On Jun. 19, Communications Workers of America opened new battle to block merger of WorldCom & MCI, saying in detailed analysis that deal would deprive the companies of access to capital and cut, rather than expand, local competition. CWA filed a statement with the FCC complaining the merger is anti-competitive, and in its latest disclosure its “union economist” claims the merger fails tests set by FCC. CWA’s action came the same day that European antitrust authorities moved close to approving the transaction. Analysts strongly believe, despite the best attempts of union radicals, the merger will go through. [Communications Daily 06/22/98]
Newspaper Workers Break from CWA
Employees of the San Diego Union-Tribune voted Jun. 11 to decertify Newspaper Guild Local 95 of CWA as their bargaining agent. In an NLRB-monitored election, 406 workers voted against continued representation by the Guild while 378 voted to keep the union. Some 844 employees in the newsroom, advertising, circulation, finance, and business departments had been represented by the union for 61 years. The Union-Tribune is the nation’s 20th largest newspaper with a daily circulation of 386,000.
Linda Foley, President of the Washington, D.C.-based Guild, called the defeat the largest in memory.
Savoring a rare victory for freedom, Union-Tribune President & Chief Operating Officer Gene Bell said, “We’re gratified that the employees decided to place their trust in management. We look forward to working in a new relationship with the staff.” [BNA Daily Labor Report 06/15/98 & S.D. Union-Tribune 06/13/98]
CWA Ready for War Against Bell Atlantic
Red-shirted members of CWA set up informational pickets at Bell Atlantic offices and work centers around Richmond, VA on Jun. 11, as formal talks between the union and the company got under way in Washington. Bell Atlantic-VA spokesman Paul Miller said the company has no intention of negotiating with the union in the news media and did not response to CWA’s attacks. CWA’s contract with Bell Atlantic doesn’t expire until Aug. 8, but union members appear as if they desire a strike. [Rich. Times-Dispatch 06/12/98]