February 2, 2018
AT&T notified IBEW Local Union 21 that they are contemplating a Premise Technician Layoff. A layoff has not been announced. We received this notification because of the letter that was negotiated during 2017 Bargaining stating in part:
...that should the Company contemplate the layoff of Premises Technicians, they will continue to discuss whether some stand-alone DirecTV video work being performed by contractors in IBEW Local 21’s jurisdiction should be assigned to Appendix C. The Company will give the Union at least two weeks’ advance notice prior to the first such layoff announcement...
Over the next two weeks discussions will take place to determine if the Company will reduce the number of contractors performing DirecTV work and if that reduction will eliminate or reduce the number of Premise Technicians in AT&T’s contemplated layoff.
As your Union works through the multitude of issues affecting members in many AT&T departments and educates management on the flaws in their plans, we will need all IBEW 21 members to stand in solidarity. While we prefer to work with our employer to resolve our differences, we will not hesitate to challenge them on issues that affect the job security of our members.
One of those issues is Illinois Senate Bill 1451 that deals with the construction of a 5G network in Illinois. Many municipalities already oppose this legislation put forward by AT&T and others in the industry. Our Local considers this a jobs bill affecting all members. IBEW Local 21 members may have to engage in this fight and make our position known to State Legislators on both sides of the aisle. There are both Republicans and Democrats who are supporting this bill for the wrong reasons. Be ready to jump in this fight by calling your State Representatives when asked.
The Layoff Moratorium reached during bargaining gave us time to keep an eye on the industry, how our employer is managing their business and the impact it is having on our members. The one-year Moratorium allowed IBEW members to remain employed while facing an uncertain future.
We must stress a layoff has not yet been announced and that management may not eliminate contractors. IBEW Local 21 has not been given the details concerning AT&T’s contemplated layoff. We realize this will cause anxiety but our focus right now is to minimize or eliminate the contemplated layoff of Premise Technicians.
The next several weeks will be difficult for all of us. We remind our membership things can change daily. We realize members have questions, concerns and that rumors may start to circulate. Union updates will be released as necessary. We will only report on verified factual information. IBEW Local 21 staff is available and will help you during this difficult process. Our staff directory can be found here.