AT&T Surplus Got You Feeling Sick? Call Out Sick!

Caution – Flu Season Ahead

We heard that AT&T has decided to “surplus” i.e. lay off a few hundred more hardworking employees this week. It made us sick so we decided that we had better exercise our contractual right to take a sick day. We’ll probably call our friends on our crew to let them know we won’t be there so they’ll need to pick up our slack.

Unless our fellow workers are also sickened by AT&T’s actions.

This is not a “blue-flu” because that would violate the “No strike” clause. If we were not already working without a contract.

On the morning surplus employees are supposed to have a “special meeting,” we’ll be in bed after having given our manager the bad news: We are not able to come in for reasons of continuous debilitating nausea. Nausea that struck when we learned of another surplus declaration on a workforce that has been cut on average about 20% in the last two years. Our care-giver will be at the drug store, getting us our Pepto or what have you. Our care-giver will be sure to save the date-stamped receipt.

This is not a “blue-flu”. If we were not already working without a contract. Certainly not an activity sanctioned by any local union or higher. It is a visceral reaction to despicable harming of American working families. Not just those of the employees in harm’s way, but all American families who suffer from degraded service due to the unending greed of AT&T.

How Does AT&T Handle a “Blue Flue?”

Ahem. If there were such a thing..

Historically, several bouts of illness have struck AT&T employees in various CWA Districts, especially in recent times. AT&T has reacted the same each time:

  • As soon as first-lines suspect lots of illness, Upper, Labor and HR are notified. All bosses start shaking the rat tree
  • Since grass-roots actions are set up securely thus no rats nor official union involvement, managers will interview all returning employees to determine the reason for their absence in order to code the time properly. Typically one of two pay-treatments:
    • Job action/Strike:
      This will be determined by HR based on, among other things, how many participate in the event. It is unpaid and not disciplined as it is a concerted activity. No sick pay either, if you are entitled to such but that is the price to be a hard-core unionist (yet, a delicate stomach). Don’t be a crybaby about it either because, damn, someone is losing their job who does not deserve this.
    • Sick-day:
      With all that comes of it i.e. may be unexcused without…a doctor’s note or receipt for OTC (over the counter) medicine. You may get disciplined like normal without these things, so one should use their head if they are on a final written warning

Naturally, a steward must be present for the interview once you request one; that always helps to have someone at your side, taking notes. During the interview, simply telling management that AT&T’s behavior causes your illness will suffice to provide the accurate, truthful answer; more than that violates our members’ medical privacy.

It takes a cast-iron stomach some days, dealing with AT&T’s disrespect of its American workers.

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  1. Pingback: This Week’s Craft Meeting: We Can’t Beat AT&T Without FU Money – Districts United

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