2006 Update: CWA 9413 fights for fair contract at Churchill County Communications

COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS COMMUNICATING (May 21, 2004) — Striking Nevada Bell/SBC system technicians Brian Bigelow and Quentin Jones picket outside SBC's installation, repair and construction facility early Friday morning.

Photo copyright © 2004 Debra Reid, The Daily Sparks Tribune


Communications Workers strike SBC
in Nevada and 12 other states
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CWA politically used. then abused by SBC

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Anti-outsourcing resources

Washington Alliance of Technology Workers/CWA
AFL-CIO's Working Families e-Activist website
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TechsUnite.Org Offshore Tracker
CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight/Exporting America
Looking Offshore — The San Francisco Chronicle's special continuing series on export of U.S. jobs


NevadaLabor.com strike report
News and commentary by Andrew Barbano

   NEVADA BELLWEATHERS — Striking SBC employees and CWA members, left to right, Judi Jensen, Geri Basye and Cindy Luther brave the elements in front of the company's Vassar Street customer service office. the only walk-in facility in the region. SBC closed it all day on Friday, May 21, despite advertised office hours and public statements that customer service would not be affected. (Please note the empty parking lot.) CWA picketers spent much of the day advising customers how to pay their bills and contact the company despite the closure and the strike. (How's that for customer service?)

   Ms. Jensen was a 15-year member of the Washoe Typographical Union before WTU's merger with CWA five years ago. WTU's roots in the 1860's make Local 9413 the oldest continuously operating labor organization in Nevada. Mss. Basye and Luther are also longtime Nevada Bell/Pac Bell/SBC workers and union members, 23 years and 21 years, respectively.

   (Photo © 2004 Andrew Barbano/CWA 9413)

SBC closes only N.W. Nevada customer service office
NevadaLabor.com exclusive

RENO, NV (Saturday, May 22, 2004, 5:17 a.m. PDT) — Contrary to local and regional media reports, some pundit opinions and SBC corporate spin, the Communications Workers strike has taken a company-inflicted toll on telephone operations.

The evidence was put on the street yesterday morning at the longtime Nevada Bell/Pacific Bell/ SBC customer service office at 1450 Vassar off Kietzke Lane in Reno — which the company closed all day Friday. It is the only public walk-in office in northwestern Nevada.

SBC should have called its commercial announcer, actor Tommy Lee Jones, to voice some new spots informing customers not to drop by during advertised business hours. (See the SBC Nevada telephone book, Reno-Sparks-Carson November 2003 issue, page 428.)

CWA Local 9413 picketers, marching in blustery wind and scattered rainshower conditions, gave advice to a steady stream of frustrated customers all day.

One cab driver, whose service had been cut off, held up a cell phone and asked what he could do to pay and reconnect. CWA picketers recommended that he go to any of several chain grocery stores which accept SBC payments, pay his bill and then call the company's customer service line.

"They'll get someone in India," stated Local 9413 President Barbara Welling when informed of the incident. Welling's union, which has statewide jurisdiction in Nevada, set up pickets during all working hours in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Las Vegas, Ely, Pahrump and Winnemucca.

The union's four-day strike in 13 states from California to Connecticut will end on Monday. The limited time over a weekend was designed to limit customer inconvenience while demonstrating union resolve.

For much of last week, Cable News Network's prestigious financial program "Lou Dobbs Tonight" (formerly "Moneyline") broadcast extended features on the work stoppage, terming it the first strike directly against corporate America's export of U.S. jobs to foreign countries. Dobbs has made something of a personal campaign to document the outsourcing activities of a huge and growing list of U.S. companies doing business here and exporting employment while often avoiding taxes on U.S. generated profits.

One e-mailer to Friday's Moneyline program praised the union for taking a stand against the overseas outsourcing. Another from Dallas exhorted viewers to join strikers on their picket lines.

CWA Local 9413 is the oldest established union in Nevada dating back to Mark Twain's time at the legenday Territorial Enterprise during the glory days of the Comstock Lode.

All comments, photos and dispatches from the front lines are always most welcome at this website.

Be well. Raise hell.

Associated Press picks up the above story

More strike news from throughout the region


WARM FRIENDSHIP ON A COLD DAY — The appropriately-named Jennifer Freeze spent the first blustery day of the strike bringing warm drinks and food to picketers throughout Reno and Sparks. She is in her fourth year as a union member. From left to right are Pete Casillas of CWA Local 9421-Sacramento (5 years), Freeze, CWA Local 9413-Nevada President Barbara Welling (umpteen years), Local 9413 Treasurer Chris Matossian (20 years), and Maria Rosa (5 years).

   (Photo © 2004 Andrew Barbano/CWA 9413)

Nevada SBC Strike News

Nevada CWA members like what they thus far know about SBC contract
Reno Gazette-Journal May 26, 2004
CWA 9413 members don't like going back to work with no contract
Reno Gazette-Journal May 25, 2004
The Associated Press picks up NevadaLabor.com's sales/service office shutdown exclusive
Las Vegas Sun May 22, 2004

Nevada Appeal — SBC workers picket at legislature in Carson City
Reno Gazette-Journal — Striking workers picket Nevada SBC locations
Sparks Tribune/AP — SBC workers strike over health care, outsourcing; company vows to withdraw offer

Sacramento Bee
Contract called big win for union
May 26, 2004

AP/San Antonio, TX — SBC and union report progress being made
May 24, 2004

3,200 Sacramento SBC workers strike
SBC workers start strike

AP: Union reaches tentative agreement with SBC
May 25, 2004
SBC — Progress Being Made In Talks
May 24, 2004
SBC Bargaining To Resume
Less than a day into a four-day walkout,
striking workers returned to talks with management

Fight against health care costs
Chronicle Columnist David Lazarus: Strike won't do any good
Mr. Lazarus would do well to read his own newspaper...
SBC strike straining some services
...let alone take a field trip to Vassar Street in Reno
SBC lavishes money on execs, sprinkles crumbs to workers
SBC workers respond

Pre-Strike Stories

Updated: Friday, May 21, 2004, 1:58 p.m. PDT

Reno Gazette-Journal strike update

BARBWIRE: CWA politically used. then abused by SBC

Updated: Thursday, May 20, 2004, 3:57 a.m. PDT
Union lists statewide picketing locations for SBC strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. May 21

Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 1:10 p.m. PDT

SPRINGTIME STRIKE, PART DEUX — The Communications Workers will walk out on SBC in Nevada and 12 other states at the stroke of midnight Thursday. The strike will be limited to four days, Friday 5-21 through Monday 5-24, as a show of seriousness by the union. Pickets will be set up statewide. Watch this website for a few innovative curveballs from CWA 9413.

CWA SBC national negotiation update

Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 3:07a.m. PDT
CWA national strike vs. SBC looms closer

Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2004, 4:27a.m. PDT
SBC negotiations with union continue with no strike

Updated: Friday, May 13, 2004, 7:07a.m. PDT
Striking out after playing ball with the company

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2004, 1:44 a.m. PDT
SBC, union continue contract negotiations
   Union could still call a strike with 24 hours' notice
   Reno Gazette-Journal 5-12-2004

Date: Friday, May 7, 2004, 3:55 p.m. PDT

         SBC negotiation update: In a conference call with union officials this afternoon, Communications Workers of America General President Morton Bahr stated that workers will remain on the job and negotiations will continue through the weekend. (The editor of this website is a member of CWA Local 9413, the longest-established union in Nevada dating back to Mark Twain's days at the Territoiral Enterprise.)

          Strike looms at SBC
          Reno Gazette-Journal 5-2-2004

CWA SBC national negotiation update




2006 UPDATE: CWA fights for fair contract at Churchill County Communications

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