November 2, 2021
Yesterday, in AT&T’s News Now email publication the Company released information about THEIR; “New vaccine policy for IBEW-represented Wireline employees”. This is the policy AT&T corporate executives are enforcing. This policy is not one that has been agreed to by the IBEW SCT-3 Council.
On August 30, 2021 we sent out a release to our IBEW AT&T Membership which included AT&T’s stance at that time, “In the interest of employee safety, we plan to begin discussions with our union partners to jointly align on a path forward for union-represented employees.”
AT&T was required to bargain a policy with the IBEW. Our release went on to state that…we realize Covid vaccinations can be a sensitive and personal issue for some employees (our members)…and that various federal guidelines would be taken into consideration. In our September 10, 2021 update regarding intolerance at AT&T we again addressed the vaccination issue.
Since the beginning your IBEW representatives have been in discussions with the company to reach a vaccination agreement. We have been at the table passing proposal after proposal focusing on the anxieties of our members. Our primary concern has been to address the safety of our members.
Time after time company negotiators have rejected these reasonable proposals. It appears as if the company only came to the table to say “No!” so that they could just ram their policy down your throats. On October 22, 2021 we filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB against AT&T.
We’ve said it before and will say it again, “We are fighting a battle against a dangerous and deadly virus that is challenging all of us to reach agreements with our employers that will ensure the safety of our members, their families and our fellow citizens. We all must work together to protect the health and safety of those in the communities where we live and work.” When we say we all, that means us as IBEW union representatives, you as our members and co-workers, and the COMPANY. We stand ready and willing to reach a reasonable policy.
We demand that AT&T for once act like the big business roundtable leaders they claim to be and get back to the table and do their job with honesty and integrity.
If you would like to read the releases mentioned above the 8/30/21 update can be found here and the 9/10/21 letter can be found here.