November 2018 - Article

Brothers and Sisters we have put another Thanksgiving Holiday behind us. I hope everyone enjoyed time with their family and had plenty to eat.

At Fox 4 our members are experiencing Corporate Greed at its best. The Company continues to maintain the position that the workers will not receive a pay increase unless we forfeit our jurisdictional language in the contract that protects our jobs. The General Manager at the station has taken a vacation to California to remodel on her additional house and play golf, has taken a vacation to Europe, and now we are not scheduled to meet and negotiate until after the first of the year because of sweeps and the holidays or vacations or any other excuse not to get a deal. The Union will continue to look for ways to reach a deal without giving our jobs away. If you have any ideas that will advance our cause please contact one of the members on the Negotiating Committee.

Oncor has sent Linemen to California to work after the devastating fires. There have been many discussions on out of town work and how the Company has taken advantage of the workers by paying straight time while they are receiving premium pay from the host Company.  Corporate greed is not just at Fox 4. The Linemen at PG&E make $58.13 an hour so it makes this trip a no brainer. The Union leaders and the members will continue to discuss out of town work and how we should be paid and accommodations when working out of town. Oncor sent non-union contractors to California to work. However, the contractors turned around and came back before arriving in California. California is a Labor friendly state that protects their workers and puts people before profits. The Union is in the process of printing the contract with the new wage rates for all classifications. Hopefully, we will have the new contract books available at our January meetings. We will have a schedule of the January meetings in next month’s Craftsman Article.

Until next time may God bless you, your family, and our local union.

Posted on December 17, 2018 .

October 2018 Craftsman Article

 Dear Brothers and Sisters of IBEW Local 69,

 On Thursday, October 18, members of Fox 4 negotiating committee and Local 69 met with local Management and the Company’s standard lawyer, Kevin Casey. This was the first time the

                  Company was available after our September 20 meeting.

 The Company lawyer opened with his usual boilerplate speech about how the Company’s 2%, 2%, 2% wage offer (which he insists on calling 6%) was very fair and generous in this market. That these are good jobs with great benefits and we haven’t seen masses of employees leaving the station for greener pastures. He pointed out that Channel 33 had recently had a huge layoff and sang his same sad song about how unstable the industry is right now.

 We countered that Channel 33 has been cutting staff for 30 years because they were not “in it to win it.” We corrected him that in fact people are leaving the station, especially to go to NBC 5 where the pay is better. We expressed our desire to continue to be the #1 station in ratings and profitability. Because we are part of that success we should share in the rewards. We also pointed out that a 2% raise does not keep pace with cost of living. The committee pointed out that in September we could have had a contract but for the Company’s refusal to budge on pay, or if not pay then vacation accrual for newer employees (like they gave everyone else).  I’m not sure which of our rebuttals triggered him to get angry and stomp towards the door (this also has become part of the Company’s theatrics each time we meet). But ultimately we requested an accurate and complete printout of the Company’s proposals instead of the incomplete document we rejected on Sept. 20.

 When they presented us with the Company’s “Last, Best, and Final Package Proposal” with the necessary corrections we responded with counter-proposals:  2%, 4%, 4% raises and 3 weeks of vacation for employees with 0-14 years of service. They immediately rejected our counter-offer. We then asked for some more meeting dates to which the Company said November is sweeps and December is the holidays. We replied that we are available anytime they want to negotiate.

 It appears the Company is dug in and is in no hurry to get a deal. Make no mistake; these decisions are not coming from New York. Kathy Saunders makes all the decisions for these negotiations and anything else at Fox4.  From her point of view, she is saving money the longer we don’t capitulate.

 The Company’s current stated position is “you can keep your jurisdictions and we will keep our money.” Working together we should be able to get a decent deal but it will certainly take time, pressure, and most importantly, unity. If you have ideas for work place actions contact a member of the Negotiation Committee.

 Our brothers and sisters at Oncor recently ratified a one year contract extension with a three percent (3%) wage increase. The Union will have contract books for the Oncor agreement printed for distribution in the near future.

 The Dallas Union meetings for November and December occur on the second Tuesdays of those months due to the holidays. The meetings are at 1408 N. Washington and begin at 5:00 p.m. I look forward to seeing everyone that can attend a meeting.

 Until next time may God bless you, your family, and our local union.


Posted on October 30, 2018 .