Member Update for May 19, 2015

Shelley SperryLayoffs, Member UpdateLeave a Comment

We understand that many of you are angry and anxious after the company announced Friday that it will surplus approximately 214 positions across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (209 NNE and 5 Telcom positions). In an effort to provide as much accurate and timely information as possible, we will be sending you frequent updates over the coming weeks.

Contract Publication

The collective bargaining agreement ratified on February 22, 2015, has not been published yet. As soon as we have a final copy, we will distribute print editions and post it on each Local’s website. As in years past, the company is producing the final draft for publication. However, members of the unions’ bargaining team must review the draft for any mistakes in wording or typos. We made some corrections to a draft as recently as last week and are awaiting a corrected version to proofread before final publication.

Layoff and Recall Language

The new contract contains layoff, recall, and force readjustment language, which is certainly stronger than what the company imposed last August. Under the imposition, the company had the right to layoff indiscriminately and replace us with contractors. Although we are deeply disappointed that the company has chosen to layoff more than 10% of the union workforce in northern New England, we do have a process that provides protections for our members from unlimited contracting out.

That said, we must meet with the company to work out the precise details of that process. We believe that, as in past surpluses, the final number of layoffs will be lower than the current list of 214.

CWA leaders met with the company on May 18 and will have a follow up meeting on June 3. Don Trementozzi met with CWA members in Vermont this morning, and will schedule a conference call with all CWA members in the near future. IBEW leaders will meet with the company on May 26. IBEW unit meeting dates and locations are listed below.

IBEW Unit Meetings

May 19, 6:15 pm, Augusta (21 Gabriel Dr)
May 20, 6:00 pm, Bangor (Season’s Restaurant)
May 21, 6:15 pm, Portland (VFW)
May 26, 6:00 pm, Farmington/Rumford (The Dugout)
May 27, 6:00 pm, Ellsworth (Pat’s Pizza)
May 28, 6:15 pm, Bath/Brunswick (Joshua’s)

New Hampshire
May 18, 5:30 pm, Concord (Tandy’s Top Shelf)
May 19, 5:30 pm, Laconia (American Legion)
May 20, 5:30 pm, Dover (Newick’s Restaurant)
May 21, 4:30 pm, Keene (American Legion)
May 27, 5:30 pm, Lebanon (Everything But Anchovies)
May 28, 5:30 pm, Conway (Almost There Restaurant)

May 28, 7:00 pm, Usual VIT locations

We will circulate information about the layoff process and rapid response support for those who will be laid off as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have questions, please call your union hall.

In solidarity,

Peter McLaughlin
Business Manager, IBEW Local 2327
Chair, IBEW System Council T-9

Don Trementozzi
President, CWA Local 1400

Glenn Brackett
Business Manager, IBEW Local 2320

Mike Spillane
Business Manager, IBEW Local 2326