The Huron Valley Area Labor Federation sent this letter to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on October 16, 2018. Here’s how you can help our CWA brothers and sisters in this fight: go to http://www.shamecampaign.org/ and sign the petition demanding that AT&T behave responsibly. Then share the petition with others via your preferred social media, and use the hashtags: #OffshoreNoMore #StopOutsourcing
Dear Mr. Stephenson,
I write to you on behalf of the leaders of the 40 local unions affiliated with the Huron Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Many of us use AT&T telephone services, for our personal phones and our union phones because AT&T’s employees are represented by a union.
We applaud AT&T for recognizing American workers’ freedom of association right to organize and bargain collectively in a context where a number of other firms in the telecommunications industry have chosen to suppress those rights in their U.S. operations.
However, we deplore the fact that you have been demanding major give-backs on health from your union employees despite substantial profits ($4.7 Billion in the last Quarter) and the $20 Billion in tax savings resulting from the Trump tax cuts. We also deplore your broken promise to create 7,000 good jobs for every $1 billion in tax savings your company received. Instead, days after the tax cut went through, AT&T announced over 1,500 layoffs. Overall, in the last two years, the number of workers employed by AT&T is down by about 27,000, with the Midwest particularly hard-hit by call center closings.
Your behavior shows no respect for key corporate stakeholders – employees and the communities in which they live, as well as customers such as ourselves who want to know that the people who provide us with vital, high quality services are justly compensated. We will not sit quietly while your company acts in this way. We are going to share this information with our members, and with the broader public, more and more of whom are sympathetic to worker rights, unions, and the use of collective action to secure justice for working people.
Our CWA sisters and brothers have been working without a contract since April 15th throughout the five state Midwest region. If AT&T workers have to go on strike again to make your company take the good of company stakeholders – as distinct from shareholders and officers — into account, we will be there on the picket lines with them.
We will also support organizing efforts at other phone service providers, so that if AT&T is unwilling to be a leader in good labor practices, it will no longer get the business of labor and its allies.
Last but not least, we will not rest until the labor movement changes the laws regulating corporate charters so that AT&T and all entities receiving the legal privileges and immunities associated with incorporation are required to take the interests of all important stakeholders into account when deciding what share of profits should go to employee compensation.
We urge you to get AT&T back on track and stay ahead of this curve, for the good of your company as well as the good of your employees and our communities, which are profoundly harmed by the increasing polarization of income and wealth to which your company’s current policies contribute.
E. Ian Robinson
President, Huron Valley Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO