ASLIU members say mediation with management a flop

Purple Communications Bargaining Update # 14

A meeting with a federal mediator last Friday ended with no real progress being made in the negotiations between Purple Communications and ASLIU.

The meeting started with the union once again stating that the fundamental issue to interpreters was safety. ASLIU chief spokesperson, Bruce Meachum, told the management team that the union is very flexible on economic issues and is confident the parties could reach an agreement quickly if the company would bend a little on the KPI standards.

The meeting ended when company negotiators showed no signs of budging on any part of the “production standards.”

The only real substance to come out of the half-day session was a comprehensive company proposal that would include: All of the provisions of the contract already agreed upon; no significant change to log-in or KPI standards; no changes in current economic policies (health benefits; PTO/VTO; holidays; 401(k); etc.); wages to remain unchanged through June 2014; and the parties would reopen negotiations in June to determine the wages to be paid beginning in July 2014.

The company’s previous proposal was essentially identical except for the wage guarantee, which would have been only through December of this year.

So, where do we go from here?

It is not unusual for negotiations to hit a snag, especially when the bargaining is for a first contract. When that happens, the union and its members face the same choice we have: Accept what we’ve gained so far, or fight for more.

The bargaining team is proud of its accomplishments to date. We and the company have laid a good foundation for a long-term contractual relationship. But, in our view, it’s not yet enough. We are not willing to accept a contract without some relief in the so-called production standards that are injuring our members, and we’re betting that you aren’t either. We intend to fight on.

In this struggle, our best asset is our unity. We’ve had that all along and it’s made our accomplishments at the bargaining table possible. It’s always been all of us working together. Let’s continue that new tradition and show our support whenever we can. Let’s finish this mission we’ve undertaken just as we began. Together.

National Bargaining Committee:

Mary Jane Moore, Arizona: National Unit Chair Lindsey Antle, Denver: National Vice Chair
Margie Brooks, Oakland: National Vice Chair Michelle Caplette, Arizona: National Vice Chair
Martin Yost, San Diego: National Vice Chair Bruce Meachum, PMWG Representative: Chief Spokesperson

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Michael Applegate

Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer

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