CenturyLink workers in Florida represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) 3176 recently held a contract explanation meeting to discuss the telco's labor contract proposals.
After the meeting was held on May 13, it was followed by a strike vote "only" on May 20.
Members of Local 3176 launched a website, CenturyLinkDoesNotCare.com, which explains the workers' issues and brings attention to the 12 NLRB charges and 1 UC Petition filed against the company. The local also continues to hold weekly pickets through the central Florida area.
CenturyLink’s negotiations with the CWA have also gained the attention of Florida State Senator Victor Torres. In a letter to Glen Post, CenturyLink’s CEO, Torres asked the company to find a solution that would satisfy the unions and the company.
“My understanding is that the company is proposing what amounts to 'take always,' which removes some current employee benefits of the contract while offering nothing in return,” Torres said. “I am sure the company appreciates the hard work these employees do, day in and day out, and I would hope there could be a mutual agreement that protects workers benefits while preserving corporate financial needs. I hope that a resolution will come quickly and fairly.”
CenturyLink did not respond to FierceTelecom’s request for comment on the Florida union negotiations.
Two weeks ago, CenturyLink workers in Florida represented by the CWA Local 3176 union were able to review what the telco claimed wass their last, best and final offer. At that time, the CWA union bargaining committee said it was not recommending the settlement (PDF) because it does little to address the working condition concerns that the union raised.
Florida is just one of a number of states where CenturyLink and the CWA are negotiating new labor agreements. In Texas, the union is negotiating a first contract for CenturyLink retail store workers in Texas, who are members of Local 6174.
Meanwhile, District 7 CWA workers in the legacy Qwest territory joined a tele-town hall call this week about a tentative contract. Local union leaders shared the contract explanation materials with members and conducted a ratification vote. The vote must be reported to the D7 office by noon MDT, June 16.
The tentative agreement, which was unanimously recommended by the bargaining committee, extends the current contract for three more years and provides for substantial wage increases, and other changes.
This article was updated on May 30 with additional information from the CWA.