proposal.

It's just strategy, folks. The generals don't tell CNN where they're gonna bomb; they tell CNN afterward. Unless, of course, there's a strategic point to having the opponent know something (or think they know something).

Sit tight, take a breath and go watch Monk or Star Gate SG1. Both episodes are pretty good tonight!
I do disagree about CWA with the previous posters above Merials post. Think CWA has done a bang up job. Yes I would of liked to hear more of what was going on, but I also dislike hearing a portion at a time. I want to have the whole cake, not just a piece of it. Thanx once again to the CWA negotationing team for one heck of a job IMO.
If the union service was free I would understand the lack of is far from free.I pay close to 400 or so a year in dues. I expect more for the money.And no I am not Donna Summer.[;)]

Just what do you want the union to tell you? "Hey guys, we're going to tell the company that we won't budge off the current pay scale and we're not going to take any vacation cut BS, but really we're willing to go as low as $19.00 an hour and give back a week?" Or, maybe... "We'll let the company know that the medical plan is absolutely unacceptable and we won't even take it to the membership to vote on, but actually, we expect to accept a 15% increase." You must not play much poker! I can see you right now, leaning to the guy next to you... "Pssst! Wow! Look at the hand I got!" [:bigsmile:]

We know when the next meetings are going to be. We know there is still negotiating going on. We know the new "deadline" is after August 30th (and past the IAM voting). We know Siegel's team is pretty well annoyed because the CWA is tougher and more knowledgeable than they ever imagined -- to the point of being blindsided, imho. We know Bahr has a lot of political pull and exerted that influence on the company's behalf to get the ASTB loan conditionally approved. We know a lot of things, and they keep us very well informed with what they can tell us.

Now, I won't say I'm not nervous. We all are. But I will say I have faith and hope and a belief that the CWA is doing its best for us, not just out of the goodness of its heart and for our dues, but out of its own self-interest as well (one of the best motivators there is). So, I'm willing to wait. Besides, there's not a lot else I can do but wait! [:halo:]
How do we know 2 or 3 proposals ago that the CWA agents might have voted yes by majority and had this all over and done with by now before they started taking things AWAY again, as is what has allegedly happened this past 2 weeks(I dont call the one random survey that was done subject to a high margin of error a valid sampling)..So now I hear the mgmt proposals are worse than a month ago...the actual CWA members have not been given a chance to speak at all or anything tangible to look at since 1st of August..I dont recall any attempts for me to say yes or no to anything proposed since June.It has nothing to do with poker and tipping hands..had we had the chance to vote yes or no a while back, we may have easily or perhaps marginally gotten a YES vote.As it is because of the retroactive to JUL 1 crap, every week that goes by we have to repay more and more of the ultimately agreed amount back to the company.
In the busy nonstop one customer after another environment we work in, there has been little or no time to receive or hear feedback..there are no meetings, no flyers,just occasional thoughts and innuendos here and there you catch on a break or in the parking lot. Because we are timed to the milli-second, we dont have the luxury of receiving or giving a lot of feedback as perhaps ato agents have.I was merely speculating that it could just as easily been a YES as much as a NO vote, based on very little info to work with.
To Reality Check.........keep in mind that the neg committ consists of the pres's of the locals....the pres's put out feelers to their groups to get feedback as to what the employees if your local gave the impression to fight this thing strong then your in a minority. My local is the PHL local and everyone there said to not wherever your located u need to address this issue with your pres to see what feedback he/she was given....dont blame the CWA for this thing taking all this time...this was the agent's wishes around the system..... u are a res am an ato agent...two different worlds...but that dosent excuse your local president and eboard to get the word out when things are happening and info is needed for these such negotiations or anything for that matter...the locals in phl,pit,clt,and florida areas have responded with their wishes...not everyone wants to fight the company til the end...that is a fact...but when the group as a whole determines what happens and majority rules then the union leadership has to abide by their wishes...ill bet that the negotiating commitee has a few who wanted to settle this thing a long time ago..but it's not up to them....i feel your frustration with on the fence about a lot of it too....but u have to understand the process before you can slam the union....CWA has been around a long almost every type of industry....there not gonna let us hang....the company needs to step up to the plate and at least show us something other than blatent disregard..
Good answer Robc, I think RealityCheck may need to calm down and get a reality check. For better or worse (and I think/hope best) we are wed to the CWA. The majority chose to join CWA. I don't understand why anyone belonging to the union wants to bash them before we've seen what they can do. In fact, they are our only hope. I hate to see where we would be if we didn't belong.

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