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C O M M U N I C AT I O N S W O R K E R S O F A M E R I C A L O C A L 6 4 0 2


October 2009

AT&T/CWA United Way Campaign in Full Swing By Gayle Wilson Informer Editor The 2009 AT&T/CWA United Way Campaign has kicked off. This year’s campaign is “Now Is The Time.” Now, more than ever, the community and our neighbors are in need. United Way contributions are a great way to give back to the community. With your contribution to United way, you and thousands of others are joining together to help those in our community who are in need. The United Way funds over 90 different programs, focusing on Education, Income and Health – the building blocks for a better life for everyone. Some of the types of programs your contribution supports are: mentoring for young people; shelter to women escaping abuse; bereavement counseling for the dying; help for children with disabilities; meals that are delivered to senior citizens; medical care for low-income or uninsured families; groceries for families who have lost their income; and much more. Over 190 instances of service were recorded in 2008 for people who identified themselves are working for AT&T. Over 260,000 instances of service were identified by United Way agencies in Sedgwick County alone during 2008. Your gift to United Way is used efficiently, with 88 cents of

each dollar going directly to help people in need. This year we are asking donors to “Give 5.” That is giving 5 minutes a day (or approximately 1% of your salary) to the United Way. If you would like to give more, there are Leadership Giving opportunities such as combining your contribution with that your spouse may be making at their workplace. The Spirit of the Plains Association is for those who give $1000 or more annually, and the Young Leader’s Association is for those 40 years of age or younger giving $1000 annually. Anyone in the state of Kansas can call 211 to find help or to find volunteer opportunities. 211 is United Way’s 24-hour information line. You will speak with a train call specialist who can assist you. It’s toll-free, statewide and confidential. United Way team/crew meetings have begun, with more still to come. If your team/crew is not having a meeting, please get with your manager or call the Local to find out how you can be a part of helping our community during these tough times. Anything you can give will be a great help to someone in need. In this economic downturn, there is greater need for the services and assistance provided by United Way agencies, and fewer who are able to give. There is no better time than now to make an investment in our community – through the United Way.

Where Do Your United Way Contributions Go? Funded Partners American Cancer Society, High Plains Division American Heart Association, Sedgwick County Division American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter The Arc of Sedgwick County Arthritis Foundation, Kansas Chapter Boy Scouts of America, Quivera Council Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas CASA of Sedgwick County (Roots & Wings) Catholic Charities, Inc. Center of Hope Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation (Project Access) Child Start, Inc. Communities in Schools of Wichita/Sedgwick County Consumer Credit Counseling Service, Inc.

Episcopal Social Services Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, Inc. Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice Healthy Options for Planeview Kansas Big Brother Big Sisters (Sedgwick County) Kansas Children’s Service League Kansas School for Effective Learning (KANSEL) McConnell Air Force Base Youth Center Medical Service Bureau Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas Rainbows United, Inc. The Salvation Army Senior Services, Inc. of Wichita Sunlight Children’s Advocacy & Rights Foundation (SCARF) United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas United Methodist Open Door Urban League of Kansas

CWA Informer October 2009

Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center Wichita Child Guidance Center Wichita Children’s Home Wichita Women’s Initiative Network YMCW, Greater Wichita

Community Impact Grants Central Plains Regional Health Care Foundation (Project Access) Hope, Inc. Urban League of Kansas

Community Services 2-1-1 of Kansas Give Items of Value (GIV) United Way Volunteer Center Community Planning

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Letters to the Editor

We must stand strong, together Their once was a day when men and women all across this great nation could stand tall with their heads held high. A day when we could send our kids to college, we could provide food for our tables and give a decent quality of life for our families. Now we face the risk of losing all of it because of corporations like AT&T that once cared for their employees now only see the bottom line. In recent years we as unions have seen major drop rates in membership. Seems to me that we as members and non-members have forgotten what our past brothers and sisters have fought so hard for. They them selves have given us the benefits that we now enjoy today. Those same benefits however are now, more than ever, in jeopardy. We face strong battles and trying times ahead to maintain our quality of life. So I say not to just CWA members but to all unions not just in America but world wide; we must stick together we must stand strong and use all of

our voices to create one. When we can all stand together and shout it will not only send a message to every corporation but to all the politicians and naysayers around the world that we will not go away we will stand strong we will fight for what is fair and just. To all the Corporations around the world let us remind you that it was not corporate America that built the largest most successful middle class that history has ever seen but the middle class its self. Let us remind you that it was us when the tough got going that we rolled up our selves and worked and fought hard to make us what we are today. You may be able to shake us but you will never be able to break us because without us you are nothing. STAND STRONG, LIVE UNITED!

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Tuesday, October 13th @ 5:30pm —

Executive Board Tuesday, October 13th @ 7:00pm —

Stewards’ Meeting Tuesday, October 13th @ 8:00pm —

Board of Trustees’

Jon Cook Tuesday, October 20th @ 6:30pm — Secretary/Treasurer CWA Local 6402

Where Is Our CWA Solidarity? We continue to wait for a tentative contract here in District 6 after more than six months of negotiations. We all knew it was going to be a tough battle but I don’t believe any of us knew how well prepared and determined AT&T was and how unprepared we all were to stop their agenda. AT&T hasn’t broken the union but we would all be lying if we didn’t admit that they have made some serious in-roads into the stability of the union at the largest telecommunications company in the world. The union as a whole nationally, regionally and locally was not prepared for what the company was going to do during the current bargaining. We didn’t have the strength of leadership that we needed at the highest levels of the CWA to lead us through this challenging time. We also did not have strong enough support from our membership to allow us to effectively fight AT&T and all the retrogression that they have thrown at us during the last six months. I would love to lay all the blame at our leaderships feet for the failed strategy but the truth be told we the members and non-members have to shoulder the largest share of the blame for the kind of contact we will eventually end up with. We had too many people nationally, regionally and locally who chose to drop out of the union at a critical time because of their own short-term concerns with no regard to the long-term consequences of that action. The company took notice and realized that they could play hard ball with the union and come after almost every gain that the union has fought for and achieved over the last 20 years. AT&T knew that they could count on anywhere from 30% to 50% of their employees to cross the picket line should a strike occur. So


the company knew that if a strike was called they could effectively destroy the union, which is why a strike was never called. The union knew that the membership would not be willing to stay out on a strike line for three to four months, which is what we would have needed to do to win this fight with AT&T. This put the union in an impossible situation because without the leverage of a strike they essentially had no leverage at the bargaining table. That’s why after 6 months of bargaining we will end up with a contact that takes away so much of what has been gained over the years and why in 2011 when its time to bargain the next contract AT&T will be coming after whatever they didn’t manage to take away from us during this round of bargaining. With the lack of interest I see from the members and non-members on what is currently happening at the bargaining table I expect that the next go around will be even more brutal than what this bargaining has been and this has been pretty brutal. I hope everyone proves me wrong and that the membership gets angry about what AT&T is doing to them but since that hasn’t happened during the last six months I seriously doubt its going to happen now. I believe the days of someone being able to work 30 years at AT&T and being able to have a happy and comfortable retirement are gone. The sad reality is that with this upcoming contract this will no longer be a company people will want to stay with until retirement.

Tammy Chaffee Chief Steward CWA Local 6402

Regular Membership

All meeting held @ the Local Union Hall 530 E. Harry

The Informer CWA Local 6402 530 E. Harry Wichita, KS 67211 316 267-2592 316 267-8472 (fax)

The Informer encourages and accepts letters to the Editor and submissions from the membership at large

President Executive VP Secretary/Treasurer

Mildred Montgomery Gayle Wilson Jon Cook

Chief Stewards NDS/Outside Western Kansas CSSC

Mike Conley Don Gotchall Tammy Chaffee

Board of Trustees Community Services Webmaster Informer Editor

Floyd Sanders Carol Russell Tammy Chaffee Gayle Wilson

Get Involved! CWA Informer October 2009

CWA insert, Plain Dealer, 10/2009  

CWA insert to Plain Dealer