ASLIU bargaining begins for new Denver contract

October 18, 2017


Your bargaining committee met with Purple management and their lawyers at the law offices of Akin Gump in San Francisco Tuesday and Wednesday. Each side presented proposals for a new collective bargaining agreement for the Denver unit. It was a generally productive tone with a candid exchange of general attitudes during the bargaining sessions.

While the union proposal seeks improvement of the labor contract that recently expired, leaving many provisions unchanged but seeking better compensation terms and clarity on certain working conditions and performance standards, the management proposal was practically a complete re-write.

Company lawyers expressed deep resentment over being hauled before the National Labor Relations Board in hearings that were conducted over about three weeks in AZ, CO and CA. We were glad to be able to point out in front of Company management that the board hearings were the natural result of the Company’s own bad behavior.

In keeping with our commitment to constructive talks, we worked with management to draft an interim standard for the handling of missed, dodged or denied (MDD) calls that focuses on patterns of avoiding calls while retaining our VIs’ commitment to high quality service. The policy is clear that the just cause standard will be applied on any discipline, and that we retain the right to arbitrate related disputes.

“Interim standard” means that this new MDD language will be implemented right away even though negotiations on the entire agreement continue. Union stewards should post the new MDD policy. Be aware that no discipline or patterns should predate this agreement. If that happens, it will trigger grievances and unfair labor practice charges. Management committed that there were no pending or past matters for which they were withholding discipline. Be sure to meet with your union stewards to discuss any questions or issues.

A Labor Management Committee that consists of two members each from management and the unit can be formed right away. Again, reach out to your union stewards about participating.

We also identified about a half dozen noncontroversial articles of the first contract, and expect to sign tentative agreements for each of those, after careful review.

We agreed to meet again December 5 – 6, in San Francisco (as previously agreed in the Shutdown Agreement).

The ASLIU Guild Bargaining Committee: Liz Keyser, Mah-rya Proper, and Sarah Spencer, and Guild staff Carl Hall, Kat Anderson and Martin Yost.

Management Bargaining Committee: Fran Cummings, Greg Camp, and Sahar Haraz and Akin Gump lawyers Larry Levien and Andrew Turnbull.


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Michael Applegate

Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer

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